Blog Archives

Measuring Social Media

In this weeks class we covered social media measurement, this can be difficult to look at without having clear objectives for the business.  These measurements are done through analysing the following:

  • Reach: Page views,  followers, likes and subscribers on social media.
  • Actions: Likes, shares and retweets.
  • Level of interaction: Engagement (comments).

A lot of brands do not use any form of social media metrics, as shown below:

It is important to consider the platforms that you are using and measure the relevant information. For example, how many people come to your website through a social media channel like Twitter or Facebook? This can be seen using Google Analytics.

Measure of influence is another important piece of information that you can obtain through measurement: Who is the person that drives the most attention? whose posts are shared or liked the most? These are people who know about a certain topic, and share relevant information, they don’t waste time with irrelevant posts or messages. Tip: Search for these people on Linkedin and find out more about their industry.

Measuring engagement is possible, it is easy enough knowing how many likes, shares, retweets and replies a business profile or page gets, but it is also easy to see how many new likes or follows businesses gain. Facebook insights allow you to view these easily, for Twitter there are other available tools (7 top tools to measure performance and influence on Twitter). Another way to find out how much influence a person has on Twitter would be by the obvious, the amount of followers they have but also in how many lists they have been added to by others (this last one is not the best metric because not everybody uses Twitter Lists).

Gender and age are another important metric, as businesses sometimes need to know who is their target market and this can be seen through Facebook insights and it looks as shown below:

These sort of insights are also available through Youtube Insights Tool.

Another way to measure is by monitoring, doing so will allow you find out what others are saying about the brand and addressing these can have a positive impact. There are many tools that allow you to monitor your brand: 20 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools You Should be Using

Generating PR for yourself using Earned Media

Screen-Shot-2012-03-08-at-11.46.59-AM

Having coverage in the newspapers is good, but after the day is finished the publication is gone, therefore it is important that this coverage is available online too. By listening and researching online conversations and spotting key influencers, creating interesting content and interacting with customers and other relevant people in the online world, a company can effectively enhance their business though online PR and achieve growth. Measuring these activities is possible and as a consequence businesses can benefit from Earned Media.

Press Release, the story about your product and service:

  • Include keywords.
  • Send to a media list such as www.irishpressreleases.ie.
  • Use RSS buttons as it helps distribute the word.
  • Use Photos: this is very important to include in your Press Release.

How to generating Online PR:

  • Look at blogs and reviews, find out what bloggers can benefit your business if they talk about your product or service. People trust those blogs they follow and they trust reviews from previous costumers, send a product as a tool for a review that benefits readers. Knowing what is said about you is important as this will strongly influence future leads. Blog posts are a great way to generate awareness and improve SEO. Tip: Identify Bloggers using http://www.dublinblog.ie.
  • Attending a press event that’s of relevance to blogger’s audience is a good way to contact new people.
  • Creating Digital Media Kits, make sure it includes all the basic information about your company, mission statement, products and services, samples, statistics relevant to your products and industry, etc. Tip: using Dropbox to share documents and photos for free can make it cost effective.
  • Having a websites and make sure that all earned media as well as paid media will link back to your owned media. It is important that people link back to your own content and having a website where people can find out more  is expected.
  • Social media releases: Whether you are writing a press release for traditional or social media, if your audience doesn’t find the content informative, useful or helpful, it will most likely fail.
  • Flickr is a social media networking tool for PR, because it is always visual it is good for branding. You can share photos but also posters, charts etc.
  • Developing relationships (Tweetup and Meetups): A tweetup is an event where people who Twitter come together to meet in person,  like finally putting a name to a face, these events are a great opportunity to connect with the people in your network and share more than just 140 characters at a time. A Meetup Group is a local community of people in which a group hosts meetups and are face to face meetings that happen in real life between members.
  • SlideShare presentations and e-books, companies try to get publicity and earned media via writing an e-books by getting people to sign up to newsletter.
  • Like other media: Liking posts and pages, sharing content, subscribing to blogs, following others, joining groups are great ways to contact other people. Engagement is key in this, get as involved as possible.
  • Flashmobs, some consider it a “dead strategy,” I don’t know about that but for sure it has been overused.
  • Online contests: Social Media contests have gained popularity and can be a powerful tool for spreading a brand’s message. Digital marketers are finding that social media is great for holding online contests that increase awareness and engagement for consumer brands.
  • Using podcasts, this involves recording a digital file that can be distributed online.
  • And finally, use IAB measurement guidelines.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

KPI CartoonKey Performance Indicators (KPI), also known as Key Success Indicators (KSI), help businesses define and measure progress toward their goals. These must be quantifiable measurements in which results define the success of the business strategy (based on the business priorities).

KPI’s are useful because they reduce the number of decisions that are based solely on instinct or gut feel and make decisions based on objectivity and facts. These quantify the achievement of goals by setting, monitoring and measuring against a target. As businesses grow, it becomes harder to stick to the important achievements that are requered. KPI’s also allow brands to focus on facts when things get out of control.

ICE

One of the problems with KPI’s is that instead of identifying the information that’s needed and subsequently design the most appropriate indicators to assess performance, people often use the ‘ICE’ approach: Identify everything that is easy to measure and count, Collect and report the data on everything that is easy to measure and count and finally End up scratching your head thinking “What the heck are we going to do with all this performance data stuff.

