Social Engagement: Thinking Big Can Be Very Small


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I read too much, I’m sure, about technology, big data, and the various threads of the social economy that interest me. And from a PR flack’s perspective, I’m amazed at how often people think so big that they forget that the great part about having scads of numbers is the ability to get granular.

Any communications professional probably hears the same questions all the time:

  • Is Facebook worthwhile?
  • Is Twitter worthwhile?
  • How many eyeballs glazed, er, pored over our last press release?
  • What is the reach of this ad?

I’ll dive into Google Analytics with anyone, but the total number of site visitors — like the total number of Facebook users, Twitter users, or captive readers/viewers of your promo material — is just about the least informative figure you can look at. Don’t get me wrong; it’s nice when it’s high. But what really matters are the details. Not all folks on Twitter or anywhere else, but your folks: your customers, your potentials, your industry’s journalists and analysts — even your competitors. And what they do with what you give them.

The value of data (the real value of technology, I think) is the ability to do more than count. It’s to understand and intuit based on information. In communications, it’s making sure that your outreach reaches the right people, engages them, and moves them to act — and if not, why not.

If you focus only on the top level figures, or only on the herd, you may miss the big opportunities presented by an ability to confront a mound of data and wade through it thinking small.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kate Schackai
Kate combines a technical understanding of web 2.0 with classic PR savvy, resulting in online communications that both humans and Google love. She joins Crawford from WordPress development firm TCWebsite, where she worked in online marketing and search engine optimization.


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