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Social Reporting: When numbers matter in PR campaigns

When it comes to social reporting, there are endless numbers to tally, compare and analyze. From SEO-derived metrics – impressions (and non-impressions), click-throughs and page views; to social actions (mentions, shares, likes, follows, retweets, connections, etc.), compiling a wrap up report for a client’s case study is a science in itself.

We also have to take into account the moving populations of social networks, and how these demographics impact PR initiatives. Of recent, headlines and bloglines abound on who will be king of the social networks by the end of 2011. From Facebook loses 6M U.S. users in May to LinkedIn Surpasses Myspace to Google+ Poised To Become Number Two Network In 12 Months, it’s easy to see how these numbers could sway a campaign from its target.

The target of course is the audience, the stakeholder; the traffic. The ones who will engage with your social content and make it all worthwhile (read: ROI). While keeping up with overall trends is important, what’s more directional is identifying where your target socializes. And once you know that, the rest is easy.

So forget the boardroom battles playing out in Silicon Valley and focus on the end result. Case in point: Coast Capital Savings ran a four-week contest on Facebook, just a week after the sensational headlines of how this number one social channel was losing millions of users. The credit union developed a customized app, which they baked into the Facebook architecture (thank you Rethink!) and hoped to increase their solid yet plateau’d fan base to 2,000.

Thanks to a well planned outreach campaign (thanks to Peak, yes that’s us), good old fashioned media relations (kudos Coast!) and real time contestant relations (Rethink, again), we increased the fan based by 487%. That resulted in 43,297 page views of contest pages, which led to 2,052 social actions, for example, liking a finalist in the contest. In other words, any shared action traveled through Facebook, from friend to friend, and these updates were viewed a total of 541,569 times.

I could go on with more numbers. But I’ve made my point. Coast Capital Savings wanted to increase their audience. They did in just four weeks. Why? Because they chose the social channel that had solid attentive base to start with, at the time more than their charming Julie Twitter profile. Maybe she’s next.

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