In this definitive report, Altimeter found that there are half a dozen methods being deployed, each with flaws and strengths. It’s key that the business knows which method to deploy, when, and then line up the right process, teams, software, and partners to help. Despite a thorough look into leading case samples and speaking with dozens of members of the ecosystem, we found there is no single solution that is fool proof.
In this Open Research report, you will find:
A through set of industry findings with 16 brands, 38 vendors, 3 agencies and 4 ecosystem contributors, and surveyed 71 social media and analytics practitioners. Breakdown of the 6 use cases of Social Media ROI, with analysis, case examples, and insights for each, and pragmatic recommendations to business leaders on how to deploy.
Key Finding: There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. The four most important criteria for determining the measurement mix are:
Business: the nature and structure of the business
Product: the nature and type of products or services offered
Media: type of media being used
Customer: the nature and type of customer(s)
Above: Six Ways of Measuring Revenue Impact of Social Media
Companies are frequently misguided by relying on fan and follower count as the primary measurement for their social media investments, instead they must focus on the outcomes of these fans and followers.
We wouldn’t buy a car without looking under the hood, or buy a house without getting it inspected, or hiring an employee without doing a background check, so we should also ensure we’re providing the right metrics for our social efforts.
Because fans and followers are so easily viewable by all employees of our owned social accounts as well as our competitors, it’s easy to use that as a default index. In fact, strategists should not serve up fan and follower data to executives, as they often self-diagnose this number to be most important and compare themselves to their competitors.
Instead, focus on the business outcomes of the account, whether it be for being involved in influencing them, transacting leads or conversions, fostering word of mouth, improving customer service and support, or generating ideas for future products or the brand.
Don’t focus solely on fans and followers as a primary key performance indicator, instead focus on the business goals the fans and followers yield for you.
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.
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
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.
Who has more information about US’s Gen Y? Facebook or the United States Government?
Each time I ask this question on stage, most hands vote that Facebook has more information, although someone usually suggests the United States Governmant can obtain it if they need to.
In fact, the amount of consumer data emerging in the social web only continues to hockey stick (see this graphic from Twitter) The following is a summary of a research project we did to understand how to harness new data types in their online experiences.
The 7 Elements of Social Data
We segmented data that has been tried and true for years on the top tier: demographics and product. Then, we segmented data that digital marketers are striving to tackle now in the middle tier: Pschographic, behaviroial, and refferal data. At the bottom tier, we listed out experimental new types of data that most companies have not harnessed, the newcommers location based and intention data.
This data types enables an effecient way to create context about consumers, yet broad survey-based research may not yield specific nuances and needs about specific individual taste as today’s consumers are given more choices and have more discrete needs. Some marketers are able to glean demographic data from social accounts gender, age range, by profile data, profile pictures, or searching public records like Zabasearch and Spokeo.
A data type commonly used in ecommerce websites, this data type is used to match similar products with each other, in order to cross-sell and up-sell products. Often combined with demographic data, this data type, mixed with referral and behaviorial data yields greater accuracy. Visit any ecommerce website from Amazon, BestBuy and beyond to find examples of product matching.
As the social web exploded in the past few years, consumers are volunteraily self-expressing their woes, pains, and aspirations in websites. This provides those who want to reach them increased opportunities to market based on lifestyle, painpoints, beyond just product sets. This data type is useful in both message and conversation creation as well as identifying features and products to improve or fix. To learn more about lifestyle and pain point positioning see the 5 stages of positioning by Lifestyle, Pain, Brand, Product, or Features.
There’s at least two ways to find this data, it’s in both existing customer records like CRM or ecommerce systems or also in the “digital breadcrumbs” that users are leaving in social networks using a variety of web techniques from cookies, FB connect, and other social sign on technologies. The opportunity to suggest content, media, deals, and products to them that matches their previous behaviors will yield a greater conversion.
Customers are emitting their recommendations for products, but positively –and negatively. Both explicitly through ratings and reviews, as well as implcity though gestures like the ‘like’ button to their social network. Vendors like Bazaarvoice (disclosure: client) offer a suite of tools for customer feedback and intelligene, Zuberance fosters positive WOM through positive ratings, and ExpoTV is a catalyst for conversation using video reviews, and see the well known case study from Levi’s who implemented the Facebook Like button.
