Oct 11, 2009

How Do You “Metric” Word of Mouth? The Twitalyzer case

How do you measure word of mouth?
The Twitalyzer case!

While more and more brands are looking to establish a presence on social networks, there is an intrinsic difficulty in measuring the return on investment (ROI) obtained by marketing on social networks.
In any case, when it comes to analyzing more than click performance of ads on Facebook, for example, by measuring the impact of a fan page, of a Twitter account, or of word of mouth, the “metrics” still need to be defined.

Firstly, is it necessary to measure word of mouth?
Elaine Gantz Wright, who’s blog is specifically geared toward fund-raising activities on social networks and how they can help transforming society,  just published an interesting post on the subject,The ROI that would be King .

She mentions a comment made by new special media journalist, Clay Shirky that can be applied perfectly to marketing problems encountered in social networks.

“A revolution does not happen when a society adopts new tools.  It happens when society adopts new behaviors.”

Elaine Ganz Wright adds,

“And I think that quote sums up the core conundrum.  At the end of the day, social media is really not “a program” at all.  It is a fundamental shift in the way customers, donors, constituents, and employees consume and produce information.  Its behavior- a change in the way we are in the world.”

As is happens, the effect of marketing in social networks can be evaluated much like banner ads of the internet are or buying keywords though Google.

It’s not the R.O.I that we need to talk about for judging the impact conversations have on brands, fan pages with blogs or word of mouth in general; any of these marketing tools or situations that allow an “engagement “or, translated, an “implication” around brands to develop.

Elaine Ganz Wright talks about replacing the R.O.I with R.O.E (return on engagement).

Evaluating is of utmost importance!
This is where Twitalyzer comes into play and analyzes the impact of personal or brand accounts on Twitter.
The idea behind Twitalyzer comes from the development of several different metrics to calculate the impact of an account on the micro-blogging network, not only by its popularity (the number of followers).
What are the criteria?

  • Impact, or the number of “followers
  • Authority, or the number of times you are “retweeted” by others (RT)
  • Generosity, or the number of times that you “retweet” (RT) others
  • Rapidity, the number of tweets that you publish within a 7 day period
  • Clout, or the number of times that your account is referenced by others
  • Signal to noise ratio which calculates the number of tweets that include URL’s, number of tags, RT’s and web addresses, meaning all the tweets that create socialization and information compared to those that are only anecdotes.
  • Influence, which balances the different aforementioned measures

Twitalyzer has developed new metrics adapted to the presence on Twitter.  Indeed they only calculate the impact of your account and not free word of mouth that mentions a brand or a person independent of their account.

But at least these tactics go beyond the number of followers and separate the “influential” tweets form those that are purely anecdotal.

Let’s take for example the two brands Starbucks and Coca-Cola who took full advantage of the turn around of social networking and use the most influential Facebook fan brand pages, resulting in respectively, 3,850,000 fans and 3,706,000 fans (Sept 09).

Starbucks is ahead of Coca-Cola again on Twitter!
Here are the score boards developed by Twitalyzer:

Starbucks has a profound influence and a very high signal to noise ratio, referring to, in some way, the quality of its tweets, which also shows its weight (clout) to be at a maximum level. 

Coca-Cola doesn't score badly either on its signal to noise ratio, but its authority is much weaker.  It is also less generous than Starbucks, meaning less active in retweets (RT) than other accounts.  Is Coca-Cola more egocentric than Starbucks

Should we think that the Twitter audience likes Coca-Cola less than the Facebook audience, or is the black liquid just missing 140 characters of savoir-faire?

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