Archive for the ‘Measurement’ Category.

Why have a Facebook shop?

Online fashion retailer ASOS recently announced that it would be opening a Facebook store at the end of January, allowing users to buy items directly from within the social network rather than having to click through to the ASOS homepage.

This is becoming a trend for major retailers and we will see more of it in 2011, but is it a fad or is there real reason to take this form of social commerce seriously?

A report from Experian shows that ASOS gets a lot of its traffic from social media sites. In December their Social Networks and Forums category was the third biggest source of traffic to the retailer’s website, accounting for 14.62% of all traffic to ASOS.com. Social networks also seem to endear more brand loyalty for ASOS than other sources of traffic: 65.5% of the visitors coming via the channel were returning to ASOS rather than visiting the site for the first time. By way of comparison, 56.9% of customers that came via search engines were returning visitors.

Facebook is clearly a very big part of the social networking visits delivering traffic to ASOS, and alone is responsible for 12% of all visits to the website. As the second single biggest driver of traffic to ASOS after Google UK, Facebook has become an integral part ASOS’s online strategy; allowing consumers to buy products directly from Facebook is the next logical step for ASOS.

Keeping consumers in one place for any period of time online is challenging, especially given the millions of other websites available for people to visit. The same report highlights that the average session time for a visit to ASOS is just over 12 minutes and interestingly their Search Sequence tool shows that the number one search term that UK Internet users type into search engines, both before and after ‘asos’, is ‘facebook’.

When people online are navigating away from ASOS, the first thing they want to check is Facebook. So if people can shop through Facebook, then they have no need to navigate away from their familiar surroundings. As the average session time for a visit to Facebook is 27 minutes, it could be argued that consumers are more likely to hang around to shop through Facebook than they are on the ASOS site.

The Facebook store is due to go live by the end of January and, although this may lead to a drop in traffic coming from Facebook to the ASOS store, overall the company will expect to offset this decline by making additional online sales that it would not previously have captured. With nearly 400,000 followers on Facebook, ASOS has a huge captive audience to target.

FreshNetworks will be monitoring what happens to see how successful the campaign has been, and what lessons should be learnt.

22 social media management tools - a wiki in development

Social media management tools can help businesses listen to, manage, measure and respond to conversations about their brand on the social web.

With more and more social media management tools springing up on the market, it’s hard to keep track of what’s out there. So we’ve come up with a list…

Please think of this list as a kind of “wiki” which we will add to over time. We hope it will eventually become a useful social media management tool resource.

  • Argyle social: Social media marketing platform that helps marketers measure and justify the social channel. The system is built on a tracking and URL-shortener giving the user the ability to track social conversions on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Awareness : On-demand social marketing software  to help brands publish, manage and measure across social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, foursquare, and WordPress.
  • Buddy Media: platform of tools allows for Facebook page management and engagement.
  • Context Optional: cross-platform social marketing solution to efficiently build, manage, monitor and measure brand presence across the social web.
  • Conversocial:  helps increase engagement, manage interactions and respond to customers on Twitter and Facebook. It also helps plan  updates and enables you to assess what type of content resonates the most with your fans and followers.
  • CoTweet: enables companies to engage in marketing and response-driven customer service activities on Twitter.
  • Expion: a unified database that aggregates and tracks all employee and customer social interactions to help profile customers, identify advocates and critics, track behaviors and create best employee practices.
  • Hootsuite: one of the few tools that currently allows users to integrate and update across 10 social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare etc .
  • Involver: provides marketers with a “social markup language”, SML™, an engagement platform and customizable social applications from which to create and monitor content.
  • MediaFunnel: offers offers brand monitoring, scheduling, multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts.
  • Objective Marketer: a social media marketing and campaign management solution to engage and reach users on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and other social channels, it aims to make it easy f to manage multi-channel communication while providing comprehensive analytics and reporting.
  • Postling: allows for  blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr accounts to be managed from a single system.
  • Shoutlet: offers a multi-user application that helps build, engage, and measure social media marketing communication via one platform.
  • SocialTalk: provides integration with Twitter, Facebook, WordPress and MoveableType.
  • SocialVolt: a complete social media management platform that integrates the tools needed to engage with clients on the social web.
  • SpredFast : according to Jeremiah Owyang’s blog, (a great resource for finding out more about some of these management tools) SpredFast aim to position their product as collaborative campaign management and offer features such as scheduling content, and features that integrate with events and social stream like features similar to Friendfeed.
  • Sprinklr: Sprinklr’s SIREn (Social Intent Revelation Engine) platform is a comprehensive enterprise grade SaaS social media management system.
  • Strongmail:a traditional email marketing platform that tracks the multi-stage sharing activity of a campaign all the way to conversion and provides feedback on Facebook fan page wall posts.
  • Syncapse: product portfolio includes SocialTALK, a hosted SaaS solution that helps enterprises create, publish and measure their social media content strategy and posting schedule.
  • This moment Distributed Engagement Channel: the system allows you to publish content, moderate user-generated comments and track and optimize channel performance.  They also have features such as ID integration, media handling, and reporting.
  • Vitrue:  integration with Facebook and Twitter, they offer scheduling features, and the ability to link multiple Facebook pages together.

