Open Research: A Framework for Social Analytics

Over the last few months, Susan Etlinger, a former marketing strategist, and most importantly has used brand monitoring tools, has lead Altimeter’s latest research report on analytics.  After interviewing nearly 40 experts and working with Charlene Li and a bit of help from myself, she’s found six distinct use cases (see compass below) on how companies are measuring using these new toolsets.

figure7_blog

We know that measurement is the the top goal inside of companies, and while I’ve published this data before, it’s important to recast it to show the important of measurement in an emerging technology set.

Why are social analytics so important?

  1. This is a new medium, and proof over re allocation of investment is key.
  2. Being a new tool set, there’s a lot of experimentation and it’s important to see what will actually make a change,
  3. It’s a very difficult medium to track, unlike transactional advertising, social engagement is hard to tie to point of sale or conversion.
  4. Since most social media programs are not tied to existing systems in support, marketing, and product innovation, it’s very difficult to collect the disparate data and make sense of it
  5. Figure 4
    Framework: Social Media Measurement Compass

In particular, I’m fond of how the report lays out a measurement strategy based on organizational model and maturity, there are different strategies to deploy depending on the internal structure. You may recognize these five states from the research I’ve been doing over the past few years

Figure 14_table
How to Organize for Social Media Measurement

Read the report, print it out, and share with others. The more you share it, the easier it is for us to produce more. Read Susan’s post announcing this report. I’ll link to posts that add to the discussion below.

  • patrickdh

    Look forward to reading it – more than ROI – a holistic view as to where you should be taking social media activities – is fundamental. The compass idea illustrates this clearly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeremiah-Owyang/503291522 Jeremiah Owyang

    Patrick, we’re looking forward to hearing how you’ll apply it!  Thanks

  • patrickdh

    that’s already been decided – I am eager also to see the feeback

  • http://www.dannywhitehouse.com/ Dan Whitehouse

    Social analysis. Wowza! That’s the type of thing I like.. 

  • http://www.dannywhitehouse.com/ Dan Whitehouse

    Social analysis. Wowza! That’s the type of thing I like.. 

  • http://www.dannywhitehouse.com/ Dan Whitehouse

    Social analysis. Wowza! That’s the type of thing I like.. 

  • http://www.dannywhitehouse.com/ Dan Whitehouse

    Social analysis. Wowza! That’s the type of thing I like.. 

  • http://www.dannywhitehouse.com/ Dan Whitehouse

    Social analysis. Wowza! That’s the type of thing I like.. 

  • http://www.dannywhitehouse.com/ Dan Whitehouse

    Social analysis. Wowza! That’s the type of thing I like.. 

  • http://www.dannywhitehouse.com/ Dan Whitehouse

    Social analysis. Wowza! That’s the type of thing I like.. 

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  • http://thefuturebuzz.com AdamSinger

    Hey Jeremiah – I am curious why you (and others) say social media is difficult to track? Why not just establish some sort of conversion goal from the web on your own site (blog or www) as hub and create a social segmentation, establish process to campaign tag special links / promos and set everything else as a KPI (community size, engagement events). I really don’t see this as a tough thing to solve. I think *everyone* can get to conversion on the web.

  • http://thefuturebuzz.com AdamSinger

    Hey Jeremiah – I am curious why you (and others) say social media is difficult to track? Why not just establish some sort of conversion goal from the web on your own site (blog or www) as hub and create a social segmentation, establish process to campaign tag special links / promos and set everything else as a KPI (community size, engagement events). I really don’t see this as a tough thing to solve. I think *everyone* can get to conversion on the web.

  • http://web-strategist.com/blog Jeremiah Owyang

    Hey Adam we gotta catch up someday again, 

    It’s not “me” who was just saying this, it’s what the social strategist at enterprise class corporations said too. (data above).

    Much of the challenge stems from the engagement mid funnel is often seperated from point of conversion.  Esp with high consideration set products and long sales cycle, it makes it difficult to track.  

    We do see a lot of ROI case examples come out of companies that have social close to the point of conversion, such as Bazaarvoice or other social commerce companies –but for those that are focused on conversion, it’s harder.

    Important caveat:  Social isn’t just for ‘generating leads’ but can be used for many, many things, such as improving customer experience, reducing support costs, and improving products.  Revenue is the most needed one now, hence my addressing it here.

  • http://web-strategist.com/blog Jeremiah Owyang

    Hey Adam we gotta catch up someday again, 

    It’s not “me” who was just saying this, it’s what the social strategist at enterprise class corporations said too. (data above).

