Measuring social media

April 26, 2012, 9:53 AM GMT+0

Social media ‒ are you being heard? We launch SoMA – a revolutionary social media analysis tool

Today (26th April 2012) marks the launch of YouGov SoMA – the first audience measurement tool for social media.

SoMA is a revolutionary tool that overlays real demographic, attitudinal and behavioural profiles to provide robust, meaningful data on what people are hearing on social media.

It is the first social media audience measurement tool to provide an accurate measure of the impact of campaigns and events on a target audience.

  • YouGov SoMA provides representative data on 'reach' ‒ measuring the percentage of the social media population that have heard about a brand, campaign or event
  • It is designed to help companies target their messages and measure the effect of their own marketing, as well as monitor events, PR crises and other developments that may impact on their brand health

By linking YouGov’s proprietary panel with the comments they hear on social media, SoMA can define what is being heard and more importantly who is listening.

From 'Londoners' to '18 to 24 year old females' to 'car owners' to 'Guardian readers', SoMA can measure exactly who is listening to stories about a certain brand. Whereas other social media tools use algorithms, YouGov’s SoMA utilises accurate demographics gathered from our panellists – enabling users to define and filter data to their target audience.

Logitech and Visa: case studies in perception

Two recent events illustrate how SoMA can be used to understand social media buzz and the positive and negative impact it can have on consumers’ perception of brands.

On Wednesday 18th April, Logitech’s reach jumped to over 3% amongst UK Twitter users - with a heavy skew towards men. Those wondering what had caused this could look at the words most likely to be associated with Logitech; 'iPad', 'keyboard' and 'Thinline' all appeared in the top five. The increase was due to the launch of Logitech’s Thinline keyboard for iPad which had given them a small ‒ but significant ‒ boost in reach on Twitter that day.

Just a few weeks earlier in March, 29% of UK Twitter users were exposed to negative messages about Visa on the day news of a data security breach broke. Tweets on this topic were marginally more likely to reach those in higher income brackets. There was also an impact on Mastercard ‒ the brand also experienced 29% reach of negative comments that day.

Real-world effects

Through an extensive research suite, YouGov is uniquely placed to measure whether social media buzz is cutting through into the real world; BrandIndex, YouGov’s brand measure perception tool, surveys UK panellists daily on their awareness and perception of over 1,000 brands in real-time.

Using the two products in conjunction, users are able to see how campaigns that create a lot of buzz on SoMA translate into real-world impact through gains in their BrandIndex score. YouGov can conduct follow-up surveys of those being reached on social media to fully understand what people are hearing, saying, thinking, intending and doing. In this way specific campaign messages and responses to events can be tested and return on investment can be measured.

Stephan Shakespeare, YouGov’s CEO and Co-Founder, explains that the development of SoMA came from a realisation that there were no tools available in the marketplace to answer the questions that clients had.

"We were struggling to find a social media tool that could provide the accurate, robust data we strive for in the market research industry," he explains. "Through social media, consumers are now co-owners of the brands they use, defining how they are perceived and used for their friends and followers. We wanted to help our clients make sense of the noise and prioritise the data that would be useful and meaningful to their business. I think with SoMA we have achieved that.”

Andy Morris, YouGov’s Group New Products Director, also commented, adding that “the eureka moment came when we realised that by tying YouGov’s panel and methodology to social media listening we could bring real research rigour to the space and create the first social media audience measurement tool.

"We are extremely excited about how clients can use SoMA to more effectively target and measure impact on social media. Making sense of all the noise out there will enable companies to adapt to the new world and use it in a truly advantageous way.”

For more information on SoMA please email YouGov Marketing Executive Khiloni Dulabdas, Group Director of New Products Andy Morris, or call the YouGov switchboard on + 44(0)20 7012 6000

Explore more data & articles