Additions to the list since the post was made:

  • Datasift: enables filtering and augmentation of social data to help you filter out the noise and find the information that is valuable to your business and customers.
  • MutualMind: Primarily to help PR and marketing teams analyse and monitor the social web, the tool also has an engagement platform with an integrated response system.
  • Assistly: social media management tool aimed to help with real-time customer service via email, self service FAQs, chat, and social networks.
  • Sendible: sendible is a platform for engaging with customers, measuring results and monitoring your brand across multiple social media channels at once.
  • Get Satisfaction: gives a better social support experience, increases SEO and improves customer loyalty.
  • Offerpop: end-to-end, white label campaign tools for Facebook and Twitter.
  • Hyper Alerts: sends an email when comments are posted on Facebook fan pages.
  • Posthelpers: an enterprise social selling platform for localizing news, deals and offers across an organization’s multiple Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and LinkedIn profiles.
  • eCairn: Aggregate conversations, trending topics and bookmark insights to help with your engagement strategy.
  • Stuzo: Dachis group owned social media management tool that enables  cross-platform (Facebook,Twitter, YouTube, etc.) social experiences and allows  clients to manage multiple social programs from one unified interface.
  • Valuevine: social media and location-based marketing and analytics software for multi-location brands.
  • Sprout social: cross-platform social media management tools that enable you to find new customers and to grow your business.

Why we’ll all be talking about the value of social media in 2011

337/365: The Big Money
Image by DavidDMuir via Flickr

The debate and discussions about measuring social media, and those about social media ROI, often focus more on what can be measured than on the value that social media is creating for a brand. Over the last few years as brands have been experimenting with social media this is not unexpected. When we go through periods of innovation and experimentation we always tend to explore and discover the new tools we are using. But as social media has become more mainstream for brands, both as part of the marketing mix and more broadly across the business, we need to move from discussing the things we can measure to the things we should measure. From measurements to the actual value that social is adding to a brand.

Measuring and then evaluating the value that social is adding to a brand will be different from brand to brand. They are using social in different ways, across different parts of their business and are used to measuring value in different ways. There is not one solution, a panacea for all our social media measurement ills. Things are more complicated than that. However, this does not mean that we cannot measure the value we are having when we use social media. And as social media has moved from innovation and experimentation to more mainstream we need to take a more mainstream approach to value. And we need to talk about what we are measuring and the value social is creating.

There are many things that are not examples ‘value’ from social media - a large number of followers on Twitter or Likes on Facebook for example, or a large number of visits to an online community. Such things, whilst easy to measure, are not, in themselves, examples of business value. It is relatively easy to get more Likes of your brand on Facebook (running Facebook advertising being one obvious example), and this may open up more people you can broadcast your messaging to via their wall, but business value comes not from having Likes, but from what these people do for you. Brands and social media agencies need to talk more about this, about what their social media is doing for them and the value it is adding.

Now that social is a mainstream part of business, value should be expressed in more mainstream terms. We should be talking about things such as a lowered cost of new customer acquisition, and increased lifetime value of customer, a reduction in average customer serving costs, increased customer satisfaction, or greater brand awareness. We should be talking about actual value to the business rather than social media measurements. We should be talking about why we started using social in the first place and the impact it is having across the business

There are many things we can and should measure, but in 2011 the conversation will be about the value social is adding to a brand. Brands should be talking internally in these terms and they should expect any social media agency that works with them to be talking in these terms too.

This post is part of an informal series: Social Media in 2011.

How do social media monitoring tools find influencers?

