GE’s Duchamp on Finding Meaning in Social Analytics

Sebastien DuChamp
Sebastien Duchamp

As a communicator, you need to know whether your social media content is making an impact. Are you engaging people? Are they interacting with your brand? A measurement strategy will help you answer these questions.

Sebastien Duchamp, director of digital communications for GE Corporate and a speaker at PR News' PR Measurement Conference on April 8 in Washington D.C., answered some questions on collecting and handling social media measurement data.

PR News: Looking beyond standard numbers like followers and shares/reposts/retweets, what are some other important statistics to look at in order to measure engagement on social media?

Sebastien Duchamp: When looking at social media measurement it’s important to take a holistic snapshot of engagement. Using an analytics tool, digital communications professionals should capture the full spectrum—from volume to potential reach as well as sentiment and peaks and troughs over time.

PR News: What’s your favorite analytics tool to use to measure engagement?

Duchamp: Whichever social analytics tool you use, consistency across your company or organization is key. Here at GE we’ve recently adopted Prime Research’s Global Listening Tool across our businesses around the world. To supplement the analysis we get from Prime, my team also uses Topsy (pre-Apple acquisition) as well as click-through data from Bitly, and others.

PR News: How do you communicate sometimes complex-sounding measurement data to people who are not familiar with the jargon? What's the secret to this?

Duchamp: It's all about context. There’s little value to the numbers if there’s no sense of how they compare. For example, a recent Ecomagination event we held in Washington, D.C., garnered 1,500 Facebook and Twitter posts that were 98% neutral or positive from 1,100 unique users for a primary reach of 12 million. When looking at similar thought leadership events, these are huge numbers for us and the result of an orchestrated effort across two dozen GE and partner handles, but without context, they’re just that—numbers. On the flip side, when an issue escalates on social, it’s important to have context and understand critical thresholds for volume and velocity so you can make informed issues management decisions and understand when and how to engage.

To learn more about PR measurement from experts at GE, Weber Shandwick, MasterCard, Motorola Solutions and others, register for PR News' PR Measurement Conference on April 8 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Follow Sebastien Duchamp: @sebduchamp

Follow Richard Brownell: @RickBrownell