Tag Archives: Social Media

Promotion Through Pinterest: Drive Traffic To Your Site Without Abusing Copyright

18 Mar

I just got Pinterest.

I’ve been hearing about it for awhile, but it took me this long to actually get around to getting invited and playing around with it. But now I have and I get it.  I totally totally get it.

Let me explain.

Pinterest isn’t just a hot thing in social media.  It isn’t just a pinboard to express yourself. It is a useful tool for promotion. And yes, I know that Pinterest asks users to avoid self-promotion, but I think there is a way for people to pin AND promote without turning the community into a can of spam, much the same way that there are good marketing practices for the use of Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media tool (be authentic, share valuable content, diversify, etc).

Why is Pinterest So Popular?

It’s VISUAL and SO EASY to use.  It is a natural fit for the internet because it capitalizes on things that are already popular–funny animals, kids and babies, unique or interesting crafts, art, decorating, and  recipes.  There are hundreds of user groups and internet forums and YouTube channels and email chains dedicated to these things.  Pinterest just makes it easy to share and store images you like, in a visually attractive way, with virtually no effort at all.

How Can Pinterest Help Your Business?

I don’t know why the SEO community isn’t freaking out more about Pinterest.  It’s basically hotlinking 2.0. Actually, I don’t even know if it’s hotlinking 2.0.  Pinterest is just hotlinking.

What does this mean?  It means that every time somebody Re-pins something that you have pinned from your own site, it LINKS to your site, because the image is actually HOSTED on your site. If you click through images put on Pinterest, you end up on the page where they are hosted.

I pinned images on my blog that I thought others might find useful and shareable. And you should too, especially if you own a small business that is graphical in any way, shape or form. Photographers, designers, artists, crafters, bakers, and chefs…PIN YOUR WORK! (concerned about copyright? see below)

Pinterest is great for other businesses too.  Does your company make attractive infographics? Pin them.  Publish an ebook?  Pin the cover so people can how that they like your book, with a description and a link to your website, reviews, reasons to read,  place to purchase, whatever you want.  You can even create really unique or inspiring images with the purpose of showcasing your stuff and driving traffic to your site. Pinterest is like an unlimited advertising board for absolutely everything.

But please keep it pretty.  Or useful.  Or funny. Don’ t just pin junk. Value is key here!

Also remember this: if the site where your images are hosted has limited bandwidth, you may experience problems from people hotlinking that may cost you.  But this is a good problem to have as it essentially means that your image advertising is working and your images are “going viral.”

Wait.  What About Copyright Infringement?

SO GLAD you asked.

Pinterest IS having difficulty around the issue of copyright infringement.  Technically, you aren’t allowed to use images created by others unless you pay for them or get permission.  Of course, people break this rule on the internet all the time because they don’t know about it, especially bloggers, but Pinterest’s business is built around the sharing of pictures that technically don’t belong to them…so copyright could impact them (and their users–i.e. YOU) the same way Napster got slammed for peddling music it didn’t own (thanks for the insight, Visible Technologies–ye providers of social monitoring software).

You don’t have to worry as long as you are only pinning images you have the rights to.  Since you shouldn’t be uploading images to your blog or website that you don’t have permission to use, this shouldn’t be an issue.  All of the pictures I pinned from my blog are either free (from Microsoft’s free image library.  Thanks, Microsoft!) or were pictures I made, photographed with my phone, or had commissioned.  And you know what?  PLEASE SHARE THEM.  Yes.  I want you to repin my work.  You have my blessing.

As for pinning images from other people’s sites (which is most of Pinterest)…be careful.  Right now, the onus is on you not to abuse copyright, but here is what I think should happen:

Artists, graphic designers, bakers, photographers, etc. should upload/make available versions of their images that are “cleared” for pinning to Pinterest. This could be done with a caption or a logo (Pinterest approved! Please make a universal one, Pinterest!) or watermark. If Pinterest was really ambitious, they could offer an “auto watermark” feature that essentially takes care of this for everybody. This is similar to what istockphoto does with thumbnails, to distinguish advertising of art from the actual art. That way everyone can admire and browse through pictures without being able to use the originals for anything else without purchasing them.  Net result?  Exposure for artists.

