Social Media Analysis

Marianina Chaplin, over at Web Analytics Princess, has written a couple of very interesting posts on “Social networking analysis meets web analytics meets marketing effectiveness” & also “Value networking analysis versus social networking analysis“, along with a link through to the Value Networks Consortium articles.

Social Media Visualisation
In it she goes into detail about how a MIT Media Lab/Social Media Lab study has designed a flexible tool for the content driven exploration and visualization of a social network. More specifically, this tool visualizes the true influence of comment flow from MySpace visitors.

Juda Phillips of Web Analytics Demystified writes about “Web Analytics and Social Networks” and also here.

I have no background in analytics, but my interest in it is based on wanting to better serve the audiences I build digital solutions and experiences for. As the metaphor of the page click-through dwindles and we see more thought being given towards monitoring what people are actually doing with their time on a site or within an application, I hope that we’ll be able to substantiate what the knock on effects are for the members of that social network which are touched by it.

I’m intrigued by engagement. I began my social network experience as a lurker. As I have become more comfortable with, and more confident in, using these social tools I am finding myself taking part and engaging in more of the conversation. I’m not alone, as the daily activity on my Facebook newsfeed can vouch for.

I think that many of the people who have signed up to Facebook, but who had not previously delved into MySpace, felt that the interface was a barrier to them i.e. actually doing stuff on it. Facebook is easier to use – ironcially because it doesn’t offer the level of individualism that MySpace was initailly celebrated for. For example, preventing people from changing the look and feel of their profile page and building an online community based on the people you already know cuts to the essence of social networking – which to me is maintaining relationships online with friends you have offline, however distant.

As more and more people feel at ease not only posting their own photos onto Facebook, but also commenting on the photos that others in their network have uploaded and truly engaged in, you’re able to build a detailed picture about the types of people they are, their interests, their likes and dislikes etc…I feel it’s this untapped knowledge which will lead to a much more considered approach to marketing and advertising in general, rather than the traditional method of ramming slogans and broken promises down people’s throats.


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