How to Write a Social Media Report: 4 Key Steps

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27 febbraio, 2013

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Così come il consumatore usa sempre di più i social media, anche il numero di aziende cercano di trarne vantaggio. Molti lo fanno con la convinzione diffusa che i social media siano solo un altro grande canale con cui comunicare con il proprio target di riferimento. Quello che queste aziende non riescono a vedere è però l’enorme potenziale offerto da questi canali come fonte di dati. Lungi dall’essere solo un canale di comunicazione, i social media, se analizzati correttamente, possono dare alle imprese importanti spunti per la loro attività.
Il monitoraggio dei social media è diventato fondamentale non solo per la comprensione del comportamento dei consumatori, ma per approfondire la conoscenza dei mercati emergenti guardando come la gente discute di un certo argomento o brand on line.
Spesso, tuttavia, il tipo e la quantità di dati resi disponibili attraverso il monitoraggio dei social media può creare confusione.
Come renderli fruibili e pertinenti?
L’articolo seguente, tratto da Fourth Source, dà suggerimenti su come scrivere un un report sui dari ricavati dai social media.

Step 1 – Starting Out

When creating a social media report the first thing you have to ask yourself is what type of insight will be most valuable for your business. Do you need to see how your brand is perceived, are you looking at a competitor or are you looking at an industry trend? Why are you producing a report in the first place?
We would also recommend you consider the following additional points before you start:

Who: What your report shows and explores will differ according to who is going to be reading it.

What: If the scope of your report is too broad, it will be very difficult to get interesting insights from the data. A generic goal will make it very difficult to produce an interesting report. For example, setting the question “is there demand for bacon flavoured ice cream?” will yield a much clearer answer than “what do people think about bacon ice cream?” Monitoring tools can provide you with lots and lots of data but without any direction as to what you want that data to answer, it can be very difficult to segment and understand.

When: What date range do you want to look at? Have you a specific period in mind? Whatever the case, make sure it’s a long enough period to make the results representative. We find that a date range of 3-6 months is usually sufficient, though sometimes we look at a year if we are analysing long-term trends.

Where: Do you want mentions from across the world? From a specific market? From a specific website or group of sites?

Once you’ve considered all of the above, write it all up into a clear brief.

Step 2 – The Data Quest

Once you’ve written your brief, the next step is to collect the data you want. This is done through writing queries.

Getting your query right is perhaps the most important part in the whole process; it is what everything else in your report is based on. Come up with an ineffective query and you will get bad, irrelevant and useless data.

Some queries are very simple: if you are searching for a brand or product with a very distinctive name (Nescafe, say, or Logitech), then clearly this is going to be much simpler than trying to search for the brand Orange or Boots.  You need to make sure that your query is as clear as possible and that the word(s) that you are searching for cannot be understood within any another context. The risk otherwise is that you pull out a large amount of unspecified data. With our examples you would therefore need to specify ‘the phone network Orange’ or ‘the pharmacy Boots’.

Bear in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect query, but you should be aiming for roughly 90% or above accuracy.

Step 3 – Data, Data Everywhere. Now what?

The next step you’ll need to take is to segment your data to get some juicy insights. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the data a little first, so browse through the mentions to get a feel for the conversation.

It’s normal to have preconceived ideas about what the data is going to show, but try to keep an open mind. You should find from reading mentions that certain topics or trends emerge regularly. Use this insight, along with your brief, to decide how to segment your data – this could be by topic, brand, author type, mention type and so on.

You can then manually categorise your mentions by looking at a sample (400 mentions is the magic number for accuracy), or use rules to categorise them if the topic allows it.

Step 4 – Analyse, Analyse, Analyse

Now that you have a clean data set you can begin to answer the initial brief. Some common ways to report on the data are:

  • Volume over time
  • Volume by site type
  • Top sites
  • Volume by category
  • Sentiment by category

When you are writing up your analysis, always keep in mind the ‘so what?’ question. It is not enough to show what the data is saying; you also have to translate these findings into what it means for your brand or business. You should try to make sure you are answering the questions posed in your initial brief, but equally don’t be afraid to work outside of the brief if you discover something interesting.

Ultimately the efficiency of the report will depend on the ability of its writer to extract meaningful insights from raw data but hopefully following the outlined steps will put that writer on the right path.

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