Google now taking front stage with improving relevancy of search results by looking at what others are saying about your brand, is one of the latest advances of applying SMM (social media marketing) to SEO. It just makes sense – hold a sound reputation among your personal social circles and within the markets, should be part of the equation of delivering ‘quality’ search results.
Taking a step back before applying SMM to your Search strategy, one must first understand how they can effectively measure the impact and investment of a SMM strategy. Fail to plan, plan to fail. The same applies here with a social media strategy execution.
Though among all the anticipated conversations, comments, sharing, tweets, etc. that you seek to crowd source to others to build your brand or products online reputation, its important to first understand how you’ll measure all of this within your SMM strategy.
Mapping the participation of your online audience’s activities around your brand online; blog comments, social profiles, twitter, facebook, etc. is a foundation of measuring the social marketing strategy.
But what KPI’s will you measure the social metrics, and what metrics do you track and measure?
Your audience. Visitors, members, subscribers, comments, creators, evangelists, fans, loyalists and moderators. Where ever you or your audience is engaging in conversation about your website, product or brand, is understanding the individuals of whom you will define these metrics. This was all brought into the spotlight with a research study by Forrester Research – Social Technographics.
The social reputation is defined by 1. Creators, 2. Critics, 3. Collectors, 4. Joiners, 5. Spectators, 6. Inactives.
- Creators are those who have, within the previous month, posted to a blog, updated a web page or uploaded a video that they themselves may have created.
- Critics participate by commenting on blogs or posting ratings and reviews. They are on average several years older than Creators.
- Collectors save URLs on a social-bookmarking service, use RSS feeds, or create metadata that they share with a community.
- Joiners use a social-networking site. More than half also read blogs and nearly a third themselves publish blogs. Facebook and MySpace are two examples. They are among the first adopters online.
- Spectators consist mostly of blog readers and also video viewers and podcast listeners, essentially constituting the audience for user-generated social content.
- Inactives are the remaining online adults and do not participate at all in social computing activities.
Social Technographics are valuable because they can be used to create their social strategies, such as targeting the influencers for a refer a friend tactic among a referral or retention program. For each group described above, their activities are important are not conclusive as we yet to understand their primary motivation of their activity.
The term Social Technographics® is a coined term by Forrester to describe a population according to its participation in the 6 levels of social technographics.
As every brand and business is unique in its own way, these social technographics are a good ‘starting point’. It will help open the doors to measure the online reputation, but consideration that every business or website will need to tailor this to their own business and model, and create a social strategy based on this profile.
Tip: Beyond the social technographics, you’ll also want to measure your website’s Social Media popularity and compare it with your competitors or the industry. Although traffic from social media websites is good indicative of your social media popularity, it cannot be used for competition analysis effectively.
BackType is one such tool which lets you measure your popularity on social media in terms of tweets, blog comments on website, Digg and Reddit comments etc.
BackType also shows the change of above given parameters over a period of time through a graph. It also assigns an Engagement Rank to each domain.
From leveraging social media to improve Search results, to building virtual word-of-mouth through social media reputation management, to social popularity among the industry, embracing a holistic view of social media marketing (SMM) can pay its dividends over time in your Internet marketing strategy.