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Actionable metrics: Business associates deciding which KPI metrics are most useful.
This is another blog entry in our series on metrics.

A short while back somebody asked me this question:

We are helping a company to get more bang for their buck from their social media activities. Of course we also want to develop the necessary KPIs.
In your advisory services, do you have an approach you can recommend?

This blog entry addresses KPIs (key performance indicators).
We also address how one can avoid falling victim to vanity metrics instead of using actionable KPIs. The latter can make a real difference to your bottom line.

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Wine cellar: Inventory needed

I remember when, as a young adult, I worked in a very fine hotel with a great wine cellar that also had a store.

The cellar master told me that to find out what treasures he had in his wine cellar, it was best for us to do an inventory. But while counting bottles was okay, he assured me that was not what he was really after.

Of course, it was nice to know how many bottles there were of each brand and year. However, he was much more interested in learning which wines left the shelves the fastest and sold frequently. He was also keen to know how the various wine types compared when it came to customers complaining about a bottle having gone bad (i.e. had cork pieces when opened).

As the above suggests, his understanding of the term inventory or social media audit included “show me the numbers” – i.e. sales data.

Vanity versus actionable metrics: Navel gazing metrics are out.
Vanity versus actionable: Navel gazing metrics are out.

Knowing what insights we want to gain from a KPI helps develop the metrics that deliver the insights we want. As the wine cellar example shows, choosing insightful metrics makes a huge difference.

The above illustrates that besides counting bottles when doing an inventory or a social media audit, you must address such things as:

  • Which wines sell the most and are beloved by customers – For social media this means, which types of tweets or Instagram posts get the most likes…?
  • Which wines did people complain the most about after consuming the product (e.g., tasted bad) – For social media this means, which bloggers or Facebook users are most likely to complain / write negative entries about the brand…?
  • Which wines get many recommendations or word-of-mouth referrals – For social media this means, which types of tweets or blog entries get re-tweeted or receive many reader comments?

Clearly, the wine-making business and social media marketing have more in common than it would appear at first glance. In both cases, before you move forward you need to take stock. In turn, this allows you to gain insights into what you have already accomplished.

2. Effective KPIs depend on a clear objective

Besides taking an inventory of how good things might be right now, you need to know what objectives you must accomplish next quarter or during dinner.

Is the bottle of wine to woo a friend, impress your boss or just enjoy with your company?

To impress your guests it might suffice to simply purchase the wine that your favourite life style magazine recommended a while back.

Pageviews or likes on Instagram might not be the actionable metrics we want. These are like vanity metrics, i.e. we might feel good about large numbers, but they will most likely fail to move product from our shelves.

We need to decide what insights a KPI provides us with that will help reach our goals fast. To illustrate, Arsene Wenger (Arsenal football team’s longest serving coach) used a few metrics that have become legendary in the UK’s Premier League.

Of course, when considering paying to have a new player transfer to your club, you always want to check the medical data. If the player’s key medical indicators are satisfactory, you try to negotiate and hopefully they end up playing with your club.

But even when the medical data looked okay, Wenger was famous for also immediately checking the striker’s acceleration speed. Acceleration speed was a critial KPI on which he based his decision of whether to pursue a transfer or not.

Wenger was of the opinion that with great acceleration speed, the striker was more likely to win a one-on-one fight for the ball. In turn, this would increase the striker’s likelihood of winning many one-on-one contests. Whenever a striker won a ball this way, he could again use his speed to create situations that might result in another goal. Thierry Henri was one of the more famous examples where Wenger demonstrated the importance of this KPI for evaluating a striker’s potential.

Sharing content on social networks, reading content on your mobile.
Sharing content on social networks, reading content on your mobile.

What does the Wenger example tell us in the context of social media marketing? For starters, we need to decide whether we are dealing with:

  • consumer goods or capital goods, or
  • business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) situations.

Influencer marketing might work with fashion or luxury items, but paying US$ 40,000 or more for an Instagram post does not necessarily correlate to more sales. Without tracking the result with a URL and discount code, we might get many views but zero additional sales.

