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KPI's for Social Media Websites

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  • Arun John
    I work as an Analyst for an organization with many online properties. I have been following this group closely and now have a query. My new project involves
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 24 11:40 PM
      I work as an Analyst for an organization with many online properties.
      I have been following this group closely and now have a query. My new
      project involves analysis of a Social Networking website on which
      users can create their profiles and also engage through message boards
      and blogs. Which KPI's would you suggest i watch to understand
      performance and user engagement?

      Thanks,
      Arun
    • Wandering Dave Rhee
      Hi, Arun, I ve been making a special study of social networks (online communities) and the analytics which can be done for them. Currently, there is a lot of
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 25 5:08 AM
        Hi, Arun,

        I've been making a special study of social networks (online communities) and
        the analytics which can be done for them. Currently, there is a lot of
        academic literature around Social Network Analysis (SNA), including a number
        of free and low-cost tools and visualization programs, but these are
        primarily geared towards the sociologist.

        I've been working on adapting them to marketing, and online marketing in
        particular, but don't have anything to share at the moment.

        You can start with proxies for influence, such as who posts the most
        original content (filter posts of their quotebacks), who is posted to most
        frequently (same, but sort on the "From:" field rather than the "To:"), the
        average number of topics (unique subject headers, less "Re:" and "Fwd:") per
        time period, average number of individual messages per topic, number of new
        users v. lost users per time period, number of participating or active users
        per time period, etc.

        If you are up for the challenge, you can perform simple content analysis on
        the messages posted, looking for certain keywords (e.g., filter out "the"
        "and" "I" "you", etc.), and re-sort posts, topics, and users by their
        content contribution levels.

        The basic idea is to consider each of these as a new segmentation variable,
        and then combine it with other things you know about your users (e.g.,
        customer behavior, age, gender, geographic location, etc.) to influence your
        marketing tactics for each segment.

        Hope that helps a little bit -- others here also have experience with SNA,
        and can guide you to online sites if you want to learn more about those
        measures (e.g., degree, centrality, closeness, betweenness, etc.) -- yet as
        I mentioned, there is little work on how to apply those to a marketing
        context beyond considering them as additional segmentation variables.
        Still, that will probably get you 80% of the way there.

        WDave, whose Ph.D. MIS dissertation (ABD!) focuses on creating financial
        valuation metrics for social networks

        On 4/24/07, Arun John <vj_arun@...> wrote:
        >
        > I work as an Analyst for an organization with many online properties.
        > I have been following this group closely and now have a query. My new
        > project involves analysis of a Social Networking website on which
        > users can create their profiles and also engage through message boards
        > and blogs. Which KPI's would you suggest i watch to understand
        > performance and user engagement?
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Arun
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Brad Warthan
        Arun Look at metrics that measure business objectives of the social community. Think pretty hard over KPIs that leverage engagement (use a modified approach of
        Message 3 of 8 , Apr 25 6:50 AM
          Arun

          Look at metrics that measure business objectives of the social community.

          Think pretty hard over KPIs that leverage engagement (use a modified
          approach of Eric Peterson's metric) and build size of community (number of
          registered user base) and other metrics that show interest (Avg PVs per
          visitor, etc.).

          On 4/25/07, Arun John <vj_arun@...> wrote:
          >
          > I work as an Analyst for an organization with many online properties.
          > I have been following this group closely and now have a query. My new
          > project involves analysis of a Social Networking website on which
          > users can create their profiles and also engage through message boards
          > and blogs. Which KPI's would you suggest i watch to understand
          > performance and user engagement?
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Arun
          >
          >
          >



          --
          Bradley L. Warthan
          (812) 457-4479


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • humboldthenry
          Hello everybody, first of all i like to say wow to the great ideas presented by brad and wdave. one challenge with measuring social media is making the
          Message 4 of 8 , Apr 26 12:23 PM
            Hello everybody,

            first of all i like to say wow to the great ideas presented by brad
            and wdave. one challenge with measuring social media is making the
            connection to your company's bottom line. In most cases, you'll need
            conversions to justified the use of social media as a marketing
            channel. keeping with the same logic of using KPIs to help you flag
            possible trouble areas or potential opportunities, let's not forget
            that whatever it is that your tracking, whatever changes you make,
            that they help lead to more conversions.

            henry




            --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Brad Warthan"
            <bradwarthan@...> wrote:
            >
            > Arun
            >
            > Look at metrics that measure business objectives of the social
            community.
            >
            > Think pretty hard over KPIs that leverage engagement (use a
            modified
            > approach of Eric Peterson's metric) and build size of community
            (number of
            > registered user base) and other metrics that show interest (Avg
            PVs per
            > visitor, etc.).
            >
            > On 4/25/07, Arun John <vj_arun@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > I work as an Analyst for an organization with many online
            properties.
            > > I have been following this group closely and now have a query.
            My new
            > > project involves analysis of a Social Networking website on which
            > > users can create their profiles and also engage through message
            boards
            > > and blogs. Which KPI's would you suggest i watch to understand
            > > performance and user engagement?
            > >
            > > Thanks,
            > > Arun
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            > --
            > Bradley L. Warthan
            > (812) 457-4479
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • Arun John
            Thank you Henry, Brad and Dave for these great ideas. I really appreciate it. I am very interested in the SNA concept and how Social Media sites are trying to
            Message 5 of 8 , Apr 27 3:44 AM
              Thank you Henry, Brad and Dave for these great ideas. I really
              appreciate it. I am very interested in the SNA concept and how Social
              Media sites are trying to build new strategies around it.

              Arun
            • Brad Warthan
              You re so welcome Arun. Glad to help. Those metrics I gave you are actually some that are currently being used by social communities. All the best Brad ...
              Message 6 of 8 , Apr 27 11:03 AM
                You're so welcome Arun. Glad to help. Those metrics I gave you are
                actually some that are currently being used by social communities.

