June 19th, 2012 by Sten Franke
Social Media and Human Resources: When I’m right, this is going to be one of the coming boom topics in the next months, as more and more blogger and relevant media cover it. Recently I read on Futurebiz.de: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are employed to win young talents and meet employer needs. Who is surprised by that, as the lack of skilled personnel no longer is refined to engineers, IT, and health care, but threatens the growth potential of the German economy owing to the over-aged population.
Furthermore, Europeans biggest marketing magazine “Werben & Verkaufen” wanted to know my opinion of this topic. Out of my and ethority’s point of view HR and social media is particularly interesting and hardly covered in regard of monitoring and measuring aspects. Not only social media campaigns of most businesses lack KPI’s in this field, to even measure success and reach of single employer branding and recruiting campaigns.
What are the relevant KPI’s to measure success of social media activities in human resources and employer branding?
The KPI’s at first are similar to monitoring brands:
- Buzz volume – How often is HR of my company talked about?
- Share of Voice – Are different businesses talked about more often considering this topic?
- Popularity of the employer brand – Which degree of sympathy, intensity, enthusiasm is at play when users talk about it as an employer?
- Sentiment concerning the employer brand in the single social networks, forums, blogs – How positively or negatively do the users talk about it on LinkedIn, XING, Facebook?
- Social Referrals of your employees – recommendations of vacancies in their own social networks – where, how often, and how successfully are vacancies distributed by your co-workers?
- User numbers of HR- or recruiting-apps for job offers
- Number of Followers/Fans on especially established HR-Twitter accounts, -Facebook Pages, or HR-channels
- Reach of single HR-campaigns
Ultimately, each HR manager will measure social media activities against hard facts like
9. Quantity (total CV-uploads) and
10. Matches – quality of received applications – amount of applicants fitting to the respective vacancyAre the criteria different to those of brands and products?
As yet mentioned of course a lot of identical KPI’s are applied to employer branding that as well are employed in the brands and products sector, although the data basis is different, and cannot begin with mentions of your business. Looking at the “where” and “how”, the context in which your company is mentioned is of key importance. Besides, “soft” criteria need to be defined that are tailor-made for the enterprise and the particular campaign.
Can you measure this success: Which tools are at your service?
Alongside these KPI’s it is important, to integrate methodological knowledge from market research in order to read strengths and weaknesses as an employer, find out needs and expectancies of potential applicants, and accordingly take the proper steps to your HR-strategy. A social media monitoring tool like the gridmaster is very useful to do this: The tool delivers KPI’s for HR-area and serves as an analytical instrument for campaigns and activities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, XING, and their prospective alumni networks, as well as particular, topic-related blogs, forums and communities.
The gridmaster gathers KPI’s for the success of activities on the networks, or rather especially tailor-made job postings for social media, analyzed, and talent-screening is performed web-wide.
What do businesses need to consider from the beginning, to measure the proper results for their social media undertakings?
Each business has to know right away which goals it wants to reach with social media. Equally important are the appropriate platforms, your target audience, which topics to engage. All in all you always have to reconsider that social media steps do not necessarily have immediate effect on e.g. revenue, or rather – to stick to HR – amount of applicants. Social media actions need to be thought of as long term, and will bring the expected success with continued engagement. Next to analytical technology, in the past years we have reacted to the needs of the market and created a consulting-unit with analysts, planners, and community managers, to be able to offer the suitable strategies and activities to our clients and partners out of the analyses. What leads to success are finally the fitting mechanisms and sustainable community management, e.g. to get recommendations (so-called social referrals) of your community’s members, in order to reach the ideal candidates.
As I said in the W&V: At the end of the day, what counts are the hard facts like quality and quantity of the received applications, against which each HR-manager will measure his or her social media activities.
May 14th, 2012 by Mathias Buerk
Good numbers, bad numbers: Two recent studies are the first to offer a comprehensive overview of the status quo of Germany’s businesses’ social media efforts.
For instance our industry’s association Bitkom found out that 47 percent of the 3,6 Mio businesses in Germany uses Facebook, Twitter, or Blogs. “This number at first sight doesn’t look bad”, net economist Holger Schmidt writes. “How little serious businesses take social media can be seen in staff numbers”. Another result of the survey is that 80 percent of the businesses leave their social media management to only one or two employees.
Graphic “Social Media Campaign – The Big Idea”
“Especially low the staff numbers are in manufacturing sector, while relatively moderate in the service industry”, Schmidt writes. What is missing most is a clear-cut organizational structure and the lack of any goals or rather Key Performance Indicator’s (KPI’s). “Two thirds of those questioned didn’t delineate definite goals of what should be achieved. Even in harsh antagonism to the means applied, the expectancies are high: Almost 90 percent of enterprises assume increasing relevance of social media.”
