Katie Paine and the SAS eMetrics Marketing Lab: the impacts of social media on your business


Presentation Title: Listening, Understanding and Predicting the Impacts of Social Media on Your Business

Katie Delahaye Paine, KDPaine & Partners
Mark Chaves, Director of Media Intelligence, SAS Customer Intelligence

Effective social media measurement is the leading topic in marketing right now, and rightly so. That’s why we partnered with the leading measurement and accountability research consultancy, KDPaine & Partners, to provide eMetrics attendees with 60-minutes of focused, casual conversation.

In the past, measurement was all about counting eyeballs. More recently, as we moved online, eyeballs shifted to hits. Now we’re evolving from online to the new social universe, necessitating a need to measure engagement. “There are no eyeballs in social media,” says Katie, “it’s all conversations.” And it’s not just about marketing anymore. With all the conversations happening in the social universe, it’s imperative we learn to capture, analyze, and act on this up-to-the-minute data.

With this context, Katie walked us through her battle-tested 7-steps to the perfect Social Media Measurement system:

  1. Define the “R” – Define the expected results?
  2. Define the “I” -- What’s the investment?
  3. Understand your audiences and what motivates them
  4. Define the metrics (what you want to become)
  5. Determine what you are benchmarking against
  6. Pick a tool and undertake research
  7. Analyze results and glean insight, take action, measure again
Mark picked up the conversation, showing us a brief demo of SAS Social Media Analytics. “We hear from customers about their desire,” says Mark, “to take what they are hearing and learning from online conversations, and put some action to it.” The key lies in being precise in extracting and tagging sentiment. For example, a mixed-polarity phrase like “hotel in great location but bathroom was smelly” should not be tagged as neutral, if you want it to be actionable. Be specific; “bathroom was smelly” is something someone can own, and improve upon.
Once you have this level of precision, you can begin to incorporate it into your planning cycle. But that’s easier said than done. A quick audience poll revealed that very few people currently incorporate learning from online conversations into their planning cycles. “Many of us,” says Mark, “are still struggling to understand how to use this rich new data source.”
Picking you goal, says Katie, is the most important and the most overlooked step in the process. Today, all measurement goals fall into one of three categories:
  1. Marketing/leads/sales/
  2. Mission/safety/civic engagement
  3. Relationship/reputation/positioning
According to Katie, "You need a kick-butt index. Get consensus of what success is, to know if you kicked butt, or had your butt kicked" Once your goal is clear, and agreed on, you can develop your metrics, and later, use these metrics to drive results. Katie’s example drove this home. If you start with a reputation/relationship goal, you can define metrics like:
  1. Relationship scores
  2. Recommendations
  3. Positioning
  4. Engagement
Likewise, if your goal is more marketing oriented, focused on getting the word out for example, your metrics would include % hearing, % believing, and % acting. The key, says Katie, is to “let your goals drive your metrics.”
Before wrapping up the presentation, Katie briefly talked about tools and the importance that they be accurate, flexible, and relevant—to your programs, objectives, and tactics. While tools are getting better all the time, Mark reminds us that “humans will always be needed… the algorithms must be refined over time. Black boxes don’t work.”
With that, we wrapped up and headed back to our eMetrics booth to continue the conversation.

About Author

Justin Huntsman

Customer Intelligence Marketing Manager

I'm Justin Huntsman, a field marketer on the SAS Customer Intelligence team. I'm the editor of the SAS Customer Analytics blog, where my colleagues, friends and I discuss the challenges today’s marketers face in finding profitable growth opportunities, taking the best marketing actions, and maximizing cross-business impact.


  1. We use social media heavily for our web show and we've found the biggest thing it does is build our brand.

  2. Neil Martin on

    I having being telling people for a long time now, having a static website is no longer enough, people expect more..If you have a plumbing website, write articles about fixing the simple issues, do videos, get people subscribed to an ebook.
    It really is worth the effort, and as the author above said, planning the end goal is vital to measuring success.

  3. Devin Santos on

    There is no better way of interacting with your target market than participating in social media. If you want to make an impact in your target market, you must hit it at all angles. Great Article!

  4. I really like this article. Having just started a twitter social media campaign I find that defined metrics or goals can go a long way into improving relationships with people and building leads. Marketing/leads/sales is definitely our number one goal and engaging and getting feedback with our followers and facebook fans has been really helping meet our sales goals. Great article Justin. Katie knows her stuff.

  5. This is a great little article. I've also started using Twitter and Facebook recently to promote my small business.
    One of the things I've noticed is that many small businesses tend to preach too much to their clients/prospective customers via Twitter and they seem to forget to actually listen.
    If you don't listen, you'll never hear what your customer wants!

  6. Great article Justin.
    Social media is now the hottest thing in digital marketing, just like search marketing 5 years ago.
    If a company can utilize social media marketing, they will definitely reap the reward.
    Thanks for sharing Justin.
    - Ian

  7. San Miguel Techie on

    Thanks Justin. We're just kicking off our social media campaigns on Twitter and FaceBook and I'm researching online. I think the best thing we can do is provide information that our customers REALLY value, then monitor to see if we've hit the mark.

  8. Pingback: Video: Listening, understanding and predicting the impacts of social media on your business - Customer Analytics

  9. Pingback: The 12 Days of Marketing - Customer Analytics

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