Social Media ROI. First Priority for a Social Media Strategy: A Brand Audit Using a Social Media Monitoring Tool. Whitepaper

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1 Whitepaper LET S TALK: Social Media ROI With Connie Bensen First Priority for a Social Media Strategy: A Brand Audit Using a Social Media Monitoring Tool 4th in the Social Media ROI Series

2 Executive Summary: As marketers we assume a number of things. We have our methodologies for brand building, public relations and advertising. We believe that we know our customer segments. We know our target markets and their geographical locations. And we have our ways of gathering competitive insight. The savvy marketers have realized that social media marketing requires more than just the presumed. A social media monitoring tool offers a distinctive edge to marketers and agencies who wish to be a step ahead of their competitors. Listening is the first step in creating a social media strategy or campaign, but how well are you listening? It is very important to approach social media marketing with a complete set of information. Only then can you create a strategy that is representative of what will be the most effective in meeting your business needs. And, yes, it is also important to have metrics and be able to measure them for your business objectives. This white paper is the fourth in the Social Media ROI series. Let s Talk! about how to conduct a brand audit using social media monitoring tools. Listening is the first step in creating a social media strategy or campaign.

3 Cornerstone of Listening: The social web is filled with conversations about your brand, your competitors and industry topics. Everyone is in agreement that listening is the first step before you should join the conversation. Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff is an excellent resource that outlines the reasons why it s important to listen. A social media strategy requires more than just random listening with free tools on the social web and engaging without direction. A brand audit is the first step in social media monitoring and therefore an effective social media strategy. The following diagram shows the natural progression of application of social media monitoring over time as a company gains experience. A brand audit of social media channels will identify the opportunities that exist and also point to areas where the brand is at risk. Every business endeavor should complete a comprehensive brand audit when considering the online world beyond their website. A social media monitoring tool offers the functionality to gather an overview of a brand s presence as well as that of competitors. A brand audit is imperative for achieving business objectives, creating an effective strategy and identifying what to measure. Brand Audit Goals Using a social media monitoring tool for an online brand audit is an eye opening experience. It can even be quite shocking if it is the first exposure to conversations in the online world. It is very important to set up searches that are broad enough in order to find information that you did not know you were looking for. A brand audit should not only confirm what you know, but it should also point to what you don t know. Perhaps you have expanded your market to a new geographical region. Wouldn t it be nice to see that reflected in the online conversations? Or conversely, what if a brand audit proved to be an effective gap analysis showing consumers expressing a need for your product in a specific geographical area?

4 Purposes of a Brand Audit A brand audit indicates direction for the strategy The primary purpose of a brand audit in social media is to provide direction for a social media campaign or engagement. It is very tempting to just jump into creating a Twitter account or making a Facebook page. But what is the justification for doing so? A brand audit not only indicates reasons to participate but also identifies where to do so online as well as offline. A social media monitoring tool provides in-depth information that will provide considerable insight into a social media strategy. In order to provide an idea of the capabilities that a tool offers here is a list of reports that are specific to Alterian SM2 Alterian s social media monitoring tool.. It is an overview of what they represent and the insights they offer. Click here to try the Freemium version of SM2. 1.Daily Volume Report charts the number of conversations over time. a. Drilling into the spikes identifies trends and patterns b. It is the place to start because it is the easiest way to analyze large amounts of data

5 2.Share of Voice Report shows the distribution of the conversations across the social networks. a. Identify which social networks are being utilized most by those discussing the product/brand, and don t forget the competitors. b. No conversations about the brand? Then use industry terms in your search. 3.Themes Report is a word cloud that is created by analyzing all of the conversations. The word cloud depicts the most frequently used words as larger. a. Examine the words in the word cloud and remember that these are from consumer generated commentary. Look for new ideas in the theme cloud for the brand as well as that for the competitors and industry terms b. Drill into the larger words in the word cloud and look for patterns in the individual results

6 4.Author Tags depict the words that people are most frequently tagging their content with in the hopes that others will search for it. a. As with the Themes Report, this is another word cloud that provides direct insight into the consumers minds. They indicate which terms and phrases are important to them. b. The author tag clouds show which terminology consumers are using. It is beneficial to review them and ensure that these terms and phrases are being used in the marketing messages and SEO keywords. 5.Demographics Report sorts the data by age, gender and popularity. a. Use the popularity chart to identify influencers. Drill into the highest numbers to identify the influencers and brand advocates. b. The age and gender charts are helpful in identifying target markets. It indicates the age or gender that your products appeal to.