For this to work, Pinterest needs to make “Re-Pins” free from legal issues.  Pinterest would have to put the onus on uploaders and adders while those who just share can do so without penalty (like YouTube does with videos).  That way, I can keep my Social Media Infographics board (and other boards) intact without abusing anyone’s creative design.

If Pinterest DOESN’T find a way to make repinning okay, I predict a mass exodus from Pinterest (myself included) as people become informed of the risks. I’m willing to give it a little time, though, since the concern is new (please don’t sue me!).

Use Pinterest Without Abusing Copyrighht

Analyzing New Facebook Insights – Display and Exported Data

30 Jan

Last week, I gave a presentation on New Facebook Insights for Banyan Branch, a social media agency in Seattle.  This blog post will be cross-posted to the blog at Banyan and the PowerPoint may end up on SlideShare, but here is my blog post version:

Where are New Facebook Insights?

You must be an admin of a Facebook page to have access to Facebook Insights. New Facebook Insights are located on the left of the page. Old Facebook Insights are on the right.

Where Are New and Old Facebook Insights?

Where Are New and Old Facebook Insights?

Some Dates & Numbers You Might Want To Know:

  • Data for Old Facebook Insights stopped collecting December 15, 2011
  • Old Facebook Insights are scheduled to be deleted February 15, 2012
  • New Page Insights were Introduced October 6, 2011
  • New Facebook Insights only go back as far as July 19, 2011
  • In either the display or exported data, you can only get up to 500 posts
  • You can only export up to 89 days worth of data
  • You must have 30+ data points to qualify for insights
  • There is a few days lag on displayed data in New Insights
  • Exported data for Insights is available Daily, Weekly, and 28 day cycles
  • Really high success might break insights data being displayed

Two Important Things Here:

  1. If you want access to your Facebook data prior to July 19th, you must export it before February 15th…and make sure you don’t exceed 500 posts or 89 days per export.
  2. If you are starting a new Facebook page, your Insights aren’t going to show until you have 30 of something (likes, fans, etc.).

Old Facebook Insights

Old Facebook Insights showed information related to Active Users (views, visitors, new likes, etc.) and their Interactions (likes, comments, etc.).

To analyze Old Insights, you would look at the peaks and valleys to see what your Active Users found engaging and when (or when they weren’t active and why).  Or you could look at your individual post data to see what specifically they liked and the impression each post made (useful for campaigns, contests, polls, etc.)

Analyze Peaks and Valleys in Facebook Insights

Analyze Peaks and Valleys in Facebook Insights

What Has Changed With New Facebook Insights?

With New Facebook Insights, the old metrics are no longer displayed…at all. You can still get them if you export your data, but Facebook has had a makeover. They allow you to do more with your data and they are encouraging you to change how you do your reporting.

The New Facebook Metrics:

  • Total Likes: The number of people who have “liked” your page. The percentage increase up or down defaults to the past 7 days of displayed data; you can view the date period by hovering over the percentage number and you can change the date range, which will change the number.
  • Friends of Fans: Shows the potential reach of your page’s content via the friends of people who have “liked” your page. This will fluctuate and is most useful for ads that friends of your friends will be exposed to.
  • People Talking About This: The number of unique people who have created a “story” regarding your page, which means any type of interaction within the date range such as a comment, share, like, tag, response to an event or question, etc.
  • Weekly Total Reach: The total number of people who have seen content regarding your page, including ads or sponsored stories pointing to your page over 7 days.

These metrics are available on the overview page for “Insights”

New Facebook Insights Shows Weekly Change For 7 Days

Please note that  “Total likes” and “Friends of Fans” are Lifetime metrics, meaning they are an aggregate of the total sum since the beginning of your page’s existence.  However, Weekly Total Reach and Talking About This are weekly sums (7 days) going back from the last day of displayed data (which isn’t always today due to a lag).

Also note also the percentage increase (in green with a green arrow in this example) next to each of the four metrics.  This number is for the last 7 days for all four metrics.  If your numbers went down, this metric will be red and the arrow will point downward.

Finally, note that the area graphic showing Reach and Talking About This over time is showing weekly data.  If you hover over one of those dots, you are looking at 7 days worth of data.