As location based technology and services emerge for consumers to emit signals where they are using mobile devices, this data helps to triangulate context around location and time for brands to reach them. From Foursquare checkins and the associated contextual ads that emerge to ‘players’ to Facebook places, consumers can now emit their location, in exchange for contextual information, see how Awareness Hub (client) is able to surface influencers by location in Foursquare Perspectives.
The most innacurate, this volatile data type holds great opportunity to predict what consumers will do in the future. Wish lists, social calanders like Facebook Events, Zvents, and aspirational websites like PlanCast, 43 Things allow consumers to broadcast their future plans
Savvy marketers will harness explicit content and serve up the right messages in advance – as well as poach from competitors. Learn more about intention data –which is faster than real time.
Conclusion: Use Data Elements in Combination to Yield a more Potent Elixir
In our initial findings we had many other types of data, but organized these in as discrete buckets as possible. While this seven segmentation types makes sense today, we expect many other types of data to emerge just as technology and consumers do. Be sure to use in combination for reaching maximum potency in your ‘data elixir’ –relying on only one is no longer sufficient.
Often, our industry can appear complicated, and yearns for simplicity. One such technique to glean simplicity is to develop frameworks which the corporate social strategist can then apply to achieve their business goals. I’ve been working on this “ROI Pyramid” framework for a few months now, and am ready to share in greater detail than on my keynote at LeWeb (slides and video) where I introduced this to the public for the first time.
[The novice provide executives with engagement data --causing themselves to be stuck in the churn of obtaining more followers and fans --without a clear business goal]
140 social strategists around the globe at enterprise class size companies indicated their top internal objectives for 2011 is to “Create ROI Measurements”
Measurement, the Number One Priority, Is Important to Social Business In our recent research report on the buyer of social business, (read research report: Career Path of the Corporate Social Strategist) we learned that measurement is one of the most important aspects to social business, in fact the top priority stated by 48% of corporations was “Creating ROI Measurements” for internal programs, (see data).
Experimental mediums require proof they work. The corporate social strategist is constantly being challenge as they grasp more budgets to prove their efforts and teams are making a difference. In addition to proving these new mediums are worth the time spent, the corporate social strategist is being challenge by their peers in incumbent positions who may be giving up effort and budget to support social efforts.
Down markets put greater scrutiny on spending. As spending across the board reduces in a recession, focus on proving new efforts is required by all parties involved. Those that can effectively measure improvements can make the business case they can truly obtain more budget.
The Corporate Social Strategist Must Develop Frameworks Now. Most corporations are already forming in the “Hub and Spoke” formation (see data) which means a small cross-functional team is helping a variety of business units. Establishing a standard way of measuring now is important before corporations move into “Dandelion” where measurement strategy fragments into spokes.
[The seasoned professional provides executives with business metrics first. They know fans and followers aren't a business goal, but what you do with them is]
Yet, Measuring Social Media Is Challenging While we learned that measurement is the key, we found (see data in slide 20) that 65% of corporations are using engagement data as the top used metric, with only 22% using product revenue as a metric.
Excess variety of data options, and disparate platforms. Due to the thousands of applications, dozens of social networks, and millions of combinations corporations are stymied by how to make sense of this disparate space. In addition to the variety of choices to deploy, each has a different set of ways to measure from fans, engagement, followers and the like.
Technical limitations vast in a fast changing environment. As if the choices weren’t staggering enough, there are significant challenges to measuring. Corporations are unable to apply web analytics tools on third party sites they don’t have ownership on, and therefore are often relegated to manually counting data, or relying on one of the 150 brand monitoring platforms to scrape it for them.
Hard to tie engagement to bottom and top line efforts. In addition to being a new program, understanding of this disruptive set of technologies causes friction. Additionally, social media is frequently known for driving awareness (second to ads) through WOM then through customer engagement through interactions –yet rarely tied to transactions or ecommerce which often occur on a disparate platform.
Apply the Social Media “ROI Pyramid” In Your Measurement Strategy
(Above: First, recognize there are three types of role, all who need different types of information about your social business efforts)
(Above: Secondly, understand the high level types of data they need in order to be actionable)
(Above: Finally, assemble this information using the metrics and creating formulas. The above are just examples, as customization within every corporation is required)
Matrix: Understand the Social Media ROI Pyramid
Who it’s for
How to generate
What no one tells you
Executives, and everyone else who supports them, which of course, is everyone.
