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How To Plan, Justify and Execute Your Journey from CRM to Social CRM


Extracting Value From Social Interactions

Performance metrics form the basis for measurement and continuous process improvement. To extract data from social media, conversations need to be monitored for values to which metrics can be applied. There are many excellent social listening products on the market that will track conversations about your brand, products and services. The following list, developed by Forrester Research, demonstrates one method and 10 social metrics to bring structure and learning to social conversations.

10 Social Listening Metrics

  1. Conversation Buzz. The amount of discussion around certain topics, generally determined by the number of responses to blog posts or online discussions. A widely read news site may post a story, but if there are no comments and no readers discussing the topic, then it shows little consumer interest.

  2. Conversation Value. The revenue contribution correlated to a conversation about a particular product or brand. Originally proposed by Chat Threads, this metric comes from understanding how conversations spread through different channels and the incremental value each conversation adds to the brand's bottom line.

  3. Conversation Volume. The number of social media interactions (blog posts, forum discussions, tweets, etc.) discussing a topic. Volume is a stronger metric when measured over time — marketers use conversation volume to set baselines for future campaigns.

  4. Demographic Metrics. The collection of metrics making up the background details of online consumers. Social listening tools can collect data on consumer location, gender, and age. Marketers use demographic data to determine whether their campaigns reach targeted consumers.

  5. Level of Influence. The authority of an online consumer, measured by his or her overall reach online. A consumer with a highly read blog and thousands of Twitter followers is assigned a high influence score, while a commenter on a small forum has low influence.

  6. Message Reach. The number of total impressions in an online discussion. Measured by the number of different sources covering a topic and each source's potential page views. Many discussions start small, but once picked up by a larger source, will reach a large number of consumers.

  7. Sentiment Type. The positive or negative attitudes consumers express, generally scored as positive, negative, or neutral. Although many online brand mentions are neutral, containing no sentiment, social listening tools track adjectives around keywords to determine consumers' tonality about a topic.

  8. Share of Voice. The ratio of discussion volume among multiple brands—often represented as a percentage and depicted in a pie chart. Many marketers track their brands against competitors' to determine which company has a larger share of voice.

  9. Topic Frequency. The most common themes for consumer discussion around a brand. Marketers use topic frequency data to collect insight into how consumers view their brands and how they discuss them online.

  10. Viral Propagation. The distance and speed at which a discussion spreads, measured by the number of different entries around the same topic within a certain time period. Around a highly viral event, such as the Motrin Moms saga, hundreds of bloggers write posts in the following days.

Performance metrics such as these provide a way to harness customer interactions now that customers have evolved from passive listeners into active participants and literally drive the conversations.

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