Beneath the area graphic, you can look at a list of your individual posts (just one post is shown below) and determine how effective each post was against other posts or sort by category to determine which posts are the top performing.

Post Data For New Facebook Insights

Post Data For New Facebook Insights

  • Reach is the number of unique users who saw your post.
  • Engaged Users is the number of unique people who have clicked on your post.
  • Talking About This is the number of people who have Liked, commented on, shared, or responded to a post, question, or event.
  • Virality is the “Talking About This” number divided by the “Reach” number.

New Facebook Insights Post TypeYou can also filter by Post Type.  Each post will have an icon next to it that will help you to identify which type of post it is.  Sorting by types of posts can help give insight into what is working best for your page.

 

 

 

 

More Details on New Facebook Insights

New Facebook Insights TabsSo far we have just looked at what is available on the overview for “Insights”.  There are also three sub tabs on Likes, Reach, and Talking About This.

 

  • The “Likes” tab displays the information in the old Facebook insights reports: how many people have liked your page, how many people have unliked your page, etc.
  • The “Reach” tab shows you information about who saw any content about your Page. This will include both fans and nonfans.
  • The “Talking About This” tab shows you who has created a story about your Page.

For each, you get information on demographics, such as gender, a bar chart for age groups, top countries, and top cities.  You also get source information for where your traffic is coming from.

Skip to the Point. So What?

Okay…so how does this help you?

I would say there are three major takeaways for New Facebook Insights:

  1. You Will Have To Adapt From Old Facebook Insights to New Facebook Insights

Impressions, Active Users, and Shares have been replaced.  We now have Weekly Total Reach, Engaged Users/Views/Visitors and Talking About This.  You can still get the Old Facebook Insights metrics from exporting the post data, but I don’t think Facebook is going to switch back, so you might as well hop on board with the new insights metrics.

This is an adjustment, but in the long run it’s a benefit because you can see not just who is a fan of your page, but potentially how many people you could be reaching through those who are engaging with you.

  1. Use New Insights To Improve Engagement and Influence

You can analyze peaks and valleys in your new metrics just like the old ones to determine not just when people are most engaged with your page (or when they stop being engaged), but also how many people they are reaching with your content.

You can look at your individual posts and filter by Talking About This or Virality to see which posts resonated the most with your audience. Once you figure it out, post more of what is working! This will help you build a page that attracts more likes, retains more fans, and grows your community.

  1. Determine How Your Facebook Is Doing Against Competitors

Guess what? “Fans” and “Talking About This” (weekly) are public metrics. They are located on the left of every Facebook page.  What this means is that you can now compare your Facebook page to other Facebook pages. Just divide “Talking About This” by “Total Fans”.

Prior to “Talking About This” all you could do was look at the fans that other pages have, but this isn’t always a helpful metric.  Some products or companies are going to have millions of fans even if their Facebook doesn’t engage their community at all.  “Talking About This” helps you see how engaged fans are with a Facebook page, not just a product. Since health is expressed as a percentage, you won’t be trying to compare total likes for wildly different products or companies.

According to Social Media Examiner, healthy Facebook pages have a score of between 1-5%.

 “The People Talking About This statistic is the one to watch. Watch your competitors’ numbers to monitor what is working for them. For an accurate picture, take the People Talking About This number and divide it by the total number of fans. Healthy pages have percentages between 1% and 5% (or more for great interaction).”  -www.socialmediaexaminer.com

Exported Data for New Facebook Insights:

Still not satisfied?  Don’t worry. Facebook has provided LOTS more with the Export function for New Facebook Insights.  If you are a brave enough, you can export your data.  You can export it at the Overview or for the individual tabs for Likes, Reach, or Talking About This.  I’ll even show you what this data looks like for the Overview.

First, you’ll come to a screen that looks like this:

Export Data For Facebook Insights

Note that you can choose either Post or Page data.  Note that you can also set the date range but that you can’t pull more than 500 posts or posts prior to July 19th.

Post Level Data For Facebook Insights

Post level data is simpler. If you export Post Data into Excel, you will get five tabs…and lots of columns. I wrote them all out in the table below as a reference guide.