It is recommended to focus on three or four measures that are essential to the business reaching its goals. It is important to keep the number of KPI’s small to prevent distraction. A common mistake is to measure everything when the goal is to measure just one thing that will lead to achieving the successful goal.

To sum up, KPI’s are achievable through the following steps:

  • Be specific: pertaining to the goal of the brand.
  • Make it measurable: for the brand to analise its progress.
  • Make the goals achievable and realistic.
  • Be relevant when directly linking the business and metrics.
  • Consider Time Frame: placing goal achievement in a certain time frame.

Digital Project Management: The Iron Triangle

Titanic Project Iron TriangleIn last week’s class we talked about Digital Project Management and why projects can fail. The Iron Triangle is a very important feature to consider when developing a new project as this will determine the success it will have.

The objective of the Iron Triangle is that you can pick or constrain only two of these three factors. If all three factors have to be met, then the quality of the web project will be sacrificed. In other words, if the three constraints are out of balance with each other at the beginning of the project, then one or more of them must change or the quality of the project will be affected due to meeting the constraints and cutting corners.

  • The Budget: This indicates how much the client is willing to pay or what they can afford for the project.
  • The Features: this indicates the functionality or features that the project requires. Is it possible to build it?
  • The Timeline: This indicates the time you have to complete a project, including related tasks.

Digital Project Management: Why Projects Fail?

Project Management Tree Swing: Funny cartoon, first created in the 1960’s and adapted in 2005, showing how and where projects can go wrong. Project Management Tree Swing

Today we learnt a little bit more about Digital Project Management thanks to our guest speaker Aisling Mc Mahon, Operations Director from Strata3. This is a subject I was looking forward to, and guess what? It’s not easy work! It’s challenging. There is a lot involved in the development of new projects, organisation and communication are the key to success.

In any given project (these can be banners, mobile apps, websites, intranets and the list goes on!) there are a number of factors or steps that need to be defined first before anything else can be addressed, missing one of these and the process could become overwhelming and unachievable. These are:

  • The definition of the project. Find out what they client is looking for, what they expect from this project, what they like and what they don’t like, ask them why and get them to give you examples. In addition to this, there is a lot of research involved about the market audience, similar products, goals, approach to be taken, maintenance, costs and much more for the final proposal.
  • Setting up a budget, specifying the costs for employees, supplies, tools, vendors and other expenses if applicable.
  • Define your resources, how much help with you need? what software technology will you have to acquire?  who will your suppliers be? etc.
  • Define the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved. Communication is vital here, and weekly meetings are recommended to keep every body involved up to date; using a Tracker software can be very helpful as it will not only allow the client to view the status of his project but to also approve or sign off each stage of the project. Every staff member involved can follow the tasks that have been approved, the deadlines and any other relevant information.
  • Setting up the deadlines and timings, how long will each stage take? it is very important to stick to it because not meeting the required deadline could mean that the client will end up paying more or the project’s launch might be compromised.

So far, I probably haven’t said anything that doesn’t seem quite obvious and straightforward but managing and developing a project can present many challenges in regards of deadlines, resources, budgets and people. Following the steps is not an easy job and a good project manager would have an appropriate methodology in place, must be a great communicator and organiser, must be consistent, thinks outside the box and is able to see the whole picture.

So, why do projects fail? why do delays happen? how do you prevent and overcome the obstacles?

  • Lack of Experience: Very important to have the appropriate level of experience. A Project Manager should be able to tackle all the issues and very comfortable in the involvement of various stages of the project. It’s is also important to highlight that suppliers and other staff members have the appropriate qualification and reputation. When a client knows they are meeting an experience team they are most likely going to go ahead with your company/agency.
  • Assumptions: Assuming your client understand what the process will intake is not optional and vice versa. This can lead to misunderstandings. This is the reason why you must document everything accordingly and include as many details as possible.
  • Understanding the Requirements: Understanding what’s going on from day 1, this apply to all parties involved. Otherwise misunderstandings will arise as mentioned above.
  • Expectations and Ambitions: Are these too high? are they achievable? can the clients budget get what they desire? These need to be addressed from the beginning.
  • Content: Someone is responsible for writing down the content, most of the time this is a task for the client, as they know better than anybody else their product or services. Many times clients take too long to deliver this content and delays may occur.
  • The Design Process: Designers might take longer than what you can afford, as a consequence, Developers might be affected and will have to complete complicated tasks in a shorter amount of time.
  • Contingency Planning: Always have a plan B! Expect the unexpected, not everything will go according to plan and a good project manager knows this! Having a plan B can save you time and money.
  • The Client: A client might want features that are not suitable for their goals or they might even want something that is outdated or doesn’t look good, advice them about this and make suggestions of what could be better for them, sometimes you might have to put the extra work to show them there is a better way. A client might also want to change their mind, if you can accommodate their requirements go ahead but make sure you get paid for the work, the client needs to understand that additional changes have a cost.
  • Testing:  Don’t forget to add additional time for testing. Most of the time you will encounter bugs and you will need time to fix them.  This should be done as many times as necessary until no bugs are found.