DataSift + bitly: Measuring the missing metric in social engagement

15th November 2012 4 Comments

As a Big Data platform for social, we’re continually working on how we can extend the value of insights that companies can derive from social data. Today we’re excited to announce our resyndication partnership with bitly (you can read the full announcement here) – bringing the social clickstream into our platform and integrating it to enable entirely new ways to analyze and act on social data insights.

As the world’s most popular link-sharing platform, bitly is used to share more than 80 million new links every day, with more than 200 million clicks per day on a bitly link – providing unparalleled insight into what the social world is paying attention to. This click-stream of data now flows through DataSift in real-time, enabling companies to create deep, unique insights into both what the world is both sharing and clicking-on.

This integration of social click-stream and social conversation data is a first in the industry. To put it in context for the overall market, here’s why we’re so excited about this:

The Missing Metric in Social Customer Engagement

Just as consumers have embraced Facebook and Twitter, companies are now racing to join them by establishing their social presence and using social to engage their customers. Today, 87% of marketers use Social Media to engage with customers, and spend on average 33% of their budgets on creating content to interest, educate and engage them.

As the world has gone social, the measure of “engagement” has grown as a primary metric for every CMO to identify how their social content is performing. Every Tweet, Retweet, Post, Like, Comment, Pin and Share can be measured to give an insight into the effectiveness of their social strategy in engaging customers.

This is only half the picture. Measuring what people share/like is valuable, but understanding how many viewed/clicked on your content is the missing metric. What people are sharing and what they are clicking don’t necessarily match-up.

By integrating bitly into our social data platform, we are now – for the first time – able to enable social analytics companies and enterprises to integrate the two worlds of social metrics and web metrics to give a complete picture of engagement that measures both social-sharing and social click-throughs.

The social click-through-rate (CTR), the % of the audience that clicks-through to read, becomes a metric you can measure to help drive your social strategy – not just for content you create – but for content created and shared by consumers, influencers, journalists and peers in your industry.

What analyzing conversation + clicks means for the CMO

With the complete picture, marketers now have new, data-driven insights they can use to drive their social efforts:

Measure and Increase Customer Engagement: Build a content creation-strategy that drives maximum engagement by measuring the social click-through rates for content, applying SEO to your social content to benchmark your company’s social impact.

Measure the New ROI – Return on Influencers: Remove guesswork from PR and influencer engagement by measuring the impact of your launch across news and media. Track and respond to issues and opportunities based on what the world is reading.

Optimize Your Campaign Content: Identify fresh, popular content that is trending socially to curate more engaging content for your audience and expand content reach.

Dissecting the iPad Mini launch

As an example, we looked at the social sharing and engagement surrounding the Apple iPad Mini launch on Oct 23rd. As people shared news, reviews and articles socially, we wanted to get an insight into where people went for the latest news on the day.

Armed with this insight, a product-launch team can identify the trusted influencers in each country and use that in future launches to provide them with exclusive previews, interviews or content about the product. By looking at which cities are driving the most interest, you could even use this data to determine where Apple should open their next store? Here are a few headlines we drew from the data by looking at a country-specific breakdown:

Tech blogs, Apple Fan blogs and review sites dominated the US: Unsurprisingly, the US engagement was dominated by tech blogs, product review sites and Apple specific blogs: TechCrunch, MacRumors, Engadget, CNET Reviews, and CultofMac were all popular destinations. However, outside of the East coast and West coast tech-heavy hubs, product review sites were favoured over tech blogs.

Canadians stayed local: Mobilesyrup.com dominated the social engagement for Canadians as they went local for their news.

Traditional news-providers remain the trusted source in France: Traditional news media dominated, with LeMonde as the dominant choice. Interestingly, 20minutes.fr (the website for the free, daily commuter paper for Parisens) was popular in Paris , showing the importance of locally, trusted news sources.

In short: for any company planning a product launch, understanding the news and media that people share, consume and trust is a critical part to planning your marketing outreach.

Getting Started

As a social-data platform we provide the data that can fuel business intelligence, analytics and social applications. By analyzing data that covers both social conversations and clicks, you can get a much deeper picture of engagement, helping you separate out the noise from the content and conversations that are truly driving customer interest and engagement.

If you’re interested in getting started with bitly, you can find more details on our Bitly data source or contact us to learn more!

If you’re curious in peering under the hood and learning more about how our platform gulps, analyzes and delivers real-time insights, take a look at our tech blog articles covering what it takes to filter from 200M clickstreams/day  we consume and how we mine each webpage to uncover additional insights.

Written by Tim Barker

Tim Barker is the Chief Product Officer at DataSift. Connect with Tim on Google+