By Maggie Schneider Huston-Oracle on Mar 27, 2015
We all know big data can be intimidating - but sometimes the analysis of big data is even scarier. Today’s Influencer is Lisa Black, Oracle Social Cloud Product Manager and an expert in analytics. We spoke with Lisa last year and in light of the rapidly changing social sphere, we asked her back for more. As we said before, “When you have someone who actually gets this excited about analytics, good things keep getting added to that part of the product.” Now let’s get cracking!
Lisa Black, Manager, Oracle Social Cloud Product Management
Engagement v. Audience Size: Which is More Important?
As I think about what makes me an analyst at heart, it’s definitely not drowning in meaningless data. Or as I like to say, the “so what” metrics. It’s really about making it easier to make better decisions. According to Gartner: “Through 2017, the number of citizen data scientists will grow five times faster than the number of highly skilled data scientists.” After all, business analytics and all of today’s synonymous buzzwords were once upon a time summed up by the words “decision support,” as in a system to support decision making.
You may already be wondering what this has to do with engagement and audience size. Everything, that’s what.
Engage, engage, engage.
Engagement matters more.
Let’s say I have an audience of 1000 people, but only 1 person ever engages with me. For simplicity sake, let’s call this 0.1% engagement (1 person who engages with me / 1000 total audience size).
On the other hand, if you have an audience of 100 from which 50 people engage with you on a regular basis, that’s 50% engagement (50 / 100).
Which is better? The much higher engagement rate! It is more valuable to me than the absolute value audience size, because engaged users are advocates for your brand and will likely purchase your product. Disengaged users are just filler.
The Cost of a Growing Audience
Put this example aside for a minute, and let’s take a look at another type of comparison.
At the beginning of the week, I had 1,000 people in my audience. Today I have 1,001. That’s a 0.1% increase [(1,001 today – 1,000 start of week) / 1,000 start of week]. In comparison, you started the week with 100 people in your audience, and today you have 150. That’s a 50% increase.
Still with me? Good, because here’s where it gets really interesting.
In both cases (you and I), each new audience member costs $1 to acquire, and a 1% increase in engagement generates a $100 increase in revenue.
· I spent $1, earned $10, net $9
· You spent $50, earned $5,000, net $4,950
Being you is looking pretty good!
Why yes, it is good to be me.
It’s a mystery to me why so many people trying to measure social marketing react as if “OMG the sky is falling” if an audience of 10,000 drops by 10 people.
I want to make better decisions when I measure social marketing, so I’m going to rely on ratios. Using the Oracle Social Cloud, you can too:
Oh, and did you notice that with the above dashboard I can easily analyze two different social networks side by side? Yeah, that’s also pretty valuable in supporting better decisions.
- Look at percentages, not raw numbers, of your engagement and user growth.
- Use a sophisticated analytics tool, like the SRM, to study your results closely to determine what types of content are yielding the best results
- Ignore the “so what” metrics.
Oh yes, and your social metrics better align with your overall business objectives. But that's for another blog all together.