Social Media Measurement Tools

Hello Fellow Bloggers and followers!

I want to share with you some free and paid social media measurement tools to help you with managing your day to day monitoring.

Simply Measured: Free

–        Provides a plethora of free and visually based reports on social media applications such as LinkedIn, Vine, Instagram and Pintrest to name a few

–        Noteworthy mentions

  • LinkedIn analytics not only provides data on the individuals commenting but also details the various industries they represent and their network size, making it very easy to identify the 500+ contacts who may be deemed a key influencer


FollowerWonk: Free

–        Allows you to compare your network on twitter with that of your friends and industry leaders

–        Ability to analyze followers and put them into segments where influential, dominant and old followers are easily identified

–        Key search word functionality makes it easy to locate influential social media bloggers to promote your content

SocialPointer: Free

–        Provides the ability to monitor and listen to what your competitors and followers are saying about you in real-time so you’re always up to speed on your social mentions

Synthesio: Paid

Tracks and measures your organizations online reputation.

Highlights of Features:

–        Ability to pre-filters conversations from across the web while being able to reply directly from the identified  platform

–        Application is able to monitor and route real time conversations to the community managers based on priority, influence, topic etc. to minimize the response time

–        All responses can be tracked, so that administrators and team managers can monitor the progress of their team members, track the impact of corporate communications and show statistics on customer satisfaction, time to respond, number of complaints closed or in progress, etc.

–        Sorts by media type, topic , language and country

–        Ability to export data and visuals

–        Identifies the top websites your customers are using online

–        Discovers new markets that are draw to your brand

–        Comprehensive global monitoring of 100+ countries and 50+ languages


The choice is yours, whether you opt for a paid or free platform as your social media measurement tool – one thing is for sure, a tool is needed to measure the effectiveness on your online efforts.


Ship Wreck… Ship Saved!

I love cruises!!  I have been on three and from the onboard entertainment, casinos and art auctions to the glorious high quality foods – I feel there’s something for everyone aboard a vessel but on Friday January 13th 2012, the cruising industry was hit hard with one of the worst disasters seen of its kind.

Costa Concordia ran aground near Isola del Giglio Tuscany, Italy after Captain Francesco Schettino manoeuvred an off-course, unauthorized adjustment to pre-programmed route.  Approximately 4,200 passengers and crew members felt the boat hit the shore rocks at 21:40 and an abandon ship announcement was issued at 22:58.

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Here are the some of the facts I know for sure:

–        Captain Schettino and all of his officers were the first to board a lifeboat meanwhile crew members were helping with evacuation efforts of passengers

–        Harbour Master orders Captain Schettino to return on the vessel and assist with the evacuation but Schettino refuses… this video is priceless!!

–        The evacuation took over 6 hours and it was reported 32 lives were lost (2 individuals were noted as missing and presumed dead)

–         Captain Schettino was charged with manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship

–        Burson-Marsteller was hired to handle the public relations

This situation was a complete tragedy! Mistakes were made and lives were lost! Evacuation efforts consisted of only being able to use a fraction of the lifeboats because of the dangerous 20 degree angle of the ship, some passengers were forced to use a rope ladder while other had to jump off the boat to arrive onshore.

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After sitting back and really analyzing the facts, I have to say the overall Costa Concordia crisis management was handled well!  Human error was acknowledged early on (a smart move for Costa to distance themselves from the captain’s actions) and within the first 24 hours:

–        News releases and a press conference was given onsite by Costa CEO Pier Luigi Fosch indicating that passengers and victims were first priority

–        Subsequent press releases kept the media up to date on:

  • Cleanup, passenger safety, thanking the Italian authorities and coast guard, call to evaluate procedures, focus on future health and safety, updates on the captain

–        Salvage experts Smit Salvage BV were hired to recover the fuel

–        A hotline was activated

–        Emergency contacts were called

–        Costa Cruises positioned itself as a sympathetic partner: “Your expressions of sympathy are truly precious to us in these trying times.”

