Social Analytics or Social Media Monitoring?
How do we define the term “social analytics?”
Social analytics is too often used synonymously with social media monitoring or measurement. But, in fact, it is more than that. Social analytics is where measurement and business intelligence converge.
Essentially, social analytics is a combination of two important concepts – ‘social’ – i.e. things having to do with our society, our interactions and our relationships – the warm fuzzy stuff; and ‘analytics’ – which refers to the analysis of data and statistics. This stuff is neither warm, nor fuzzy but is very important to business.
Social analytics looks at the myriad data points generated by social media measurement and runs a variety of statistical regressions [Measuring how changing one variable results in changes to other variables]. They determine what impact, if any, all that activity, awareness and engagement is having on the bottom line. Comcast, Dell, Southwest and IBM are among the few companies that are actually this far along.
PR firms have a different take on social analytics. PR campaign success are often measured in terms of “hits.” The more hits, the better, some thought. About two decades ago, thought, a few more sophisticated companies started measuring opportunity impressions – based on the audited circulation figures for the publications. Somehow, PR people assumed that the more impressions, the more awareness, even though there was no evidence to support that.