7 6.Top Domains shows the domains where the majority of the conversations are happening online. a. This report is ideal for identifying the online communities where your consumers and potential customers are interacting. Go join them! b. Take a look at the Top Domains report for competitors. It is a good idea to join those conversations too. People always like choices. c. The Top Domains report for industry terms identifies communities which may not be aware of your products and brand.

8 7.Top Authors Report shows the authors that are generating the most conversations. a. Use this report to identify the influencers and advocates for your brand. b. Identify those that are the most influential for the competitors and strategize on how to build relationships with them. 8.Map Overlay identifies the physical sources of the conversations. The larger the pin, the larger the volume of conversations. Hover over any pin and it s possible to see how many results for each. a. Review the pins and decide if this information confirms what you know or if there are some geographical areas that are surprising. Drill into them. b. Drill in the largest pins and review the specific conversations. Taking a deeper dive into analyzing the demographic data of a certain geographical area can generate interesting insight! c. The pins and the data behind them offer insight into where it would be effective to integrate offline events with your social media strategy.

9 9.Top Languages creates a list of the languages that consumers are using when creating their content. a. Review this report and consider if it is what you expected. b. Consider this data with that from Map Overlay as you plan your social media strategy. It may indicate that your strategy should include a more global approach. And it may indicate if there is a need for localization of your products. 10. Brand References and Content Tone indicate the sentiment and tone around the conversations. The advantage of using a social media monitoring tool is that it is automatic and provides a high level overview. a. For both reports it is important to drill into the negative results and note the sentiment. Identify what the issues are and consider how to rectify them. They could be related to product performance, customer service, brand reputation, commentary on marketing and advertising, etc. b. The positive results offer excellent opportunities to identify influencers and advocates as well as content and quotes for marketing. c. Drilling into the most extreme positive and negative results provide feedback on advertising & marketing efforts. They will indicate if the messaging is connecting with the target audience. Sifting through the results will also result in product development information. d. Use Share of Voice to see the trending of sentiment over time. This allows you to identify trends on a daily basis and drill in to isolate on the topic. This is very important in monitoring for brand crisis.

10 The previous section outlines the vast amounts of insight that a professional social media monitoring tool provides. All of these can be considered as one works to identify the business objectives for a social media campaign. It is imperative to carefully consider this information and decide which objectives the social media strategy will meet. The reports will directly influence the following decisions: Which departments should be reviewing the reports and responding appropriately? A brand audit Identifies business objectives Marketing Clarify whether the messaging is connecting with customers Is it reaching the target audience Are the word of mouth marketing efforts being achieved Are there opportunities for lead generation Generate more word of mouth Reduce market research costs Customer Service Are customers receiving responses in a timely manner Are their needs being met satisfactorily What is their sentiment Reduce customer support costs Increase customer loyalty

11 Sales Build relationships with potential customers Contribute to building brand visibility Reduce customer acquisition costs Product Development Gather ideas for products Innovation - Improve new product success ratios Bring outside ideas into organization Competitive insight Reduce product development costs Public Relations Improve public relations effectiveness Build advocacy program Identify influencers and engage them Minimize brand crises Establish thought leadership In addition to providing considerable insight, a brand audit provides direction on metrics. After identifying the business objectives for social media engagement, it is very important to establish what to measure and report. The goals will provide direction of what reports to use and how the information will be quantified. 1.This is a three step process: Use the social media monitoring tool to benchmark where the brand visibility is at now. Identify the reports that contribute to measuring the goals. 2.Create a report that will serve as a baseline. 3.Note where the brand is in regard to SEO performance. This report will be used as a comparative in the future to chart progress and the value of the social media campaign. It will also provide the necessary data to calculate ROI.

