#Pubcon Liveblog: Social Media Analytics

Alan K’Necht @aknecht (Digital Always Media Inc.) and Adam Proehl @adamproehl (NordicClick Interactive) are doing a tagteam presentation and I’m getting the WWF vibe as both of them have mics in hand and are walking around the front of the room. They’ll go over the 10 most frequently asked questions about measuring social media. And they’re giving out Buzz Balls (fruity alcoholic drinks) for audience interaction. Social engagement IRL!


Q1: What social measurement figure do you see being reported as total BS?

Any numbers reported without context.


Social analytics in perspective: followers/fans/likes are to social media what hits were to web analytics. Brands that only focus on follower counts and likes are missing the point. They’re measuring the wrong thing. We’re in a similar spot as web analytics circa 1999.

Q2: How can I tell if people actually give a crap about our stuff?


Consult journalism 101 — ask the 5 Ws and H. Some tools can help you. An example of a tool that will show you this stuff is SharedCount.com. Plug in your URL and get a quick snapshot of where things are at. Muckrack.com/whoshared will show you if people are sharing your stuff — if no one’s sharing, no one’s caring. Topsy.com also counts social links (they try to count bit.ly and others). Log into Foursquare and see the tips, reviews, suggestions and complaints people are sharing.

Are people actually clicking and reading the link? Tools for checking this include bitly links. And for the mere cost of a domain you can plug in your own personal short URLs. How many clicks, how many saves, real-time analytics, referrers and locations.

You have to put numbers in context by understanding them in ratios:



True engagement metrics of social media (credit Avinash Kaushik and Jennifer Lopez):

  • Conversion rate: comments/replies
  • Applause rate: favs/likes/+
  • Amplification rate: shares/RT/clicks

Q3: The C-level — what are some must-haves in a social media report?


“Treat the C-level the same as you would an 8 year old: pretty pictures and simple numbers.” — Alan K’Necht. The C-suite is like kids in that they talk in TLAs (three letter acronyms). But don’t use your SEO acronyms or jargon.

What do you report? Short term: volume, mood, PR successes and problems; long term: social’s impact over sales, which are not easily attributable.

So draw them a treasure map with little milestones that have to happen along the way. Then report that progress toward that long-term goal of getting the treasure ($).

Always tie what you report back to a company goal. What’s public? What’s semi public? How is the C-level measured?

Q4: What is the measurement/signal that brands forget to think about?

These get to the impact on retail / social awareness at a retail level.

  • Branded keyword queries
  • Direct site traffic

Q5: What are some useful and reliable tools for measurement?

Listen twice and then think. First ask yourself, “What am I trying to learn?” and “How will this tool help my business?” Also ask:

  • Where do you need to go with it?
  • How fast do you need to get there?
  • Do you care about how it looks?

There’s nothing wrong with the top tier tools (radian6, Lithium Labs, meltwater buzz). But before you think about the big tools, what are you doing with what you have? (MacGyver could stop a train with gum and a paper clip.) Basic tools are:

  • Facebook Insights (Analytics)
  • YouTube Analytics (which provides segmented stats, video interactions and source data)
  • Pinterest.com/source/URL (Pinterest Source)
  • Foursquare and Facebook check-ins
  • Share counts (and look at them in context — you might have fewer tweets but more LinkedIn shares and it reflects that the content was geared toward executives)
  • Twitter Apps (Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Crowdboaster)
  • Social Mention
  • Tweriod, Followerwonk (which time of day and day of week is it best to publish something)

Q6: How can you use social to influence search?

How do you get your brand or phrase to show up the Google Instant suggestions?

Search is highly dependent on one overriding component, which is INTENT. Search requires some level of awareness. You can’t search for something you don’t know. Look at a Google Trend of “pre-owned” related to cars. Toyota stayed steadfast in establishing the use of that term even though it lost them a lot of traffic for a while. Today all the car manufacturers use “pre-owned” language.

Food for thought: if no one else cares about your stuff, then don’t expect the search engines to either. Understand causation vs. correlation. Just because there’s an umbrella out doesn’t mean it’s raining.

Q7: Example of a big brand doing it right?



Zicam built loyalty. CVS lost the opportunity.


Q8: Example of a small brand doing it right?

A BBQ joint in Alan’s neighborhood decided to just focus on Facebook and are doing it right. They admit mistakes when they’re made. They create incentives for people to follow them on Facebook. They don’t spread themselves too thin by using a bunch of different social networks.

Caribou coffee did a Pinterest promotion that was going to help them come up with a new blend inspiration via crowd sourcing.

Q9: How do I tie sales and revenue back to social activity?

Or, how do you value a cocktail party?
Sales/revenue: low instant gratification signals (usually)
Customer service: high instant gratification signals

Q10: Why can’t I use junior interns to manage my social media?

They might have 5k friends on Facebook. But they haven’t used it for business marketing, promoting others or customer service. They lack a business sense.

Bonus final thought: One enthusiastic unpaid brand advocate is worth more than 1 million unengaged followers who never see your posts.

Bonus final thought 2: Social analytics is ultimately actionable data.

Bonus final thought 3: Don’t wait for the dashboard to take action — you may be too late. Dashboards summarize the success of the actions you’ve taken.


Virginia Nussey is the director of content marketing at MobileMonkey. Prior to joining this startup in 2018, Virginia was the operations and content manager at Bruce Clay Inc., having joined the company in 2008 as a writer and blogger.

See Virginia's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (2)
Still on the hunt for actionable tips and insights? Each of these recent Social Media Marketing posts is better than the last!

2 Replies to “#Pubcon Liveblog: Social Media Analytics”

Hey, thanks John. :) Well hopefully you find you’ve caught up with most of the action from the liveblogging coverage. Tagged all the posts from this week’s show here: http://www.bruceclay.com/blog/tag/pubcon-nola-2014/.

I cant believe i missed pubcon! Great recap Virginia. Agree, no junior interns managing social media. That never goes well.


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