Lessons from Social Media Meet-Up, Part I – Measuring is Easy; Evaluation is Hard.

April 14, 2010
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I had the pleasure of attending the Social Media Meet-Up this week. In general, it was a very informative day with a good deal of content from dynamic speakers. I took copious notes and figured that I’d impart some knowledge to my readers. I have to justify my complimentary media pass somehow, right?

Panel on Social Media ROI

The attendees eagerly awaited this discussion, as this topic has been getting a great deal of play these days. Robin Carey did a great job of moderating the panel and handling questions.

Christopher J. Frank, VP of Global Marketplace Insights at American Express

Phil’s note: Great presentation from a wicked smart guy. Note below how Christopher focuses on what really matters with respect to social media. I spoke to Christopher for a bit after his talk and could tell that we had a great deal in common in how we approached consulting and issues in general.

  • Measuring social media is easy. Counting is also easy. Evaluating is hard.
  • Analytics isn’t as important as decision making.
  • We don’t lack social media data; we lack insight.
  • It’s not about the data

I had the pleasure of attending the Social Media Meet-Up this week. In general, it was a very informative day with a good deal of content from dynamic speakers. I took copious notes and figured that I’d impart some knowledge to my readers. I have to justify my complimentary media pass somehow, right?

Panel on Social Media ROI

The attendees eagerly awaited this discussion, as this topic has been getting a great deal of play these days. Robin Carey did a great job of moderating the panel and handling questions.

Christopher J. Frank, VP of Global Marketplace Insights at American Express

Phil’s note: Great presentation from a wicked smart guy. Note below how Christopher focuses on what really matters with respect to social media. I spoke to Christopher for a bit after his talk and could tell that we had a great deal in common in how we approached consulting and issues in general.

  • Measuring social media is easy. Counting is also easy. Evaluating is hard.
  • Analytics isn’t as important as decision making.
  • We don’t lack social media data; we lack insight.
  • It’s not about the data; it’s about the questions.
    • What are you trying to achieve?
    • What’s your time frame?
  • Ratios are more important than “volume-based metrics”
    • Rather than ask, “How many posts did this commercial/campaign spark”, it’s better to ask “How many of these posts are serviceable?”
  • Social media is not new; it’s an extension of previous marketing and engagement efforts.
  • Current social media ROI has too many means, not enough ends.
    • Buzz is fine, but does it lead to anything?
  • Focus on Ins (intent, input, investment) to get to Outs (output, outtake, outcome)

Andrew Meurer from P&G and Steve Kerho from Organic

Phil’s note: At the risk of being totally immodest, I had probably the funniest line of the day. Read on and this will make more sense.

  • Case study on social media and tampons (yes, tampons) for Kotex.
  • Recent study – done only three weeks ago.
  • Start by knowing your audience; it all starts with the idea.
  • Brands are out of touch with today’s consumer.
  • When you don’t talk about stuff (like feminine hygiene) leads to a suppression of related issues.
  • Goal: to reinvent the category.
  • Take a low interest category and make it of interest to the target market (girls/women aged 14-22)
  • Brand is growing; campaign is successful.
  • Three buckets:
    • Who’s talking about it?
    • How much conversation is happening?
    • What are they saying?
  • You don’t really know where a campaign is going to go until it gets there.
  • Velocity and acceleration of a SM campaign – use first and second derivatives from calculus to determine each. (Yes, the same one from college. And you thought that you were done with that!)

My 15 Seconds of Fame

OK…now to my fifteen seconds of fame. With microphone in hand I said, “This has to be the only presentation in the history of the world that has combined calculus and tampons. You know what kind of odds I could have gotten on that prior to the event? I could be near retirement if I had thrown down $100.”

This is easily the funniest thing that I’ve said in public this year. OK…back to the notes.

  • Acceleration is highly correlated with fan growth.
  • Positive relationship exists between number of tweets and number of sample requests received.
  • Huge spike in tweets during ads on Tyra Banks’ show.
  • Why does this matter? It allows for increased accuracy vis-à-vis forecasting. You won’t have to wait until the end of the campaigns anymore.
  • It also allows for new optimization opportunities.
  • Looking heavily at sentiment analysis, attempting to learn more about the impacts of “mentions” and other types of communication.
  • They worked closely with Facebook (shared a great deal of data.)
  • The tool required to analyze the data hinges on what they’re attempting to accomplish.
  • Social media is still underfunding, but that’s alright because we have to learn more about it.

Finally, I met two authors:

Smart guys. I suspect that I’ll be reviewing their books or doing a podcast with them soon.

That’s it. There were some other speakers and I’ll try to get around to posting my notes.

Lessons from Social Media Meet-Up, Part I – Measuring is Easy; Evaluation is Hard. is a post from: Phil Simon