While most people recognize the potential worth of social media as a public relations tool, the big question remains: How do you prove its return on investment? A deeply committed organization may hire a Community or Brand Manager, creating larger long-term costs for social media management and a greater need to demonstrate its value.
In terms of monitoring, media content analysis should be supplemented by web and search analytics, sales and CRM data, survey data, and other methods. While there’s no comprehensive tool deemed the one to provide a detailed report of an organization’s social media activity (and resulting engagement), there are a number of free and subscription-based tools that can help to aggregate and analyze online coverage and social media mentions. These include: Google Alerts, Technorati, Tweet Reach and Radian6.
In addition, measurement must focus on conversation and communities, not just coverage. While understanding reach and influence is important, experimentation and testing are key to developing a successful formula for social media analysis. As part of Ragan’s PR Daily webinar, The Biggest Trends in PR Measurement and ROI, David Rockland and Jennifer Fravel of Ketchum Communications outlined Ketchum’s Media Algorithm, which extends basic content analysis to include quantitative assessment. The social media assessment metrics include:
— Type of Placement (Influential) = 10 pts
— Influence (Tone + Reach) = 20 pts
— Engagement = 30 pts
— Consumer Recommendation = 20 pts
Coverage is rated on a ‘story-by-story’ basis, with 80 being a ‘perfect’ opportunity and 0 being a missed opportunity. As you use more tools, and learn more about the key influencers in your market, you’ll gain a better understanding of how to categorize online mentions.
With tools chosen and an analysis model developed, your organization can better identify what to monitor and measure, which can further inform where and how you engage with your audience.
With the rise of social media, has your organization found a successful social media monitoring strategy? What tools and techniques have you used to categorize online coverage?