    Much of the challenge stems from the engagement mid funnel is often seperated from point of conversion.  Esp with high consideration set products and long sales cycle, it makes it difficult to track.  

    We do see a lot of ROI case examples come out of companies that have social close to the point of conversion, such as Bazaarvoice or other social commerce companies –but for those that are focused on conversion, it’s harder.

    Important caveat:  Social isn’t just for ‘generating leads’ but can be used for many, many things, such as improving customer experience, reducing support costs, and improving products.  Revenue is the most needed one now, hence my addressing it here.

  • http://thefuturebuzz.com AdamSinger

    Hi J – I skimmed this in RSS and came here to comment, missed that point was from data (re: tracking).

    Also you’re right of course – social is for more than ‘generating leads.’ Don’t disagree with you there :)

    And yes, lunch sometime would be great when you’re in the city. Will send you a ping.

  • http://crowdbooster.com/ Ricky Yean

    Great report! I’m eager to brief Susan and discuss with her what we’ve learned so far about our industry.

    The measurement compass is going to be a very, very important graphic to put in front of people feeling lost about what to pay attention to when dealing with social media. Similar to the one you made about organizational structure for those trying to understand how they can socialize the organization.

    I am so excited!

  • http://www.commun.it SharelOmer

    Hi  @jowyang:disqus and Susan :)
    Amazing and powerful report.. once again… you give us great tools to create great products…we really take into heart your insights and align them with real customers and product roadmaps  :)
    The need to show SM tools ROI is a real pain…the r/evolution of how social media affect our life is not over…in a state of transition it’s hard to really know what will be the outcome…

    Now brands KNOW they need to invest money in SM since their customers are there… but straggle to see the ROI from it…

    I think that at this point the best ROI we can show is the relationships build via social media…measure the real value of engaging with customers and leads and convert them to more engaged members….

    There are many attempts to connect a SM platform into a CRM platform and show $ ROI, but it’s not trivial… the corporate dots are not connected yet… 

    You Guys at the @altimetergroup:twitter showed us that the main trends for 2011 will be “integration” and measure of ROI.. to help brands connect the dots + that 37% of all corporates are beginners in their SM adoption…this can show us that we are still in the state of transition…:)Thank you again for this reports, an amazing insight to disruptive technologies that change the way the world do businesses…Sharel

  • Anonymous

    I liked this report a lot.  Good critical perspective on social analytics.  We starting investing in social analytics back in 2007, but really from a different angle (not a product plug, just want to give perspective).  Our investment was solely inward looking, i.e. what are people doing within the on-domain community?

    Where we have seen people struggle with social analytics, almost contrary to the opening premise of the report “…data intensive, messy, and unstructured…” is that you really can analyze just about everything.  It quickly becomes overwhelming as you being to examine the variety of reports and metrics that are available.

    I’d love to see more research / analysis into specific business use cases.  We’ve done some of this, but I’d love to see Altimeter (or someone else) really take the lead and craft the type of social metrics that matter for different business use cases.  For example, a digital marketing community cares about different metrics than a B2B community vs a support community.

    Maybe a good opportunity for another one of your vendor round-tables!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeremiah-Owyang/503291522 Jeremiah Owyang

    Thanks Rob, I agree there’s an opportunity to do another roundtable

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeremiah-Owyang/503291522 Jeremiah Owyang

    Ricky, we hope you use the Measurement Compass framework in your work, feel free to use with attribution to Altimeter, help us spread it. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeremiah-Owyang/503291522 Jeremiah Owyang

    SharelOmar we have an upcoming set of data and report on Integration –guess what?  Brands haven’t really embraced it as they said they would.  Thanks for the kind words, glad this impacts and influences your product roadmap.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeremiah-Owyang/503291522 Jeremiah Owyang

    KarineJoly please use our reports!  Thank you for that post. 

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  • http://traffikd.com George McConnell

    I  can understand why ROI measurement is such a high priority for customers.  A lot of time and money goes into social media marketing and it can be difficult to tell what returns are coming from it.  Some things can easily be tracked like links being followed or likes on a facebook page, but I believe that many things are untrackable, possibly even to the people making the choices.  Things like brand power and exposure have a strong but invisible pull over us, and social media marketing plays into that a lot.

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  • http://www.shedsnhomes.com.au/ Steel Building

    Honestly, this is one of the difficult tool to understand, such tools are used to understand the information received by social media monitoring tools. It’s a new techniques which is help you to give a chance to check whether is require to make change.

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