Especially the lack of KPI’s might constitute a serious problem soon, as only distinct indicators measuring and analyzing success and impact of social media campaigns, allow to seriously calculate the Return on Investment (ROI). Indispensable to it logically is a solid social media monitoring evaluating the respective KPI’s (gridmaster KPI Dashboard).
The current inquiry “Turning Buzz into Gold” by business consultancy McKinsey & Company details out, how big the need to catch up in the German economy is. Only 37 percent of the businesses communication via Facbook, Twitter, and blogs defined KPI’s for their social media usage. A mere 20 percent measure the ROI.
The hopes lying on social media, nevertheless, are very high. 71 percent of the 200 businesses that have been asked in the survey speculate on a “significant profit potential”.
However, most companies remain realistic in terms of their status que. E.g. only 10 percent of the German businesses believe they can increase their results with their actual social media activities.
The solution: Companies have to invest in manpower and monitoring. Only this way the particular activities can be improved and their success measured.
April 10th, 2012 by Sten Franke
It is proof for the success of a young, ambitious web service, when others are being built on its basis augmenting it. Looked at it this way, Pinterest seems to become a huge success story in the net, as ever more services integrate the online pin wall.
The most exciting tool amplifying Pinterest is PinReach. The new service measures the reach a member of the hyped network attains. The US-Americans developed the PinReach Score depicting the latter.
PinReach doesn’t reveal how this score is evaluated, though. Nevertheless they explain that, for instance, repins are more important than own pins. “Once members start repinning your item your score will increase much quicker. Another similar relationship exists between followers and who you follow. Simply following 500 members will do far less for your score than having 500 new followers on your account“, an illuminating text states.
The tool integrates the amount of pins, repins, likes, followers, followings, comments and boards in one piece. Extra graphics are analyzing the pin-history on top of it and identifies the most popular boards.
Never mind the statistics and analyses, the experts of PinReach are aware that Pinterest is all about easy stuff: „Ultimately, the goal should be to produce and share great content on Pinterest.“
April 4th, 2012 by Sten Franke
This catchphrase has the potential to become an all-time classic on all conferences from Hamburg to San Francisco: Digital Darwinism. Creator of this saying is Brian Solis, one of the most interesting thinkers in the digital era, Principal Analyst of Altimeter Group, bestselling author and keynote speaker.
What he means by Digital Darwinism is the excluding competition around awareness which brands in the social web are facing. Now all of a sudden extremely hungry and customer focused newcomers compete with established brands that long profited of their tradition, reputation and their rather sedate product cycles. Now the latter notice that the former are growing excessively, and are only one click away of heralding their decline.
An important factor is the new power of the consumers – so to speak the right to communicate and co-determine that is being lived on social media platforms for long.
In Solis’ point of view on Facebook & Co. an excluding competition is fought that only those companies will survive that are willed to accept this change and think differently. To consist in this competition there are 10 principles to abide by that he had articulated. Among them there is strategy, culture, people, and vision. In respect of the last point Brian asks rightly, when one has read the mission statement of his company lately? Whether you live by them and whether they are matching the times. Basically he says that an enterprise has to be able to create a working environment that leaves each employee the room to invest his entire creativity and innovation.
A business that strives to maintain in the Digital Darwinism, always has to question itself, and has to be ready to adapt their business goals and strategies anytime. Further keywords that are of huge importance to Brian Solis are: Localization, Philanthropic Capitalism, and Intelligence. On it is is said:
„One of the biggest trends in 2011 was the development of social media command centers. At the heart of these sophisticated data gathering silos were conversations and tools that allowed community managers to listen, respond, and promote engagement within the company. While social media is introducing the art & science of monitoring to marketing and service teams it is the organizations that invest in technology, teams and processes that will translate activity into actionable insights.“
However, the most exciting thought of Brian Solis is to demand more leadership qualities by the Top-Management. They have to provide the strategy and exemplify them through their own life. They have to cater the adequate corporate culture, and should be the first to listen to users and consumers in social media.
The US-American reaffirms a trend we have covered only recently. According to a study by Brandfog, the social media awareness of a brand is influenced positively by the circumstance whether the CEO engages on Twitter, Facebook, and Co. personally. For instance 78% think, it has positive consequences when the boss hits the keyboard or smartphone on his own. 71% believe this improves the brand image and 64% are sure a twittering and facebooking management’s business is perceived as more transparent than others.
