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Monday, September 24, 2012

Obama vs. Romney 2012 Social Media Barometer Dashboard Update (week ending 9/23/12)

The next update of our Obama Romney 2012 Social Media Dashboard is complete.  Highlights through 9/23/12 include the following observations:
  • Obama's share of voice has slipped from 61.5% for the week ending 9/16 to 49.6% for the most recent week.  
  • Negative to positive sentiment remained high for both candidates with a slight increase in positive for Obama.  
  • Searches on Google spiked for Romney coincident with his publicized remarks about "47% of America".
  • Romney's fan base on Facebook and Twitter still remain more engaged than Obama's as we have been consistently observing over the past few weeks.

Please feel free to comment, and of course check back next week!

Rhonda and Perry

Monday, September 17, 2012

Obama vs. Romney 2012 Social Media Barometer Dashboard Update (week ending 9/16/12)

The next update of our Obama Romney 2012 Social Media Dashboard is complete.  Highlights through 9/16/12 include the following observations: 
  • Obama's share of voice has slipped from 68% last week to 61.5% this week.  
  • Negative to positive sentiment has increased for both candidates in light of the turmoil in Libya and Egypt.  
  • This global event has also shaped the conversations as can be seen in our word clouds produced using NetBase.
  • Romney's fan base on Facebook and Twitter still remain more engaged than Obama's as we have been consistently observing over the past few weeks.
  • Nicki Minaj is trending with Romney given her "endorsement" statement last week.
The next update will be 9/24/12.  Until then enjoy the metrics.

Perry & Rhonda Drake

Friday, September 14, 2012

Measuring Social ROI...A Social Media ROI Calculator

Are you measuring your social ROI?  You know what I say

              .........just do it!

You have to start somewhere.  You have to start sometime.  So it might as well be now.  To be honest, it is really not that difficult to put some numbers against your social marketing efforts.  Trust me.  And, it becomes a fun exercise in doing what I call "What if" analyses.

I have been doing ROI calculations for a long long time. And I thought, why aren't more marketers trying a bit harder to determine the ROI of their social marketing efforts.

When I went to the Social Media Benchmark Conference on May 9th in NYC this year I expected to hear all about Social ROI and how various companies are doing it.  To my surprise very few numbers were revealed.  I thought wow.  How can this be?  See my post titled Beer, Sex and Social Media regarding this conference for more details.

Another conference is coming up titled Social Media ROI sponsored by Business Insider in NYC on September 27th.  I plan on attending this one as well.  And, I am curious to see if I will get some real numbers this time.  I will find out soon and report back of course.  But in the mean time lets you and I discuss social ROI and how we can do it.

Of course let me be very upfront, clear and honest...an ROI for your social campaign is not going to be perfect.  By no means.  There will be a lot of assumptions you will have to make.  But with a little thought, and the use of preexisting research, some real meaning can result out of your efforts.  It is actually kind of fun.  A challenge.  I love challenges!

So let me take you through the thought process and the steps to conduct a social ROI analysis.

First of all there is a ton of great research out there that we can use to help us do our ROI analyses.  I consolidated some of the best studies from ComScore, Forrester and others available today to help us.  They are summarized below. These will become inputs into our calculations later.

Facts from "The Power of Like" by Comscore & Facebook, May 2011
  • 16% of fans are reached by branded content by a brand that posts 5 of 7 days and roughly 22% are reached for brands that post every day as shown below in Figure 1.  Pretty useful data for our ROI calculations.
Figure 1
  • Results are similar for friends of fans - a given status update from a user will result in about 12 % reach among friends.
  • Fans and friends of fans for Starbucks were found to spend 8% more and transact 11% more in store than non-fans and non-friends of fans as shown below in Figure 2.  I think we can use this too.
Figure 2
  •  Southwest airlines exposed fans were 5 times more likely to visit the web site than non-exposed fans. And, Southwest exposed friends of fans were 2.5 times more likely to visit the web site than non-exposed friends of fans
  • Bing fans conducted 68% more searches than non-fans.  Bing friends of fans conducted 27% more searches than non-friends of fans               

