Tag Archives: Measurement

Pew survey highlights/hides Twitter implications

There’s significant growth in the “use” of Twitter, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project and its release of a new report on Twitter and similar sites.

In fact, Twitter use has nearly doubled, particularly among younger and mobile Internet users, according to the report, which also provides updated demographic information about who is using Twitter and other social media.

But it pays to follow the links to the entire report to uncover some “buried” nuggets, like the Harvard Business School report that suggests that 90 percent of all Twitter traffic is actually generated by onlt 10 percent of its users.

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Online polling plays special role for coalitions

Ken DeSieghardt is one of the best strategists I know when it comes to understanding how to pull together people into coalitions and motivate them to action. 

For example, his firm, Patron Insight, is very successful in identifying, communicating with and moving to the polls those taxpayers who are most likely to support bond issues backed by school districts and municipal government.

Ken and his partner, Rick Nobles,  see a special role in online polling and surveying when it comes to existing or coalescing coalitions. They share it here:

“Online research deserves a spot in the researcher’s tool bag. But, like any tool, you have to know how, when and where to use it if the information you collect is going to be of value.

Specifically, online research provides the most helpful, credible information when it is disseminated as a secondary tool to a captive audience whose members care about the subject matter.

Note the key words in that last statement.

Disseminated: Don’t just stick a survey on your Web site and wait for the responses to roll in. Send the link to people who you want to hear from.

Secondary tool to a captive audience: Online research should never be considered primary data, because those who participate choose to do so – meaning they are already connected to a cause or an issue. It’s ideal for gathering data and seeking input from a coalition of advocates who are already in place (either formally or informally), but should never be confused for primary research of the masses to determine the general mood of the citizenry.

Care about the subject matter: Online surveys work when someone who receives it thinks, “If I respond to this, something that matters to me might change in a way that I like (or might stay the same, if that’s what I’d prefer).”

It’s also important to put a time limit on when you will accept responses, to nudge your target audience about halfway through with a message that says, “If you’ve responded, thanks; if not please do,” and to use the feature on the programs that allows you to limit responses to one per computer.

If you follow this recipe (and, of course, have a well-constructed survey instrument), you’ll get back information that clues you in to the thoughts and ideas of those in your key target audience who took the time to respond.

Like all research, it should be seen as one piece of data in the decision-making process. But, at least you can be confident that what you received was credible.”

Many adults say they’re not sold on social networks

Something to consider as budget constraints and a preference for shiny spinning things puts more and more stakeholder engagement and coalition-building efforts on the Internets, thanks to USA Today:

Social-networking services such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter may be generating lots of buzz. But old-fashioned, non-digital, face-to-face conversations aren’t out of vogue just yet.

About 87% of 1,000 adults questioned in June said they prefer to deal with other people in person instead of via computers or smartphones, according to a survey from Brightkite, a mobile social-networking service, and GfK Technology, a market research agency.

Women prefer face time 70 times more than using social networks. By contrast, men prefer it 33 times more, according to the survey.

What about tweeting on Twitter? Well, another survey shows that most people still consider that for the birds. Nearly 70% of 2,025 adults questioned in June said they didn’t know enough about Twitter to have an opinion about it, according to a LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll.

Without Comment: Business Insider Looks at How People Share Content Online

Business Insider Looks at How People Share Content Online:

A recent Business Insider ‘Chart of the Day‘ broke down the various ways that people share content on the Web.
Of those surveyed, 24 percent use Facebook as their primary content-sharing method. The ‘other’ category accounted for 11.4 percent, followed by e-mail (11.1 percent), and Twitter (10.8 percent).

Social media
BusinessInsider.com

Knowing how people use the Web to share information is important for news organizations as they experiment with new approaches to disseminating their content. It’s often difficult, however, for news organizations to accurately track the extent to which content-sharing sites drive people to their Web sites.

Search Engine Optimization guru Danny Sullivan (no relation) recently tracked Twitter transfer referrals and found that analytics programs sometimes under-report the numbers of referrals.

Sullivan reported:

‘Based only on referrers, at best, Google or any analytics program would have said Twitter sent two visits. But because I used tracking codes, I was able to overcome the lack of referring data and see that Twitter (itself or via applications or web sites using Twitter data) sent nine visits. That means analytics packages might be undercounting Twitter visits by nearly 500 percent.

‘Meanwhile, Bit.ly was showing those 58 clicks to the page. Let’s say it wasn’t filtering out some of the robots. I can still see that there are 32 visits that the log files recorded, all with the tracking codes that never existed until I tweeted the link with them. So those are all Twitter-derived visits. That means an undercount by a standard analytics tool depending on referrer data by 1600 percent.’

Given that Twitter is high up on the list of content-sharing sites, it helps to keep these findings in mind.

(Via E-Media Tidbits.)

Without Comment: Pew Findings on Adults & Social Networks

Pew Findings on Adults & Social Networks: At its core, use of online social networks is still a phenomenon of the young http://ow.ly/hOSK:

(Via PRSA Resource Center – FriendFeed.)

Sharing shows how you’re faring on the web

How frequently people share content they find on your website, blog or other electronic outreach may ultimately be the most important measure of well you’re building and maintaining your issue or action coalition.

If the people you reach out to are forwarding, Digging, Delicious-ing the content you are generating, then they’re voting with their actions that what you have to say is important because it:

  • Contributes to or furthers a conversation they think matters;
  • Advances their self or civic interest; and/or
  • Confirms their values, beliefs or ideas.

The key, then, is to make sure that the content you’re generating is “share worthy” by concentrating on its:  

  • Trustworthiness – Do you take every step possible to make sure that content is accurate, complete, low on spin and authentic to the style and culture of your organization?
  • Relevance – Do you know in great detail who your coalition partners are, what interests and motivates them, and do you provide them with what they need and want?
  • Immediacy – Is the meaning and value of your content instantly recognizable as valuable without requiring a complicated explanation.
  • Usefulness – More than ever before, content is king, especially well-written, timely and relevant news, how-tos and other material that adds value to everyday life, or at least makes it easier and more productive.  

Bottom line, any time you’re posting information, ask yourself: “Will my partners and audiences use this material and, if so, how will their task/day/life go better?”  If you and your content have an answer, then odds are what you have to say is “share worthy” and thus an Internet success.

A tasty way to measure your impact

I stumbled across a recent account from the communications staff at Missouri University of Science and Technology about using a del.icio.us account to keep track of their online news stories and blog posts. 

Their insight: while using del.icio.us makes it easier to track media coverage, it also provides a potent tool for measuring and analyzing the impact of their media relations activities since del.icio.us shows you which stories are being saved by others (one indication of popularity).

Add in the use of tags and tag clouds, and you can start getting a pretty good tool for identifying the issues and interests of your current and potential allies and coalition partners.

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