How Social Media Changed Comcast

Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast discusses how its use of social media, especially twitter, changed its culture as a company.

Are All URL Shorteners Created Equal?

URL shorteners are a great way to add links to social media profiles and monitor the traffic that clicks through.  But what if your link shortener didn’t work?  What if by choosing the wrong service you lost clicks, clients, and potential revenue?  Web analytics firm WatchMouse decided to put the URL shortener services to the test.  Here are there results:

On the positive side:

  • URL shorteners obviously provide useful features like making a long URL shorter (i.e. so it fits easily in a Twitter message)
  • They enable you to track and analyze clicks on a specific short URL
  • Some URL shorteners like twt.tl also provide some browsing safety by analyzing the target URL for harmful website code or phishing attempts

But on the negative side, URL shorteners also introduce:

  • An additional single point of failure: when a URL shortener service is down (or corrupt) the link won’t work
  • Additional load time for a page to fully load

WatchMouse monitored the most popular URL shorteners for one month to find out how they are doing in terms of availability and speed. During that time we monitored 14 URL shorteners and collected the uptime and performance statistics. The uptime results are shown in the chart below:

Based on the results, the fastest, most reliable shortener is Google’s goo.gl.  Twt.tl is a close second.  youtu.be has the fastest overall speed, but isn’t as reliable as the first two. The worst? Facebook’s fb.me.  Steer clear of that one.

Social Media Analytics 101: 4 Articles, 1 Service

Social Media can be a nebulous mistress.  As entrepreneurs continue to use social media to connect with customers and collaborators, a new question has come into being: what are effective social media practices?  The fact is no one knows for certain, but there is a way to measure what is effective and what isn’t: social media analytics.  SM (Social Media) can be frustrating to manage without information helping get into your client’s heads.  Here We’ve compiled a review of the top four How To articles, plus one paid service that will take care of the headache for you.  Enjoy!

HOW TO: Track Social Media Analytics, Mashable.com ♥♥♥♥♥ Five Heart Rating

This is a great starting point.  Its simple, quick to read, and provides lots of leads for those who want to deepen their understanding of analytics in a short time.  Topics include: understanding what you want to track,optimizing your existing analytics software, adding new analytics tools, aggregating your analytics, analyzing and engaging visitors, and further resources.

How to Measure and Track Social Media Activity, SEOROI.com ♥♥♥♥ Four Heart Rating

An orientation into the world of Social Media Analytics, this article uses the practices of people like Guy Kawasaki to get you started down the SM path.  Great list of resources at the end.

Social Media Analytics, webanalysis.blogspot.com ♥♥ Two Heart Rating

This guide differs from the others in that it explicitly defines the measurable elements involved in social media, as well as providing vision examples of analytics tools in action.  Another list of resources at the end.

Dear Avinash: Search / SEO Metrics & Analytics Questions + Answers, kaushik.net ♥♥♥♥♥ Five Heart Rating

Avinash Kaushik provides great, thoughful, high impact answers to various questions.  This is a great place to gain a basic understanding of SM analytics, as well as learn some advanced tricks.  For more advanced information be sure to check out  Five Sweet Web Analytics Resolutions To Kick It Up A Notch, another great article.  Kaushik has a great sense of humor, and uses off the wall visuals to keep things exciting.

Want to outsource you SM Analytics? Use ViralHeat.com

Viral Heat has monitoring plans starting at only $9.99 per month.  This will keep you up to date on the popularity and efficacy of you social media campaigns.  Visit the site, or watch the video to learn more.

I hope this provides you with a toe-hold to begin in the Social Media Analytics world.  Who knows, maybe you’re the next Kevin Rose?

Have a question?  Post it to comments, I’ll do my best to answer.

Social Media Can Affect Your Credit. Seriously!?

Recently Personal Finance Expert turned Reporter Erica Sandberg released a shocking article about the latest social media practices in the credit and finance Industry.  Here’s a brief summary in her own words:

What’s going on: In hopes of identifying good credit customers, some financial institutions are tapping into the information you and your friends reveal online. The idea is that the friends you keep and data you disclose may help them make more accurate business decisions.

Who is doing it: Companies such as Rapleaf hunt and gather social networking transmissions, turning the conversations you have in your network into consumer profiles. These profiles provide banks with insight into your behavior patterns – what you like and dislike, want and don’t want, do well and do poorly.

How it’s being used: There are a couple of ways this information may be applied. It can help creditors promote certain products, cutting down on marketing waste. Why sent pre-approval letters to people not interested, right?