This is a roll up formula of Social Media Analytics. Use tracking software or referral traffic to infer how customer engagement moves down marketing funnel. Existing CSAT methods should also incorporate social channels, and measure a sample of sentiment from customer communities. Cost reduction is a formula based on reduced costs and time in these lower-cost channels.
The pyramid is smaller at top as their are less metrics to give to busy executives. There’s really only three: increased top line, reputation, and reduced costs. Compare these lower cost channel to existing marketing efforts to get additional budget, and benchmark over time.
Social Media Analytics
The Corporate Social Strategist and the internal stakeholders and internal clients (leaders of the ‘spokes’ in the hub and spoke model)
This is a formula based on Engagement Data (the tier below), there are no industry standards, so pick one and benchmark over time
We’ve identified there are 16 analytics, but there are many more in existence, you’ll have to create these formulas on your own
Those who are deploying social media: community managers, developers, designers, agency partners, IT.
Don’t ever give this to executives until you’ve first given them business metrics or expect many months focused on ‘more followers’ without a business purpose.
(Above: Here’s a single slide with all three columns of info on it which you can use as an instant reference)
Five Steps To Start Using the ROI Pyramid Now
Corporations must develop a standardized way to measure first based on business goals. Next developing a standard way that the entire company and agency partners can think about measurement is key in 2011 as social business will fragment to every customer touchpoint.
Start with a Business Goal in Mind. Expect significant challenges to occur if your social media efforts don’t have a business goal, so clearly you should first start with a purpose. It’s easy to spot when this happens as the goal will be on getting ‘more fans and followers’ rather than moving the business needle forward. Start with a clear business goal and define ‘what success looks like’ or don’t start at all.
Give the Right Data to the Right Roles. Not all roles require the same types of data, and be sure to give the right type of data to the right segment. While all the formulas of the pyramid should be accessible by the corporation, understand the viewpoints needed from each vantage point.
Frequency and Quantity of Data Varies in Pyramid Tiers. Recognize that executives need reports less frequently that the deployment teams, hence their size on the pyramid. Also, there is more data needed at the bottom tiers than at the top, remember the top tiers are roll-up formulas from bottom tiers.
Know the Customization of Formulas is Required. This industry lacks any form of standards, so don’t wait years for an industry wide formula to appear as it likely won’t even apply directly to your business needs. Invest the time to create the social media analytics needed to support your business goals now, which you should expect will take massaging over a period of time.
Benchmark Over Time and Cascade to All Spokes. The specific numbers aren’t as important as the trend lines over months, quarters, and years, yet in order to obtain these, you must start now. Looking at how these numbers trend over time will provide more insight to the teams involved.
I look forward to hearing how you implement this framework in your measurement efforts, let’s open up the discussion in the comments below, please share this with your teams, agencies, partners, and staff. Thanks to Christine Tran and Asha for design help. Feel free to use these slides, flickr images, just provide attribution to Altimeter Group.
I’m frequently asked “What’s the top challenge the corporate social strategist is struggling” and over and over, ROI comes up very high. To tackle this challenge head on, Altimeter has conducted a research project to find out how companies are connecting social technologies to the overall buying process as well as analyzing how they increase revenues for brands.
In conjunction with our recent conference on Social Commerce, we’ve now published the findings from interviewing top social commerce vendors and brands that are connecting commerce with social media. Our lead researcher analyst on this project is Lora Cecere who stems from Gartner and AMR and stems from Supply Chain Management, her and I will be doing a no-cost webinar to discuss these findings, I hope you join us.
This report is intended for you to use, share, and spread, under creative commons, feel free to embed it on your own blog, comment on it, and discuss. I look forward to hearing your feedback.
Net Promoter Score has served the industry very well as the standard in satisfaction intention, and can now be enhanced by adding explicit customer satisfaction data, influence and customer reviews already on the web.
NPS, a Industry Standard Before the Social Web There’s no better way to measure customer satisfaction and intention to refer than the Net Promoter Score. In fact, this simple mechanism asks consumers on a 0 to 10 rating scale:
“How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?” Based on their responses, customers can be categorized into one of three groups: Promoters (9-10 rating), Passives (7-8 rating), and Detractors (0-6 rating)
NPS ,while effective at capturing the intention of advocacy, does not measure actual advocacy or detractions that occur in the social web. As a result it’s difficult to capture the entire ‘net’ experience as the social web has demonstrated.