In the B2B context, a blogger with expertise in the business you are in (e.g., robotics) might be a good strategy. Here, Instagram posts might be a waste of resources.

In short, if your goal is to sell screws and bolts, try to assess if your KPI has any correlation with a desirable outcome, such as higher sales or more repeat sales.

Your focus could be on increasing awareness of your product or brand with your B2B target audience. Regardless, you want to find a KPI that helps measure this. One desirable outcome of your marketing activity on social networks might be you getting more requests for information or new subscribers to your newsletter, and so forth.

♥ Please share this news entry about KPIs and their best use in social media marketing on LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. using this URL: https://blog.drkpi.com/?p=5794 Many thanks! ♥

What is your opinion?

Incidentally, we have not discussed what to look for when purchasing a wine. Any wine connoisseur will tell you that what year and time of year the grapes were harvested matters. Many more factors can be considered for determining how well the wine might taste after it is ready to be sold. Of course, if you want to guzzle the very cheap stuff, this may not concern you at all.

Similarly, you must answer these two questions in social media marketing:

  • what target audience do you intend to reach, and
  • what content will you produce and share on social networks?

Navel gazing or vanity metrics are not very helpful. The KPIs must permit you to gain insights. They must help you improve against yardsticks, such as:

  • number of customers, and
  • amount of sales per client.
Unless you measure for impact, why measure at all?
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Business person reading the insightful DrKPI report full of actionable metrics.
Business person reading the insightful DrKPI report full of actionable metrics.

We love to hear from you!

  • Do you have KPIs that you have used in social media marketing across projects?
  • What KPIs do you use in the B2B versus B2C context?
  • What is your best KPI in a consumer product versus a capital good (e.g., machine) context?
  • What questions do you have about KPIs?
  • What do you like or dislike about KPIs?

Please share this entry on social media using this link: https://blog.drkpi.com/?p=5794

Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

The author declares that some of the companies mentioned herein are clients of CyTRAP Labs or subscribers of DrKPI® services.

Personal conversation during conference breaks beats digital communication hands-down

Update 2014-05-13: Spotify conversion rate, session moderator at Media Convention got it wrong.
Stefan Zilch CEO Spotify GmbH Germany clarifies – Spotify enjoys a 25 percent conversion rate from freemium to paid client status, not 30 percent (see comments – below).
See also comments by Johnny Haeusler – co-organiser – re-publica 2014.

We talk about the great, the good, the bad, and the ugly at two of this year’s Berlin Web Week components, re:publica 14 and concurrent Media Convention Berlin.
Plus, get pictures and videos, as well as six suggestions for improving re:publica 15.
Keywords#mcb14 #rp14analysisanalytics, contagious contentinfluenceKPImetricsreader comment, resonanceROIsocial sharing, media convention, re:publica 14, Berlin Web Week

CLICK IMAGE - media convention AND re:publica 14: Ideas, data and more: Do not forget to assess and evaluate what it means - the SOCIAL MEDIA AUDIT - GATTIKER #mcb14 #rp14Both re:publica 14 (May 6 – 8, 2014) and Media Convention Berlin (May 6 – 7, 2014) had their own hashtags, #rep14 and #mcb14, respectively, and both were held in the same location. On May 8, Media Convention Berlin’s venues were taken over by LinuxTag attendees and exhibitors.

re:publica 14 advertised itself as being the event of the year:

– three days,
– 500 speakers, and
– 250 hours of programming.

I had gotten myself a ticket for both re:publica 14 and Media Convention Berlin, and here are some of my impressions (of course, I was unable to attend all concurrent sessions, so my account is a partial view of both events).

The Great

Somebody told me I needed to attend Teresa Bücker’s talk (30-minute video below), but I really wanted to attend the session, Supergeiler First Kiss – Viralität nur gegen Kohle (Stellar First Kiss – Virality Only Comes From Cash), but the session was overflowing and the doors had to be closed to comply with fire regulations.

