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Yesterday (Thursday 26 September) Fresh Egg hosted our Social Media Insight event as part of the Brighton Digital Festival. The event focused on ways to measure and analyse social media activity more effectively and included talks from Naomi Trickey, sales director EMEA at Brandwatch, Dara Fitzgerald, head of Insight at Fresh Egg, and David Somerville who manages the Fresh Egg social media team.
Naomi discussed the ways in which social media is changing the face of business because, for the first time, organisations have access to real-time, unprompted feedback:
“People are saying what they think [about your brand] without you having to ask them”
The struggle for many companies is knowing what to do with (and how to interpret) the vast amount data that can be collected from and about social networking. As Naomi described, having access to tonnes of data is comparable to creating lots of virtual haystacks. It offers us a large amount of information to process but it is still up to us to find the needles of useful insight within them to make sense of it all.
One useful way to gain better insight is to split data into different categories, said Naomi. By focusing on sentiment and engagement for a specific topic (for example, a news event or campaign), it is easier to understand what people really think about something.
Naomi pointed out that it is important not to focus entirely on the ‘big data’ (such as overall numbers of likes and follows), and instead look to analyse activity on a more granular level, for example reviewing what people are actually saying within mentions and interactions.
“Number of followers is significant but small data is just as valuable”
Naomi highlighted one reason why this is so important by describing the ‘One Direction Effect’. This is when a company (or in this case, David Cameron) sees a huge spike in engagement because of an event or contextual influence (in this case, One Direction visiting Downing Street). Unless you look at mentions on an individual level, it can be impossible to explain such peaks in activity – an analysis of “small data” is essential.
David and Dara’s talk centred on practical tips for measuring social media activity, plus ideas on planning this measurement effectively. One of the most fundamental (and surprisingly, often overlooked) aspects of better measurement is setting out clear objectives from the outset.
“Are you clear on how you are going to be supporting overall business objectives as a result of your social media efforts?”
David outlined how setting relevant KPIs (and understanding the ways in which these support wider company marketing objectives) is essential for effective social media measurement. By doing this,
marketers can better understand why they are carrying out activities and establish whether these activities have been successful or not.
David reinforced Naomi’s sentiments about focusing on more than just the ‘big data’, describing the importance of ‘looking beyond the like and follow’. Instead, David advised using metrics which are better and more informative, such as the applause rate metric and the economic value metric, which are both explained in more detail within the presentation slides below.
Dara showed how to tag campaigns using Google Analytics and offered up some technical advice on using multi-channel funnels. These can be used to gain a better picture of how social media is working to assist key calls to action on your website, such as ecommerce purchases or e-newsletter sign ups. Again, these are explained in further detail in the accompanying presentation slides.
One of the key benefits of measuring activity properly is, as Dara described, that this data can be used to inform future activity. Knowing the kinds of posts which gain good traction from your audience means you can create content that resonates better with your audience.
“Use data to influence your social media activity going forward”
If you want help measuring your social media activity more effectively get in touch with the Fresh Egg social media team today.