Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to consult Hong Kong public and private sector clients on the use of Analytics on social media and content. According to a survey of 125 marketers from social media analytics firm NetBase, 61% of marketers in the United States used some form of social media analytics but 70% of them have a difficult time to put an ROI onto their analytics program.
The survey’s findings mirror my conversations with marketers and communicators in Hong Kong. Brands in Hong Kong are increasingly under pressure to deliver ROI on their content marketing efforts, and the rise of easy social media metrics such as likes and shares became the standard for content performance.
Traditional indicators, such as Ad Value Equivalents and Net Promoter Scores went out of favor, and more difficult measures like conversions from social media, are still maturing.
However, times are changing in Asia, driven by the arrival of tools that support major Asian languages, particularly with Traditional and Simplified Chinese and support for Chinese social media platforms. Tools and tracking are becoming more advanced and integrated across multiple channels and devices.
For example, social media analytics can map what brand messages are cutting through on social media. Web analytics can pin point to the piece of content that is generating the most leads.
Elaborately speaking, social media analytic is a systematic approach to capturing the posts, likes, shares, retweets, and comments on the various social media platforms. These tools synthesize these data points across time with the ability to segment by user demographics.
More advanced tools can give you a sentiment reading to give you a sense on how well your content is performing and whether it is driving awareness, consideration, and purchase intent.
However, the tools are not a universal tool for spying on your consumers’ private conversations. Nor does it have the ability to eradicate negative brand mentions.
It is also not all encompassing, everyday habits for sharing information such as email, or copy and pasting will not be captured by any analytical tool.
On the web analytics side, traditional metrics such as time on site, number of pages visited, bounce rate, and conversion rates should still be your primary focus. Event based action and tagging are increasingly being deployed to get a better picture of what users are doing on the site and what behaviors lead to a conversion.
Since social media channels are driving as much traffic as search engines these days, tagging and tracking traffic from social media gives you a cross channel view between your website and social media channels.
As many of you may deploy your own analytics solution in the coming months, there are three dimensions that you should consider before selecting a solution. The first is breadth of your coverage; some questions you should consider are whether your brand’s conversation primarily centered on particular channels.
Particularly in Hong Kong, there are many Facebook groups, Forums, and YouTube that can trend very quickly and picked up by traditional media.
The second dimension is depth, primarily dealing with your own site or content hub. How much event tracking should I implement on my website? Where are my readers dropping of? Where are they likely to have come from?
Hong Kong has a diverse population of expatriates, immigrants, and domestic workers, so investing in analytics can help advertise and distribute your content more accurately.
The final dimension is frequency; what is the time value of the data in your organisation? Do you prefer a real-time dashboard solution or a monthly report mechanism?
As evident over the course of the last two years, the velocity of negative government and brand sentiment increased significantly, Hong Kong marketers are beginning to establish a daily or weekly review of social media conversations to avoid public embarrassment.
Vendors position their products around those three dimensions and no one tool will be the best at everything. Thus it is crucially important to keep your business goals in mind and selecting the tool that best matches your organisation's objective within your web and social media marketing mix.
Calvin is among the speakers who will be sharing their expertise at the Content Marketing & Strategies Conference.
Content Marketing & Strategies Conference
Regal Hongkong Hotel, Hong Kong
May 12 – 13, 2014
Click here to register.
Organizer: Pacific Conferences
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Hongkong Business. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Calvin Wong is the lead digital and analytics strategist for Burson-Marsteller Asia Pacific. Calvin is a three year veteran of Burson-Marsteller in a strategic advisory role for our major clients globally and regionally, including Ford, Invisalign, Microsoft and Qualcomm, as well as state organizations including the Government of New Zealand and Singapore. Currently, Calvin is in charge of digital strategy, measurement, and effectiveness and optimization across social media, paid media, and earned media.