Tab Name Description Data Available By Column
Key Metrics Description, Post ID, Message , Posted date, Lifetime Post Total Reach, Lifetime Post Organic Reach, Lifetime Post Paid Reach, Lifetime Post Viral Reach, Lifetime Post Total Impressions, Lifetime Post Organic Impressions, Lifetime Post Paid Impressions, Lifetime Post Viral Impressions, Lifetime Engaged Users, Lifetime Talking About This (Post), Lifetime Post Stories, Lifetime Post Consumers, Lifetime Post Consumptions
Lifetime Talking About This The number of unique people who created a story about your Page post, by action type. (Unique Users) Description, Post ID, Message, Posted, like, comment, share
Lifetime Post Stories By Action The number of stories created about your Page post, by action type. (Total Count) Description, Post ID, Message, Posted, like, comment, share
Lifetime Post Consumers By Type The number of people who clicked anywhere in your post, by type. Clicks generating stories are included in “Other Clicks.” (Unique Users) Description, Post ID, Message, Posted, other clicks, link clicks, video play,  photo view
Lifetime Post Consumptions By… The number of clicks anywhere in your post, by type. Clicks generating stories are included in “Other Clicks.” (Total Count) Description, Post ID, Message, Posted (date), other clicks, link clicks, video play, photo view

Page Level Data For Facebook Insights

Page level data will frighten you.  Here’s what you get with Page level data exported for New Facebook Insights (assuming I didn’t blink and miss one…which is possible):

  • Key Metrics (with 66+ columns!…I’ll show you the columns in a second)
  • Daily Like Sources
  • Daily Viral Reach By Story Type
  • Weekly Viral Reach By Story Type
  • 28 Days Viral Reach By Story Type
  • Daily Viral Impressions by Story Type
  • Weekly Viral Impressions by Story Type
  • 28 Days Viral Impressions by Story Type
  • Daily Total frequency distrib…
  • Weekly Total frequency distrib…
  • 28 Days Total frequency distrib…
  • Daily Posts frequency distrib…
  • Weekly Posts frequency distrib…
  • 28 Days Posts frequency distrib…
  • Daily Viral frequency  distrib…
  • Weekly Viral frequency  distrib…
  • 28 Days Viral frequency  distrib
  • Daily Talking About This by…
  • Weekly Talking About This by…
  • 28 Days Talking About This by…
  • Daily Stories By…
  • Weekly Stories By…
  • 28 Days Page Stories By…
  • Daily Consumers by cons…
  • Weekly Consumers by cons…
  • 28 Days Page Consumers by cons…
  • Daily Consumptions by type…
  • Weekly Consumptions by type…
  • 28 Days Page Consumptions by type…
  • Lifetime Gender and Age
  • Lifetime Countries
  • Lifetime Cities
  • Lifetime Language
  • Weekly Reach Demographics
  • Weekly Reach By Country
  • Weekly Reach by City
  • Daily People Talking About Age and Gender
  • Weekly People Talking About Age and Gender
  • 28 Days People Talking About Age and Gender
  • Daily People Talking About Country
  • Weekly People Talking About Country
  • 28 Days People Talking About Country
  • Daily Language
  • Weekly Language
  • 28 Days Language
  • Daily Logged in Tab Views
  • Daily External Referrers

Wow that’s a lot of data!  And it’s only just the beginning.  The Tab for “Key Metrics” has over 66 columns.  Here’s what they are:

