The Cold Hard Data on Corporate Social Media Investment

The Cold Hard Data on Corporate Social Media Investment

Introduction

Is there a return on investment from social media?

I hear this question frequently, usually from frustrated brand managers or from executives who have to foot the bill for the social media budget. While there are success stories (I know a brand that acquires customers on Facebook for $0.50) it seems that most firms struggle with this question.
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Older Crowd Loves Hortons, While Youth Flock to Starbucks and McDonald’s

Older Crowd Loves Hortons, While Youth Flock to Starbucks and McDonald’s

Introduction

In my previous series of posts on Canada’s coffee wars, I looked at how Starbucks, Tim Hortons and McDonald’s were viewed province-by-province[1], analyzed how their distinct marketing strategies were working[2], and studied brand overlap in the marketplace[3]. To complete this study, I will now analyze whether or not they are targeting the same market.

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The Social Data You’re Getting May Only be a Fraction of the Story

The Social Data You’re Getting May Only be a Fraction of the Story

Introduction

I’m often asked why I go to so much trouble to create my Twitter datasets using sampling techniques rather than the more common Twitter Stream API[1] . For those who don’t know, the Twitter Stream API is the standard way that most analysts get their Twitter data. It taps into the Twitter Firehose (a live stream of all current tweets on Twitter) and filters it based on keywords, user accounts and location. Using Twitter streams, analysts can get very targeted tweets in real time.

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Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. https://dev.twitter.com/docs/api/streaming
Want to Make Your Post Go Viral? It’s All About the Second-Degree Network

Want to Make Your Post Go Viral? It’s All About the Second-Degree Network

Introduction

One main reason organizations use social media is the hope that a post or link will go viral. Networks like Twitter make this extremely easy, allowing people to share interesting content with their friends. But in practice it is very difficult to “make” something go viral. It requires coming up with a message people want to share, having enough people actually see the message, and ensuring that this message is spread efficiently through the network.
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Forget the Crystal Ball: Social Media Can Help Predict the Future

Forget the Crystal Ball: Social Media Can Help Predict the Future

Introduction

In previous articles, I have focused on what Twitter can tell us about people’s past behaviour. While this can be extremely useful, Twitter can also be used to predict future events. In most of these cases, researchers attempt to find a correlation between Twitter activity (such as mentions or sentiment) and some real world outcome. Correlation is a start, but it is not a predictive model.
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