Explain Earned Social Media Metrics: The best communications programs have tactics that resonate with the target audience using the appropriate channels, but the explosion of social media has created a second layer of performance that requires examination. This additional layer is earned coverage, or, in the case of social media, earned conversations.

When communications professionals create content to post on owned social media networks, they hope the content will spread. This dissemination could come in the form of sharing, which we covered earlier in this chapter, or it could come in the form of organic chatter in the broader community.

Explain Earned Social Media Metrics.
Explain Earned Social Media Metrics

Read more: Importance of Facebook in Social Networking

There are two different kinds of earned social media metrics that communicators can track: 

  1. Earned conversations: These are social media conversations that are taking place outside the owned social media properties 
  2. In-network conversations: Communicators should be looking to foster a sense of contribution in the online community. Tracking this kind of content separately is valuable in determining how well it does in driving action, typically additional engagement. 
"Explain Earned Social Media Metrics": Much of this data is captured using social media monitoring software, which is covered in the next two chapters, but these are the primary data points most communicators gather when evaluating earned conversations: 

Share of voice:

Most communicators are familiar with the concept of market share, and this is fairly similar. Share of voice tracks, typically in percentage form, how much conversation is happening about one brand versus another.

Share of conversation:

Share of conversation is often overlooked and, in our view, is a more accurate gauge of how aware people are of a product or campaign within a broader industry than share of voice. This metric tracks, typically in percentage form, how much conversation is happening versus the broader industry.


The topic of sentiment is highly controversial. Simply put, it is the amount of positive, negative, or neutral (with gradations in between) conversation that is happening about a brand or product.

Message resonance:

Chances are good that your company, and in turn your communications program, is trying to advance some mes- sage or messages. Knowing how well (or not) a message is being received by the community is vital.

Overall conversation volume:

Tracking the volume of conversation over time is critical in understanding how well a message has been received. Similarly, it is important in understanding how visible a brand is to the community. If your conversation volume trend line looks like a roller coaster, then it is likely time to start revisiting your social media strategy. 
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