Tab #1 Columns with data… (66+)
Key Metrics Daily People Talking About This, Weekly People Talking About This, 28 Days People Talking About This, Daily Page Stories, Weekly Page Stories, 28 Days Page Stories, Lifetime Total Likes, Daily New Likes, Daily Unlikes, Daily Friends of Fans, Daily Page Engaged Users, Weekly Page Engaged Users, 28 Days Page Engaged Users, Daily Total Reach, Weekly Total Reach, 28 Days Total Reach, Daily Organic Reach, Weekly Organic Reach, 28 Days Organic Reach, Daily Paid Reach, Weekly Paid Reach, 28 Days Paid Reach, Daily Viral Reach, Weekly Viral Reach, 28 Days Viral Reach, Daily Total Impressions, Weekly Total Impressions, 28 Days Total Impressions, Daily Organic impressions, Weekly Organic impressions, 28 Days Organic impressions, Daily Paid Impressions, Weekly Paid Impressions, 28 Days Paid Impressions, Daily Viral impressions, Weekly Viral impressions, 28 Days Viral impressions, Daily Reach of page posts, Weekly Reach of page posts, 28 Days Reach of page posts, Daily Organic Reach of Page posts, Weekly Organic Reach of Page posts, 28 Days Organic Reach of Page posts, Daily Paid Reach of Page posts, Weekly Paid Reach of Page posts, 28 Days Paid Reach of Page posts, Daily Viral Reach of page posts, Weekly Viral Reach of page posts, 28 Days Viral Reach of page posts, Daily Total Impressions of your posts, Weekly Total Impressions of your posts, 28 Days Total Impressions of your posts, Daily Organic impressions of your posts, Weekly Organic impressions of your posts, 28 Days Organic impressions of your posts, Daily Paid impressions of your posts, Weekly Paid impressions of your posts, 28 Days Paid impressions of your posts, Daily Viral impressions of your posts, Weekly Viral impressions of your posts, 28 Days Viral impressions of your posts, Daily Total Consumers, Weekly Total Consumers, 28 Days Total Consumers, Daily Page consumptions, Weekly Page consumptions, 28 Days Page consumptions

If you organize it…

Exported New Facebook Insights Key Metrics

Still with me?  Remember there are a bunch of other tabs.  Here are the definitions and all the metrics you get with each in the columns.

More Tabs Description Columns
Daily Like Sources The number of people who liked your Page, broken down by the most common places where people can like your Page. (Unique Users) Description, Date, page profile, hovercard, mobile, like story. page suggestion, api, timeline, recommended pages, search
Viral Reach By Story Type (Tab each for Daily/Weekly/28 Days) Total number of people who saw a story about your Page by story type. (Unique Users) Description, Date, fan, mention, user post, page post
Viral Impressions by Story (Tab each for Daily/Weekly/28 Days) Total impressions of stories published by a friend about your Page by story type. (Total Count) Description, Date, fan, mention, user post, page post
Daily /Weekly/ 28 Days Total frequency distrib The number of people your Page reached broken down by how many times people saw any content about your Page. (Unique Users) Description, Date, 6-10, 1, 11-20, 21+, 2, 3, 4, 5
Daily/Weekly/28 Days Posts frequency distrib The number of people who saw your Page posts, broken down by how many times people saw your posts. (Unique Users) Description, Date, 21+, 6-10, 11-20, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Daily/Weekly/28 Days Viral frequency  distrib The number of people your Page reached from a story published by a friend, broken down by how many times people saw stories about your Page. (Unique Users) Description Date 1 2 3 6-10 4 21+ 5 11-20
Daily/Weekly/28 Days Talking About This by Story Type The number of people talking about your Page, by story type. (Unique Users) Description, Date, page, post, fan, mention, user post
More Tabs Description Columns
Daily/Weekly/28 Days Page Stories By The number of stories about your Page by story type. (Total Count) Description Date page post fan user post mention
Daily/Weekly/28 Days Page Consumers by cons The number of people who clicked on any of your content, by type. Clicks generating stories are included in “Other Clicks.” Stories generated without clicks on page content (e.g., liking the page in Timeline) are not included. (Unique Users) Description Date other clicks link clicks video play photo view
Daily/Weekly/28 Days Page Consumptions by type The number of clicks on any of your content, by type. Clicks generating stories are included in “Other Clicks.” Stories generated without clicks on page content (e.g., liking the page in Timeline) are not included. (Total Count) Description Date other clicks link clicks photo view video play
Lifetime Gender and Age Lifetime Aggregated demographic data about the people who like your Page based on the age and gender information they provide in their user profiles. (Total Count) Date F.35-44 F.25-34 F.45-54 F.55+ F.18-24 M.35-44 M.55+ M.25-34 M.45-54 M.18-24 U.UNKNOWN F.13-17 M.13-17 U.35-44 U.25-34 U.45-54 U.55+ U.18-24
Lifetime Countries Lifetime Aggregated Facebook location data, sorted by country, about the people who like your Page. (Total Count) Description Date : Top Countries
Lifetime Cities  Aggregated Facebook location data, sorted by city, about the people who like your Page. (Total Count) Description Date : Top Cities
Lifetime Language Aggregated language data about the people who like your Page based on the default language setting selected when accessing Facebook. (Total Count) Description Date: Top Languages
More Tabs Description Columns
Weekly Reach Demographics Weekly Total Page Reach by age and gender. (Unique Users) Description Date F.45-54 F.35-44 F.25-34 F.55-64 F.18-24 M.45-54 M.35-44 M.25-34 M.18-24 F.65+ M.55-64 M.65+ F.13-17 U.35-44 M.13-17 U.25-34 U.45-54 U.55-64 U.18-24 U.65+
Weekly Reach By Country Weekly Total Page Reach by user country. (Unique Users) Description Date varies but shows as US etc.
Weekly Reach by City Weekly Total Page Reach by user city. (Unique Users) Description Date, varies but shows as city and state initials
More Tabs Description Columns
Weekly Reach By Language Total Page Reach by user selected language. (Unique Users) Description Date, varies but shows as en_US
Daily /Weekly/28 Days People Talking About Age and Gender The number of People Talking About the Page by user age and gender (Unique Users) Description Date F.35-44 F.25-34 F.45-54 F.55-64 F.18-24 M.35-44 M.25-34 M.45-54 F.65+ M.65+ U.25-34 U.35-44 F.13-17 U.65+ M.55-64 M.18-24 U.45-54
Daily /Weekly/28 Days People Talking About Country The number of People Talking About the Page by user country (Unique Users) Description Date, varies but shows as US etc.
Daily /Weekly/ 28 Days  People Talking About Language The number of People Talking About the Page by user language. (Unique Users) Description Date, varies but shows as en_US etc
Daily Logged in Tab Views Daily Tabs on your Page that were viewed when logged-in users visited your Page. (Unique Users) Varies by what tabs you have
Daily External Referrers: Daily Top referring external domains sending traffic to your Page. (Total Count) Varies by your referrals

