Archive for March, 2011

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The Sharks and Icebergs of Social Media Measurement

Friday, March 25th, 2011

It’s all very deceiving. Social media measurement is superquick and feeds everyone’s desire for instant gratification. Want to measure something right now, lickety split? Here you go!

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, nor do you want it be that simple. Behind every “instant analysis” are hundreds and thousands of hours of tedious, painstaking work. Let’s take a brief climb up the social media measurement iceberg and check out where the data quality sharks are hiding.

Taking much of the time, the bulk of the iceberg, and many of the data quality sharks is sentiment analysis. There’s no point in being amazed at how quick your measurements were generated if those numbers have no bearing on the true sentiment of a brand.  The data quality sharks biting at the validity of your data include things like failing to measure  “the bomb” correctly and forgetting to measure “FTW.” If these sharks aren’t addressed, your amazingly quick measurement will be wrong.

The next chunk of the iceberg that rarely gets seen is the work that goes into developing variables. The data quality sharks here include recognizing that “tasting success” and “tastes in music” aren’t discussions of how deliciously yummy something is. Behind the scenes, people must spend icebergs of time making sure those invalid mentions are identified and ignored. Otherwise, your instant measure of whether people are happy with the new flavour of Doritos will be wrong.

Now we’re actually ready to gather YOUR data. As always, you can go online and quickly gather a ton of information about Ford or Sears or Harley, but your data quality sharks try to stuff in mentions of “my mayor, Mr. Rob Ford” and “sear the meat quickly” and “my dog Harley.”  If you don’t take the time to kill those data quality sharks, your instant analysis will, once again, be wrong.

The last chunk of work goes into removing spam and irrelevant data. Of course, you can easily set up an automated system to detect and delete spam but you must always be on the lookout for new and improved spam. This data quality shark sneaks in when you least expect it. No checking means no validity.

And now, we’ve climbed to the top of the iceberg, to the last tiny percent of data work that is visible to the outside world. Enjoy your magical, instant measurement. It wasn’t that instant after-all, was it!

Related links

Forgive me, for I have sinned

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Forgive me for I have sinned. Without permission, I used company property for my own personal gain.

Earlier this year, I saw some ads on the subway system for a glasses and contact lens company. The ad proclaimed, “FREE GLASSES.” I proclaimed, “HOAX.”

But it wasn’t a hoax, it was just a very effective and provocative advertising campaign. Glasses cost me at least $400 every time so free glasses were extremely tempting. But, I also didn’t want want to be mentioned on the evening news as “Annie was one of 300 stupid people who fell for the glasses scam.”

So, after seeing ads for really cheap glasses from the same company a few more times, I broke down. I, um… borrowed company property. I used Conversition’s proprietary social media measurement system to collect a few thousand tweets and blogs, and forum and photo comments that mentioned the company and their ads. You see, thousands of independent opinions from people who have already conducted business with the company couldn’t be wrong.

The system cleaned the data of irrelevant spam, scored the sentiment on a continuous scale, and coded all of the comments into the one thousand, most relevant variables. Just a couple hours after I finally decided I wanted in on cheap glasses, I had valid and reliable, quantitative and qualitative social media data at my fingertips. And here’s what I learned.

  • When people talked about whether they would recommend ClearlyContacts, 54% of those recommendations were positive, as opposed to middle of the road neutral or negative.
  • 44% of comments about pricing were positive
  • 37% of comments about the choice of products were positive
  • 57% of comments about the customer service were positive
  • 50% of comments about the shipping were positive
  • Overall, about 46% of people liked this phantom internet company and less than 6% did not like the company.

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Of course, you do have to listen to the people who aren’t happy if you want a balanced opinion, so I also checked out what the biggest complaints were.

  • 11% of comments about the frames were negative
  • 10% of comments about the lenses were negative
  • 8% of comments about the check out process were negative

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Given survey research norms call for about 10% to 15% of results to fall into the negative side of things, these negative comments were not out of the ordinary and were nothing for me to be concerned with. And since norms dictate that about 30% of results fall into the positive side of things, I felt even better.

