Evolution of Social Media Analytics - Answers to the Questions from #SamosaChats Twitter Chat

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Evolution of Social Media Analytics - Answers to the Questions from #SamosaChats Twitter Chat

Last week we had a great Twitter chat on the Evolution of Social Media Analytics where many asked our panelist, Mr. Shameer Thaha, questions  using the hashtag # SamosaChats, about Social Media Analytics and how they can best use it.

To those who missed the chat, following are the questions that were asked during the chat and Mr. Shameer's detailed answers.

What are the multiple uses for social media analytics besides reputation management?

Social Media Analytics today has evolved from traditional listening to be used for online reputation management to more sophisticated influencer mapping, crisis management, lead generation, campaign measurement, competitive mapping and brand health checks.

Clients measure Social Media only in terms of number of fans & followers. How to tell them that SM is a lot more than that?

The fans and followers are only numbers that don’t translate to business objectives. The rules of sales apply here as well, qualify your leads ! Social Media is a unique environment where its about a conversation and not broadcast. This element is usually forgotten. If a sustainable engagement with a 1,000 fans are achieved, its better than having adhoc chatter among 10,000.

How do you showcase true potential of social media through analytics to a number-hungry client?

Most of our intelligence reports to clients easily exemplify this point because only a quality mentions are considered to derive insights. It’s important to mine this information to derive value and revise the strategy. A simple way to showcase the true potential of social media analytics to a number hungry client is to highlight the insightful conversations and brand related conversations from the overall buzz and the overall community size.

How can start-ups use social media analytics within their restrictive marketing budgets?

Start-ups can achieve high value from social media analytics and could be crucial to having a great launch and customer development growth. Budgets are crucial especially during the initial phases of a business and it makes it even more important to have social media anlaytics. Identifying communities, influencers, distribution channels based on competitor activity and social conversations can help allocate marketing budgets where it is most effective.

Do smaller clients even need SoMe analytics during initial stages or should they be introduced gradually?

I’ve personally seen companies of all types using SoMe analytics and benefiting from them, even small clients. Where SoMe analytics doesn’t help is when there is no clear objective and goal of monitoring. As with any business, knowing where and who your customers are can help you plan effectively and that is exactly what SoMe analytics can offer.

Is there any tool to measure the monetisation from mobile apps with integrated social mentions?

Various tools exist which allow one to measure mobile monetization from ads, subscriptions, in apps, referrals etc. With proper tracking setup, existing tools can also be used to measure.

How important is it to track analytics of a competitor brand using analytic tools?

Tracking analytics of competitors is a great way to devise a more robust social media strategy for your brand. It helps in identifying aspects such as community presence, influencers, detractors, communication themes and interests etc. Brands we’ve worked with have had immense value add from competitive mapping techniques.

Please share something on Predictive Analytics. We are interested in knowing about it & what tools should one use?

Predictive Analytics is a very interesting field of research and is poised to be the a game changer especially for the consumer targeted businesses. At our work, we have done some interesting predictive analysis by focusing on daily volume, share of voice, demographic analysis, sentiment etc. The custom intelligence report then looks at trends in online conversation, brand awareness, impact prior to and post campaigns etc. to perform a forecast.

One of the requirements enabling predictive analysis is the cluster of historic data. It’s exciting to see how predictive analysis can help identify demand and most selling products in a season. Companies will be able to look at the total number of tweets, as well as positive and negative comments to predict whether a stock price will go up or down. These types of companies will become a hot commodity as investors begin to rely on the wisdom of crowds.

A question from research point of view: What would ideally take precedence, Analytics or Metrics?

Analytics and Metrics aren’t synonymous. Metrics are numbers which correlate to business KPIs based on the goals. Analytics are trends and patterns of these metrics and other standard parameters which help researchers arrive at inferences to further develop strategies and recommendations. So to answer the question in short, metrics take precedence.

What's your take on the 'dream metric' that @ev & team plan to build. How will that affect the social dynamics?

It will be interesting to see beyond follower counts that the ‘dream metric’ aims to achieve. The metric is focused on twitter and how many people saw your tweet. Current metrics for amplification is crude as it relies on no. of followers and retweets. Only time will tell how the ‘dream metric’ is more accurate.

From a marketing perspective are SMM brands in India realizing Big Data's importance in Social Media Analytics?

Yes, we are witnessing more brands now realizing that social media analytics isn’t a short sighted approach and requires long term monitoring to accurately determine trends and forecast. The only challenge again remains the number focused approach which brands needs to break away from. One needs to look at quality rather than quantity of conversations.

Is Facebook Insights enough for one to analyze his page performance?

For a basic understanding of the page performance, the Facebook Insights is sufficient. As I usually tell my clients, the page subscribers, fans or People Talking About This (PTAT) aren’t the only metrics that can help your business. How do you define engagement and what constitutes sustainable engagement ? One needs to look at parameters such as volume, velocity and amplification of conversations and the influence level as well to truly assess the performance of a page and whether the efforts have given your brand the best ROI.

With Facebook trying to weed out fakes, how perfect will the research reports be?

Research reports focusing purely on numbers and web analytics alone will benefit from this exercise as it will now show more realistic figures. Intelligence reports which however focus on conversations and engagement will not be impacted as they have always been focused on quality of conversations that go beyond web analytic metrics.

How reliable do you think The Measurement of "Reach" on Facebook and Twitter currently is?

Facebook and Twitter’s “Reach” is calculated based on parameters such as retweets, shares, no. of followers/ friends etc. This is good, but not accurate enough because these are limited to their internal networks. Social media has built itself an intricate network that gets mashed up on various platforms. Today tweets are shared on Facebook, Linkedin, other web pages etc. The “Reach” metric doesn’t factor them in.

Does 'one size fits all' work w.r.t Social media tools or do we have to use many tools to monitor conversations?

Every tool has its strengths and weaknesses because tools are designed for a specific purpose. If the purpose is defined, its easy to identify the right tool. While designing our platform, we’ve considered elements that one cannot compromise on - quality of conversations and the comprehensiveness.

Using one tool for all purposes seems easier to manage but may not give the right results every time. A big disclaimer here – it depends on what your exact needs are.

What is the future of smaller companies if larger giants like Salesforce move into the area of SoMe Analytics?

Salesforce is already in the SoMe Analytics space with its recent acquisitions. The future of smaller companies are unbounded and remain open to innovation. Smaller companies need to focus on real value addition and ROI by utilizing efficient, cost effective and user friendly platforms.

What tools/methods would you recommend for identifying top Facebook fans/influencers on pages?

Top influencers can be determined by identifying the reach of the user, activity level, network score, loyalty, velocity and volume. These vary both for Facebook and Twitter by their inherent social parameters such as tweets and posts.

Do you think SoMe Analytics and insights could be derived accurately without any manual intervention?

Basic social media analytics such as buzz trends, source analysis, topic classification etc can be derived accurately without manual intervention. But conversations are by humans and requires a human understanding of behaviour and themes to get a more deeper understanding. Thus sentiment, influence, sarcasms, intention, lead generation, brand associations etc require manual intervention as these verified analytics coupled with human intelligence can pave way for great recommendations and actionable insights.

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