Now The Social Web Provides New Data Sources The social web actually records customers making explicit ratings, rankings, recommendations or warnings about products in services, I’ve given some pragmatic reasons on why this is important. You can find these reviews in Amazon, Twitter, Plancast, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, and beyond. In particular, the social web allows brands to actually measure three new types of public data sources:
Customer Satisfaction: Customers can now provide ratings, reviews, and other critiques in online review sites.
Influence: Not all customers are created equal, in fact some customers have have great breadth of reach (like Celebrities on Twitter) or have depth in knowledge (expert blogger in your market).
Referral Activity: No need to ask “how likely” they are to refer, you can see them do it live.
Get Accurate, Measure the Total Social Customer Value (TSCV) Companies must value both the total customer satisfaction as well as influence and advocacy behaviors in order to provide a holistic example of the modern customer.
Matrix: Know Your Total Social Customer Value with 6 Factorials
Why it’s important
How you should measure
What no one tells you
Net Promoter Score
This is the mainstay of customer satisfaction measurement and shouldn’t go away. It’s easily understood, well documented, and is a useful metric to overall ‘referral intention’. (Intention doesn’t measure actual behavior, just the likelehood you would)
Support exit surveys, primary research surveys, work with Satmetrics, the owners of this methodology
This is the standard default measurement, yet needs additional factorials to represent the modern customer.
To determine if a customer is influential to others, such as celebrities, top bloggers, analysts and media. This doesn’t necessarily mean however they are trusted by your specific market.
There are a variety of secondary sources such as brand monitoring firms, like Buzzlogic, Radian6, as well as reputation management systems like Rapleaf. Your PR firm will have this list of absolute influencers, and their Twitter/blog/RSS numbers are good indicators
Total possible reach, frequency of publication.
These large influencers can cause mainstream media to shift attention, and will impact SEO, but don’t expect your actual consumers to trust them as much as they trust their peers. Assume high scoring at this level is towards the wider part of the funnel and may influence the lower elements.
These are individuals that are ‘experts’ in your particular market. While they may not have mainstream appeal, they may influence consumers directly. For example, bloggers that write a dedicated blog to your market, or super reviewers that provide detailed reviews about your products in online sites
Online communities, Technorati data, and brand monitoring firms
Unlike Absolute Influence, we’re looking for depth –not breadth of ability. Look for how detailed, knowledgeable and how much they engage with prospects and consumers.
This measurement must be factored into the overall formula as they have direct influence during the decision making stage in lower funnel.
Data that indicates a prospect is ‘willing’ to purchase, but has not yet. The difference here is that they do so in public.
Wish lists, shopping carts, or intention based data sources like Plancast, Facebook Events, Tripit, Dopplr.
This data is difficult to get, as it’s currently not aggregated. Expects Social CRM systems to emerge that will help to assemble all this data around a single profile.
Intention data is has high potential and therefore value, but low accuracy. Expect to factor in the chance that individuals will not move to the next stage, so conduct weighted averages here on probability.
Advocacy (Purchase, or Post Purchase)
This is the most key measure, as it measures when customers actually explicitly share with others that they have purchased a product, and may have posted an opinion, influencing others.
A variety of locations like Twitter, review sites, blogs, and social networks. See how vertical based review sites are emerging like GDGT, where consumers share their technology products with their peers, influencing purchase behavior.
Since you’ve already factored in their influence from above, you’ll add sentiment and accuracy.
The key that most marketers don’t realize is that here’s the opportunity to be proactive. If there are positive reviews, figure out how to broadcast them to other channels, see how Bazaarvoice and Zuberance help brands with this. For negative reviews, the company can contact the negative reviewed to provide updates to service or product and request a second review.
The absolute measure if a single individual or community has caused others to buy.
Referral codes in eCommerce systems, or surveys at point of sale, or special tracking tools from existing web analytics tools (cookies, 1X1 pixels, etc)
Provide advocates with referral codes, so they can encourage their friends to buy, or special tracking features to ensure an accurate measurement.
The key is to look for the path of least resistance among the social channels to identify where referral activity flows smoothes
Total Social Customer Value attempts to measure the entire value of customer satisfaction, influence, and advocacy in both intention and historical data types
While still early, expect this data to be collected into a social CRM system, then be exported to business intelligence software systems like SAS, Qlikview, Oracle, SAP, Microstrategy, and others
Adding all these factorials will develop a more accurate view of social customers
While early and mainly theory, I know of a few brands that are attempting to scrap this data together and glue it together. Expect a new analytics agency to emerge that will help aggregates this.
