Celebrating the start of AMEC Measurement Month

Measurement is a significant part of Strategic Social Media Listening and to celebrate the start of AMEC Measurement Month which runs throughout September, we wanted to recap some best practices for using social media as a measurement tool.

Measuring not counting

Measuring and not counting is an important distinction when it comes to strategic social media listening and one that was the premise of the #IPASocialWorks initiative in 2014 to produce a resource to help guide organisations on their journey to utilising social media data as a source of insight. We contributed to the initiative and have been writing about many of these principles in our blog posts since its inception. Last year, in celebration of AMEC Measurement Week, we outlined our best practice guide to campaign measurement, which highlighted the importance of setting benchmarks and KPIs from the outset and looking beyond social media buzz.

Big data vs. Small Data

With the excitement around the endless possibilities Social Media offers as a source of Big Data, the conversations behind the numbers and the people having them are often lost. Rich insights can be derived from looking at emotions, motivations and beliefs if you know where and how to look. Our experience with Orange reinforced our belief that up to 80% of the content may have to be discarded to find nuggets within the noise. It takes rigour and effort to get these conversations out but they are worth it.

We have also often written about the potential importance of outlying trends and their power to influence and spread on social networks. In one of our early blog posts, Finding the story within, we also advocated digging deeper into small but significant trends to derive previously unrevealed insights.

Making it relevant

Social Media is an obvious barometer of customer satisfaction considering that Twitter is now widely used as a customer service channel. However, looking at overall sentiment around a service or a brand will often hide underlying issues, limiting its use as a decision-making tool for organisations. Over the past 4 years, we have worked with organisations to go beyond sentiment and derive measures from social media which breakdown classic sentiment analysis further into actionable constructs. For AMEC Measurement Week last September, we penned a post around our approach to measuring customers’ moods within high volumes of customer complaints.

We have also created a trust measure which has since been used by several providers in the energy sector to understand trust drivers and benchmark their performance against that of key competitors.

As with any source of data, measurement using social media needs to be customised to what you are aiming to measure. One size definitely does not fit all when it comes to strategic social media listening.

As with the interpretation of any dataset, context is an absolute must-have and it is even more important with social media. We have previously highlighted this as an essential best practice in Strategic Social Media listening.

Throughout September we will be sharing further examples of Strategic Social Media Listening and measurement using social media so watch this space.

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