#SMTLive – Measurement: Best Practices on Turning Insight into Action

At least once a month I am fortunate enough to take part in a Twitter chat organized by Social Media Today (#SMTLive). This chat is one that I’m sure to carve out time for because of two consistent aspects: speakers are leaders in the industry, and the audience is professional offering insights and questions at an expert level.

That being said, I understand not everyone gets their ya-yas from shoveling their lunch while live tweeting a webinar. So I’ve decided to pass along the top nuggets gained from each one so you can enjoy your lunch…or realistically work on something else while shoveling it in.

This week’s webinar, Measurement: Best Practices on Turning Insight into Action, was led by a panel featuring:

  • Will McInnes (@willmcinnes) – Senior Executive at Brandwatch
  • Travis Bernard (@travisbernard) – Audience Development within AOL’s Analytics division
  • Steven Burchett – Measures the health of several global brands
  • Paul Dunay (@PaulDunay) – Moderator; Award-winning B2B marketing expert with more than 20 years’ success in generating demand and creating buzz for leading technology, consumer products, financial services and professional services organizations. He is also the author of five “Dummies” marketing books.

Here are the top 5 insights gained from the discussion:


Social insights go much deeper than the marketing department within the company. Listening to consumers in varying stages of the buying cycle provides obvious departments such as sales and customer service relevant information, but also other areas you may not think about such as research and development. According to the panel, some companies set up queries looking for customer evaluations after the purchase or experience. They are looking for such phrases as:

“I like this, but not that”
“I wish [product] had [feature]”

Gaining this information will help to actually improve the product rather than just how to position it.


Not every campaign is going to be the same. This may seem obvious, but many companies are still measuring KPIs that have no relevance to what they’re trying to do. Let’s say you had a post with 10,000 impressions. You may be tempted to report on the 10,000 impressions to impress your boss, but if the goal was to sign people of for an upcoming webinar and you only captured a handful of emails, it wasn’t a very successful post was it? Understand what the goal of the campaign is and work toward that goal.


Jumping off the last point, once you have the data what are you planning to do with it? As marketers, it is our job to tell the story of the data in a way that people can clearly understand the answers to the questions: what? so what? now what? What data is actually important, why is it important to this particular campaign, and what are your suggestions for making improvements moving forward using the data? Data is plentiful, so what?


Again, this may seem self explanatory, but you’d be surprised how many companies are still ‘spraying and praying’ when it comes to their social media advertising. Just like setting clear goals for a campaign, it does not make sense to pay for advertising when you are unclear of what you want from it. Good, consistent content can still help with your presence on Facebook. Wait until you have a clear cut campaign (contests, webinars, deals, etc.) to start paying for it. That being said, when the time comes, Facebook advertising does offer the ability to get super targeted. Use it, but understand why you’re using it before you begin.


One of the phrases I enjoyed most during the chat was that click throughs are a often times a stealth KPI. If you get wrapped up in the Facebook analytics looking at reach, impressions, engagement, and so forth, it’s easy to miss that people are actually clicking your links. Once you’ve got your data, take it a step further and see what else you can find out.

If your audience is only engaging at night, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the only time they’re online. They might be online during the day and clicking, however they are at work and are hesitant to Like, Share or Comment for fear of getting caught. Depending on what your end goals are, remember to look at the data from several different directions.

Hopefully these nuggets can help to improve your social strategy moving forward. Even better, maybe this has inspired you to jump in for yourself and join the conversation.

Check out Social Media Today for upcoming webinars…and be sure to check back for the recaps here!

What are your thoughts? Do you have anything to add? Let me know in the comments below.

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