Since joining LBi a year ago, the hot topic for discussion has been social media and what does it really mean? This post is not going to answer that question, instead it is going to attempt to answer this one: how do you begin to measure the impact of social media?
Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms are having a tremendous impact on our lives, not only affecting our choice of coffee, but also encouraging us to spend more and more time online. On Monday this week Facebook shed light on their user statistics. They now have over 901 million users and expect to hit the 1 billion mark before the end of the year. The social media giant also stated that it receives 3.2 billion comments per day, 300 million new photos daily (hence the purchase of Instagram), and claims 125 billion friendships. So, with all these great stats, how do we begin to measure their impact? This is where the Three Cons Test comes into play.
Every day LBi employees trawl through hundreds of analytics dashboards observing and reporting on the data we pull from our various clients. Over the past four weeks, I have been working with the analysts and looking into the production of a new social analytics strategy, which is where I came up with the idea of the Three Cons Test. When analysing a subject it is important to break it down to the fundamentals and for me, social media can be broken down to three fundamentals: Connections, Conversations and Content. Using Twitter as the example channel, I will explain the Three Cons:
- Connections: similar to a handshake, a Connection establishes a relationship of some sort between one person and another. A new follow, a lost follow, your total followers and your reach are the vital stats to look at when measuring your social Connections.
- Conversations: as it says on the pack, are the Conversations you have with others. A new direct message, an @ reply, a retweet (similar to a share on Facebook) and #(x) are the elements you should compare when measuring your social Conversations.
- Content: is what you produce e.g. if you were a cook your Content could be a pancake. Your Content consists of the Tweets you make, for example: “#1 Content Social Analytics @LBi”. Your Content is your original tweets or retweets of others Content, so, when measuring the produced Content, you should try comparing the Conversations which occur around the type of Content you are producing, such as photo, video or audio.
The Three Cons Test provides a simple way to breakdown the elements of social media so that you can begin to measure your impact in the social media world. My geography teacher from school’s favourite term was KISS, “Keep It Simple Stupid”, so KISS and use the Three Cons Test to help start your social media analytics strategy.
Next time, we will look at how you can use the Three Cons Test to help you produce in depth reports on your social media analytics. Here are two questions to wrap up:
What do you think of the Three Cons Test?
How would you begin to measure the impact of your Social Media efforts?