Lowering lending risk is another reason. Creditors can see if people in your network have accounts with them, and are free to look at how they are handling those accounts. The presumption is that if those in your network are responsible cardholders, there is a better chance you will be too. So, if a bank is on the fence about whether to extend you credit, you may become eligible if those in your network are good credit customers.

Having a robust online social network can also expedite loan acceptance. If you’re connected to a lot of people who are great credit risks, it can speed you through the process. Amazing, isn’t it?

What you can do. While financial institutions and companies that gather your online data are emphatic that the idea is to increase the odds of a person getting credit, what you reveal online can have unintended consequences. Therefore, if you want to opt out, turn all of your settings to private. Other best practices:

- Don’t accept invitations to your social networking site from people until you check their profiles out first.

- Be acutely aware of what you write. Don’t make public anything you don’t want public.

- Take an annual inventory of all your social networking sites and delete people and information that can potentially damage you in the eyes of a creditor or employer.

Or
Read the Full Article

What is Social Media Optimization?

From ESB Journal

Social media optimization or SMO is yet another method for search engine optimization of your site.

As the name implies, you optimize your site by advertising it through the social media sites, online communities and community websites such as blog sites, message boards, podcasts, wikis and blogs.

The methods for social media optimization involve the use of RSS feeds, social bookmarking, video and photo sharing, social news buttons and blogging etc. The basic idea is to drive traffic to your site without spending money on search engine advertising.

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The Web Analytics Headache

From eMarketer:

Understanding and integrating data

To prove the success of their campaigns, marketers need analytics. But many report frustration with understanding and using the Web analytics tools necessary to prove their success to management, according to “The Web Analytics War Reader Survey” by Unica.

The biggest challenge for marketers was integrating Web analytics with other marketing solutions, cited by 46% of respondents. Verifying the accuracy of data was a problem for 41% of marketers, while 32% reported trouble with analytics that were not comprehensive and 29% complained of budgets that were too small.

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20% of Tweets About Brands

From Social Media Today:

20% of tweets about brands is the results of a Penn State study in the States.

Researchers led by Jim Jansen, associate professor of information science and technology, and Twitter chief scientist Abdur Chowdhury looked at half a million tweets. 20% of them were apparently people ‘asking and providing’ product information. Assuming three million tweets a day, that would translate into 600k posts daily of direct relevance to brands.

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The Five Biggest Mistakes in Measuring Social Media

In his ClickZ post, Gary Stein examines five ways people go wrong when measuring social media.

Big Mistake No. 1: Assuming Your Fans/Followers Will See a Post

Big Mistake No. 2: Failing to Account for Overlap Across Networks

Big Mistake No. 3: Failing to Count Clicks

Big Mistake No. 4: Disregarding Search

Big Mistake No. 5: Focusing on Followers

Stein: “The bottom line with social media measurement: we’re in some really early stages and there are plenty of bright lights to distract us. The biggest mistake of all, of course, is not to measure. With the effort you’re putting into social media, it’s like that famous bumper sticker: “If you’re not concerned, you’re not paying attention.”

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Public Relations Measurement 2010: Five Things to Forget & Five Things to Learn

social-media-model-pptxFrom a terrific post on public relations campaign measurement by Don Bartholomew, Principal of Acumentics Research,  a social media and public relations research and measurement consultancy.

“Public relations measurement is at a crossroads.  Old techniques are no longer sufficient.

Old metrics are no longer applicable.  Old thinking must be replaced by new.

The need for accountability,and to prove the value of PR and social media programs,

has never been greater.

As we look to the next year, here are five things to forget and five things to learn about

public relations measurement in 2010.”

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71 Percent Say They Can't Live Without Facebook

whisperFrom MEDIAPOST: Could you survive without your social networks? Perhaps underestimating their own ability to adapt — or pick up a telephone — just 29% of Facebook and LinkedIn users say they could “probably do without” the popular networks, according to a new study by Anderson Analytics.

Apparently a somewhat less vital recourse, 35% of the 5,000 U.S. social media users surveyed in May said they could do without MySpace, while a more modest 43% thought life still worth living without Twitter.

Under 35, people rely on social networks for “fun” and contacting friends, while older consumers increasingly view them as indispensable for staying in touch with family and close friends.

Correspondingly, the majority — 75% — said Facebook was their most valuable network, followed by 65% who cited MySpace. Only 30% said the business centric LinkedIn was their most valuable network, followed by the 12% who gave it up to Twitter.