Maximizing Social Media

1Recently, a friend of mine explained to me why he doesn’t use Twitter. “I don’t need to hear what people are doing every minute of the day,” he said.

As public relations professionals, we shake our heads because we know that anyone who is using Twitter as a diary is using it incorrectly.

Still, many people (and companies) are skeptical of the usefulness of social media, although it can be a powerful branding, marketing and connecting tool for businesses. This term in J452, we explored a great way to combat that theory and analyze the effectiveness of social media: measurement.

In groups, we selected a company and then used various measurement tools to determine the effectiveness of that company’s social media platforms. My group chose Sock It to Me, a local Portland company. Sock It to Me uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to interact with fans and share quirky content.

We used MyTopTweet, Simply Measured, Social Mention, Statigram, and TweetLevel to quantify the data, which were displayed in graph format. Visually representing the information in this way not only made it easier to comprehend but also gave it credibility.

We not only analyzed Sock It to Me’s social media usage but also that of three competitors: Happy Socks, K.Bell, and Gumball Poodle. Social media measurement is valuable, but it is even more valuable when placed in the context of competition.

One of the biggest takeaways from this assignment was the importance of sharing information that directly relates to the customer. For example, Sock It to Me hosted a “Sock Exchange” in which customers could swap out their current sock for a brand new pair of Sock It to Me’s. The customers then modeled the socks for a photo on Instagram. Fan engagement for this event was high and overwhelmingly positive as people tagged themselves and commented about the event. However, posts that were too abstract or did not directly affect the customer received little interaction.