Facts from "The Facebook Factor" by Forrester, April 9, 2012
  • Between 55% and 95% of fans are likely to purchase in the next 12 months for the companies considered in this study (BestBuy, Coke, BlackBerry, Walmart).  Very interesting.
  • Between 10% and 74% of non-fans are likely to purchase in the next 12 months
  • Fans were between 5.3 and 11.4 times more likely to purchase (see Figure 3 below)
Figure 3

Facts from "The Value of a Facebook Fan" by Syncapse, June 2010 
  • Fans spend 84% more than non-fans based on the companies studied.  Now that is a great fact.
  • Fans are 28% more likely to stay with a brand
  • Fans are 41% more likely to recommend a brand to a friend
  • 68% of fans in general recommend a brand to a friend
  • 48% of non-fans recommend a brand to a friend               

Facts from “What is the Typical Virality Rate for a Facebook Post?” by EdgeRank Checker, March 2012
  • The median "virality" rate for Facebook pages is 1.92%.  A valuable number also for our consideration.

The ROI Calculation
Below is an example ROI analysis I conducted for a client not that long ago.  To protect the client and my work for them, I have removed reference to their name and some of the calculations.  

The main goal of the analysis was to help them understand the benefits of obtaining 100,000 fans and if those benefits would offset the costs.  The screenshot of the Excel spreadsheet I created to conduct this analysis is below and requires the following data:
  • The lift in spend for fans and non fans (using ComScore study)
  •  An estimate of one year customer value, or some other proxy.  For this client we used $100.
  • What percent of those fans you obtain will even see your posts if you do them daily.  Again, not all will see them.
  • The virality rate based on research findings
  • Reach for your friends based on comments and shares.  Not all will see them
  • Estimate of average friends per fan.  130 was based on a study I found somewhere but you can use whatever you think.
  • % of fans and friends that are exposed that will buy again based on the research available..
Putting it all together in a spreadsheet was the next step.  Calculations were done to determine:
  • How many of your fans will see a given post
  • How many of those will share it
  • What the true reach of the friends of the fans will be
  • How many of the exposed fans and friends are already your customers
  • The resulting increase in spend.  

Using the facts from the various studies cited above and assumptions obtained from the client I input the data into my spreadsheet and determined the increased value to the brand by obtaining 100,000 fans would be approximately $211,000.  And, this is just based on a one year value.  So the question posed to the client was:

What will it cost you to get these fans and will it be less than $211,000.

Keep in mind, as good as these numbers look, we have not even taken into consideration other benefits like conversion of fans that are not customers to customers, increased customer retention, increased advocacy among fans, conversion of friends, etc.  So many other benefits.

Give it a try.  You might as well start now.  It will never be perfect. Never.  So no need waiting.

If you need help and guidance in assessing the success of your various social campaigns (or any campaign), please do not hesitate to reach out to me.  This is my specialty.  Note I do have some ROI calculators available for FREE and are located on my web site dedicated to marketing test design and analysis at www.confidenttest.com.  Check them out.

I hope you enjoyed the post and that it gave you some great ideas as to just what can be done here.

PS  the studies cited in this post are listed below.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Obama vs. Romney 2012 Social Media Barometer Dashboard Update (week ending 9/9/12)

It is official.  We have updated the 2012 Election Dashboard Infographic.  It is for the week ending 9/9/12 and includes all social discussions shaped by the Democratic National Convention last week.

Our first dashboard presented one week ago (http://www.drakedirect.blogspot.com/2012/09/election-2012-social-media-barometer.html)  was released right after the Republican National Convention.  In that release, Romney had almost 50% of the share of voice and more favorable sentiment vs Obama. In the release of the new dashboard, shown below, we see just the opposite.  Highlights include:
  • Obama now holds 68% share of voice compared to last week at 54%
  • Obama's positive to negative sentiment ratio is now favorable vs last week where Romney's was favorable.
  • However, Romney's fan base and twitter followers are still more engaged albeit smaller in size.

The next update will be 9/17/12.  Until then enjoy the metrics.

