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A Critique of Five Campaign Monitoring and Measuring Tools

June 19, 2011

This paper will examine five online tools for monitoring and measuring campaigns. The paper will test out TweetStats, Social Mention, Hashtags, WeFollow, Friend or Follow to see how they function as a campaign measurement.

First, the paper will review how TweetStats works. Users can enter their Twitter username on TweetStats and get graphs about this Twitter account. The site not only gives users basic stats, which include how many times this Twitter account tweets per hour or per month, tweet timeline and reply statistics, but also features two other useful functions: Tweet Cloud and Follower Stats. Tweet Cloud allows users to check the words they use frequently in the tweets and search tweets for these popular words. Followers Stats helps users to track their follower count over time.

The well formatted colored charts provide by the site are not only easy to read but also very informative. The graphs cover basic information such as tweet timeline, tweet density, aggregate daily/hourly tweets, interface used, the users this account retweets/replies the most and so on, making it very easy to tell the long-term trends. Especially, users can even trace back to examine their entire history on Twitter. They can clearly see their tweeting patterns, and therefore they can modify the concentration of their tweets to better spreading the word.

Additionally, Tweet Cloud is very helpful to examine the campaign keywords used by this account. This function can review how frequent the account talks about the campaign and even search specific tweets containing the keyword.

Overall, TweetStats is a great site for basic Twitter analytics. It provides users with nice visualization of one’s activities on Twitter. However, the tool only provides general basic information of the Twitter account and definitely needs improvement in areas like customizing statistics and deeply analyzing the data.

The second tool the paper will talk about is a more combined one called Social Mention, which provides service across more than 80 social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google, etc. Social Mention allows users to search for posts about the campaign on these social media platforms. Most importantly, the tool allows users to set up e-mail alerts for particular keywords and picks up information most other alerts may miss such as Facebook mentions.

The site provides keyword search in categories including blogs, microblogs, networks, news, images, and videos, etc. The results can be sorted by source or by date. Users can view the most recent results as well. They can see the actual comments, posts, tweets and videos, etc.

The most useful function of this tool comes with the search engine, which provides strength, sentiment, passion and reach – four dimensions to examine a campaign. According to the site, strength is “the likelihood that your brand is being discussed in social media.” Specifically, it’s the phrase mentioned in the past 24 hours divided by total possible mentions. This number tells how widely the campaign is reaching. Sentiment is “the ratio of mentions that are generally positive to those that are generally negative.” The sentiment function would be very helpful because it categorizes the words into positive, neutral and negative. So it’s very easy to tell if the campaign topic is welcome. Passion is “a measure of the likelihood that individuals talking about your brand will do so repeatedly.” For instance, some people who always talk about the campaign will give the campaigner a higher passion score. Reach is “a measure of the range of influence.” In other words, it is the number of unique authors referencing the campaign divided by the total number of mentions.

Overall, Social Mention should be a great tool for monitoring and measuring campaigns because it provides detailed information of any given keyword on all major social media. The only setback of the tool is it takes a long time to get the search results.

Another tool this paper would like to discuss is, which doesn’t seem very useful in monitoring and measuring campaigns.

A hashtag is used to mark a keyword or topic in tweets on Twitter. Hashtag,org’s front page provides popular hashtags from business, celebrity, education, environment/justice, social change and TV entertainment seven categories. Users can enter a hashtag to see a detailed graph of trends in the past week and find out who tweets this particular hashtag and their specific tweets. Apparently, people who tweet the hashtag are also interested in that given topic, so it could be a good way to find the target audience and get the message across.

Users can enter the hashtag they created for certain campaigns to test out how well the campaign is doing. From the graph showing trends in Twitter, people can see when the hashtag reaches its peak time during the past seven days. However, the chart is quite hard to read and easily confuses people. Also, this information is not very useful because it’s hard to see any long-term trends by looking at data from such a short period of time.

The paper will then evaluate a site called WeFollow, which serves as a Twitter user directory with various categories including celebrity, music, social media, entrepreneur, news, blogger, tech and TV. WeFollow provides ranks in each category, which can be viewed by “most followers” and “most influential.” But it’s unclear how the site actually ranks “most influential.” It also gives information such as top tags, top Twitter users and top cities based on Twitter follower count.

WeFollow is organized by interests, which allows people to connect with other Twitter users in their area of interest and helps a campaign to find its target audience. Twitter users can tag themselves with several categories and other users can follow them based on their common interest.

One function that deserved more attention to monitor and measure campaigns is the top cities rank. If it’s a local campaign, campaigners can click the campaign city and target the users with most followers on the list. And hopefully these top users will interact in some way and therefore drive more attention to the campaign.

However, this site is not really built for monitoring and measuring campaigns. WeFollow is more for personal use such as finding like-minded people or discovering interesting Twitter users to follow. The site potentially can help attain some attention to a campaign but it goes beyond its ability to actually monitor and measure how the campaign is doing.

Lastly, the paper will discuss the functions provided by Friend or Follow to monitor and measure a campaign. Friend or Follow is an app that helps users to find out who they’re following that’s not following them back and who is following them that they don’t follow back.

Users can enter their Twitter usernames on Friend or Follow to see who are not following them back or who they don’t follow back. The app named three situations following, fans and friends. One’s following are who they follow, but the following don’t get followed back. One’s fans are who follow them but the fans don’t get followed back. Friends are mutually following each other. Users can even filter the results by username, name, location, follower, following, last tweet and account age.

Twitter only allows users to follow 2,000 other users. If users reach this limit, they need to wait till they have more followers before they can follow additional users. So the service provided by Friend or Follow helps campaigners to monitor whether their following become friends over time. If everything that tries to persuade the following to follow back has been done and still doesn’t work, the campaigner knows it’s time to unfollow those users and focus on other target audience by using Friend or Follow. Twitter users can enter their password on Friend or Follow and selectively unfollow the users that don’t follow back within this app instead of going to each profile individually. Additionally, this app also serves as a reminder for people to follow back the fans that they should follow.

All in all, Friend or Follow helps campaigners to reach the broadest target audience and get the campaign message across.

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