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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Measuring Engagement

Here's the final parts of an excellent post from The Social Media Examiner, this time about measuring engagement.

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How many people actually did something with your message?

This is one of the most important measurements because it shows how many people actually cared enough about what you had to say to result in some kind of action.

Fortunately engagement is fairly easy to measure with simple tools such as Radian 6, Biz360 and TweetEffect. These metrics highlight who you want to target to retain on social media channels.

For a starting list of key performance indicators for engagement, this post by Chris Lake is a great start.

  • Twitter: Quantify the number of times your links were clicked, your message was retweeted, and your hashtag was used and then look at how many people were responsible for the activity. You can also track @replies and direct messages if you can link them to campaign activity.
  • Facebook: Determine the number of times your links were clicked and your messages were liked or commented on. Then break this down by how many people created this activity. You can also track wall posts and private messages if you can link them to activity that is directly tied to a specific social media campaign.
  • YouTube: Assess the number of comments on your video, the number of times it was rated, the number of times it was shared and the number of new subscribers.
  • Blog: Evaluate the number of comments, the number of subscribers generated and finally the number of times the posts were shared and “where” they were shared (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, email, etc.). Measure how many third-party blogs you commented on and the resulting referral traffic to your site.
  • Email: Calculate how many people opened, clicked and shared your email. Include where the items were shared, similar to the point above. Also, keep track of the number of new subscriptions generated.


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Follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Measuring Influence


Once again, here are parts of a post from The Social Media Examiner that discusses social media measurement. This time, it's all about influence. You can have lots of friends, fans, readers, and whatever else you want to call them, but if you have little influence with them then are they really your fans?

Although the article discussed companies and brands, I've changed it a little to better represent music.

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This category gets into a bit of a soft space for measurement. Influence is a subjective metric that relies on your band's perspective for definition. Basically, you want to look at whether the engagement metrics listed in the first article are positive, neutral or negative in sentiment. In other words, did your campaign influence positive vibes toward the band or did it create bad mojo?
You can also use automated tools like TwitalyzerSocial MentionRadian 6 or ScoutLabs to make it a little easier, but ALWAYS do a manual check to validate any sentiment results. Influence is generally displayed as a percentage of positive, neutral and negative sentiment, which is then applied in relation to the engagement metrics and to the metrics for reach where applicable.
A great application for influence is to look at the influence by those who engaged with your band in the above categories. Do you have a nice mix of big players with large audiences engaging with your band, as well as the average Joe with a modest following?
If not, your influence pendulum may be about to tip over, because it’s important that you spend time engaging with both influential users and your average userNote: many of the automated tools that track sentiment and influence are not free. And many times, you will need a combination of tools to measure all of the different social media channels.

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Follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Measuring Social Media Exposure

Here's a part of an excellent post from The Social Media Examiner regarding measurement of social media exposure. Measurement is one of the wonderful things about the age we live in, as now we have access to information that we've never had before. Measurement is more than a luxury though, it's a necessity if we're to take advantage of social media.
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How many people could you have reached with your message? In social media, this measurement is about as reliable as a print magazine’s circulation, but knowing your potential audience does have value because it represents your potential sales lead pool.

Unfortunately, as of the writing of this post, some of these metrics have to be accounted for manually, so you’ll have to balance the level of effort to track the metrics versus the value you’ll receive from them to determine their importance to your overall strategy.

A good example of where there can be unreliability in social measurement is when isolating unique users for each of your metrics. You want to avoid counting the same person twice in the list below, but realistically it’s difficult to do.

These measurements highlight the number of people you’ve attracted to your brand through social media. To mitigate the potential for duplication of users, track growth rate as a percentage of the aggregate totals. This is where you will find the real diamonds.

  • Twitter: Look at your number of followers and the number of followers for those who retweeted your message to determine the monthly potential reach. You should track these separately and then compare the month-over-month growth rate of each of these metrics so you can determine where you’re seeing the most growth. A great free tool to use for Twitter measurement is TweetReach.
  • Facebook: Track the total number of fans for your brand page. In addition, review the number of friends from those who became fans during a specified period of time or during a promotion and those who commented on or liked your posts to identify the potential monthly Facebook reach. Facebook Insights provides value here.
  • YouTube: Measure the number of views for videos tied to a promotion or specific period of time, such as monthly, and the total number of subscribers.
  • Blog: Measure the number of visitors who viewed the posts tied to the promotion or a specific period of time.
  • Email: Take a look at how many people are on the distribution list and how many actually received the email.

Tomorrow we'll take a further look at some of the details of the article.

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Follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Monday, June 21, 2010

An Interview With Publisher Richard Feldman

Time for another excerpt from my Music 3.0 Internet Music guidebook. Here's a bit of the interview with Richard Feldman. A very successful songwriter and producer with platinum and #1 records to his credit, Richard won a Grammy in 2005 for producing Toot’s and the Maytals "True Love." Richard is a principle in a music library/placement agency called ArtistFirst Music, and is the president of the Association of Independent Music Publishers. Richard gives his perspective on publishing in Music 3.0.


What’s the difference between music publishing today versus the way it used to be?
There are many differences but you’ve got to look back at publishing from the beginning to understand them.