0Social media monitoring tools identify influencers through a series of algorithms. Each tool uses different parameters and metrics to help identify influencers online.

The different tools look at influencer in different ways. Some can help you find an influential person or influential people; some help you find a site of influence.

Not dissimilar to Google, most of the tools don’t openly talk about the algorithms they use to calculate influence, but the majority  do take into a account a number of factors that aren’t just based around popularity.

Most of the tools we tested, including  Sysomos and  Alterian SM2, use metrics that are dictated by social media channel or platform  - eg, the tools use “number of views” to find YouTube influencers, or “number of followers” for Twitter. Rather interestingly, Attensity 360 uses information from another influence identifier,  Klout, to identify Twitter influencers.

Some tools, like Social Radar,  determine influence based on the number of posts about a topic and the number of backlinks (the number of incoming links for external sites that link to a web page or website).

Other tools, like Brandwatch, not only look at the number of inbound links but also take into account the age of the site, the PageRank and traffic to the site.

As well as using some of the more standard metrics seen throughout the tools, some of the tool providers have also developed their own terminology and measurements to help brands find influencers.

Scoutlabs use an algorithm to determine what they call “importance”. This includes their own editorial opinion about a comment or post, as well as its relevance to the topic that is being searched for.

Meanwhile, Attensity 360 uses “impact” to define influencers. Impact is a proprietary metric created by Attensity to provide “a more accurate estimate of the impact/influence of coverage related to a specific topic”. Attensity also offer users the chance to add “user defined metrics” to their search, allowing clients to customize metrics to the needs of their businesses.

It is this ability to sort and customize influencer data for individual business requirements that makes the tools valuable.  Synthesio, Radian6 and Sysomos are the most flexible when it comes to to drilling down into information about influence as users can sort and interact with the data using a variety of metrics.

As the tools all identify influencers and then segment data in different ways, it is important to carry out your own research into the tools before you use them. Research the tools before investing time and money in using them. Talk to the tool providers about your objectives so that you can really find the right fit for your brand and your social media strategy.

The final version of our social media influencers report 2010 will include detailed information about how each tool identifies influencers.

The report will be released online on 3rd December following on from the launch of the report at our breakfast seminar on 2nd December. You can sign up for the event by clicking on the button below:

You can register for the event by clicking on the button below:

Register for How to target social media influencers in London, United Kingdom  on Eventbrite

Social media influence and other data Twitter doesn’t share

Top secret area
Image by Marcin Wichary via Flickr

Twitter knows the influence of all of its users. But it isn’t yet telling us. This was what we discovered this week at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco. When asked a question about how Twitter is able to recommend users so accurately, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams said that they derive the suggestions from a reputation score they calculate for every user. A reputation score Twitter isn’t disclosing yet, but that could be a great tool for finding social media influencers.

This kind of tool would be valuable to everybody who is trying to analyse, understand and work with people on Twitter that they perceive to be more influential than others. From brands who want to know how influential somebody is through to people wanting to work out who to follow and why. Getting real data and statistics direct from Twitter would be very useful - real data on mentions and discussions that go back further than the current search and third-party tools; real data on links and click-thrus and real data on how users use the service.

This is data that Twitter has, it logs everything that everybody does. And data that third-party providers are currently trying to access or just to model and estimate to provide services from Klout (which claims to measure influence) to the search and social media monitoring tools that track mentions and conversations. As Twitter grows and develops they should release more applications and tools that use this - providing us with official views on influence and on the other analysis people are looking for from Twitter. The response from Williams this week suggests that they are using such data internally, and that they could develop external tools to expose this data as a service to others. Although he admits that any such tools would “need to evolve quite a bit more”.

There is a real need for more data from Twitter. As a tool it is changing the way we interact with content, and with others, and often existing analytics and measurement tools just don’t do the job. Take a simple measure such as page views or clicks through from links in Tweets. Many of us grappling with data such as this are uncertain as to whether links, or for that matter photos, that are viewed in a Twitter App (such as Twitter for iPhone), or indeed on the new Twitter website, are recorded in a consistent way along side views of that link through a browser on the original site. The data is not clear and the discussions are confusing.

Twitter has a lot of data as every action we do is recorded. Using data like this can be comlicated but the signs are that they are developing tools that help them internally. It would be great to see these developed and then used externally so we can all be confident that we are getting the most accurate, and the most insightful, analytics we can.