A look at social media measurement tools

In this new age of social media, brands are acknowledging the increased importance of an online presence. However, social media campaigns are very different from traditional advertising or marketing campaigns. While the goals of social media campaigns are linked the business objectives, sales may not be the number 1 priority, therefore the return on investment (ROI) for such can sometimes be unclear. Nonetheless it is safe to say social web campaigns cannot be measured the same way as traditional ones.

In this post I have selected a few analytic tools specifically made to measure social media presence and effectiveness.

Klout – Free

Image from Wired, by Garry McLeod

Klout provides social media analytics to measure how influential a user across his or her social media platforms. Based on how many people engage with your posts, you are assigned a Klout score. The higher the score, the higher the level of influence.  By using number scores between 1 and 100, it is easy to conceptualize how effective your social web campaign is. Klout tracks not only what you do, but also how your audience is responding to it. By helping you track the impact of and response to your content, Klout can help you improve your content to be more engaging, making you more influential.

Image: Klout

Image: Klout

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Social media crisis- A lesson learned the hard way

Last year, a waitress at Applebee’s was fired from her job for posting a customer’s receipt with her full signature on Reddit, which went viral, most likely because of the customer’s reason for declining to pay her tip:

Pastor Bell's receipt at Applebee's

Pastor Bell’s receipt (full signature was posted on Reddit)

The story:

The employee, Chelsea Welch, a colleague of the pastor’s waitress, uploaded the receipt online because she thought the comment was insulting but comical.

She was consequently fired when the pastor was embarrassed to find that her comments had gone viral and called Applebee’s to demand that she be fired. Applebee’s fired Chelsea Welsh for violating a customer’s right to privacy, which is a policy listed in the employee handbook.

The internet responded very negatively, attacking the company’s decision for firing the waitress. Many users took it to social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to voice their unfavourable opinions. Numerous Facebook groups sprung up in support of the waitress and a petition on Change.org was even created to demand that Chelsea Welch get her job back.

In response to the public outcry, Applebee’s responded on its Facebook page:

Here’s where it gets worse… 

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Understanding content strategy

Visual and social content has become extremely important in PR tactics. Because of all the information people are constantly exposed to, advertisers need to be strategic in using visual social media content to cut through all the noise and rise to the top to reach their audience.

In this post, there are three images I selected that illustrate the elements of a content strategy. I will be reviewing them one by one to discuss their strengths and weakness in helping me understand better what creating a content strategy is all about.

For ease of comparison, I came up with my own judging criteria for these images:

  • Is the image easy to read and understand?
  • Does the image contain useful information?
  • Does the image contain the right amount of information?
  • Is the image visually appealing and/or eye-catching?
  • Will this image sustain as a standalone image when shared or reposted?

I really like this image as I find it aesthetically pleasing. The colour combination shows a contrast, and the image is simple.The only down side is that this image is not useful as a standalone image, as it would be hard to decipher what those symbols mean without reading the accompanying text on the webpage. In other words, there isn’t much information that can be taken away from this image. Having read the content of the post, I thought the symbols were very representative of the 5 listed elements, and are in a way easy to understand. If key words could be added to each of the graphics, the image would be much more useful.

 

content strategy circles

I would consider this image to be visually appealing as well. However, the connection between the circles aren’t very clear at first glance. In my opinion, this image would be more useful if accompanied by an explanation of it, or  it could be used more as a reminder for someone who has already read and digested the text.

 

content-strategy-burger-600p

 

This image is the best of the three in terms of helping me understand what creating a content strategy is about. It really helped me visualize the big picture as well as the role each element plays in a content strategy. Visually it is interesting as it uses a hamburger, and I like that they used different icons to represent each element. The image as well as the text are presented in an organized matter, with just the right amount of information and text. Also, this image will sustain as a standalone image as it contains the important information and is easily understandable.

Is Twitter worth the money for PR programs?

Since inception in 2007, Twitter has evolved into something that is much more complex than a simple platform for expressing ideas. While the original intent for the social media platform still holds, today’s Twitter also provides businesses and organizations the opportunity to capitalize on its 255 million users through “promoted accounts,” “promoted tweets” and “promoted trends”.

Promoted Account 

A Promoted Account is an ad on Twitter that invites specifically targeted users to follow you. When I opened the Twitter app on iPhone, it took less than 2 scrolls for a promoted account to show up. I’m guessing Food Hacks was in my feed because of all the food related and life hack accounts I follow on Twitter.

Promoted Account

The cost:
Promoted Account ads are charged on a cost-per-follower (CPF) basis where advertisers only pay for new followers gained. To be promoted, companies bid for how much they are willing to pay for each new follower resulting from Twitter’s recommendations. As of 2011, the bid per follower ranged from $2.50 to $4.00. Obviously, a higher bid gets your organization higher priority on the list of promoted accounts.

The potential value:
Promoted Account creates the opportunity to gain followers and increase exposure much faster than growing online presence organically. It also helps capture targeted audience and users who are more likely to be interested, ultimately building an engaging and interactive online community.

Promoted Tweet

Promoted Tweets are more like advertisements where a specific message is delivered to target audiences. Like the accounts, these tweets are also embedded in a user’s timeline.

I guess Twitter know we were studying about social media and that Range Rovers were one of my dream cars.

Promoted Tweet promoted tweet

The cost:
Promoted Tweets are priced using cost-per-engagement. As of 2011, it costed advertisers $0.75 to $2.50 per new engagement, which includes follows, clicks, favourites and retweets or replies.

The potential value:
Promoted Tweets more likely to seen by users as they are strategically placed in users’ feed. They are much harder to miss or ignore like the traditional ad banners at the top or side of a page. These tweets also encourage engagement and creates conversations amongst users, which could result in lots of buzz.

Promoted Trend

Promoted Trends are package deal. Advertisers get a customized hashtag that will be at the top of other trending hashtags. When users click on it or search the hashtag, a related Promoted Tweet by the advertiser shows up as the first result. Promoted Trends are visible to all users on Twitter.com and on all platforms such as website, mobile and tablet app, etc.

The cost:
This premium package comes with a big price tag at $200,000 per day.

The potential value:
Although a seemingly hefty price, this package does have more to offer as it provides maximum exposure for the advertiser. Promoted trends are valuable for garnering attention to the brand and/or gaining mass awareness for specific products to drive business outcomes.

The Verdict

On top of impressive promotion results, Twitter is also powerful for providing research insights and analytics. With every ad there is a dashboard to monitor all the engagements and keep track of performance metrics. These measurements are not only limited to promoted content, but also organically earned media as well.

Twitter is a useful tool to help businesses and organizations achieve their real goals. However, it is important to note the keyword, potential, in the value of Twitter. While Twitter has a lot to offer, ultimately it comes down to the brands and businesses to utilize it appropriately. If the content of a tweet is not interesting, or if you are just pushing content out without listening to your customers, users will not be interested and you will miss out on that Twitter magic.  For an account, tweet, or trend to be popular, the content has to make a connection and resonate with your audience to drive engagement. And even if you do it right the first time and attract many new followers, you will still have to keep trying to sustain that traction – there are lots of distractions out there!

Here are some successful examples. Promoting on Twitter could be well worth your  money if you do it right!

 

A New Beginning

Hello, and welcome to my blog!

I recently picked up a new serious hobby called Public Relations and enrolled in a certificate program at Ryerson University. This blog was created as part of a course assignment, but I am also looking forward to sharing my personal views and reflections on things related to PR.