Social media research did its job well and proved to me that the company was legit! So I bought a way cool pair of glasses for way cheap. Actually, because they were so cheap, I bought two pairs. Like ‘em?

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Global Voices, Local Choices: A Social Media Research Case Study

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Every country has their own brands and services. The thing about the internet though, is that we can read about services that are available in other countries. No matter whether the options are available to us, we can see who is being offered better, or worse, products than we are and demand those things where we live. This case study, in the telephone/television/internet space, illustrates consumer opinions towards several services, some of which are available only in Canada, only in the US, or in both countries. Let’s compare AT&T, Rogers, Comcast, T-mobile, and Virgin.

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Related links
Justin Bieber vs. Katy Perry vs. Metallica: A social media research case study
Fail #1 Google, Fail #2 Superbowl Tibet, and Groupon Hangs in the Wings
Which pain relief medication for which pain? An SMR case study #MRX
Snickers Bars and Breakfast: A social media case study
Battle of the Burgers: Big Mac vs Whopper

Which pain relief medication for which pain? An SMR case study #MRX

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Your local pharmacy is chock full of pain relief medications and every box says it’s best for something different. This case study illustrates how real people think about five brands, including Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, Aspirin, and Excedrin. We explore the psychographics associated with each brand as well as what types of pain lead people to use specific brands.

Listen to what hundreds of thousands of people have to say in the online space.

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Related links

Quick and Dirty or Slow and Careful: Conversition’s #NewMR Presentation

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Social media analysis is so simple. Do a keyword search on Google, find some data mentioning your brand name, whip up some cool analytical results. But wait – have you ever wondered why different people end up with such different results when they research or monitor the same topic? This presentation, created for the #NewMR festival on Listening, will share just a few of those reasons with real examples. Mmmm…. real data!

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Conversition on LinkedIn

Paradigm Sample™ and Conversition Partner to Deliver Mobile and Social Media Solution

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Paradigm Sample™ and Conversition Partner to Deliver Comprehensive Mobile and Social Media Solutions; Targets Coveted 18-34 Demographic with Smartphone and Social Media

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Paradigm Sample™ and Conversition have delivered mobile and social media data collection to their respective client base. Driving the next wave of innovation, the two companies are partnering to complement their existing product suites with mobile and social media data collection.

(New York, March 3, 2011) – With MobilePulse™, Paradigm Sample™ is able to quickly and accurately gain insight into Consumers and Professionals on a particular topic area whether they poll their own mobile panel or individuals before-after a flight segment, an event or a retail location. “Complementing the data collection capabilities of MobilePulse™ with Conversition’s Evolisten™ and TweetFeel product suite will allow for the immediate application of multiple social media research capabilities like sentiment scoring with direct real-time feedback from Mobile data collection,” said Tessie Ting, Co-Founder of Conversition.

“Our focus has always been to deliver innovative market research solutions to our end clients.” noted Sima Vasa, CEO, Paradigm Sample™. “That took us into mobile data collection and panel development. To meet immediate client needs, we’re partnering with Conversition to apply their thought leadership around Social Media Research for a more comprehensive solution for our clients.” Paradigm Sample™ and Conversition deliver products that provide a great complement to the in-depth research provided by full-service market research partners. For more information on these offerings contact us at info(at)paradigmsample(dot)com.

About Paradigm Sample™
Paradigm Sample™, an innovative global sample company based in Port Washington, NY, uses a consultative approach with clients to meet their end-to-end sample needs. They specialize in hard-to-reach audiences and are experienced in online and mobile panels. They represent an exclusive panel (North America, Europe, and Asia), and provide even broader access through a global network of over 260 sample partners. They are driving mobile panel development and data collection innovation with MobilePulse™, their real-time data collection capability. Management Science Associates, Inc. (MSA) and Paradigm Sample™ have also launched Convenience Consumer Insights Panel (cci Panel), the consumer research field’s first mobile panel designed to capture sales information from hard-to-reach younger shoppers within the convenience store channel. Paradigm Sample™ has sustained double-digit quarter over quarter growth since its inception in early 2009.