                All the best

                Brad

                On 4/27/07, Arun John <vj_arun@...> wrote:
                >
                > Thank you Henry, Brad and Dave for these great ideas. I really
                > appreciate it. I am very interested in the SNA concept and how Social
                > Media sites are trying to build new strategies around it.
                >
                > Arun
                >
                >



                --
                Bradley L. Warthan
                (812) 457-4479


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Narong, Jon
                Arun, I have a lot of experience in this very topic, having run the analytics in the past for some very large social networks. There are many, many important
                Message 7 of 8 , Apr 27 11:36 AM
                  Arun,

                  I have a lot of experience in this very topic, having run the analytics
                  in the past for some very large social networks.

                  There are many, many important KPIs to use in this space. As a
                  guideline, think of all the success events that exist in this world:
                  posting, commenting, blog viewing, friending, profile creation,
                  inviting, sharing, etc. It is also a good idea to start thinking about
                  user segmentation (power users, lurkers, etc). Depending on the makeup
                  of the site, you can assign various engagement levels to each of these
                  success events, in addition to time spent per visit, number of logins
                  made in a particular time period, etc.

                  Hope that helps to give you some interesting ideas; let me know if you'd
                  like to pick my brain some more as well.

                  -jon



                  ________________________________

                  From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com]
                  On Behalf Of Arun John
                  Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2007 11:40 PM
                  To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [spam]:[webanalytics] KPI's for Social Media Websites



                  I work as an Analyst for an organization with many online properties.
                  I have been following this group closely and now have a query. My new
                  project involves analysis of a Social Networking website on which
                  users can create their profiles and also engage through message boards
                  and blogs. Which KPI's would you suggest i watch to understand
                  performance and user engagement?

                  Thanks,
                  Arun






                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Jim Novo
                  ... It s great that people are thinking about Engagement in terms of activity over a given period of time or even better, activity in some Recent time frame.
                  Message 8 of 8 , May 1, 2007
                    > Depending on the makeup
                    > of the site, you can assign various engagement levels to each of these
                    > success events, in addition to time spent per visit, number of logins
                    > made in a particular time period, etc.

                    It's great that people are thinking about Engagement in terms of activity
                    over a given period of time or even better, activity in some Recent time
                    frame. I'd like to suggest people begin thinking about where this kind of
                    metric leads longer term and the possibility of modifying it slightly before
                    it becomes "embedded" in the culture and leads to some frustration on the
                    Marketing side.

                    Frequency and Cycle Time are really two very different concepts from a
                    Database Marketing perspective. Mixed metrics like "number of events in a
                    time period" are fine to start with. But when you start testing programs
                    based on these mixed metrics you will eventually find mixing the Frequency
                    component with the Recency or Time component in the same metric is
                    problematic. You will lose detail you can use to make the information
                    derived much more actionable for Marketing, Design, Content, and
                    Merchandising.

                    In other words, instead of getting consistent, repeatable test results,
                    you'll get an unreliable mix of test results that are all over the place and
                    don't seem to have any pattern, because the basis of the metric "X events
                    over Y time" is a mixed bag itself. It doesn't really speak to the
                    Marketing issues at hand.

                    Think about it this way:

                    Frequency - the Consumption or Current Value component : represents what the
                    visitor / customer is worth to the company now. Measure: Sum Total of
                    events, is a *weak* predictive variable for future activity.

                    Recency - the Engagement or Potential Value component : represents what the
                    visitor / customer is worth to the company in the Future. Measure: Time
                    since Last Event, is a *strong* predictive variable for future activity.

                    These are two very different ideas that make a lot of sense by themselves,
                    but when they are forced into a single metric, lose a lot of the power they
                    have separately. Of course, if you're not interested in predicting the
                    behavior of a segment, then it doesn't really matter. But most Marketers
                    are *very* interested in prediction, because you can drive much higher ROI
                    if you can predict behavior.

                    Using these 2 variables separately, you get 4 segments:

                    Consumption..................Engagement

                    High Current Value, High Potential Value : best visitors
                    Low Current Value, High Potential Value : up-and-coming visitors
                    High Current Value, Low Potential Value : former best visitors
                    Low Current Value, Low Potential Value : dreck visitors

                    and each of these segments requires a different marketing approach to
                    optimize the value of the segment. Think about it - what are you going to
                    get for response / results if you make the same offer or treat these 4 very
                    different groups the same way? Right. An unreliable mixed bag.

                    Further, you can use this same 4 segment model above to analyze any action
                    segmentation - campaigns, search phrases, product categories, content
                    groups, blog posters, uploaders - any action.

                    If you're still with me and care about the marketing implications of
                    Engagement analysis - as in, will the marketers be able to *do anything*
                    with the analysis once you generate it - check out this series on my blog.
                    If you are familiar with the concept of Recency, you can skip the Intro and
                    start here:

                    http://blog.jimnovo.com/2007/04/07/engagement-campaigns/

                    If you're not clear on the predictive powers of Recency online and you want
                    to see the "demo" from my eMetrics Summit 2004 presentation, start here:

                    http://blog.jimnovo.com/2007/04/25/measuring-engagement/

                    The idea of "X times over Y period" is a good start, but history has proven
                    "X times, last time Y ago" is where you will eventually end up if what you
                    are concerned with is maximizing response and profitability.

                    Unless, of course, you are prepared to build your own regression or other
                    advanced model, in which case, why are you looking at "X times over Y
                    period" as a metric at all?

                    See ya at the 'Summit...

                    Jim Novo
                    jim@...
                    Web Site: http://www.jimnovo.com
                    Blog: http://blog.jimnovo.com/
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