Apryl Pilolli: Tips, techniques, and tools for measuring what works in social — Live from the Brands-Only Summit

Coverage of this session by Bridgette Cude of SocialMedia.org. Connect with her by following her on Twitter.

12:20 — SocialMedia.org's Courtney Graham introduces Cox Media Group's Apryl Pilolli.

Apryl: Social data can be hard to deal with: We're being thrown all kinds of info in real time (or delayed time in the case of Facebook). We have all kinds of information to process.

12:21 — It's the number one activity as of 2008. Prior to that, it was pornography. In fact, 74 percent of adults use social networking sites. We know we need to be there. 80 percent of the Fortune 500 is in social media.

12:22 — The problem: Social data has no standards, policies, and procedures — and we're getting there — but we're still pretty young.

12:23 — According to Hootesuite: 67 percent of social media professionals struggle with social data. Facebook itself has 500 different metrics from their internal portal for example. The good news: Those of you tasked with measuring social will have a lot of job security!

12:241. Measure what matters: It's not about ahaving more fans or a bigger audience. Are htye the right fans? Quality fans? Are the engaging? So we asked out executives about their goals and tried to determine what would measure against those goals.

For example, with our radio brands: Looked at engagement metrics (getting people to tune in) We looked at who was getting the most engagement with their post and where they were tuning in from based on their designated area.

12:252. Provide insights, not just data: When we started it was just spreadsheets with pretty charts and drafts Our CSuite doesn;t have time. Everyone's eyes glaze over. We reviewed our reports and came up with three takeaways from each report: actionable insights, what happened, why it happened, and if it was possible to replicate/avoid in the future.

12:263. Be data-informed and not data-driven: Data driven is a big buzzword but you don't want numbers to mislead you. Understand causation vs. correlation.

12:27 — Get human feedback. Numbers don't always tell the full story. For example, Facebook has employees who's only job is to tell them what they like and dislike about their feed and why. They were getting a lot of negative feedback from a small group of people who were hiding posts. Turns out, they were hiding those posts because they had already read it, commented on it, and liked it and didn't want to see it again, not because they disliked it.

12:284. Use multiple sources: Besides the metrics your getting from your hosted channels, use psychographic and demographic data. Dig in to understand your audience and what content matters to them. That way, they're more likely to click on it.

We use Facebook custom audiences for more granular information, what affinity groups they're a part of, the cars they drive, etc.

12:29 –If you don't have tools and want to find great information, Facebook IQ is an incredible source. For example, one of the biggest things new parents talk about is car seats. So we were able to create a story about this: The best cars for three car seats in the back.

12:305. Always reevaluate your reports: It may have made sense a year ago, but our goals and what we're trying to measure is always changing. You may be wasting time with metrics that don't matter anymore.

12:31 –Twitter used to be imortant for us, but it's been dramatically reduced for us. It was no longer a goal for us to grow those audiences because it was no longer a company priority for us.

12:32 –Recap:

  • Measure what matters
  • Provide insights, not just data
  • Be data-informed, not data-driven
  • Use multiple data sources
  • Always reevaluate your reports


Q: How do you org your analytics team?

A: We have someone that makes sense fo reach medium. TV, radio, and so on. We want to make sure that we have an analyst who understand that business. It's more important to understand the biz than just data.

Q: How do you consolidate those multiple data sources into one report?

A: We provide the insights from it and not the actual report: 3-5 takeaways especially if you're sending it higher. Otherwise, combining it is hard. I usually start out with 40 ppt slides and 4 excel workbooks, and when I was done, I had four sides. Focus it down to what makes sense.

Q: Can you give a few examples of how you get better coorelations to share

A: Market research, put together info where ppl can provide insights. It's hard because sometimes people will lie abou twhat they do, so if we use both data sets, we can get better idea of what people are interested in.

Q: How do you balance the different measurements from tools compared to native metrics?

A: We're trying to correlate that back to our own business data goals.

How do you educate leadership beyond vanity metrics?

For our audience it was all about likes. They would fire their social team if they didn't. We would show them that hey, they have more likes than you, but most of them are in Beijing, does that matter for your LA market? Show them the types of audience and why that matters.

Q: Often we'll see trends, but we don't have the knowledge around the event or campaign to extract insights from that.

A:That's part of the reason we're orged like we are. We have so many different stations and markets. We don't know what they're doing. Having a TV analyst that touches base with them regularly to understand their goals and plans.

Q: Reporting to executives: Frequency? Dense? What's too much? What's not enough?

A:Almost everything is too much. They have a million other reports, so social doesn't always get priority. It depends on the leve. State of the union, annually ten minute presentation. Lowere level, check monthly. Sat down to determin their goals – they make time for it because we aign it to what's omportant for them.

Q: Top 3 tools?

A: 1. Crowd Tangle: for competitive metrics
2. Shareablee: Actual reporting, track users and understand correlations as a whole
3. Facebook: New audience optimization tools for segregating audience demo posts and finding out which audiences are interacting more