Measuring Social Media – Let’s Get Serious

These are my notes, not a transcript of the 3/13/11 SXSWi session.  Sorry if I got something wrong, feel free to let me know in the comments.


What’s the latest regarding the recent news with Twitter’s API analytics strategy?

The API supports Twitter ecosystem.  It let’s the eco system add value and innovate so other companies can help customers understand/measure engagement and ROI.

 What opportunitities does Twitter offer developers that use the APIs, is it too limiting?

Their was debate among the panel on this topic.  Some felt that the API was valuable while others felt developers need direct access to the data.  Brands want better access to the data.  The API continues to improve, but is it enough?

This topic came up again in the Q&A where a commenter felt Twitter should publish a list of companies that have access to the “fire hose”.   If one is basing their research on the data but they don’t have full access to the full data set, the research is flawed.  Kevin was unable to recite the full list from memory, but did say the list included the biggies such as Google and Microsoft.  All such arrangements are business deals and that Twitter is working with the library of congress to provide the full data feed for research purposes.

What are some of the best practices around multi-platform analytic strategies?

Jason ranted (quite humorously) about how we in the “eco chamber” love Twitter, but only 8% of people use it (source: Pew Research).  Therefore it’s not as important as we might think it is.  The biggest social channel is obviously Facebook. 

What’s really important is that you know where your customers are be it blogs, news sites, LinkedIn or off line. 

Which platforms should be invested in?

Use monitoring tools to see where the conversations are.  Know that these tools are imperfect, but they are useful aids.  Don’t discount the value of surveying your customers: Where are they online?  What do they do online?

Specific tools mentioned:

  • Viral Heat
  • Radian 6
  • Alterian
  • Uberview
  • ConsumerBase
  • SWHQ

 What data is important and why?

This gets to the question of “What is the ROI of Social Media?”

You cannot measure ROI of one portion of your marketing media, they are interconnected.  Further, it’s not a good question.  ROI is about money and ROI does more than make money.  
Jason listed 6 things social should do:

  1. Brand awareness
  2. Improve your community
  3. Reputation management
  4. Customer service
  5. Research and development
  6. Generate sales leads

Raj believes in tying ROI to a dollar figure.  While Kevin said if you use social correctly, you create a deeper relationship with the individual consumer.

(so no one got around to answering the question, but it’s not surprising since ROI is a very popular discussion)

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