Brian’s approach is extremely fascinating to me, so I want to dig deeper into it in further blog articles. Though, it has to be admitted that these principles apply foremost to consumer-centered business models.
April 3rd, 2012 by Sten Franke
In the social web the boss can make a difference. According to a study by Brandfog the social media perception of a brand is influenced positively, when the CEO engages on Twitter, Facebook & Co. personally. 78% of those questioned hold the opinion that it has positive consequences for the business, when the chief hits the keyboard of his computer or the touchpad of his smartphone. 71% reckon that it improves the brand image, and another 64% are convinced that the business in question is perceived as more transparent, when the manager facebooks or twitters.
Once being asked after it, 82% answered that it is “important” or even “very important” when the CEO engages in social media. A particularly astonishing result of the study furthermore is that a CEO, who is representing the interests of his enterprise on Twitter or Facebook, increases the trust of his employees in the respective business. At least that is the persuasion of 82%.
Nevertheless it is of major difference, whether the boss twitters, comments, and posts personally or has entrusted it to an external agency. At least a current Swiss study by Zurich-based Bernet PR proves once again that authenticity generally is one of the most important currencies in the social web. “This only works with the personal voice”, Micheal Walther writes. “It is possible to depute concepts, strategies, and programming, on your own you should speak.” In the beginning it would suffice, if a spokesperson or a close colleague would do the talk.
German chancellor Angela Merkel and her spokesman Steffen Seibert constitute a good example. Since the former ZDF journalist twitters, she is – at least perceived – closer to the citizen.
In the end – at least in businesses – it always is about sales and profit. Here, again, a CEO can assert improvements. The study by Brandfog concludes that around 77% of the questioned buy a brand’s or business’ commodities, whose marketing team engages in conversations with the consumers about their own products.
Having read these results, we ask ourselves: Which CEO of a enterprise twitters personally? Not many, that’s for sure! Although it is apparent which huge potential almost all businesses leave untouched.
>>CEOs and Top Executives on Twitter:
March 27th, 2012 by Sten Franke
Google has identified the signs of the time. The question to Return on Investment (ROI) in social media campaigns probably is one of the most important topics this year, as many enterprises crave for simple and working solutions.
For instance a recent research by Iron Mountain concludes that most European businesses yet don’t know how to handle data of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. “Indeed 94% of the questioned German companies (Europe: 86%) are aware to file communication in the social media channels as a formal business process” the paper states, but “at the same time 72% of the German businesses (Europe: 63%) don’t consider themselves as capable to capture the shared data and information of social networks accordingly”.
In fact tools and solutions that measure the ROI of almost all social media campaigns exist for long. Our gridmaster is an example to mention here.
Offers like ours and those of other monitoring tools satisfy an ever growing need. Google wants to have their share of the market and consequently drill with Google Analytics. Soon it is supposed to measure ROI, only on least significant sources like Blogger.com, however. It cannot perform a deeper analysis of top players like Facebook or Twitter yet.
“Google Analytics claims to close the gap between social media and hard business KPI’s”, t3n writes. “It shall be accomplished by not only measuring the traffic that arrives via different social media channels, but also tracking it further.” That’s how direct inferences onto conversion rates become possible.
Though, the ROI is only one side of the coin, the other are Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). They cannot be neglected in relevant and traceable measurements of success of social media campaigns. If you want to quantify the latter, Google Analytics doesn’t help you yet. Then you better turn to established monitoring tools, like our gridmaster for instance. They can assess buzz, demography, sentiments and semantic data on top of it. Only they enable you to place activities sustainable and targeted. Considered globally it’s all about the increase of brand awareness, sales, profit, customer satisfaction and loyalty. Still countless businesses evaluate the success of their social media campaigns with the mere mass of the three f’s: Friends, Followers, and Fans. Whether on Facebook or Twitter – the bare amount of them doesn’t indicate their interaction rate.
The new Google tool apparently can’t handle the Standard KPI’s. I.e the new tool only touches the surface of social media data. As easy to navigate Google Analytics may be, it can’t replace a complex professional tool. Indeed, the new service of the web company can possibly give the lots of rudimentary monitoring offerings lacking depth a hard time.
March 23rd, 2012 by Sten Franke
A topic has been neglected a little in the many discussions about social media ROI’s or the proper direction of social media campaigns that is of immense importance to businesses, especially in the social web: the credibility or online reputation.
Every company that takes care of their image and web awareness is using social media monitoring tools like the gridmaster for long in order to be sensitive of their actual online reputation and to be able to identify those issues that could worsen it. Microsoft, in collaboration with the American Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, published an interesting study to this topic.