The most important thing to note is that a crisis manual existed and was put in place but if I had to critique the crisis strategy and suggest 3 things that I would have done differently, they would be the following:

1)      Remove the social media blackout noted in Costa’s crisis manual to at least get an immediate tweet, Facebook update or post out once the news broke! Subsequent social media updates should have been given with a direct link to the press releases, conference videos etc. to further assist with telling the story Costa wanted to tell.  It’s unfortunate this incident happened period! But for it to happen on the Friday night of the Martin Luther King Day long weekend… this became the rolling news on Saturday and an immediate statement before the Saturday 5pm press conference was needed

2)      All staff and crew should have been advised as part of their training 101 to NEVER speak to the media!  I know that my former employer made this clear and as part of our annual business continuity planning refresher, we had to acknowledge that in case of an emergency we are not to speak with the press.  Therefore Costa should have immediately designated a spokesperson to connect with the media prior to the press conference

3)      A picture is worth a thousand words – so could we not have put up huge screens to avoid furthering the image of the boat being capsized?  Sure we can’t avoid the aerial views but lets at least avoid the crippling image of the boat being the backdrop for the news reporters!

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And as a bonus here is my fourth recommendation – rumors were circulating that Costa was offering passengers onboard discount travels for future cruises; now while this was a hoax, Costa did not address the issue directly and the grapevine was exploding with inaccurate information.

Again, many things were done correctly to avoid the imminent reputational damage, environmental risk factors and first and foremost, acknowledgement to the crew and passengers for their heroic efforts and the devastation of the 32 lives lost.  As you can imagine this is an extremely complicated matter but a success story of a PR Crisis Averted!

Content Strategy – A Hit or Miss!?

When developing a content strategy, the ultimate objective is to find the perfect balance for communicating business goals while fulfilling user’s expectations.  Based on our weekly readings Content Strategy for the Web, Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach, New Riders, 2012 – we now know the audience, messaging, topics, voice & tone and source are all important elements to consider when looking at the substance for developing a content strategy, so what I’d like to do is look at the below three images to see if they hit or missed the mark when developing their content strategy.

Content Strategy 1

Over all I think the above image has a clear and simple message detailing the content marketing strategy for this particular organization.  We can easily see the relationship and importance the company places on the questions and concerns from its audience and I like the legend at the bottom to further explain the interaction.

My only critique is the lack of connection between ‘Figuring out the best way to solve your audience’s problems’ (2) and ‘Developing an online presence that contains relevant content’ (4).  They currently show becoming a trusted source of information to your target audience as (3) but I feel this point should be aligned with (5) ‘Making it easy for the audience to transition from learning to buying… by becoming a trusted source (3). But all in all, I would say this was a ‘Hit’.

Image 2 – Where do we begin… lets remember this is a content strategy of a mind map, so as complicated and detailed as our minds may be, the illustrator did a good job with relaying the intricacies of the mind into this diagram. But in looking at the structure of this diagram it is an absolute ‘Miss‘!  There is just too much happening, words are small, eligible and isn’t easily understood nor can be followed by the audience.  This is a perfect example of data overload!

Content Strategy 2

The below image has the makings of a good content strategy by showing the classic metaphor of a tree – all the branches and bubble-leaves being connected by its trunk, but the illustrator did a poor job in actually connecting the bubble-leaves to the rest of the tree.  Having leaves detailing platforms information can be shared to its audiences but not showing how their all connected to a lager source is an unfortunate ‘Miss’.

Content Strategy 3

As we can see with the above images, simplicity is sometimes simplest but it shouldn’t be at the risk of losing the key message to your audience.

Twitter: Promoted Overload OR Does it All Make Sense??!!!


YES!!  After looking into the Twitter Verse business angle and their cost structure I’ve taken the stance and agree that promoted tweets, accounts and trends would make sense for the PR masses to be a part of and we’d be missing out if we weren’t!

