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.
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 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 1st, 2012 by Sten Franke
As crazy as it sounds: Even global enterprises, who never would make the least decision without investing in extensive prior data analyses and tools to fend off all eventualities, invested in social media campaigns and activities without targeting aims, and define and measure the success thereof.
Though, every responsible marketing, PR or social media manager has to abide to the demand of Return on Investment (ROI) and Key Performance Indicators (KPI). ROI in many companies still is a term that not all decision-makers can depict. King Fish Media found out that not yet half of the companies measure the ROI of their social media campaign, disregarding social media intelligence and monitoring tools – like the gridmaster – that can analyze ROI easily. The free ethority social media ROI calculator can be used anyway.
Of those companies that are measuring the ROI of their campaign, a third stated that their activities worked or rather proceeded according to their plan. 13% even had results exceeding the expectancies.
Of particular interest is the latter group as the future is theirs. King Fish Media – for instance – found out that 29% of the questioned have to account for a positive ROI to receive a social media budget the following year.
ROI is only one point though, another are the KPI’s. Without them, hardly any relevant and comprehensive measurement of success of social media campaigns is possible. Only that way, activities can be placed sustainably and targeted. Globally what counts is to increase brand awareness, sales, profit, customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, many businesses define the success of their campaigns only by amassing the three f’s (friends, follower, fans). No matter whether on facebook or twitter, the mere amount of the fans or followers doesn’t illustrate the level of interaction. Often, it is standard marketing to increase number of a brand’s fans by advertisements or lotteries. The mass of generated fans amounted like this doesn’t tell how valuable and sustainable it is, when your aim is to increase brand awareness, sales, profit, customer satisfaction and loyalty. I.e. fans recruited by lotteries show actually little interest in your brand. Community management that is authentic and based on dialogue can animate your fans to raise their level of interaction: you’re winning when your fans become so-called superfans, who contribute to building and creating a worthy brand-community by showing above-average engagement. Whether your own community has reached this state, or rather how your community matured already can be seen with global and industry-specific KPI’s. ethority over the past years has developed a substantial set of tools and industry-specific standard KPI’s. We will report further about them in this blog.
I am convinced that the coming 18 months ever larger budgets will be allocated to social media campaigns. This, in turn, means that general, and at the same time individual KPI’s have to be defined urgently, to actually measure the success of social media activities and campaigns.