Perry & Rhonda Drake

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Baselining--Your Key to Measuring Successful Engagement in Social Media

Baselining--Your Key to Measuring Successful Engagement in Social Media

So, now you have your social media strategies set.  You have a playbook developed and an editorial calendar established for the next four weeks.  Your social media manager knows to stay on message and post at specific times throughout the day. 

How do you look at your data to begin to build the knowledge base to really identify what is engaging your followers?

This question is far from trivial.

Your have two goals.  The first is to attract followers or friends:
  • Fans on Facebook
  • Followers on Twitter and Pinterest
  • Connections on LinkedIn and Google+
While you get new followers and fans, you want to share content that will keep them engaged.  This is your second goal.  When you’re measuring the success of individual posts, one key challenge is to continually grow the current fan base.  Success of individual posts will be impossible to read in raw numbers because of the continuing growth in the fan or follower base.

It does make sense to think about creating metrics that give you the ability to understand the strength of individual posts in the context of your fan base.  The fan base is variable and growing, thus making total likes, comments, and shares numbers difficult to interpret, especially if your fans are growing at a fast pace. 

As a marketer, however, you would like to distinguish stand-out campaigns both from the perspective of getting new fans or Facebook page “likes”, as well as particularly engaging individual posts or tweets.  Baselining your data and measuring the contribution of current campaigns to historical levels, is key to identifying what campaigns or individual posts are truly exceptional.

These two practices – (i) comparing engagement to baselines and (ii) maintaining a history of posts and attributing characteristics – will  help you   develop increasingly engaging content for your followers and fans.  (See the graph below to understand the concept of Baselining.  The data shows weekly Facebook ‘likes’ for a brand page.  The magenta line shows the incremental ‘likes’  by week.  The two dotted lines represent the baseline and two standard deviations above the baseline. The higher one is two standard deviations above the baseline.)

Let’s consider a baseline in the context of brand likes or followers.  This case is easier to consider first.  The baseline is computed by looking at all of the weeks when you don’t have an active campaign underway to increase likes.   This represents the base increase of the consumers to engage with your brand socially when you’re not promoting your social presence.  The actual week-to-week ‘likes’ may fluctuate over time and the baseline will reflect metrics based on a rolling number of weeks (as many as you can, but preferably 30 or more).   We arrive at the baseline by computing the average number of brand likes over the non-promotion weeks ; that is where non promotion is defined as a week when no particular campaign is in place.  Overtime, the baseline may increase or decrease.  Increases mean there is a social momentum about your brand and it is a sign that your brand has good equity or a good reputation with consumers.  Your current fans could be commenting favorably about your brand and some ongoing stream of consumers ‘likes’ your page.  If your baseline begins to decline over time, it could be a sign that your competitors in the market place are attracting fans or followers who might follow your brand but that competitor’s voices or profile has overshadowed yours.  

Next, let’s consider the two standard deviation benchmark.  The two standard deviations rule is a statistical concept.  If we look at all of  weeks when we don’t have an active campaign going to increase likes, we will still see variation in the weekly number of page likes.  Any week’s likes on a brand page is 95% likely to be within two standard deviations of the mean.  So, the probability that the number of likes on any given week is more than two standard deviations from the average number of likes is only 5%.  If the number of likes rises to this level or higher, it could be considered as a direct result of a campaign (or some other influence) that has caused the number of likes to increase to such a level relative to the mean.  The trend below illustrates the two standard deviation rule.  The highest spikes occurred when a ‘like’ campaign was launched but, as you can see from the data, the campaign’s impact lasted longer than a single week.  The activity trended down at the end of April and, then, spiked again in September.

Now, let’s look at Baselining in the context of individual posts.  The process for baselining for individual posts from a particular brand is similar.  Because posts are likely to have various attributes, the baseline can be approached in two ways:
  • Develop a baseline of ‘likes’ across all posts
  • Develop a second baseline of ‘likes’ for posts with similar attributes.
The first will provide insights into the strength of a post relative to all posts to your brand page.  The second will provide insights into the strength of a post relative to others with the same attributes (pictures, surveys, videos, etc.)

