Senior executives and social media strategists and their agencies increasingly need meaningful metrics to measure the impact of their social media activities. That, and reporting on return on investment, are widely recognised as two of the highest organisational priorities. Yet there are no comprehensive social media metrics that link closely to brand strategy, provide a multi-channel approach and show a comparative position against competitors. That’s what the PRINT™ social media measurement system offers.
PRINT™ represents the social media footprint or identity of the brands and organisations that are assessed. The PRINT™ acronym reflects the attributes that Sociagility considers to be the most significant contributors to achieving competitive advantage through social media.
The PRINT™ Index is a number that shows the overall social media profile and performance for a brand, organisation or other entity, relative to a defined set of comparison brands and benchmarks. Statistical analysis shows that the PRINT™ Index is significantly correlated with brand value, growth and reputation and, as such, it provides a Key Performance Indicator for social media performance.
The PRINT™ Index for a given brand is calculated based on performance across multiple social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) and in the context of the brand’s own formal web presence. For each channel, five attributes are analysed: popularity; receptiveness; interaction; network reach; and trust. By combining the scores for each channel and attribute, and normalising these against the comparison set, a relative performance metrics – the PRINT™ Index – is calculated.
Whilst the PRINT™ methodology and free influence metrics like Klout,PeerIndex and Kred all produce a series of scores, that’s about where the similarities end. Firstly, PRINT™ measures more than influence. Secondly, PRINT™ is comparative across a group of peer brands that you define, not the entire universe. Thirdly, PRINT™ is focused on showing brands where they can achieve competitive advantage – the PRINT™ Index is just the top-level summary of performance. Finally, and most importantly, the PRINT™ Index has been proven to correlate significantly with brand value and growth. During the course of our research, we also looked at correlations between this and Klout and PeerIndex scores, and found no such correlation.
Popularity, receptiveness, interaction, network reach and trust are the attributes that Sociagility considers to be the most significant contributors to achieving competitive advantage through social media. This is supported by our research linking the PRINT™ methodology to brand value, growth and reputation.
Each channel and attribute combination is made up of a selection of indicative metrics, using publicly available data. Some of these are raw measures (e.g. friends, followers, fans, subscribers, etc.) but others are ratios that we have specifically chosen and calculated in order to ensure we are comparing like with like (e.g. engagement per thousand followers, subscriptions per day, etc.).
Google+ is still very much in its infancy when it comes to use by brands (brand pages were only made possible at the beginning of November). However, as brand use of Google+ increases, we anticipate adding it to the PRINT™ methodology as another source of social media performance data.
Until very recently, brands had no capability to control company pages on LinkedIn, and thus the activity that took place there did not reflect the organisation’s own performance. For now at least, there is very little brand-community engagement taking place on LinkedIn so it would be difficult to incorporate any meaningful data into the PRINT™ methodology.
In order to provide a fair comparison across attributes, channels and the brands and organisations being evaluated, PRINT™ needs to restrict the scope of its data to the most widely used social media platforms worldwide. We plan to extend it to market-specific source metrics based on demand.
It may not be the best gauge, but it is certainly a gauge. With more organisations looking to integrate informal social media activity into formal online properties, it’s important that appropriate social metrics for websites (e.g. social network shares) are included in the PRINT™ methodology.
It can be, yes. The base-level PRINT™ Comparative Analysis covers one site/profile per company, but for organisations with brand or country accounts PRINT™ analyses can be tailored to meet specific needs.
We have applied no weighting to the metrics that contribute to the PRINT™ Index.
A base-level PRINT™ Comparative Analysis, which includes a benchmarking report plus detailed channel and attribute investigation, costs just £950 (US $1,500 at current rates). After this initial analysis, follow-up reports can be produced on a monthly, quarterly, six-monthly or yearly schedule for significantly less. Bespoke versions can be created for organisations with more detailed requirements (e.g. multiple brand/country profiles to analyse). Full pricing information is available here. We also offer special pricing for agencies.
We certainly think they are related and our research suggests we’re right. In an analysis of the top global brands, we found a significant correlation between their PRINT™ Index scores and recognised brand value, growth and reputation metrics from the likes of Millward Brown, Interbrand and Fortune. Of course, correlation does not always imply causation – but we’re working on that too!
In layman’s terms, we found there was at least a 90 per cent probability that the relationship between PRINT™ Index scores and brand value, growth and reputation was real (i.e. not a result of pure chance). In statistician’s terms, we found that the following correlations were significant to at least the 0.1 level of confidence:
- Brand value and PRINT™ Index scores
(Test 1: r (45) = .39, p < .01; Test 2: r (25) = .5, p < .02)
- Brand growth and PRINT™ Index scores
(Test 1: r (34) = .37, p < .05; Test 2: r (25) = .33, p < .1)
- Brand reputation and PRINT™ Index ranking
(Test 1: r (34) = .33, p < .1; Test 2: r (25) = .4, p < .05)
The PRINT™ methodology can be weighted by channel based on relative usage/importance of that channel to a specific audience or audiences, putting social performance in the context of target customer segments. This allows reports or tracking to be tailored closely to brand strategy. Brands may supply their own research, or we can obtain data for specific demographics on request.
A PRINT™ Comparative Analysis can provide a number of useful and practical indicators which can be used in marketing strategy and programming. They include: a single comparative, score; a Key Performance Indicator for social media marketing; lead and lag indicators to show areas that require defending or improving; and the nature of competitor or benchmark brands’ social media performance – by attribute and by channel – and their strong and weak points.
A PRINT™ Comparative Analysis consists of a scorecard and up to 25 insight charts. Examples are provided in the sidebar on the right of this page.
The PRINT™ Comparative Analysis requires no demos, meetings or conference calls (unless you really want one). We send a simple briefing form to complete by email, ask any follow-up questions, and, unless it is a rush job, within a couple of weeks provide your scorecard and analysis back via email. If you choose to, you’ll then automatically receive a periodic update showing what’s changed across the set.
There are lots of really useful online tools that offer an indication of individual performance on specific social networks. Klout and PeerIndex are probably two of the best known. The PRINT™ Index is much more comprehensive and has been designed from the ground up for measuring the social media profile and performance of a brand or organisation. By contrast, in our research we also compared the Klout, PeerIndex and Dachis Social Business Index scores for the top global brands with brand value, growth and reputation and found no statistically significant correlation.
All the individual metrics that contribute towards the PRINT™ Index score are publicly accessible (they have to be in order to look at competitors), but we calculate our own specific ratios from these to ensure they are relevant to each attribute and channel. The benefit of this is that we don’t need authorization for our software to access private social network account data or website analytics.
You probably could, but we’d be willing to guess that it would take a long time to come up with a methodology, validate it and then build the software to gather and analyse it quickly and flexibly. It did for us!
Get started with PRINT™
Current Sociagility clients can contact us to learn more. If you’re new to Sociagility, click here to get started with PRINT™.