Tuesday, June 05, 2012

#iel12 Social Media Analytics - Pt 1

2 of my professional keywords for this year are "mobile"  and "analytics".

Our clients are starting to talk about social media.  More as a cool thing/buzzphrase than as a strategic part of their education program, but at least they are talking. Awareness is 1/2 the battle, right?

 Social Media Analytics for Higher Education - Stephane Hamel

International Institute of Business Analytics - the group that does CCBA and CBAP certification

(Introductions - small group in this workshop)
What is the value that we put on the outcome of social media?
- Not just return on investment but return on engagement

In traditional orgs - spend a ton of money on the tools, but they haven't spent the money on the skillset or the culture change.

How do you personally use social media?  This is a good starting point.

One extreme - the numbers make the decisions for you. 
Other extreme - if everything is "gut feel", we have no way to measure outcome or change
Analytics in the middle of the spectrum.  Not the only way to manage, but will help make better decisions.

(A common theme with everyone's shares - what is "value?")

A lot of people see social media as a new way to listen to your audience.  But this isn't entirely new.
Call center - listen to calls
Emails - what's coming in?
Some orgs "we need to facebook page" but you need to use your existing channels too!

Is there a way of presenting data that makes what we already have visible?
- Why and how to measure the impact of your social media marketing
- How to find insights
- How to optimize activities

- "You know that long copy sells more than short copy...they are wrong."
On social media - it's the opposite.  Catchy = effective.

You can be creative, but not measure the outcome.  Do you know it worked?
Steady increase in use of social media
- Big distinction between social media personally vs. in organization

Best Practices in Social Media (this is the 2011 study)

Interesting study - people signing up in droves, but little reuse for a lot of social media tools.
- ex. Search a step towards a goal. 
- Look at the trend of adoption - the technology curve
  + Facebook - real use going down.  Facebook IPO biggest 2 week value drop in the history of the market.
- Pinterest - how many people using this really.  We need to be careful of our strategy, new social media tools coming out all the time.

Why is your organization doing social media?
- Are you active on Twitter / Facebook? 
- (Division of IT in our organization is using Twitter to both disseminate information about our network and services and capture potential issues)

Social Media / Party - are you participating?  Is it a party you even want to join (are they drunk already)?

96% on Facebook
80% on Twitter
(But the numbers don't say HOW they are using these tools.)
ex. YouTube - posted often as part of other activities (like post the video to blog)

Something to consider: are you trying to engage the executives or invite yourself to the student party?

Social - needs to be natural, yourself.  You can't "pretend" in social media.  Though many have tried, few have succeeded.

Who are your target audience(s)?
- Students
- Faculty
- Prospectives
- Alumni
- Staff / Workforce
- Budget stakeholders
- Influencers (who may or may not be directly affiliated with the org)

The way you use social media has to be adaptive to your audience (obvious, but how many times have I seen people try to be everything to everyone....)

Most using social media to reach alumni.  Then "friends and supporters" (whoever they are).  Then donors.
(Pretty much all about getting $$$$)

Isn't the decider the ultimate consumer of this data?

Culture - why one university "better" than another.  Not necessarily about use of social media.
- The culture is reflected and comes back from social media.

Do you have a clear strategic intent!
- Most focus on tactic - "Hey, let's have a facebook page!"
  + As a test = fine. Gotta promote it as a test.
  + Hoping to change something, may not be the right approach.

What are your goals?

For most - engage alumni, branding, then awareness / rankings (this is the "hey we need numbers" piece)

Is social media a planned activity?
- Slightly more planned by most, but in-between. 
- Can decide on own without asking permission (guerrilla change....ask first, apologize later).
- More local vs. coordinated (ie. several Twitter IDs, Facebook pages, etc)
  + Makes sense since addresses a different need or audience.
- More dispersed than central
- About 65% somewhat successful. (HUGE pointy bell curve). Self-described. Remember, folks tend not to talk about failure.

DAU - measures activity.  But management asking "are they improving performance".
- (then the next question is....how are you defining performance improvement?)

Matching right communication with right audience.

If you want to evaluate your workforce and the quality of the workforce
- "Do you have a best friend at work" - motivation way higher than no friends.  Gallups 12 questions - link to summary

Which metrics are you looking at?
- Number 1 metric - number of friends/likes/page views etc.
- But who cares if you have a mess of people following you on Twitter if they don't engage?
- What do you want your result to be?  It's probably not in the number of "likes".  Focus on "real outcomes"
  + eg. have applications for admissions increased?  Quantity of donations?
  + Don't focus on "ease of collection"

It's not what you say - it's what others are saying about you.

Social media is supposed to be about people interacting with people.
- Often, when orgs get a hold of social media - more focus on broadcasting.  Same stuff broadcasting from other means.
- Folks hate being shouted at.
- If just one way - not really "social" media.

Most organizations are using social media to drive traffic back to the website.
- So measuring page views....traffic source...
- Question: do you want to measure page views or do you want to measure real business result (like donations etc)

"Likes" on Facebook - usually people already engaged...
- 80% people not actually make transactions on Facebook or as a result of Facebook.
- People have good intent, but need to force them to take action.

(So a question comes up....what prevents organizations from measuring real results?  How much of that reticence is ease of collection / being able to eliminate variables and how much of that is fear that what they do really doesn't work?)

Multi-channel attribution - what are the touch-points that lead to the outcome.
- What was the path the "purchaser" took to make the purchase?

What does it mean that companies know that we read a friend's post....what we read....
- Companies are able to figure out and predict major life events with our email trail (insert comment about 1984 and dystopian society here)
- Even more interesting - companies are learning to me more "subtle" about showing that it knows about you.

Is it successful?
- How you measure success depends on how you define success.
- Often, management doesn't know what = success.  Often - social media is local.  Success is grassroots because it solves a local problem.

57% of "success" = increasing engagement with the target audience.
- (But what do you want to DO with this engagement?)

Grassroots of web analytics in IT.
- IT systems have log files.  We can see info.
- Not necessarily spread to client groups.  IT didn't ask others (ie marketing).  (conversely - other groups not ask....)

A lot of times - people measure, but don't act.

Who should be running the analytics?
- We want to measure interactions of humans through interface. 
- Whoever is responsible for the user interface layer (often marketing, but they need to have friends in IT)

If you don't know what the metrics mean from a technical and business standpoint - you can't make sense of it.

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