That concludes all I was able to look at for Exported Data.

Final Thoughts: What I Wish I Knew About Facebook Insights

New Facebook Insights doesn’t show what is being said about your page on your fans’ walls, but Facebook has built in an API that can be used to gather this information. News on the subject listed Context Optional, Wildfire, and Webtrends as partners, but I suspect social media analytic tools will be able to fill this need as well.

I wasn’t able to determine if people deleting stories on their wall will make “Talking About This” and related metrics go down. Same with people changing their privatization for what they share with whom.  Does it affect the reach number if I limited a post to just certain friends? Retroactively?  I’m not sure, but I will let you know if I find out.

Additional Resources

Lots of bloggers, journalists and others have written about New Facebook Insights besides me.  I scouted around and these were the best that I found.  By “best” I mean the most comprehensive or easiest to understand or most accurate or in some way gave me something more than just definitions of the new Facebook Insights metrics (which you can get from Facebook—see resource number one).

My Favorite New Facebook Insights Resources:

Was this information helpful to you?  Please leave me a note!

What Does Social Media Conversation Look Like? What Can You Learn From It?

16 Jan
Social Media Conversation

Social Media Conversation

How much of the online conversation about my brand is about products? How much is about the stores? Which products and which stores?  Are people motivated more by price or convenience?  How else do they make decisions?  What impact does  news have on the conversation?  Which is most interesting to consumers? Lawsuits? Politics?  Product recalls?

And so on.

These are the questions marketers often want social media analysis to answer. The value of social media monitoring is often compared to focus group research.  Only instead of prepackaged questions, you get unbound responses in which people will spill what they really think.

Marketers often want the answers in percentages.  X% of the conversation is about products. X% is about stores. X% is news. If you add up all the categories it will total 100%.  …right?

Gosh, I wish it was that easy.

You can certainly use social media to gain insights into these types of questions, but the fact that social media conversation isn’t prepackaged to provide specific answers to specific questions is a double-edged sword.  On one hand, yes, you get unbounded conversation.  People are free to talk about whatever they want to talk about and you can benefit from that by listening and learning and engaging with that conversation.  On the other hand, people are free to talk about whatever they want to talk about, and often what they want to talk about doesn’t align directly with your marketing goals or questions.

People might not mention your products at all.  Or your stores, or define which products or which stores if they do.  Often, a post will touch on several topics at once, so that adding all comments together is never going to equal 100%. Much of the time, the people talking aren’t your customers.  And so on.

