Thursday, June 4, 2009

Social Media Metrics Worth Noting

I’ve writer before about the pressing need for integrated metrics systems for social media. All the platforms provide metrics, but tracking them individually quickly becomes an impossibly large and complex task. Last week I was interested to receive an email announcing that Andiamo Systems, a provider of social media metrics, had been acquired by Techrigy. I took a quick look and was interested enough to set up a free account and take it for a trial run. I entered my five free keywords--the local wildlife sanctuary with which I work and keywords related to one of our current projects and created my trial account.

I first ran a search for roughly the last ten months, expecting to see results of more active blogging during that time. What I found was a tremendous amount of conversation on Trip Advisor and other local and travel sites. The general tenor was “great place to visit,” but I gleaned one useful nugget on Trip Advisor. There’s free local bus service that goes right by the sanctuary. It was recommended as much better than riding a bicycle on a busy two-lane highway. That’s a useful piece of information to add to our web page! Since then I’ve been getting daily reports by email. That’s not desirable for any high volume use; focusing on the dashboard that gives the most pertinent reports would be much better.

A word about the service. Techrigy has a huge database compiled by daily monitoring of social media including blogs, wikis, discussion forums, video and photo sites, mainstream media sites, microblogs and social networks. Searches are run on this database, not on the web itself.

Their demos page gives the best overview of the kinds of reports available. As you can see, the categories are numerous and each provides multiple reports and opportunities to drill down. Their professional plans page lists programs beginning at $600 a month.

There are lots of interesting ways to filter search data, but I found two to be of particular interest. One is a rating of the popularity of the source. I’ve searched the website for a definition but can’t find it. However, I also find the word “authority” used in the same context, and it seems to me that the meaning is the same. Wikipedia gets a 10. What I see when I look at a report for the same post is a popularity rating of 0 for our member-oriented blog (few links is my guess) and a 7 for Cape Cod Today, a major online local medium. That makes sense, so the popularity rating would be useful if you want to reach out to authors.

Another thing I found particularly interesting was the sentiment analysis. According to their fact sheet, “Using natural-language processing and Bayesian analysis, SM2 discovers the sentiments around each discussion and aggregates these to provide a top-level view of social media.” The products of that analysis are brand references (on a positive/negative scale), content tone, and content emotions. Here’s a content tone chart and a snapshot of the items included in the analysis. A lot of these mentions are from our own material, so of course they’re positive! I didn’t take time to filter out our own posts, but it looks pretty easy. Then we’d know what others are saying about us. That’s key. The sentiment analysis also catalogs 16 emotions expressed in the items. Not surprisingly the wildlife sanctuary scored highest on “social” followed by “bio,” “achieve,”and “leisure.” I looked at some of the highest “achieve” scores: the sanctuary had received a grant, rescued three dolphins, and recounted the story of children finding an intact whale skeleton during a long-ago summer camp. Makes sense to me!
That’s the key to good metrics—once you learn to use the platforms. A good dashboard with graphic reports and the opportunity to drill down to the numbers and the data behind them. Oh, yes—and integrated!

The need is great. Expect social media metrics to be an active space. This morning Bob Collins Tweeted a post on ReadWriteWeb about Sysmos. The post has a lot of good information and already one good comment. This startup doesn’t yet have a free version, but that’s said to be coming and will be worth watching for.

Marketers have been asking for integrated social media metrics—followed by integration of all Internet metrics—followed by integration of all metrics. Clearly the request has been heard!


Connie Bensen said...

Hi Mary Lou,
Thank you for such an extensive review of Techrigy SM2!

I'm glad that the Freemium version provided you with some insights for marketing your sanctuary. That's the power of aggregating the conversations. And once the content is benchmarked measurement & analysis is easy to do over time.

I appreciated your comments about the site & looking for def'ns. Here's what Popularity is in SM2:
We use the term Popularity in SM2 because we use our own formula to calculate 'influence'. For blogs and websites we take into account the amount of traffic, the number of links from other sites to that site, and also page views per user. You can find the information that we are using under View | Results | Full Details | Stats tab

We also calculate Popularity for Twitter. That is based on the number of followers, how many they follow and their activity. For Twitter you can find the information under View Results | Full Details | Analysis tab

Thanks again!
Chief Community Officer, Techrigy

MaryLou Roberts said...

Thanks, Connie. That's helpful! After following this for awhile, I keep wondering "why isn't everyone doing this?&?"