So I had to find another session to attend, and chose Teresa’s. Probably a good thing, since it exposed me to something different. As Albert Einstein would have said, “If you attend a session understanding nearly all, get out of there, choose another presentation or panel where you know little to widen your horizon.” That is what Teresa’s talk offered me, new insights.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khX9Hd0s3iU[/youtube]

Her talk ‘early’ (i.e. some of us had sufficiently recovered from our night on the town so we were up and able to attend) on Wednesday illustrated some activism issues, namely how tough, time-consuming and nerve-wracking it can be to be an online activist. This was a personal account of somebody trying to move and shape things in the political arena using social media, and she was engaging as she shared her tribulations, failures and successes.

Because of this I thought I needed to attend the afternoon workshop with Teresa Bücker and Ingrid Brodnig (check out Ingrid’s VERY interesting blog, see also her fascinating book, which she gave me to read). The workshop gave Ingrid an opportunity to present her ideas and experiences with managing comments on user forums, blogs and so forth. This interesting session’s focus was on traditional media outlets (e.g., newspapers) having online forums. It also gave us the chance to ask some questions for which there was not enough time during Teresa’s morning session. Both Teresa and Ingrid gave us a run for our money, and a lively discussion evolved towards the end.

Among other ideas, Meike Rensch-Bergner (what a blog – go get ’em – check it out!), pointed out that sometimes you need a thick skin to deal with comments, and one cannot take them personally. Such acts of self-preservation seem necessary, especially when your blog or forum addresses a racier topic (Stern somehow managed to get Meike to blog for them on a sexier topic…).

Incidentally, a bigger room with decent seating that is more conducive to this type of work would have been nice, but c’est la vie.

Read on about re:publica 15 AND sign up for our blog newsletter to learn more! Continue reading “re:publica 2014: Where is the beef?” »

Gattiker, Urs E. (2014) Social Media Audit. Amsterdam, London, New York: Elsevier

Update 2014-05-15:  I got several copies shipped to me for free (not author copies – just as a thank you and “we apologise” from Elsevier). As I said elsewhere “shit happens but what matters is how you resolve the customer problem.” This is one way to do it, impressive I find. Check it out here

As the nom de plume of a woman called JK Rowling demonstrates, brand recognition in publishing is important:

The Cuckoo’s Calling sold only about 450 copies in UK hardback under Galbraith’s name after it was published in April but quickly became the top seller on Amazon once it was known to be a Rowling novel.”
(see Gapper, John (July 17, 2013) – The superstar still reigns supreme over publishing)

The follow-up, called “The Silkworm”, is to be published on June 19, 2014. If you have limited brand recognition as I do, the publisher is another factor that can really do you in. In other words, if their production and shipping process, including their online store, fail to deliver, you are in trouble.
CLICK IMAGE - Social Media Audit - ISBN 978-1-84334-745-3 -- ROI, KPI, BlogRank, CyTRAP, Urs E. Gattiker - Rave reviews src=This blog post discusses my experience with Elsevier’s e-store. It is all about failure to communicate and providing the service needed to clinch the sale. I should mention that my original independent publisher Chandos has been acquired by Elsevier, so I suddenly found myself being one of many authors, instead of one of a few at a successful smaller outfit. What a change…

Social Media Audit: Help Your Bottom Line (Elsevier BWL/Mgmt) – 2014 – Author: Urs E. Gattiker, PhD

I thought I would share some of my journey from finishing the proofs until the copy arrives in the mail (still waiting).

Keywords: bigfail, customer feedback, KPI, outsource, onshore, metrics, performance, process management, quality of service, usability, trust

Let’s order a few copies, no sweat!

To get the book as early as possible, I visited Elsevier’s e-store in January and placed my order. The problem started right there: the system wanted to charge me value-added tax (VAT). If the total value of the shipment is below CHF200, no VAT is charged at the border by Swiss authorities.

You think I am joking, but ask Jeff Bezos. Amazon.de, .fr, .co.uk, or .it all manage to get me my books across the border without VAT – and it’s completely legal.

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