Measuring online opinion is more complex than just reading a few posted reviews. In this book, we move beyond the current practice of social media monitoring and introduce the concept of social media intelligence. Social media intelligence (or SMI) focuses on measuring what matters, rather than measuring what’s easy to measure. This process starts with a solid understanding of the organization’s strategic objectives before engaging in any social media monitoring activities. SMI also leverages the science of opinion to better understand the various factors that shape online opinions and metrics, allowing organizations to better uncover the valuable insights hidden in social media chatter and integrate them into the organization’s strategy.
The SMI Planning Process
Evaluating and assessing the performance of your social media and marketing activities should start well before campaign launches. It should be embedded in the planning process. Organizations need to be systematic about specifying campaign objectives, planning the campaign, and identifying performance metrics in advance. Such a process facilitates coordination across activities, learning within the campaign and systematic evaluation of campaigns based on clearly defined metric.
KPIs and Metrics
For metrics to be useful, they need to be aligned with strategic questions. If metrics are not directly informative of a specific strategic question, they simply appease our curiosities. The process of identifying KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and building metrics dashboards begins by clearly articulating your organization’s strategic objectives. The KPIs and metrics to be monitored are then chosen accordingly.
Measuring Your Brand
How do you measure perceptions of your brand? Do sentiment metrics really reflect how consumers see our brand? Research has shown that average social media sentiment is poorly correlated with offline brand tracking surveys because of biases that exist in social media posting behavior and hence social media metrics. But a careful measure of brand sentiment that controls for these biases has been shown to be highly correlated offline brand tracking surveys and even stock market prices.