Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Social Media: Tracking What Others Say About You

With better Social Media reporting tools coming on line, we’re starting to get a much better picture of the extent Social Media plays in converting leads into buyers.

These tools provide insight into the whole other universe of inbound conversations occurring before, during and after our own outbound marketing communications.

And while the traditional funnel model continues to work for our outbound marketing efforts, alas - it no longer fits with the overall buyer journey.

Instead, the buyer journey now looks like a grid, with seemingly disjointed inbound and outbound touch points all playing a role in converting leads into buyers.

Welcome to The Grid

Here is a visual example of how a buyer journey might progress from beginning to end.

Black squares are Inbound touches and Red squares are outbound touches. We see this person bouncing all over the place, but ultimately ending up a buyer.

If we try and convert this buyer journey example into a linear roadmap, it would look like this:

We can track all the outbound activities just fine, the disconnect continues to tie in the value of all the inbound activities into one holistic view that can be leveraged for reporting.

Our colleagues in Germany will have an even tougher time, as Germany has recently banned the business use of FaceBook Fan pages and Facebook "Like" social plugins because the data collection infringes on Germany’s data protection laws.

So, while we can’t road map the collective social media activities of a single individual yet, we can definitely track how and where our products and brands are being perceived within the social media framework.


  • Get insight into the overall sentiment of your brand as well as those of  your products/services within the social media universe. Overall, is the conversation mostly positive? Mostly negative? Mostly neutral?
o   Use this to focus on keeping your +/- ratio extremely high for each product and each brand.
  • How does this sentiment compare to your competitors? Where is your company in the “love-fest” pecking order within your industry?
o   Use this as a benchmark in elevating and keeping your overall +/- ratio higher than your competitors.
  •  How much share of overall “voice” is your company receiving within your industry compared to your competitors? In other words, how much buzz is about you vs. the competition. (This could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on whether the sentiment is mostly positive or mostly negative).
o   Use this as a benchmark in increasing and keeping dominance in your overall share of voice within your industry.
  • Which “megaphones” are people using to communicate? Facebook? Twitter? Blogs? Forums?
o   Use this to help identify where resources should be focusing their social media efforts.
  • Where specifically are the most influential conversations coming from? Are there particular blogs, forums or groups that are being particularly influential?
o   Efforts can then be made to encourage the positive and repair the negative.

So how do you track and measure all this?

One of the better tools I’ve used that can provide these insights and more is Radian6 which was recently purchased by SFDC.

If you only care about Twitter, they just announced Twitter Web Analytics, a tool that helps website owners understand how much traffic they receive from Twitter and the effectiveness of Twitter integrations on their sites.

If you want insight into ALL of the recommendations above, Astadia is offering a complimentary Social Media Assessment Summary, for a limited time.

All you need is:
1. Your Company Name
2. The name of the Competitor you want to compare your share of voice to
3. The name of the product or service you want to get sentiment on

Click here to request this complimentary Assessment Summary

Controlling what content is received along with when a lead receives it through outbound marketing is easy. Controlling where leads go to find useful information and what they read about us from others during the sales process is next to impossible to control.

We can still influence the outcome however by (1) incorporating the whole grid in our marketing efforts and (2) by beginning to incorporate the insights listed above.

Visit my brand new website and learn more about Social Media Marketing

Steve Kellogg
-Demand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
-Eloqua Certified Marketing Automation Best Practices Consultant

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