Facebook’s “Insights” tab or Twitter’s “Activity Dashboard,” are few examples how the social networks are gradually accepting the importance of measurement for the social marketers. However, majority of the marketers struggle to get the “Big-Picture” of their social media data analysis. To get the view of their social landscape, often they find it challenging to standardize the metrics or analyzing the data in context. To conclude with the deeper insight of any complex social media data, there are few fundamental rules for multi-channel measurement.
The list of social networks that are relevant to marketers is long and diverse. One of the biggest problems that marketers face with multi-channel analysis is having access to all of their data across all platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, etc.
Most of the social media analyst measure and report on Facebook and Twitter. However, to get the big-picture, you should analyze at least six networks. This breadth of reporting equates to a lot of time and energy in compiling the data and filtering out the noise. The data aggregation process is about balance, gathering as much context as possible and put it in the most simple and practical format possible.
Putting metrics from various channels in context is crucial to understanding social performance and gaining useful, tactical insights. The problem is that the growth in number of social channels makes it hard to consolidate and standardize reporting. The key to putting this massive amount of data in context is standardization. By standardizing terminologies around similar metrics, you will be able to look at activity and engagement in a simple format and with full context. For example, instead of Facebook Fans and Pinterest or Twitter Followers, use a term like “Audience.”
Once you standardize your terminologies, focus on benchmarking the methodology. The most effective and commonly used benchmarking methods for social media marketers are: taking at-least three periods as an average and apples-to-apples comparison of these periods like pre-campaign performance measurement to the post-campaign monthly reports. Just average the last three months to benchmark the most recent efforts and you will get a solid rolling average. With this type of comparison, it makes the most sense to focus on rates and ratios. You should focus on measuring things like growth rate and engagement rate. This approach will allow you to normalize over time periods without worrying about the scale differences.
Data has become a central need for social media marketers. No longer are aggregate totals enough. Marketers need complete, practical measurement that allows them to review all of their activities. Multi-channel analysis is the key to this holistic approach while each puzzle piece is crucial. It’s the complete picture that helps social media marketers do their best work in terms of taking a corrective measure during a mass-media campaign.