Hey look a SXSW post. No not really. But it does start there.

One of the panels I attended was the “Measuring Social Media – Let’s Get Serious,” session. At Voce we’ve been focusing on measurement as a core program component for a while so it’s been interesting to see the rest of the industry evolve. This evolution is occurring at the service level with a number of different tools available, the agency level and somewhat at the brand level.

During the measurement panel my new colleague at Porter Novelli, Israel Mirsky asked a rather pointed question about data integrity from Twitter. Namely who has the fire-hose of data. Too many services are only using the API, which only provides a sub-set of data, and calling it ‘Twitter’. It’s not a complete data-set. As Israel points out:

The major problem that has arisen is the crop of slick-interface social monitoring and analytics tools that use the API instead of the Firehose and represent themselves as though they are appropriate analysis tools for significant amounts of conversation. While okay for small businesses that don’t have much volume, for brands with medium to large amounts of conversation, the data provided by the API is incomplete because the API will only give away so much data for free and caps their access.

This is a major problem. Bad data = bad research = bad decisions = bad results and damaged relationships with stakeholders.

The other holy grail for many is cross-platform analytics, that is taking data from all the social media services and mashing them up to make sense of a larger picture. There is no shortage of data, but it is complete and can you trust it? Lastly the goal is to make sense of it all….externally and internally……more on that in a second.


2 Responses to Social Media Data, We’ve Got It, Wait, No….We Don’t

  1. Matt Certo says:

    Good thinking, Josh. I definitely think that your reference to “small businesses” is right-on. I really think you have to delineate between the two. I saw the article about Gatorade in the Wall Street Journal several months ago which made reference to a dedicated team of people constantly monitoring their brand in various social media channels. That’s a far cry from many of the small-mid sized businesses (think $10Million – $100Million) we work with. At this point, many of them aren’t monitoring much of anything. That’s one of the reasons we created http://www.metricpulse.com; just a simple dashboard to help smaller companies get going. As always, thanks for your insights.

  2. Matt Certo says:

    By the way, sorry for the shameless plug. :-)

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