For individual post ‘likes’, consider using a metric that takes into account the proportion of current fans responding or ‘liking’ a post. You might do this because as you are building your fan base, the proportion of fans liking any given post will change.  The proportion either liking or commenting or sharing should all be taken into consideration since each delivers different returns for your brand.

The key to assessing the success of individual posts is to baseline the proportion of ‘likes’, comments, and shares relative to the overall fan base.  When you find posts that are associated with a proportion of your followers “liking” in numbers more than two standard deviations above the average proportion of fans, ‘liking’, commenting, or sharing a post, then you will know you have discovered content that has risen above your norm, and has really engaged a higher than average proportion of your followers.  Over time, you will find what truly engages your followers.

The marketing data scientists at Drake Direct would be happy  to help you establish baselining for evaluating the success of your brand's social media programs.  Please contact us if you need any assistance in your evaluation efforts.

Rhonda Knehans Drake

Monday, September 3, 2012

Election 2012 Social Media Barometer Dashboard for Candidates Obama and Romney [INFOGRAPHIC]

As the 2012 election season ramps up, we find ourselves viewing various polling data which purportedly convey who is dominating the race.  Rarely do the news outlets report on all the social data available to help interpret other underpinnings of the race dynamics regarding the public perception.  In other words, the narrative on the discussion of the campaign is largely devoid of social media metrics.

We, at Drake Direct, have constructed what we think is the first Social Media Infographic Dashboard for the Obama - Romney 2012 Election as shown below.

The following are thought to be the most important metrics for the upcoming election, from a social monitoring perspective:
  • Share of Voice and related changes over time.  Share of voice is the percent of the total conversation each candidate dominates.
  • Changes in Sentiment for a candidate and comparisons to each other.  Sentiment, on its own, can be inaccurate. However, in relation to the prior week, for example, or a competing brand or candidate,  it can be more reliable.
  • Traffic Patterns to their political web sites and how those patterns are changing over time.
  • What topics are trending for each candidate via word "clouds."
  • How active each candidate is on Facebook and Twitter and, more importantly, how engaged their fan base and followers are in spreading the word which can involve the creation of a few new metrics.
  • An overall measurement of social influence using Klout as a proxy.
  • Understanding how people are using Google to search for more information on a candidate and where those searches are occurring geographically .
  • Monitoring recent quotes and posts.

There are many tools available for monitoring social data and conversation.  Some are free; some are licensed.  We used a combination of both to construct the above dashboard and included:
  • Lithium -  paid social monitoring software
  • Netbase -  paid social monitoring software
  • Tweetfeel - provides live tweet streaming on any give topic
  • Socialmention - reveals various social metrics such as reach, passion and sentiment
  • Google Insights - Google search trending tool 
  • Alexa - tracking of web traffic and engagement metrics on competing web sites
  • Compete - tracking of web traffic and engagement metrics on competing web sites (paid)
  • Facebook Insights - for any brand page, reveals basic fan and engagement metrics
  • Twitter - number of retweets per post
  • Klout - social influence score

While there is little historical data on the relative strength of social media's impact or predictive power to guide us, we can still follow each candidate's campaign execution to see how his actions fuel our emotions and conversations.  Social media can enhance or detract from our perceptions of the one seeking office. Drake Direct does not endorse either candidate.

We will update this dashboard weekly, right up to the election.  So, subscribe to our feed to make sure you don't miss an update.

Hope you enjoy our Election 2012 infographic dashboard.  To download this week's infographic, just right click on the image and save.

If  Drake Direct's Marketing Data Scientists can help your business establish social media baselines and measurement standards, using similar dashboarding, please contact us for a free consultation.  We'd be happy to help. 

Perry and Rhonda

Note:  Before embarking on any social monitoring campaign, make sure you understand the tools, the metrics, and the issues surrounding them.  Many of the metrics in the social space are prone to error, such as sentiment.  In particular, looking at sentiment on its own and not, for example, comparing current to prior week or your competitor's figures can be misleading. These metrics must be indexed.  You just have to be careful.  We will have more to say on this in a future blog post.