Measuring Social Media: What Marketers Need to Know

Do you understand how to measure social media activities?

Do you know how to gather the right data to help you achieve your business goals?

To explore how you can measure social media activities, I interview Lutz Finger for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview Lutz Finger, who is the director of data analytics at LinkedIn and co-author of the new book, Ask, Measure, Learn: Using Social Media Analytics to Understand and Influence Customer Behavior.

Lutz shares why he’s so interested in social analytics.

You’ll discover why Lutz believes social media analytics will have a bigger impact than the onset of the Internet did.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Measuring Social Media

Why do so many businesses struggle with measuring social media activities?

Lutz talks about the trial-and-error phase of social media measurement and how we’ve moved beyond that phase in some areas but are still learning in others. He says the promise of social media analytics has a lot of misconceptions around it.

With easy access to data on trending content, followers, Klout scores, etc., businesses are trying to find a way to use the data. Lutz explains why this approach often leads to a negative outcome and why businesses should approach using data with a goal or question first.

ask measure learn

Ask, Measure, Learn is co-authored by Lutz Finger and Soumitra Dutta.

Lutz shares why it’s important to understand how a metric is built and points to the Influencer metric as an example. He says that while there are at least 10 different Influencer metrics that have to do with reach, not every influencer can help fulfill every goal.

He explains why he would consider Social Media Examiner an influencer if he wanted to put a new social tool in front of people who work with social media, but not if he wanted to sell clothing.

Listen to the show to learn what influencer reach must be combined with to move people from awareness to intention.

The difference between viral and contagious content

Lutz says the term viral, when used to describe social media content, is wrong because something that’s viral is equally infectious at every stage. For example, a story that is liked by 1 in 10 people the first time it’s seen will be liked by 1 in 10 people in the future.

He explains that when something is contagious, it gains weight as long as it travels. The more people who believe in it, the more trustworthy the story becomes, regardless of whether it’s true.

Listen to the show to find out how people convince an algorithm that something is contagious and how that’s affected things like the New York Times Bestseller List.

How social media data can empower a business

Lutz states there isn’t good or bad data, there’s just useful and useless data. He explains that data is only useful when a business has the right question.

He shares that many organizations start by asking what data they have and how they can measure it. Then they try to find something in the data to help their business.

Lutz says you need to start with a question or goal, and then figure out how to capture the data that will help answer that question instead of using data to come up with a question you didn’t have in the first place.

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