This Week in Social Analytics #3

Welcome back to This Week in Social Analytics, our weekly summary of some of our favorite posts on social analytics, measurement, Twitter and other items that we found interesting from the past week. Enjoy!

Moving from Social Media Monitoring to Social Business Intelligence
Lee Bryant of Dachis Group recaps his presentation at the Social Media Influence Conference about how social media monitoring is evolving into social business intelligence. Monitoring the perception of a brand, while important, is not enough. Businesses must immerse themselves into the entire ecosystem of communication around their brands. The analytics around these conversations can inform real-time, operational, and valuable action and enable the entire organization, not just the marketing and communication departments, to improve overall performance.

Pre-Klout Social Media Metrics Research: Influence on Twitter and the Million Follower Fallacy
Adrian J. Ebsary wrote this detailed review of an early (pre-Klout) study on social media influence. The study looked at three measures of influence: indegree (followers), retweets and mentions and concluded first, users who have large follower counts are not necessarily influential in terms of retweets or mentions. Second, most influential users can hold significant influence over a variety of topics. And third, influence is gained through directed efforts such as limiting tweets to a single topic. Adrian suggests this reflects more support for the idea of topical influence and a movement away from using the mainstream media as a source for influence. He has “hopes for a future where celebrity is a function of topical relevance and fame is a fluctuating graph based on public interest related to that one topic of expertise over time.”

Social Media Measurement: Winning or Winging it?
By randomly measuring sentiment, influence, and overall buzz, are some marketers merely winging it and not getting a true measure of their efforts? In this post, Kate Niederhoffer of Dachis Group recommends operationalizing engagement by realistically looking at the variables you are going to measure. Measurement should be objective (don’t just measure it because it’s available), reliable (don’t measure the same thing multiple times) and valid (make sure the variable predicts meaningful behavior).

The Real Cost of Social Media
We’re continually surprised how some organizations still believe that social media is “free”. Of course as we all know, even though access is free using and analyzing the effectiveness of the tools is not. But the benefits certainly can outweigh the costs, as shown in this excellent infographic put together by the good folks over at Focus.