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Outtakes, Outputs and

Outcomes: Social Media

Analytics Made Simple
Brian A. Cliette, Instructor of Social Media Marketing @Psu
& Growth Marketer
Three Simple Truths About Analytics
Companies invest more money every year in social analytics,
because they have realized three simple truths.
First, that incremental growth is unstable and impossible without
the proper use of social analytics.
That the key to content engagement & sharability lies in
educated decision-making based on real-time data
Finally, that data gives them a competitive edge.
What is Social Analytics ?
There are a lot of definitions for social analytics floating on the
surface of the cybersea. My definition strikes on a key point
many others miss:
Social analytics is the habit of collecting and analyzing streams of data
coming in from targeted social sources, to incrementally improve decision-
making for your online business or brand. Brian Cliette
Why is Social Analytics a Habit?
As you can see, I focus on the habit of social analytics as a
defining factor, as opposed to a practice because data
application only remains relevant for short windows of time.
Without continual recollection and reanalysis, your evidence-
based strategy or content will lose context, and as a result,
potential impact.
There Is No Proven Social Analytics
Because social media analytics is a new field, you may be
shocked to discover that there is no set-in-stone capability
framework for producing results just yet.
Different brands produce different results when using the
same strategies. Social media input is extremely varied and
audience-specific. Then there is the time variable!
The main goal here is to find out how to measure the success
of chosen metrics over time.
There Is No Proven Social Analytics
To do this, I borrow processes from the PR field, and how they
choose to measure impact using the three Os structure:
outtakes, outputs and outcomes.
Once you know how to measure impact, and select the right
social analytics tools - life will flow into your content, and
engagement will grow.

Sasha Dookhoo, PR Measurement Using The 3 Os,

Most social media marketers begin by measuring the outtakes

of their social analytics.
These are the most direct results that their efforts produce.
Known as outtake metrics, this information gives you exact
figures on things like post impression count, video views or
total engagement level .
Outtakes are found directly on social media platforms, but
the data is not usually presented in an analysis-friendly way.

An example is Facebook Analytics where you can see the

outtake metrics of a key post. Interesting data to be sure, but
lacking meaning without any context.
Using third party tools to reorganize and contextualize the data
is the most valuable thing you can do with these direct metrics.
Contextual outtakes are superb for market context.

If that Facebook post is compared to other brand posts, or to

other posts by the same author it answers questions that
may lead to that singular post gaining an edge in relation to
its competitors.

With contextual outtake metrics, you will improve the

performance of your content incrementally by employing
habitual comparison analysis, using social analytics on social
platforms and with third party tools.
The result is a distinct competitive advantage over time.

The areas that are greatly improved by this are customer

profiling, customization and personalization of content for your
audience, along with community analytics like topic detection.

Raghu Krishnapuram, Jitendra Ajmera, Social Media Analytics, IBM Research India,

The measurement of your brand teams activities on social

media are called outputs, because they refer to the production
output your team was capable of performing.
Known as output metrics, these act as a method of measuring
whether or not your team produced their work as your brand
has outlined on budget, on message and on time.

On the most basic level, an individual might be told to

create 10 tweets a day. This number of content pieces will be
measured for impact, because output metrics can seriously
effect community growth, content reception and reaction.
The sweet spot for a brand might be 10 tweets a day, for ideal
growth over time. Any more than that, and output analysis
may reveal a loss of engagement and followers.
Management of output metrics happens on a content marketing
platform like Kapost or Percolate, and help teams maintain a
consistently beneficial flow of specific content to key platforms
and areas.
The time metric in this instance is particularly useful, if
habitual retesting is part of your brand culture.

For long term success with social media, outcome metrics are
by far the most important.
These ask the higher level questions that really impact the
growth, reputation and progression of your brand.

The engagement or actions people performed in response

to your social content is where the magic happens.
Its important to establish these outcome metrics before
heading into a full blown social media strategy that has been
benchmarked with a hierarchy of different metrics.
These will keep your brand on target and working towards the
right kind of content impact for your communities.

Measuring whether your sales increased after a specific

type of post, if your leads are at the right stage of the
buying process, or whether your brands customer loyalty
improved after a specific amount of time or strategic execution -
are all higher level outcomes for your brand.
Before outtake or output key performance indicators, your
outcome metrics need to be established so that you can
apply the data and answer important questions about customer
relationship management online.
Outcomes are much, much harder to measure, but when
there is clear progress or improvement with these KPIs, they
amount to clear social media success for your brand
Social Analytic Tools
The right tools will give you an advantage over brand
competitors. Combine and contrast them.
Never stop testing new tools that promise deeper levels of
data, analysis and visualization.
Social Analytic Tools
Platform analytics are great for outtake metrics. These include
Facebook Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Instagram Analytics and
Google Analytics.
Third-party management tools are excellent because they
allow you to pull in various analytics from your platforms and
then give them context and depth, with metrics of their own. My
favorites are Keyhole, SocialBakers, AgoraPulse, Buffer
and BuzzSumo.
Social Analytic Tools
Standalone analytics tools focus on a specific type of platform
analytics or give you a certain type of data to assist you in your
social marketing pursuits.
Examples are SocialMention, Oktopost and Little Bird. - Start seeing immediately which companies
have visited your website ( Integrates with G/A)
The Keys to Success selecting the right tools, having a competent
conceptual capability framework in place and understanding
your metric hierarchy.
The Keys to Success
At the highest level are your brands social content outcomes,
followed by the contextual outtake metrics from a unique blend
of social analytics tools (platform, third-party and standalone)
And the habitual adjustment and reapplication of output metrics
to guide your team to social greatness.
The Keys to Success
From there, its a simple matter of learning how to correctly and
creatively interpret your findings so that you can convert them
into opportunities and improvements for your brand on social

DemandMetric, Social Media Analytics Benchmark Report,
Weiguo Fan, Michael D Gordon, Unveiling The Power of Social Media Analytics,
Batrinca, B. & Treleaven, Social Media Analytics: A Survey of Techniques, Tools and Platforms, P.C. AI & Soc (2015) 30:
89. doi:10.1007/s00146-014-0549-4
Karim, Abdul; Khan, Noushad; and Khan, Gohar Feroz, "A SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYTICS CAPABILITIY FRAMEWORK
FOR FIRMS COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE" (2016). PACIS 2016 Proceedings. Paper 169.
Sasha Dookhoo, PR Measurement Using The 3 Os,
Raghu Krishnapuram, Jitendra Ajmera, Social Media Analytics, IBM Research India,
Marcus Guido, The List of The Top 25 Social Media Analytics Tools,
Ian Cleary, The Social Media Analytics Compass: What and How To Measure,
Matthew Ganis, Avinash Kohirkar, Social Media Analytics, Free Sample Chapter,