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How Big Brands Measure and Communicate Social Media Success

Posted on Mar 30th, 2015
Written by Debbie Friez
In this article

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    L-R: Susan Beebe, Chuck Hemann, Christopher Penn and Dan Gingiss

    L-R: Susan Beebe, Chuck Hemann, Christopher Penn and Dan Gingiss

    We have all struggled with what to measure to show how our social media program is performing. Additionally, how do you best communicate the results to executives, managers and other stakeholders? At the Social Media Marketing World conference, experts from Discover Financial Services, Tyson Foods and Intel Corporation reviewed tactics for showcasing their successes.

    Steps to Measurement Success
    The first step is to find the stakeholders across the organization, which might be an internal audience of executives or managers or an external audience of consultants, partners and customers. Susan Beebe, Manger, social media & online communities, Tyson Foods says to then find out what matters to them.

    Things to consider when measuring:

    • Reputation metrics
    • Competitive landscape
    • R&D/innovation/product quality
    • Customer insights, sales and loyalty social media management

    Dan Gingiss, head of digital customer experience and social media, Discover Financial Services, looks at measurement next to the marketing funnel in order to lead him to the right metrics. During the awareness stage of the funnel, he says it’s OK to look at the number of impressions. When moving to the consideration stage, more engagement is needed, which can include likes or favorites. Conversion is the holy grail for his team, and it is where he looks to see if those who interact with their social channels become card members.

    The next stage of the marketing funnel is loyalty. Discover has had success with “off-line” hashtags. They send Starbucks cards to cardholders on their three-month anniversary of being a card holder. In the with the card is a piece of paper with #DiscoverJoy. They were delighted to see that many cardholders shared pictures and other notes online using the hashtag.

    Along that line, when it comes to advocacy, customers are sharing online their interactions with their cards, including redeeming rewards. At this stage, Discover is focused on service. They are finding that people continue to interact with them even after they’ve helped them.

    Beebe suggested comparing your brand to your competitors. She also places importance at tracking tweets all the way to check-out (revenue) and interpreting the data you can get from various places like retail, eCommerce, social data and suppliers.

    It’s important to remember that many social media metrics are “vanity” metrics and only a part of the overall story. It’s very important connect to actual business results. Using links with trackable tags will help you see the progression of a sale says Beebe.

    Speak the same language
    Early in the social media lifecycle, Beebe realized not everyone understands social media terminology. She advises using more common terms like impressions instead of reach. Chuck Hemann, Manager, Analytics, Intel Corporation, recently touted the performance of their native video on Facebook, but not everyone in the organization understood what he mean by “native video”.

    Know your audience
    Think about how you are sharing your reports and to what stakeholder says Hemann. Also, think about how the information will be shared. It’s important to consider the vehicle, frequency, distribution and support.

    Executives want a report with the big picture on how social is contributing to the bottom line. Gingiss says they want to understand if there has been improvement over time and where the organization stands in the marketplace. He shared an example report highlighting overall campaigns, the voice of the customer (sentiment) and key highlights they can easily share.

    When it comes to managers, they want the details, like knowing who’s being targeted by paid media over the past month. Some managers may want to know what tactics improved response time or what content contributed to the best performing creative. Reports should still include key highlights relevant to their area of the business.

    Response rate and voice of the customer are important metrics on Discover’s customer service report. This helps them understand how they are doing on the advocacy and loyalty stages of the funnel.

    Customer service is the new marketing says Gingiss. If you do good customer service, you can drive business.

    Key Takeaways

    • Know your audience
    • Know your data
    • Know your customer

    How is your team tying social media results to business results? What measurement mix is resonating with your internal audiences?