The scientists and the software architect examined which factors determine the credibility of a tweet or its twitterer. Briefly: the determining factors are the profile picture, the follower, and the quantity of orthographic and grammatical mistakes.
In respect of the profile picture those users are trusted the least that use the standard twitter-egg. Following this are pictures of avatars or cartoons. Ranking on top regarding the credibility are twitterers who use photos showing themselves. “Concerning the name, users trust those twitterers most with a topic-related name, ordinary names coming next, and the least trust is put into users having internet fantasy names”, WirtschaftsWoche summarizes a further result of the study.
Additionally, the amount of followers is important. Twitterers following more accounts than they are followed by are seen as less trustful. This is seen as a hint on artificial reputation building on twitter.
It is important for your own authenticity and the standing in the community that you only retweet at best persons you know or are sure to trust.
Very interesting: “84% of twitter users direct their attention to posts via the twitter search and the same number via by twitter recommended topics. Another 72% by Google and 82% by general web searches” WirtschaftsWoche writes. I.e: In fact most twitter users do not only read the statuses on their twitter own stream.
Who wants to raise his number of followers should therefore engage in twittering all trending topics.
March 20th, 2012 by Sten Franke
How to reliably measure the success of your own social media campaigns? Still many decision-makers take the numbers of fans and followers as a serious indicator for your brand’s success in social networks.
Return on Investment (ROI) in many businesses is set as a Standard-Key Performance Indicator (KPI), not including social media campaigns and activities, though. King Fish Media found out not even half of businesses measure the ROI of their respective social media campaigns.
This is a fact irrespective of social media intelligence or rather monitoring tools like the gridmaster that are available for a long time already and can analyze your ROI or KPI’s easily. In addition to these tools, the free ethority Social Media ROI Calculator may be used.
These 5 Standard-KPI’s can be applied to most relevant social Networks.
1. Rate of interaction (Conversational exchange) – Amount of replies and comments
The amount of Replies to a tweet for Oosterveer is the most important social media KPI. The answers to a tweet of your brand show how many are willing to engage with the brand, to interact with it or rather exhibit an increased interest in it.
2. Direct Reach – Amount of fans and followers
Even though you should be careful not to take the quantity of your fans too serious when they have been amassed via lotteries and other campaigns, the reach – i.e. the number of individuals who might be reading each tweet or post – remains an important indicator.
3. Sharing or content amplification
The number of shares per post. Each post or tweet creates its own tiny social network, as it is shared, retweeted, or given a +1 via Google+. Each recommendation by a fan reaches out to his entire personal network. This number depicts how often a post has been shared, retweeted of recommended on Google+. No matter where you posted initially.
To measure the sentiment or tonality of a post or tweet a complex analytical tool like the gridmaster is required. A decent analysis of tonality long ago had to become a standard at reputable measurements of KPI’s in social media campaigns, as everybody should be interested whether those innumerable conversations about your brand or campaign tend to be positive or negative.
5. Likes or content appreciation
This is a factor especially for twitter. How often did somebody favor your tweet? This shows inhowfar your messages are useful or entertaining. Only those tweets that entertain or contain relevant information are being favored.
March 19th, 2012 by Sten Franke
Facebook still is the most underestimated platform for corporate communications. This may sound odd, yet most companies and brands don’t exploit social media platform’s potential sufficiently.
A research by Recommend.ly shows 82% of all facebook fanpages are updated less than 5 times a month. A surprisingly low number. Even worse are accounts of local businesses. Only 6% of them engage in conversations on their fanpages.
Furthermore, Recommend.ly found out that on average 91% of comments of facebook fans remain unanswered. As a basis of this analysis 1.7 Mio. fanpages of enterprises serve.
Most companies apparently don’t know how to use their facebook account, these results show.
The conversion into new timeline gives reason to expect better. It forces businesses to reflect on their facebook strategy. Indeed ever more companies evaluate the challenges the social network poses.
Allfacebook.de reports 8 Mio pages have switched to the new design in the first fortnight. I.e. “of the 37 Mio pages with more than 10 fans (December 2011) 20% shifted to the timeline voluntarily”, experts say. Further it reads: “The remaining 80% hopefully are planning the makeover right now.” Otherwise on March 30 there will be a rude awakening: At the end of this month all pages are converted automatically. Futurebiz offers a worthy tutorial.
6 steps to change your fanpage successfully:
- Adapt your cover and profile image
- Create highlights and allocate pictures
- Look through and highlight past posts
- Prepare your community management to the new communication channels
- Optimize tabs
- Evaluate Concepts for campaigns à integrate your chronic