In the beginning publishing meant receiving a percentage from the sale of sheet music at first, then from other physical products like piano rolls, and from there vinyl to cassette to CDs to MP3s. This is called a mechanical royalty and results from a sale of a song. Another source of revenue for songwriters ad publishers is performance income. This started out as a payment for a live rendition of a song, then evolved into payments from broadcasting the song on radio and television. The performing rights organizations (the PROs) collect this money from the various radio and TV broadcasters and distribute it to their writers.

There is another source of revenue that has basically saved the publishing industry and this is called a synchronization license. A sync license is required if you use music commercially with moving pictures, and for that there is a negotiated fee. So while mechanical royalties from record sales have gone down, income from sync licenses has gone up. From the early 60’s till the end of the century mechanicals ruled, but that game is over. In 1998 there were over $13 billion in records sold. In 2008 that number is just over $8 billion. And not only that, since it’s a singles market, getting a song on a record doesn’t mean what it used to. But amazingly publishing income has pretty much increased with performance and sync income making up for the loss in mechanical income.

Why has sync income increased? 
There are many reasons, but the most obvious is that there are so many more broadcasters today. Where it used to be only the big 3 networks (NBC,CBS, and ABC), now it’s more like 300 with all the cable networks, so there are more sources of income than there were before and on top of that there is performance or back-end income that is paid when they broadcast the show. As a result, you have the increase in these sync fees offsetting and sometimes exceeding the loss of mechanicals. Publishing is really the last man standing in terms of making money in the music business, and still one of the few ways left to monetize intellectual property.

Is there any money being made online?
Yes, but there are challenges. Besides the biggest eternal problem of competing with what people can download for free, streaming isn’t really working as a business model for the publisher. It’s making some money, but unless you’re the guy getting mega-streamed, it’s just a game of pennies. In fact, it can actually cost a publisher more to collect than he receives

Here’s what I mean. If a song is played on the radio or television or sold through i-Tunes, the income statement is pretty basic and from one source. In the case of performance, it’s even easier because half gets paid to the publisher and the other half gets paid directly to the writer, so there’s only the accounting expense of one statement split up among the owners of the publishing.  But when a digital track is sold or streamed, all the fees go to the publisher and the publisher is responsible for paying the writer.

With streaming, a publisher might have many sources he collects from but the total amount turns out to be very little because streaming pays very little per stream (how about 18 one/hundredths of a cent per stream). So you could have 100,000 people streaming your song and you’re not going to make enough for a Big Mac. In fact, a publisher I know finished his accounting run with a report as big as a phone book yet the total was only about 12 bucks in royalties. So a publisher with a co-pub deal pays the writer 50% and then takes his portion of the publishing which would end up being a whopping $3. Now figure you’re paying someone $20 per hour to produce the statement and you see how it actually costs more to produce the statements than they are worth! Of course there are some artists who cut through with a huge volume of streams, and other sources like ringtones still bring in big money, but it’s getting more like third world countries with a small upper class, no middle class, and a huge group who makes very little.

For a while, everyone thought digital distribution might be the answer to the industry’s problems, but the problem is that streaming and digital downloads don’t pay enough even with zero distribution or inventory costs involved. And what happens when you fill the bucket up with the Long Tail items? It really doesn’t make sense to a publisher from the accounting perspective because what’s happening online is a disruption of the one time golden idea that you have to buy a whole album to get the one song that you liked. The music industry has gone back to a singles business again.

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Follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Top 10 Social Media Websites And Forums

I found this post on the Drop Ship News blog and it mostly pertains to e-commerce, but we can still learn a lot from hit. Some of these are not a surprise but there are some that are under the radar. The following is from data acquired from Marketing Charts and Hitwise and represents the current top 10 social networking sites and forums.

1. Facebook: 54.90%. Are we really surprised to see that Facebook is the Numero Uno social website? Probably not. With over 500 million members and still growing by leaps and bounds, Facebook is incredibly popular. Make no mistake about it, Facebook appeals to younger members, but there is also a large demographic of older members as well.

2. YouTube: 16.02%. Another hugely popular site, especially since online video viewing is HOT. Nowhere close to Facebook’s market share, but definitely nothing to sneeze at in terms of a good place for social media marketing.

3. MySpace: 11.9%. This may come as something of a surprise to people who thought that the popularity of MySpace was waning. There is also an International version of MySpace, as well as a Latino version.

4. Twitter: 1.07%. Really? Can this be true? One would think that considering the tremendous popularity of tweeting and Twitter, it would have commanded a heftier percentage of the market share, but apparently not. Who knew?

5. Tagged: 1.01%. This one bills itself as being all about social discovery, meeting new people and staying in touch with people you already know.

6. Yahoo! Answers: 0.91%. You might no think of this as a social community, but it is certainly a community with a large member base. The benefit here to someone wanting to use this site for social media marketing is that by answering questions asked by other members, you can achieve varying levels of expertise until you are deemed an expert in a category, which could be helpful in establishing yourself as an authority in your niche.

7. Yahoo! Profiles: 0.62%. Basically a place to post your Yahoo profile and share it with other Yahoo members.

8. MyYearbook: 0.61%. This one does seem to be geared more toward a youthful audience, and might be worth your while for marketing if this age group is your targeted demographic.

9. Windows Live Home: 0.46%. Okay, this one is more or less a place to bring Windows Live services together, all in one place.

10. MocoSpace: 0.34%. Again, seems to be mostly for a young age group. It probably gains much appeal by being accessible on mobile devices.

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Follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

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