If you are a retail marketer, you might be used to dealing with analytics that derive from hard numbers.  Number of products sold, amount of inventory available, price of product at time of sale, comparative numbers from last year, etc.  Your margins are probably well-understood.  They are likely razor thin.

Social media is different. We aren’t looking at numbers that are recorded and segmented for each and every transaction.  We are looking at conversation.  And conversation is a moving target.  People talk about things differently.  Sometimes they talk around things.   The vernacular changes.  And so does the manner of collection and ways in which you can segment the conversation. Conversation is ever-growing and evolving and shape-shifting.

Is the information usable?  Absolutely.  But it’s different than other kinds of market research.

You can learn amazing things.  You might learn that people are using your products for something other than their intended use.  You might discover a demographic or community that is surprisingly enthusiastic about your brand.  You might identify a pain point or controversy that your marketing department had no idea existed…or didn’t realize was as vocal a conversation as it appears in online discussion.

However, you are unlikely to be able to put all of the conversation collected into neat little boxes.  Ever.  And there is probably a great deal of content that isn’t going to fit into any box at all…at least not a traditional box.

My suggestion?  Don’t focus on the totals.  Too many people worry too much about “getting it all”. Getting all of the conversation, or segmenting all of the conversation, is not as important as getting enough conversation.  Yes, you will get numbers.  But like with other kinds of market research, you don’t need a survey from the entire populace, or an interview with every customer, to identify an insight. What you need is “enough” information to draw a conclusion.  Maybe you only saw a handful of people talking about your product having a defect.  But if that handful is the only conversation you are coming across…other than news…it might be significant.

I usually advise companies who know little about the social media conversation for their brand to do a landscape assessment.  Invest in some general research.  Rather than a small report that shows a piece of the puzzle, do a larger report that attempt to show the whole thing…shallowly, perhaps, but gives you an idea of the scope.  Don’t worry about detailed answers to your specific questions.  Just try to get a handle on what is there. Once you have a map, keep listening.  Over time, you will be able to identify what is a trend versus what isn’t. Be prepared to learn some things you didn’t expect and do some deep dive reporting to understand it better.

As you get more familiar with your data, a greater picture will emerge.  And then you will be ready to have some fun.

Make Social Media Martini

It's A Social Media Martini!

Social Media Sundae: A Brand New Blog About…Social Media

6 Jan

Social Media Sundae = Yum

I started Social Media Sundae because I wanted a place to publish my ever-growing fount of social media knowledge. Why Sundae?  (What do you mean? Because it’s delicious.) I looked at a lot of possibilities, but this one appealed the most. It is targeted and memorable (alliterative even) and conveys the style of insights you will find here–fun and flavorful. 

At this time, I don’t really aim at having a “successful” blog in the sense of making it a monetized business.  I am a writer first and foremost.  We writers are notoriously known (unfortunately) for shelling out our talent for pennies…or for nothing…because we love to write.  Right now, I am blogging because I have something to say. It will also enable me to put into practice some what I know about blogging, optimizing content, promoting content via social channels, and related efforts, but that is not the primary focus.

The focus isn’t success. It’s sharing.

As a social media analyst, I spend 40 hours a week digging through social media conversation. I look at trends and themes, explore the cultures of various internet communities, and generally play in a large and ever-growing sandbox of What People Are Talking About.

Professionally, this knowledge is used to inform brands about conversation topics of interest to a business or campaign effort.  But there is a ton of information I discover in the process, or happily through my own explorations, that I don’t get to report to anybody.  And I want to.  Because the things that people talk about in internet communities, fan groups, social media networks and other channels are simply AMAZING.

I will also use this blog to write about where I see the social media industry going as well as what kinds of tools, tips, and tricks I find to be the most valuable in dissecting social media conversation.  My sense as an analyst is that a lot of people are interested but don’t really know where to begin or what to expect.  How do you convey to leadership that this is important or that you are doing a good job? What are the standards? What is the process? People who have my job on the brand side are often at a loss. I really enjoy answering questions and being helpful, so if you discover this blog and think “what the heck? maybe she can help!”  shoot me an email at socialmediasundae@gmail.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.