Note: Updated post; originally appearing in the Party2.0 blog
Like traditional media, social networks will need to prove their value in order to set rates and collect advertising revenue. All media relies on some measurement to demonstrate their strength as an advertising option. Social media producers need to measure user generated volume and user engagement strength to prove their value to brand managers. Algorithms are now being developed that will measure brand mentions and the depth of engagement from user-generated content.
David Berkowitz of Digital Agency 360i suggests a measuring system be created called the Cost Per Social Action (CPSA). David’s equation would measure any action with a distinctly social quality that leads to either new relationships (such as through “viral” referrals or acquiring new followers and fans) or deepening existing relationships (such as through “likes,” comments, responses, and ratings).
We like the idea of measuring what people do to improve their social space and in our case their party. As a online party network, PartyWeDo is looking for ways to measure the value of a party, so these algorithms are very interesting to us.
Parties are full of banter and personal connection, so developing a party measurement algorithm should be possible.
Like other online social experiences that rely on user generated content, an online party must prove engagement before it can attract advertising sponsors. That is why we are using some of the social networking measurement tools already under development to build our proprietary banter measurement system.
Vitrue, launched a social media index that measures conversation volume on brand names. They measure brand mentions from social networking sites, blogs and micro-blog site. Because our online parties reward players for bantering, we record every conversation during the party, including the mention of many keywords.
Mentions are just one component of the user created conversation algorithm; others include the strength of anecdotes and visualization. Both measurements of the conversation calculation create an engagement length and strength that may be the real magic of social media advertising effectiveness. David Berkowitz of 360i did a great presentation on measuring social media effectiveness. His slides discussed the value of a great anecdotal story to engage people in the conversation. Social conversation breeds on personal stories, through which others can relate and then share similar experiences.
Party communication is rich with personal anecdotes leading to escalating banter and engaging conversation. Adding anecdotes into the social algorithm is necessary to measure the worth of any social media source like our party network. Therefore the Banterithm measures individual storylines that use the keywords which people pick up on during conversations.
We all know that a great storyteller can paint a wonderful mental picture. But social networks allow users to attach pictures into the conversation and can create imagery that is truly worth a thousand words. User generated pictures can enhance the conversation and bring others in from the sidelines, encouraging them to share their own images to support the discussion.
The additional ability of social media to include video only adds to the engagement value. The online party banter can likewise benefit from images and video to spin-up a conversation and keep a crowd involved. The volume of shared images is also measured in the Banterithm, just like any social media measurement tool.
As social networks refine their measuring tools for user generated content, the value of these systems will become apparent to advertising managers. We are interested in your thoughts on other key measurements needed to demonstrate the branding value of any online party. We continue to ask: What is more social than a party?