Widget Analytics – Measuring the widgets in the wild

Helping web analysts navigate the measurement and tracking of widgets.

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Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Measuring Social Media

Posted by widgetgirl on June 27, 2008

Hi everyone,

What a crazy week.  I moderated a panel at OMMA Social this past Monday on Social Media measurement and then did a last minute panel yesterday here in Washington at the Digital Media Conference sponsored by the Potomac Tech Wire.  There was a lot of discussion about social media measurement.  I think it is actually starting to replace the topic of Engagement (thank God!).   Below is my Metrics Insider article from this month that was published this morning.  Would love comments or feedback on the topic if you get the chance.

I am heading to Ireland this afternoon for a wedding, so there won’t be any posts this next week.  I’ll be back online after the 4th holiday.

Off to the Emerald Isle….Jodi

Social Media Measurement Round 2: It’s About Listening

THIS WEEK I MODERATED a panel at OMMA Social that focused on social media metrics. In preparing for the panel, I started my research with trying to define what social media measurement really is. I had a preconceived notion that everything can be measured, right? Isn’t this what I was writing about last month — the need to open the kimono and talk about the calculations of metrics openly, so that everyone knows exactly how something is being measured? Maybe put a few standards in place?

Well, to quote someone from the conference (who was quoting Einstein), “Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.”

Perhaps a new metric that needs to be instituted is listening. The listening factor that marketers or analysts apply to the process of evaluating their social media strategy will take them further than the metrics will. You have to listen to what your customers are saying to you, and what they are saying to each other, to assess your efforts.

Social media measurement is clearly a mix of art and science. There are so many data points that, to fully understand if your social media agenda is working, you need to evaluate the tone and content of what your users might be generating.

An interesting question that I threw at the panel was, “How do you know if your social media strategy is working?” Stephanie Pike from Circuitcity.com said that her company ties every marketing effort back to the store purchase. Everything has got to have an ROI — or they’ll evaluate whether to continue the program or not.

I hear what she is saying, and have had that ROI model foundationally set in my brain forever, but the difficulty is that so many of these efforts are hard to quantify.

Another interesting point she brought up was how users in Circuitcity.com forums actually answer each other’s questions on products. Get your own customers to help each other, and now you truly have a cost savings effort. But you must also weigh the tone and quality of how they answer those questions, and the impact on the brand.

Heidi Browning from MySpace touched on her company’s metric, called the “momentum effect”: “This is a quantifiable measurement of the impact of a brand within a social network beyond traditional advertising impressions to encompass the ‘pass along’ power of consumer-to-consumer communication.” A big quote, I know — but a research study jointly conducted by Marketing Evolution and Adidas showed how the power of consumer alignment with a brand influences behavior. Although not “directly” quantifiable through a metric that is spit out of a data analysis tool, the impact of consumers aligning with your brand, then inviting their friends or influencing others on their affinity via personal expression on their profile page or through social networking, is pretty powerful.

We have a ways to go in measuring the impact of social media. The discussion on the panel helped me realize that. The metrics vary drastically depending on the type of campaign — and in most cases, require custom analysis of the qualitative and quantitative in order to assess results. You need to start by outlining what your social media goals are and defining the audience that you are trying to reach. The metrics are available for most aspects of these campaigns, but, at the end of the day, applying the listening factor to understand conversation with the customer is what it’s really all about.

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Social Media Standards – Please join me

Posted by widgetgirl on March 5, 2008


As many of you know, I am very involved with the Web Analytics Association. As a participant on the WAA’s Standards committee over the past year, they have asked me to co-chair a subcommittee specific to drafting out standards for the Web 2.0 space. Last week my co-chair Jared Freedman and I had our first conference call with the WAA members who will be participating in this effort. One of our first line items for business was to nail down exactly which topics we would address. As widgets are near and dear to my heart, I will be actively working to help build out the standards for how we measure these portable apps. We will also be working on downloadable media, streaming media, virtual reality and blogs.

So here comes the “please join me” part. We are starting our efforts on an open Wiki for all to contribute. The goal being to solicit input from the industry as to how widgets (and the above mentioned topics) should be measured. There are many metrics that we can pull directly from existing web analytics standards (unique visitors, views, etc.), but as we have explored here there are metrics that are specific to viral content too.

The Wiki is available here: http://waasocialmediawiki.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

Please take a look and contribute your thoughts. We ask they you self identify by creating an account on the Wiki. All input and contributions will be reviewed and we welcome input from those in the industry as we work through this process. In approximately 4 to 6 months (potentially sooner), the content will be moved from the public forum into a private area for members of the WAA to consolidate and review.

The standards that we are working to draft through the WAA are for web analytics practitioners.  As web analysts are working to analyze their Web 2.0 efforts, there is a need in the industry for standards around how to measure Web 2.0 and specifically social media.

If you have any questions about participating or would like more information, please email me.

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