How To Use This Formula The above matrix is a formula to develop your Total Social Customer Value (TSCV) yet will require modification and customization for each company, as different verticals have higher rates of customer social activity. For example, technology, consumer product goods, and hospitality industry have a high degree of customer interactions –while component parts or specialized industries like tractors may not. You’ll need to develop a formula, use your social CRM system to track this and eventually use business intelligence software that can calculate this.
Total Social Customer Value = Net Promoter Score times Absolute Influence times Relative influence times Advocacy Intention times Advocacy at Point of purchase or post purchase times actual referrals
TSCV= NPS x Ia x Ir x Ai x Ap x R
Challenges to this Methodology My goal was to define how measurement of customer satisfaction, influence and advocacy have changed due to the social web, yet there are few challenges to this methdology, which I’m happy to point out as an industry analyst: 1) This is new thinking and not everyone will get it. 2) Data is disparate and scattered among the disparate web 3) It’s more complex, and requires more time to put together, however the accuracy of the data will be higher. 4) Social CRM is still very early, and aggregating all data into a single area is a challenge.
Relevant Research: Social Analytics and Social CRM
We’ve conducted research and published the following reports on Social Marketing Analytics (slides and recording, and the report) with 3-ex Forrester/Jupiter analysts Social CRM Report, with my colleague Ray Wang which will be the system to house all of this data, along with intelligent filtering and workflows. You’ll need to know more about the formulas to amend NPS, as well as understand the new processes and technologies in Soical CRM which will capture a single user profile regardless of where they publish online.
Praise to the Net Promoter Score
To be clear, I’m not suggesting that we do away with NPS, it still serves a vital function to customer satisfaction, and respect the value it’s brought to the industry. There’s no other single question that can yield so much intention data, It’s a fantastic tool and has advanced the industry, and I know we can build on top of it to reflect the moden web. I’m thankful for the work that Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company, and Satmetrix have done to create Net Promoter Score, and I fall into the promoter score as ’9′ on the scale, as I’m here recommending you use this methodology, with my additional caveats.
After launching the research report ‘Social Marketing Analytics‘ (also embedded below), my co analyst (also from Forrester) John Lovett and I recorded this webinar yesterday that had over 800 registrants and 300+ attendees during the hour long presentation.
In the spirit of ‘Open Research’ we encourage you to use, share, and adopt our research framework to improve your work, abiding by our creative commons licensing of attribution and non-commercial usage.
Above: The Research Report that started it all, which you can also download and see nitty gritty details
Recognizing the Ecosystem
This was completed with the community in mind, and we’d like to thank the following folks for their contrabutions:
Charlene Li, Eric T. Peterson, Christine Tran
Our Ecosystem Contributors
Lisa Barone, Connie Benson, David Berkowitz, Blake Cahill, Adam Coomes, Monica Cordina, Bill Gassman, Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, Rob Key, Justin Kistner, Scott Lake, Matt Langie, Alex Mann, Louis Marascio, John McCory, Aaron Neumann, Katie Delahaye Paine, Sean Power, Chris Ramsey, Boaz Ronkin, Shiv Singh, R “Ray” Wang, Alan Webber, Jennifer Zeszut
If you’re a social analytics technology or service provider (brand monitoring, web analytics, business intelligence) and want to speak with John and I, we can help apply this framework to your business. If you’re an analytics professional and need help applying this to making it your own, please contact us: john.lovett at webanalyticsdemystified.com or jeremiah at altimetergroup.com.
Related Research From Altimeter Group:
A Collaborative Effort Between Two Firms: Web Analytics Demystified and Altimeter Group
It’s just been over a month since we published the Social CRM Research paper (over 36k views on slideshare) and we’re continuing our cadence here at Altimeter Group of publishing widely available reports under the spirit of Open Research. This time, it’s different, we’ve aligned with who I feel are the smartest team of web analytics minds in the space, John Lovett (ex-Forrester analyst) and Eric Peterson (ex-Jupiter analyst) both of the Web Analytics Demystified firm. Stemming from Altimeter founder Charlene Li’s (ex-Forrester Analyst) framework, we co-developed this framework, and put our collective minds to work on measuring the rapidly changing social media marketing space. This self-funded research effort resulted in a thorough methodology as we interviewed over 40 ecosystem influencers.
