John Barnes

Viral Vampires: How to Measure a Marketing Hashtag's Potency

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Broadway0474
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Re: Leading off with a correction ...
Broadway0474   12/4/2011 8:34:00 PM
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Would the tool to track hashtags be similar to tools used now to track which keywords are the "hottest" for SEO?

SethBreedlove
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Re: Leading off with a correction ...
SethBreedlove   12/3/2011 8:49:39 PM
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Thank you John for this great example.  I really like how you not only addressed the problem but addressed the solutions. Reading your blogs is like taking a class. (A good one!)  A good save for later. 

Joe Stanganelli
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Re: Leading off with a correction ...
Joe Stanganelli   11/30/2011 12:12:28 AM
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This is fascinating stuff, John (as usual with your posts).  Looking forward to your next one!

Shawn Hessinger
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Re: Leading off with a correction ...
Shawn Hessinger   11/22/2011 11:40:42 PM
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There's no question it would be doable. Actually sometime soon I'll probably blog someplace or other about why semiautomatic coding -- i.e. mechanized systems to make human beings much more efficient but leave them in the loops -- is actually likely to be the most effective.

John, can't wait to hear more. My feeling is this would be a winning application and a great way of tracking the influence of hashtags. Thanks for sharing.

John Barnes
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Re: Leading off with a correction ...
John Barnes   11/22/2011 10:34:16 PM
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There's no question it would be doable.  Actually sometime soon I'll probably blog someplace or other about why semiautomatic coding -- i.e. mechanized systems to make human beings much more efficient but leave them in the loops --  is actually likely to be the most effective.

Shawn Hessinger
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Re: Leading off with a correction ...
Shawn Hessinger   11/21/2011 11:40:03 PM
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Broadway,

I was thinking the same thing. In fact, what a great concept for an analytics tool (or a feature for an existing tool.) You can follow others using the same hashtag by simply clicking into the hashtag stream, but this gives you only a feel for the kinds of posts being made. Something really cool would be an analytics or insight tool that could effectively track, catalog and manage hashtag data so that hashtag trends could be adequately analyzed.  

Broadway0474
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Re: Leading off with a correction ...
Broadway0474   11/19/2011 8:23:05 PM
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John, if someone did a longer analysis of hashtag use and effectiveness, any less manual ways to track it than yours?

Shawn Hessinger
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Re: Leading off with a correction ...
Shawn Hessinger   11/18/2011 5:19:06 PM
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John,

I would think finding measurements for the effectiveness of marketing online and off continues to be a major challenge and may not be able to be resolved 100 percent. After all, the superiority of PPC marketing was extolled at the outset but now, of course, there are doubts about its effectiveness as well. Just because we know someone looked at your add doesn't mean they bought anything. Better than a newspaper ad but far from perfect. Maryam has spoken about some elaborate advertising codes that were used to track effectiveness even back in the age of print, but to what extent this koind of technique would be effective in social media is uncertain.

John Barnes
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Re: Leading off with a correction ...
John Barnes   11/18/2011 1:33:51 PM
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Shawn, that is the real challenge.

Right now we don't have any real clue about the monetization process.  Neither has traditional advertising or marketing (except for direct mail), of course, but when they were the only game in town, nobody noticed (if all cars are black there's not much point in taking a customer survey about how much car color is affecting their decision).

Some possibilities would be to survey buyers to see how many remembered the message; offer a got-it rebate through the tweeted channel; or use the hashtag to promote a temporary discount site that wasn't publicized in any other way (and then see how much the non-promoted correlated with the promoted).  Elsewhere I've written about how I used frequency counts on reader reviews to position a book of mine, and then used frequency counts to determine how many reviewers of the new book appeared to have picked up the language from the marketing copy, but that doesn't actually reveal that any buyers decided to buy based on any particular language.

All of those have gaping holes methodologically, but might be better than nothing.  Buyer surveys post-purchase notoriously involve people rationalizing and re-writing their decisions to what they think the survey-takers want to hear; rebates and promos tied to hashtags are routinely searched for these days, so the causality is likely to be badly skewed.  People don't report all their purchases on line, thank heaven,  lifted phrases in reviews might have been lifted by people looking for the right words at the time of reviewing rather than influenced by them at the time of buying, and most of all, books are consumed on very long delays anyway -- often several months -- so much so that it's a cliche in book review blogs that many reviewers don't remember why they picked up the book in the first place.  Nonetheless, there may be some relation that would be enough to work with.  The research just isn't there yet.

Shawn Hessinger
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Re: Leading off with a correction ...
Shawn Hessinger   11/18/2011 1:12:25 PM
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Hi John,

Analysis that would shame the average social media marketer. I'm wondering how you might go about tracking such a campaign long-term and how/if you could adequately and effectively measure its impact on, say, book sales beyond the social media space, always the real challenge, it seems.

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