Metrics for Assessing Effectiveness of Social Media Applications

Hoffman and Fodor (2010) provide consumer-centric metrics which could offer a basis for evaluating communications that are aimed at creating long-term relationships. Such metrics can be summarized by a statement that an effective social media application is that which will lead to greater brand awareness, enhanced engagement and higher word-of-mouth promotion. Based on such a statement, three different sub-facets can be established that provide readily-measurable attributes. First of these is the relationship between social media application and brand awareness (Hoffman & Fodor, 2010). Accordingly, the effect of social media application on brand awareness can be assessed through such aspects as number of tweets about a product, number of fans, and number of ratings – both positive and negative (Hoffman & Fodor, 2010). Secondly, the hypothesis establishes a relationship between social media application and brand engagement. Such may be argued to arise after customers become aware of the product in the initial stage. Metrics for engagement include aspects such as number of followers, replies, comments, likes, photos and other user generated-content (Hoffman & Fodor, 2010). Thirdly, after engagement results into a value-adding relationship existing between the customers and the products, the former would be motivated to share the product’s experience in their friends’ circles thus resulting in word-of-mouth promotion (Gronroos 2004). In social media networks such word-of-mouth activity could be evaluated by such aspects as posts on friends’ walls and number of retweets (Hoffman & Fodor, 2010). A summary of these metrics for Facebook and twitter are presented in the table below.

For the comparative assessment of twitter and facebook the paper aimed to test three hypotheses. First was the hypothesis that brand awareness created through twitter is higher than that created through facebook. Secondly the paper aimed to test the hypothesis that brand engagement created via twitter is greater than that created via face book. Finally, it was hypothesized that word-of-mouth promotion is higher for twitter than it is for facebook.

Table 1Metrics for Assessing Effectiveness of Social Media Applications
Social media application Brand awareness Brand engagement Word of mouth
Twitter
  • Number of tweets about the brand
  • Valence of tweets +/-
  • Number of followers
  • Number of followers
  • Number of @ replies
  • Number of retweets
Facebook
  • Number of members/fans
  • Number of ratings and valence (+/-)
  • Number of comments
  • Number of likes on friends’ posts
  • Number of user-generated content
  • Number of posts on friends walls
  • Number of responses to friends invites
Table 4 Social Media Application Metrics (Hoffman & Fodor, 2010, p. 44).

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