Based on the promoted tweets and accounts, I see this as a great opportunity for a PR team to creatively align their message to engage targeted audiences and bring awareness to their product/service.  At this point, the primary role of social media sites is to bring awareness and create an involved community. The real challenge is figuring out how to maintain engagement based on this new awareness.  Unless we’re giving a specific twitter promo codes, its difficult to gauge sales just based on engagement and followers on twitter, but I realize the makings of a successful PR campaign isn’t just about sales (in fact I don’t see sales as being a part of our job, it’s a by-product but not the core of our job – let’s leave that to the marketing and advertising depts. to fight over), PR is about building relationships and awareness to inflict a change in behaviour!  Having the ability to create the right mix of content, intrigue, allure and excitement by clicking on a tweet, retweeting or becoming a new follower – this is the task at hand for PR!  If we had to pay a flat rate for the ability to use the promoted tweets and accounts, then I would see the hesitation of using the service, but since it’s solely based on actions we’re already doing with the added assistance of targeting additional individuals whom might not have been available to us via our own organic efforts, being charged a cost per click, retweeting or becoming a new follower will only start to add up once we’ve gotten everyone’s attention – and isn’t that what we want?!!!  All within reason and having a daily budget maximum will ensure there are no surprises.


The big guns come out with a $200,000 price tag for access to Twitters promoted trends!!  This will give you access to be featured for an entire day for all the Tweeters to see!  So it’s a no brainer that only those premium, recognizable brands would be able to afford such a high price tag and we’ve seen Coke, Disney and Hyundai take part in this trend.  But is it of value?  I still say Yes!  For those corporations that can afford to do so, I think it is in their best interest to think of a cleaver PR campaign in order to fully utilize the space for the day.   What I’d be curious to see is if the $200K price is a fix price or does it fluctuate based on day?  Where I’m heading with this is to see the cost for February 2nd, 2014 or February 16th, 2014 – these are the dates for the 2014 Super Bowl and the 2014 NBA All–Star Game.  So if organizations are being charged the regular promoted trend pricing for prime dates, all the organizations who can afford it – start reserving your dates because I have a feeling that news circulating on twitter for these and other specific dates will be priceless, assuming the PR team is able to think of creative and innovative ways to utilize being the trending topic for the day!  A topic for another blog perhaps 🙂

My Initiation Into the Bloggers World!

Hello Fellow Bloggers and Followers!

How daunting is this… you are all witnessing my first official attempt into the formal social media platform of Bloggers everywhere!  Initial thoughts (or fears) – 1) How much will I struggle with content? 2) How harsh will the critics be on my writing style? (I mean, 50 Shades {apparently} isn’t going into history as an American classic for its writing but it made for some enjoyable reading 🙂  3) Past tense; present tense – am I able to get away with a mix of the two?  4) Corky humour and great one liners is what I’m known for – hopefully the assignments in my Public Relations Social Media course will allow for the wit to come through, while sharing my thought provoking and professional commentary on impacts into, around and surrounding the Public Relations and Social Media community.  (I don’t want to read too far ahead in the syllabus – want the excitement to build in class when I get direction from our instructor Boyd (gotta love the last name first names…my last name is Mitchell, so guess what I’ll be naming my son!!).

But all joking aside and on a serious note – I somewhat instantly felt panic when Boyd was discussing the various platforms that we should already know in class.  I have such a passion for PR and really think I’ve finally found my calling but I admittedly am not … lets see, how would you say it – ‘ A head of the curve, a leader, a forerunner, a trailblazer or just plain in the know’ when it comes to all the different social media outlets!!  Based on our discussions in class, I completely understand and can see the relevance the social web has had and will continue to have on the PR industry and I want to take away an understanding of how successful campaigns have creatively used the social sphere!

So be kind (but constructive) on the comments, looking forward to getting to know my classmates and to further build my professional network!

Let the Voyage Begin…



2011 Bali Adventure | Picture Taken by Myself