Commentary from the Social Media World Forum in London, UK

Posted on April 6, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

In mid-March I attended the Social Media World Forum in London, Europe’s leading SM event. The organisers offered a variety of informative workshops that covered a number of topics including SM engagement and how to measure and evaluate ROI, direct marketing in SM, and SM tools.

SM agency Yomego presented their SM Reputation Index based on 4 metrics (noise, noise recency (takes into account how recent were the entries), sentiment and sentiment recency). Four scores are calculated for each entry on the blog or forum, and then aggregated to provide a total score (out of 100). The audience enjoyed guessing the scores for the leaders of the British parties just ahead of the general elections. Though some guesses were quite close, no one predicted that leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg would come first, as David Cameron fell behind because of “recency of noise” component and Gordon Brown was let down by the “sentiment”.

At Dow Jones, we also recommend looking at various metrics to determine what’s really being said in the news.  The chart below compares overall media mentions of the three candidates in the news, against the topics of discussions.  As you can see, while Gordon Brown clearly led in terms of overall coverage, this lead was driven largely by two issues: the economy, and Afghanistan.  On other issues like immigration, the debate has been more evenly matched.

Gordon Brown leads in coverage, but mainly on two key issues

Another interesting idea was presented by OOYALA, the company that is pioneering video in SM. They offered viewers of Tony Blair’s Iraq enquiry on telegraph.co.uk an option to show whether they trusted what Blair said by moving the cursor from very positive to very negative. Later they used the scores to analyse people’s attitudes and perceptions.

The speakers agreed that there were no universal metrics for the social media, and companies need to have a clear understanding of what they aim to achieve by measuring SM presence. There are still many problems facing SM measurement specialists: inefficiency, governance (correct content, location and time) and analytics (difficulty in measurement against company goals). Automated favourability error could be as high as 35%. Therefore, it is really important to determine the strategy for SM engagement and ways to be transparent, monitor, listen and respond.

Elena Sokolova is a Media Consultant with Dow Jones, based in London, UK.

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