The Hidden Social Media ROI Pyramid – Social Business

Jeremiah Owyang released The Social Media ROI Pyramid Framework a week after his presentation of  the 2011 Social Business Forecast at LeWeb 10 which I  …..   liked.

While reading the latter I wondered if next year will truly be about integration (maybe next year will just continue this years’  “formation” trend, but then, maybe it will be much as Jeremiah predicts and turn into “integration”).

Still focusing on the Social Business Forecast types of social media  organization structure (centralized, distributed, coordinated, multiple hub and spoke and holistic) it’s  interesting to me in so far as with this “map” anyone can attempt to  identify what type of organization they are working in, but disturbing because it is also easy  to miss-categorize an organization, thinking it’s one of the 1.4% holistic when it’s really more like the 28.8% centralized, for example – see  slide 12 of his deck ).

The devil is in the details, otherwise everything sounds easy and good even when it’s not (see the bottom of the post).

Half of the 140 social media strategists Jeremiah  asked said SM-ROI would be one of their main goals for 2011.

Why don’t we just come out and say it, the new name of businesses that want to succeed using social media should now be called “Social Businesses”; they still do all the stuff they did before, but with an awareness business processes (and measurement processes) should converge in Social Media rather than Social Media being an “appendage” added on to everything else.

Actually think Jeremiah should call his deck Social Business Metrics and be done with it and leave ROI out of it.

Why?   Because at the top of the pyramid (where the Business Metrics are) Revenue, Reputation and CSAT (I worked in the CSAT group when I was at IBM, btw so I know a bit about Customer Satisfaction) aren’t ROI measurements – they are qualitative measures as there is no auction or market that assigns a specific value to anyone’s social media reputation or a brand’s customer satisfaction.     The rest of the metrics in the bottom two rungs of the Pyramid also don’t really map to any market assigned market values and any value they have is assigned by the brand (which are easy to fudge).

Sure, there is a net promoter scorebut that’s not an ROI metric in my book though it correlates highly to ROI-  still, it’s just another piece of data  computed from qualitative input, in IBM’s case it came down to 4 questions that visitors were randomly asked when they visited IBM.com by using a Flash Applet that launched off the home page (and often gave us problems when we tried pulling data off Coremetrics/Surfaid – but that was back in the day).

Maybe I’m unfair in saying this … .but Frameworks need to come from people who actually pull and work with the data on a regular basis not so much from Web Strategists.  Frameworks assume the data will fit together, but that’s often not possible to do with data being collected today – you need to do a lot of work in order to make anything fit together – go ask a carpenter or architect just how much work there is in making sure everything fits together and the whole building doesn’t fall down (because the foundation is sound).

I come at it from a different perspective, the diagrams should evolve from the bottom up and from people like me who actually pull data and make intelligence out of it, the social media analyst, not the business strategist, unless the  strategist was first a data analyst working with similar datasets as they are drawing pyramids for (and continues to work with these things when they become a business strategist).  Why?

Because the medium is the message …. unless you worked with the data itself and ways you had gather it you zero conception of what actually can be done with it - then figure out what you can do with it.

If you don’t do that, when you assemble all this data that the Social Media ROI Pyramid asked for, the inputs and outputs won’t match up ….. and I bet anyone who tried so far has been frustrated with the result they got, and probably had to “fluff” the diagrams and scorecards to get anything interesting to show up they could present to upper management.  But then again, that’s what you have PR and Marketing firms for … right?    Don’t they always end up “messaging” the data to make it fit …. because it doesn’t fit together when it comes out of the different data sources (totally manual in many cases) where it’s collected.

There’s also one more fly in the ointment with the Social Media ROI pyramid, though on the good side, at least it makes clear who gets what data – thank you Jeremiah Owyang, at least that problem is solved!

The issue is none of these three sets of metrics is connected to each other, they all look like separate reports that go to different stakeholders – in other words – it’s not actually a Framework, after all.   Shouldn’t there have been a couple of up and down arrows in there as well?

I don’t know, but maybe the KPI’s you give to community managers can layer into the Business Stakeholders since the Social Media Monitoring Platforms do, with various levels of success, measure both check ins, and views (they don’t measure clicks – unless it’s a bit.ly or Radian6–>WebTrends/Site Catalyst/Google Analytics) but they certainly don’t layer into the Revenue, Reputation, CSAT stuff that the CEO’s get … right?  How can they – there’s no assigned value (unless someone makes one up).

I close with a few quotes from Gary Angel – I asked Semphonic for a case study that will be published in my book (you’ll have to wait about 6 months before you can see the case study … but it’s well worth the wait).

“…. Enterprise dashboards are growing ever more complex. The integration of multiple data sources is great for providing a much broader and richer view of the competitive landscape and marketing funnel to marketing executives. However, using all these data sources comes with a significant price in terms of complexity – particularly around automation and internationalization.”

“….Getting the most value from social listening and panel-based research tools generally requires additional levels of classification of the data. Simple reporting of mentions data is not generally very interesting.

