By Steve Richards
The metric was compiled following a research project undertaken across 2012 with industry leaders in social media measurement. It aims to address the concerns of clients as well as academics, and is already under discussion for adoption with a range of clients.
The metric itself is composed of modular elements that cover everything from motivation to unprompted sharing and more in between. Taken as a whole, the system provides a comprehensive view of a brand’s levels of customer engagement via social media channels, but can also be looked at more granularly, or as modules.
The approach broadly is split into three areas – the three As, being specifically:
Analysis – The state of play for the brand: its positioning or place with within social media (peoples’ perception of the brand).
Alignment – Developing a strategy that aligns social with core business or marketing objectives – thus developing the metrics for measurement.
Attribution – The actual process of capturing all effects of the activity. Depending on the objectives, a full range of approaches from subtractive modelling through to CTRs can be used with the model able to scale to any number of KPIs.
The metric and model were built upon academic theory and business practice, and developed by Jillian Ney, Doctor of social media, and lecturer at Strathclyde University. As it has an academic foundation, it has been designed to be future-proof and will undergo constant assessment as the social landscape evolves to ensure it remains relevant.
This metric has been designed to be the most robust it can be – and we intend to continue to test and learn through implementation and collaboration to ensure we can consistently stand this claim up.
Input and collaboration with others in the industry will be crucial to ensure we can all have a metric that works for everyone. We have learnt what was needed from the best in the industry and we want to continue to do so. We know instinctively that engagement has value for a business – and now with this metric, and with broad input, we can really begin understand where and why that happens – the Holy Grail for any marketer.
Further details on the metric are available in the methodology (below). Yomego’s white paper on the metric is available at www.yomego.com.
About the author and Yomego
Steve Richards is MD at Yomego. Yomego is a full-service specialist social media agency, which works with companies to explore the opportunities and manage the threats afforded by social channels. Its specialist teams provide monitoring and insight via our proprietary Social Media Reputation (SMR) service, and provide strategies to recruit and engage international audiences. Its in-house design and development team creates and builds apps, social games and social presences and our community management specialists help to define messaging, amplify reach and respond to consumer interactions. Yomego’s clients includes Tesco, British Airways, Adobe and Morrison Bowmore Distillers, and our SMR service is regularly featured in Marketing Magazine.
At the top level, the metric is split into looking at direct and indirect social activity. In this case, direct means that the brands is involved in some way – the consumer is talking ‘with’ the brand – and in the case of indirect, they are talking ‘about’ the brand, but not involving it.
This then is split into four types of social action:
• Interest – the passive appreciation of social content
• Action – where content is seen and added to
• Sharing – where content is spread
• Initiative – where content is created by a consumer with no online prompting (may follow a brand experience in another channel)
These categories themselves are thus based on two academic theories: Hoffman and Fodor’s 2010 MIT paper on motivations for using social media and a paper currently in review by Jillian Ney.
To produce a score using the metric, all consumer interactions are classified as either direct or indirect (and for each, positive and negative), and then classified into one of the categories above. Growth in awareness is then also scored, and added in.
With this system, categories can be weighted according to a client’s needs and requirements, and also by channels used – and by the importance of each channel to a client’s marketing and business plan. If some known relative figures are known in relation to business aims, then some initial calculations of monetary value can be taken into account. The metric is also future-proofed against the introduction of new channels, as no channel is now taken in isolation.