About Conversition Strategies
Conversition is a data collection company based in Centerport NY and Toronto, Canada that specializes in social media research. What is social media research? Social media research is the application of scientific marketing research principles to the collection and analysis of social media data such that valid and reliable results are produced. Their technology allows them to listen to consumers and applies scientific research principles to the collection and analysis of social media data. Their strength lies in their extensive market research experience and understanding of the social media landscape. Their services are complementary to traditional market research methodologies and help you gain a more holistic view of how people engage in conversation regarding your product, service or brand.

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The #Klout of @Klout

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Not many folks liked the popularity contests of highschool, but we still like to be popular, whether in the face-to-face space or the online space. Klout is one of the available measures of online influence and it takes into account the size of your engaged audience, the likelihood that people will retweet or message or like you, and how influential your engaged audience is.

The folks at Klout have even built an extension for the Chrome browser that lets you see the Klout score of each tweeter in your stream. According to the screencap of our twitterstream, these research folks are doing pretty well with scores ranging from 42 to 66.

But let’s not worry about what Klout does, or how it does it or even whether it is actually accurate it is. Let’s consider, instead, people’s perceptions of the tool. Do we love it or hate it?

First of all, the obvious notes – This dataset does not include tweets or blogs or messages sourced from Klout or KloutPerks. And, the measurement was not confounded with Klout terminology such as “specialist” or “influenced” or “perk.” And lastly, we’re basing our results from a random sample of about 5000 messages that were written in 2011.

Now that we’re all on board, let’s look at some numbers.

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Overall, do people like Klout?
Overall, people are fond of Klout. Around 40% of people like it while only 6% of people dislike it. But, that leaves an awfully large group of people who are undecided, unsure, or couldn’t care less. Common ways to talk about Klout include  “best,” “love,” “thank,” “amazing,” “impressive,” and “fun” but we also speak of “sadly,” “dislike,” “wtf,” “rant,” “scary,” and “shame.”
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Among people recommending tools, is Klout recommended?
We’re doing pretty good here! About 66% of people would recommend Klout. In fact, they say they not only “recommend” Klout, but they “endorse it,” “cheer for it,” and are “addicted to it.” That does leave another 30% of people who are pretty neutral about the whole thing, as well as a 4% who would never recommend it.
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Among people talking about favorites, is Klout their favorite influence tool?
In this case, we have a ton of people talking about Klout being their favorite tool. Being the favorite of 67% of people is pretty darn good. But, of course, about 32% of people don’t really care, and a tiny percent say it’s not their favorite at all.
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Among people talking about accuracy, do people feel that Klout is accurate?
Lastly, and possibly the most important item for a small number of researchers who are most concerned with validity, we come to accuracy. In this case, only 14% of people gave Klout a positive score. And, more than 22% gave Klout a negative score.  While many people say Klout is “accurate,”  even more say it is “wrong” or it’s a “fail.”

So, it seems that regardless of accuracy being less than desirable, people are still fond of the tool.  Our Klout score is 50. What’s yours?
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Related links
#MRX MRA IMRO SMR Guidelines #10: Qualifications
Fail #1 Google, Fail #2 Superbowl Tibet, and Groupon Hangs in the Wings
The Fantasy of Representative Samples
WeightWatchers or Jenny Craig: Social Media Research Knows the Answer
Who am I? Contributor, author, participant, responder?
Super Bowl = Beer + Wings + Hooters

Snickers Bars and Breakfast: A social media case study

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

The breakfast wars have begun! It doesn’t matter if breakfast was never on the menu. It is now. This social media research case study illustrates how three restaurants have taken on the breakfast category in three different ways: successful, questionable, and unnoticeable. Guess which word reflects Tim Hortons, McDonalds, and Subway!

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Related links

Battle of the Burgers: Big Mac vs Whopper
Justin Bieber vs. Katy Perry vs. Metallica: A social media research case study
Fail #1 Google, Fail #2 Superbowl Tibet, and Groupon Hangs in the Wings
Word of Mouth 2.0: Old Spice, Double Rainbows, and the Starbucks Logo

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