Industry Challenge: ”I can’t measure social media ROI”
Marketers around the globe are ranging from toe dipping to jumping all the way into the social marketing space –yet most lack a measurement yardstick. While experiments can fly under the radar for a short term, without having a measurement strategy, you run the risk of not improving what you’re doing, justifying investments, and the appearance of being aloof to upper management. To be successful, all programs (even new media) must have a measurement strategy, and we’ve done just that.
Finally, A Measurement Framework Based on Business Objectives
If you’re familiar with the Altimeter frameworks of developing a social strategy based on business objectives, then you’re in good shape, as this research report is the natural extension of the business objectives we put forth:
Dialog: involves starting a conversation and offering your audience something to talk about while allowing that conversation to take on a life of its own
Advocacy: activation of evangelism, word of mouth, and the spread of information through social technologies
Supporting: customers may self support each other, or companies may directly assist them using social technologies.
Innovation: The business objective of innovation is an extraordinary byproduct of engaging in social marketing activity.
Our framework is a common denominator, so if you’re already measuring converted leads, or actual sales from social media, you’re already a leg up! In this meaty report, we hope you’ll share with your marketing and analytics team, and use the actual KPI formulas to create your own cookbook.
A Nod To the Community Spirit
We’re putting a big stake out there, in order to further the industry to come together around a common set of KPIs and metrics, but we realize we don’t know all the answers. In the spirit of Open Research, we want this to be an open framework (we’ve even licensed this under Creative Commons) to customize it and make your own for non-commercial reasons with attribution. If you’ve ideas on how to improve it such as new KPIs, vendors, or approaches, we’re listening, and will incorporate and improve this community body of knowledge for all to benefit.
I’ll link to others that extend the conversation (even critical reviews), feel free to embed the slideshare on your own site.
In addition to constant listening and alerting to their market, brands should conduct an initial, then annual social media audit to be successful in their endeavors.
Just as brands conduct audits of inventory, employees, and budgets on an often annual basis, they should also survey the landscape to find out what customers, influencers, partners and employees are participating on the social web. Audits are key for identifying priorities, benchmarking previous efforts, and planning for future efforts; the same applies for social media. I’ve been reviewing social media strategy documents from a variety of large brands, and I’ve noticed the following three common traits:
Understand the Three Types of Social Media Audits
Initial Kickoff Audit. Brands should audit their social sphere as part of their initial planning process. Brands should work with a partner to find out the conversation index, top competitors, top discussed phrases, and customer experiences with products and services.
Conduct Annual Audits: Social media teams should work with management and marketing managers to understand how and why the social web responded to activities in the market. Benchmark top advocates and detractors, and determine which topics or products are most talked about. Most importantly, benchmark your own social efforts, measuring the change and analyze what caused them, you’ll need this data as your budgets are questioned. Finally, use this knowledge to set quantitative and qualitative goals of where you want to be next year.
Conduct Ongoing Monitoring: This really isn’t an audit but is key as listening doesn’t just happen in spurts. Brands should be constantly monitoring their brand using alerts and reports. Ongoing monitoring is helpful in responding to the real time web (crises can breakout even on a weekend) but may miss out in seeing the bigger picture and macro changes.
I was involved (I come from practice within corporate) in the brand monitoring when I was running the social program at Hitachi Data Systems, I leaned on Converseon and Factiva, now owned by Dow Jones as well as setup Google Alerts and tracked Technorati links. Here’s a few things you’ll need to take into account:
Don’t conduct your audit in a vacuum. Identify the keywords and phrases to measure by involving a variety of stakeholders. Be sure to distribute the findings to stakeholders as well as conduct a findings meeting to discuss next steps
Find a brand monitoring vendor as a long term partner. Find a listening platform that understands your business, and gets the social web –beyond just mainstream media. Forrester has conducted research Wave on this topic to find the right listening platform vendors to meet your needs.
Appropriately Staff and Fund. Don’t expect this partner to understand the nuances of your markets’ discussion, assign a few part time resources internally to champion this audit internally –and don’t forget to budget. I’ve seen many annual pricing proposals at the 100k range –varying on services and number of keywords used.
Love to hear your tips, best practices, and pitfalls to avoid in the comments when it comes to developing an active listening strategy.