Classification of the data is often a manual process, by the way – though it can be automated – but it takes quite a bit of planning and effort … and if you lining up international data, your problems mushroom and get almost much more complex due to language, lexicon, local meanings that don’t translate well and need people who are familiar with all the ins and outs of a geography, language and culture along with local events on the ground- otherwise you miss too much of what’s important.

Gary goes on to finish with this regarding social media metrics…

“…. Because organizations haven’t hardened into standards in these areas yet and there is little organizational stake in any particular metric or method, it proved easier to adjust the reporting framework here than in the Website space.

This suggests that measurement organizations should move aggressively to standardize on robust measurement and reporting around social media before uncontrolled and poorly thought out “home-grown” measurements become organizational norms and acquire institutional stakeholders committed to their preservation.”

What Gary Angel wrote is exactly what Jeremiah Owyang is saying when …

“…….The Corporate Social Strategist Must Develop Frameworks Now. Most corporations are already forming in the “Hub and Spoke” formation (see data) which means a small cross-functional team is helping a variety of business units.  Establishing a standard way of measuring now is important before corporations move into “Dandelion” where measurement strategy fragments into spokes.

We’re at a stage where companies are going to create Frameworks one way or another – the time is ripe for Standards is now … and I might add, 2011 may more rightfully end up being called the year of  “Standardization” rather than the year of “Integration”.   But we’ll know for sure a year from now.

Let’s put it this way …. I want my book to be about building this stuff from the bottom up – where all the pieces fit together into something that actually makes sense, that you can look at, that’s what my Compete paper on Social Media Analytics and Ultra Violet data is all about – lining up business and measurement goals and metrics.
Tracking Social Media ROI using Spectrum Analytics


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Social Media Monitoring Case Study for Columbia Business School Alumni Club – Part 3

This is a followup from last post on Social Media Monitoring Case Study for Columbia Business School Alumni Club – Part 2 where I was able to cull data from Radian6 and determine how much twitter traffic was generated over the last year for Havana Central and by whom.

Today I want to focus on how many of those “twitter handles” actually showed up at some point and went to one of the three restaurants.

Again, I sorted by those who visited the most and I determined it by focusing on phases in the tweets that told me they were likely going to, at, or had been at one of the Havana Central Restaurant locations and referring to this in their tweet.

Here’s a link to this aspect of the  case study -3 – those who visited a location and talked about it.  I won’t swear that I got rid of all the noise, but did manage to get most of what I wanted in this file.

One thing I would think makes sense to look at is velocity -  the same study I did here could be broken down to weeks instead of months – or daily – if desired – it would just be more work.  The point being  – this is information you (we) can actually take action on.

The question then becomes, what action do we take.   If we can engage some one as they are in a location, eating (because it’s contextually relevant and immediate – which works well with the internet, as we know) , so much the better – but even if we can’t – we can reach out, build our lists, span our loyalties and start counting what ROI is.

And I think, at the end of the day, the ROI here is in cultivating a house list – building it, refining it, promoting off of it – and tracking it.

Sure, we can do A/B tests on the list too – if we give a drink or a meal to someone who comes often and track that – will there be more lift than if we just randomly gave away free drinks or meals to some lucky persons inside the restaurant.

I don’t think we know the answer to those questions yet – but I see the need for a “lab” type approach – and as I was talking to some people at Altimeter Group recently (they had a webinar today, unfortunately, I could not attend it – though my name was to be mentioned in it) – if I had the chance – I’d love to lead a lab – where we try out stuff like this – and find what works – build our framework out of what we are actually doing and we know how to measure (or creatively figure out how to measure) and then build some case studies around each measure of a framework.

Cause right now – I see a lot of framework type stuff – but when you try to apply it – you can’t – it doesn’t work – too many pieces missing – not enough thought given to how to apply ideas that are written about.

Anyway, enough for one post – maybe if anyone has any feedback on this case study – comment please – I’d like to hear your thoughts and promise to respond to ever comment.

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Social Media Monitoring Case Study for Columbia Business School Alumni Club – Part 2

Last week I wrote about a case study I’m going to talk about and present a few times this month revolving around the geo-centric possibilities of Social Media Marketing augmented by Social Media Monitoring and Action – see Geo-Local Social Media Monitoring and Missed Opportunity of Social Media for the first part of this case study (it was re-tweeted 52 times so far and provoked a fairly vigorous debate about what the case study really ought to focus on).

I proposed that Social Media Marketing, augmented by Social Media Monitoring – is really about lists and action, reaching out by the community manager – and here I’m presenting the second part – the first table of 1 year of tweets collected by Radian6 for Havana Central Restaurant Chain – I will discuss and further refine this chart in the next post on this subject – but I want my readers to think about what I’m presenting now (you can also download the entire spreadsheet here at case study -2).

This chart doesn’t yet filter on actual check-ins to any of the the restaurant locations – is just looks at all the people who tweeted about Havana Central in some way over the last year and how many times they tweeted each month about us.

I sorted by the top tweeters but there were 960 unique Twitter handles that tweeted about the Havana Central over the last year.

What do you think the reward should be for someone that tweets every month – a free drink – a reach out by the community manager to each account?

Working this list?

Isn’t this where the Social Media ROI really is?

Think about it and please comment – and feel free to download the entire list here - case study -2

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