12 A brand audit defines what to measure How to do a brand audit using Alterian SM2 1.Set up searches (remember to keep them broad enough to find what you didn t know you were looking for): a. Brand and product(s) b. Competitors c. Industry terms 2.Scrub the results: a. Remove the noise (unnecessary data) b. Three step process look for odd things and drill in i. Theme Chart ii. Author Tag Cloud iii. Domains c. Put the excluded words and the URL s to ignore in the profile d. Copy the profile and run the searches again 3.Use Share of Voice Report: a. Compare the brand against the competitors i. Click on Categories and choose the brand, competitors ii. Create the chart b. View the trending of sentiment over time for the brand i. Filter to the brand in the orange filter bar ii. Click on Categories iii. Choose: positive opinion and negative opinion iv. View the graph at the bottom showing trend of sentiment over time 4.Use Compare Dates Report for business development: a. View the brand performance overlaid against a competitor i. From the dropdown, choose a brand and competitor ii. Choose the same date range iii. Create the graph b. Interpretation every result is an opportunity! i. If brand has more volume 1. They are ahead of competition 2. The brand should engage more to get further ahead ii. If competitor has more volume 1. The brand has a lot of work to do 2. The brand needs to engage iii. If neither have many conversations 1. It s an opportunity for the brand to engage 2. The brand can engage and get ahead

13 5.Review the reports listed above in section 1 of Purposes of a Brand Audit for insight: 6.Create a report that offers insight on potential objectives to be accomplished in a social media strategy: a. Include reports from SM2 such as: i. Daily Volume with events flagged ii. Theme Chart identifies main topics that consumers are discussing iii. Domains showing online presence of communities iv. Map Overlay shows offline communities v. Brand References and Tone b. An overview of SEO presence Conclusion A brand audit is essential for every social media engagement and the measurement of it. Assessing a brand's online presence without a social media monitoring tool would be very difficult. A professional tool offers the advantage of aggregating all of the information in one place and the ability to perform an indepth analysis of the data in a variety of ways. It provides the basis for determining the business objectives. The tool also provides a basis for benchmarking the data and creating a reporting methodology as the social media strategy is executed.

14 Next steps 1. Try the Freemium version of Alterian SM2 (a professional social media monitoring tool) 2. Explore resources on social media monitoring 3. Request a Little Book of Social Media Marketing on some BIG marketing topics 4. Read a client case study: Pursuit uses brand audits to design creative campaigns. 5. or call North America: UK & Continental Europe: +44 (0) Asia Pacific:

15 About the Let s Talk Series with Connie Bensen Social Media marketing is providing a whole new dimension for brands to connect with consumers. The social web is a vast entity and every marketer needs a tool to harness the information in the most cost effective and efficient manner. A social media monitoring tool offers the ability to maximize the digital portion of your marketing budget in order to create, execute, measure and report on a social media strategy. The Let's Talk Series, by Connie Bensen, is a series of 10 whitepapers describing the variety of ways that marketers can increase the ROI of their marketing efforts. Topics will include how to use a social media monitoring tool for SEO, Lead Generation, Social Media campaigns, Customer Service, Competitive Insight, Corporate marketing, PR and reputation management, etc. Connie is the Director of Social Media and Community Strategy at Alterian, which provides marketing software to help brands engage with their customers. She is a key voice amongst online Community Managers. Her blog, is recognized as a leading resource for cultivating online communities, providing best practices for this emerging role and it is listed in Forbes.com as one of the 20 Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs by Women. SM2 Social Media Monitoring (SMM) Alterian s SM2 is a social media monitoring and analysis solution designed for PR and Marketing professionals. SM2 helps you track conversations, review positive/negative sentiment for your brand, clients, competitors and partners across social media channels such as blogs, wikis, micro-blogs, social networks, video/photo sharing sites and real-time alerts. About Alterian Alterian (LSE: ALN) empowers organizations to create relevant, effective and engaging experiences with their audience that help build value and reinforce commitment to their brand, through the use of the Alterian Integrated Marketing Platform. Alterian drives the transformation of marketing and communications, making it practical and cost-effective for companies to orchestrate multichannel engagement with the individual. Alterian s unprecedented integration of analytics, content and execution through industry leading tools, such as the Dynamic Messenger platform, SM2 Social Media Monitoring platform and the award winning Content Management solutions, enables companies to build integrated communication strategies which create a true picture of the individual. Alterian works with marketing services partners, system integrators and agencies who recognize the need to plan and deliver coordinated customer engagement services in partnership with their clients. For more information about Alterian, products within the Alterian Integrated Marketing Platform or Alterian s Partner Network, visit or the Alterian blog at

16 White Paper Corporate and European Headquarters North American Headquarters T +44 (0) T Other Contacts Website: Twitter: YouTube: ustream: LinkedIn: SlideShare: itunes: Blogs: Alterian s Leadership Series E W Alterian 2010

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