In Volume 1 of The SoDA Report, I had the opportunity to moderate a fantastic panel discussion with a number of heavyweights from the world of digital analytics. In retrospect, I felt like the topic of social media analytics did not receive sufficient attention during that session. As a result, I collaborated with the Head of Social Media at GRAPE, Michail Geisherik, to outline some of the most salient trends at present in the rapidly evolving world of social media analytics.
While there are still traces of the once all-consuming obsession with the volume of “likes” on Facebook brand pages, marketers are gradually beginning to shift their attention to deeper and more insightful KPIs to judge the efficacy of their social media efforts.
The evolving science of social analytics includes analyzing how different groups of consumers engage with your brand beyond the “like,” how they respond to different types of branded and non-branded messages over time, and how their actions correlate with brand metrics such as favorability, purchase intent and actual sales.
The growing array of tools for measuring social media activity is requiring ever greater levels of accountability—both from agency partners and from the client-side digital marketers charged with orchestrating a brand’s social presence. In an environment where you can now measure the impact of each particular post and action that you make on behalf of the brand, marketers need to be able to filter through the avalanche of data available in order to mine the truly actionable insights.
In the case of Facebook, one critical KPI is page rank. Within Facebook’s internal measurement system, page rank determines the prominence of your brand’s posts in the newsfeeds of your “fans.” The higher the engagement rate with content on your brand page, the more likely it is that your posts will appear in newsfeeds.
This is particularly critical given that the newsfeed—not display ads or other tactics—is undeniably the single greatest driver of consumer engagement on brand pages.
So, rather than posting as much content as humanly possible to see what “sticks,” brands need to strive for better communication quality in order to remain relevant and visible with consumers.
We are all waiting for a technology solution that seamlessly unites information about the user’s search preferences and social activity together with additional online and offline data sets, in order to gain a more holistic understanding of consumers. Combine that with enhanced targeting techniques and more turnkey solutions for optimization and we will have found the Holy Grail.
The race is on and we’ll see which of the major (or heretofore unknown) players crosses the finish line first with a truly world-class, holistic analytics solution.