Sep 06, 2011 / by jay.krall

Photo courtesy of Phil Hawksworth via Flickr

Fellow CisionBlogger Yvette Pistorio pointed me to a pretty good post over on Hubspot last week, 5 Vanity Metrics to Stop Measuring (And Better Alternatives). It touched on a concept I’ve been thinking about as I’ve been reading Marshall Sponder’s very insightful new book, Social Media Analytics: Effective Tools for Building, Interpreting and Using Metrics (which has reached No. 1 on Amazon’s Market Research book category).

When it comes to measuring branded content, much of the value lies in measuring individual posts and videos to see what’s driving engagement and what’s not. Rolling it that information up to an aggregate level may be useful for senior management, but it doesn’t help you write better.

Professional communicators have moved way beyond the press release, creating all kinds of branded content: blog posts, videos, photo galleries, slide presentations, white papers and more. While measurement can be time consuming, it can also serve as a powerful feedback loop. Do certain words in your headlines drive more Facebook likes, tweets and comments? How about use of photos and video? It’s not enough to say “our site traffic is up 17 percent, we’re doing great!” Figure out why you’re doing great, and success truly breeds success. 

“Looking at search keywords typed into Web sites (finiding out what people are looking for using Web analytics site search reports) and mashing up that information with social media monitoring of content emerging from site search leads to more and better content for the brand, based on case studies tracking Old Spice and Delta Airlines,” Marshall says. “Imagine if the content team could prioritize content based on not only this historical demand from search query volume, but also real-time input from social media monitoring.”

Often, Marshall points, out, it’s helpful to use measures of traffic, such as Unique Visitors and Page Views, alongside measures of sharing activity on the social Web, to see what’s driving mindshare for your brand. Sounds like time-consuming analysis? Take some time for self improvement. It will be well spent.




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