How to Manage Virtual Teams

Summary by Carina…

Teams are the building blocks of an organization. They provide companies with the means to combine

  • various skills,
  • talents, and
  • perspectives

of a group of individuals to achieve corporate goals.

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Measuring Social Value with Google Analytics?

Google just launched a new way to measure social network conversions in depth – which is pretty exciting. Implemented in the regular Google Analytics, businesses can now monitor in more detail what the conversion rates from social networks to transactions is.

Social Media Conversions in Google Analytics

(image source: Google)

It is now easier to follow specific networks and campaigns. The figure above illustrates the ratio between total conversions (Conversions), conversions through interaction – people who came to your site from a social network and transacted during that visit (Last Interaction Social Conversions), and those transactions, which have been prepared by your social media activities but didn’t take place on that visit but on a later one (Assisted Social Conversions). You surely have to be careful and critical interpreting the figures, but that analysis greatly facilitates the calculation of social media effectiveness. The distance from nonfinancial quantitative social media data toward financial return decreased a bit through this new feature.

But this new area of Google Analytics is not limited by sophisticated referrer-analysis but also monitors social media interaction originating from your site. This activity stream takes a look into the social networks and shows public posts and shares.

Social Activity Stream

(image source: Google)

All in all, Google makes it easier for marketers, SM managers, and other analysts to monitor the social media activities, to measure the influence inbound and outbound, and to quantify the effectiveness of social media investments – all in one place. Great tool.

How to go social?

One of the first questions of companies starting to use social media is: “What is our contribution?” – “What content do we want to share?” – “What information is worth sharing?”.

I am currently accompanying a company, which recently launched an online shop and just signed up for facebook and twitter. There are many websites talking about the positive effect of “rich” information shared over the corporate social media channels. This company had exactly those above mentioned questions:  “Great opportunity, yes. But what do we share?”. (Potential) Customers want to receive valuable content instead of mere product information. We want to hear companies talking about helpful manuals and additional services instead of proudly pasting product descriptions.

So what can a company do? How should the first steps of a company look like in the world of social media? Olivier Blanchard has an appropriate explanation in his book “Social Media ROI“. Listen! Listen to those who are or can become relevant for your company. Gather information from those who have information for your competitive advantage. Customers can talk about problems on twitter, complain in communities, discuss product developments or search for solutions.

Studying the social networks you want to use, defining the environment and scope and listening to the people is the first and a crucial step towards a successful social media presence. Listen and monitor, gather and connect, become informed and intelligent about what is going on around your company.

Why is Social Media ROI such a big deal?

There are lots of books about marketing techniques, about how to measure campaign effectiveness, about when to use which broadcasting channel and so forth. When you read those books, you end up thinking: Ok, this can become pretty straight forward. Let’s define 4P, use this and that tool, define metrics for measurements and we’re set! And it works!

Traditional advertisementOf course it does! Traditional marketing in all its facets matured over the last many decades. Traditional marketing retains validity and its “raison d’être” – I don’t claim anything different here. However, there is a fundamental shift happening at the moment. And lots of people apparently do not recognize this shift in its entirety. Social media is something different than just another communication channel. I think this is a commonly shared opinion. In fact, it is a lot more than a channel. It is a new dimension of interconnectedness with customers, suppliers, society etc. necessitating a refurbished thinking of companies’ marketing.

Furthermore, a lot of companies simply cannot keep up to the rapid emergence of this new concept and technical possibilities of getting connected (even intertwined) with stakeholders. This is comprehensible as the progression of our culture, behavior or habits keeps getting slower relative to the speed of technological development and its opportunities. Or in other words: Technology grows faster and faster and we remain human. Being confronted with this rapidness, some companies literally rush into social networks, treat them like further one-way channels, and asking for the ROI of their mere participation.

Why is the discussion about social media effectiveness so sweeping and why is there so much dissent? It is clear that marketers have to justify expenditures. Hence they have to know the profitability of money invested for marketing campaigns. So you have metrics and figures at hand like spread losses, media costs, turnover, customer satisfaction, whatever. But what are you measuring? No one measures the medium. You never calculate the return of television or billboards – those are the “vehicles”. You measure the campaign and the specific marketing activity. Olivier Blanchard wrote a superb summary about having the right perspective and asking the right questions.

You cannot take metrics like followers, comments, facebook fans, number of various networks, and the subtlety of your posts, put them into an equation and calculate your rate of return. ROI is not medium-specific! You ask for the effectiveness of certain marketing activities. And this is the core of the whole discussion. It is about the things that you do in social media and not about the presence itself. You calculate the campaigns and activities that you run on facebook and twitter and so on … And of course there are answers to executives who ask for the ROI of their general social media efforts. But you have to alter the perspective. You have to approach it in a different and measurable way and you got the answer for social media effectiveness. It is a challenging task – but the major confusion keeps arising because of the same old story of apples and oranges.

There will be lots of posts coming up dealing with the measurement of effectiveness, though, I first will discuss the very basics surrounding this topic, literature and internet sources, my empirical approach of the thesis, and … you name it – (literally, name it!)

Stay tuned, please be critical with what I am writing, and engage yourself!

Best, Sebastian

(picture by barto @ flickr)

Effectiveness of Social Media Campaigns!

Everybody wants to know how to measure it. And so do I!

Hi everybody. I started this blog to share my thoughts about the topic Social Media ROI. The next months I am going to write my master’s thesis. The thesis’ topic is:

What key metrics and figures can be used to determine the Return On Investment of social media campaigns in the context of tourism?

I write this thesis in collaboration with an Austrian institution called Tirol Werbung. I am absolutely fascinated by the topic for many reasons. I am a very curious and enthusiastic digital native; I worked for companies and organized getting the onto the internet; I feel very comfortable sharing my thoughts and discussing with you guys in a critical way; Many more! But if you want to know a bit more about my person, visit “Sebastian Kaiser in a nutshell“.

Why am I writing a blog about this? Well, writing about a topic which is so up-to-the-minute like this one, requires persistent research and reflection on the internet. So far, the most valuable statements and thoughts I came in contact with, were from people on Twitter, Facebook, and other blogs.

I assume, that this blog will soon grow to a nice collection all about the topic Social Media ROI, and will be a practical source for you to jump into the topic. Don’t just feel free to comment and critizise my postings. Let’s collaborate!

Sebastian

(picture by Dan Foy)