Creating a Free Social Media Dashboard

As digital noise becomes more and more prevalent, the ability for the average professional to sift through noise and tune into actionable information is critical.

This article walks through the process to create a straight-forward social media dashboard that can be used as a daily social media training and social business engagement tool. Your social media dashboard will help you monitor profiles and keywords on services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

With a few of these working in your favor, you will always have insight to the most recent topics covering your business.

Suggested uses for creating your first social media dashboard:

  • Topic Based: create an insight to your current work project
  • Education Based: track future topics to stay up-to-date
  • Team Based: share info to help project expertise and market changes
  • Competitive Based: monitor companies, executives, or work teams Read more

Social Media Dashboard Design

Before you go running off to design a social media dashboard, lets walk through a basic strategy on how a functional dashboard works.

A mistake that I repeatedly see is when an organization implements a flashy thingamijig expecting that a wondrous variety of displays and lights are going to provide valuable business results. Read more

Social Media Analytics and Big Data ROI

eMarketer wrote a brief piece on linking digital data to ‘big data’ that caught my eye with some interesting research from the New York Marketing Association.

While I have written hundreds of pages on social media analytics in the past, I’m still troubled by the focus of social media being directed/controlled/managed within the marketing silo.

I’m hoping the trend of social business (instead of social marketing) will continue in the direction it is heading, but I fear that the core issues of properly identifying analytics that count are still outside the reach of 99.9% of marketing executives (and outside 99.99% of business executives in general.)


The #1 Problem of Social Media Analytics

social media analysisAccording to the survey, the number one obstacle of measuring ROI of marketing is lack of sharing data across the organizagtion.

While I agree with the #1 problem: it isn’t limited to marketing ROI.

It encompasses the ROI of the entire business.

If we don’t examine other business silos that have inherent ties to social data and streamlined knowledge management, we fail to realize ROI in PR, product development, customer retention, talent acquisition, process refinement, and executive leadership.

Any one of those ROI areas could be the ‘magic bullet’ that defines an organization as a market leader or as an unknowing victim of business evolution.

Problem #2 – The Shelf Life of Data

social media data and realtime metricsIf you are nimble and fast moving, social media analytics and real time data can be amazing.

The problem with that statement is the requirement that you are nimble and fast moving.

In most enterprise organizations it days weeks or months to make simple direction changes. This makes real-time data collected in the past hour nearly worthless…. sure you know that an iceburg is right in front of you, but you simply can’t turn fast enough to avoid it.



Problem #3 – It isn’t ‘big data’ ; it is ‘evolving data’

social media data, analysis, analytics

In addition to thinking about social media analytics from a marketing perspective, current definition of the social data silos revolving around the term of ‘big data’ are contaminated in my opinion.

Examining the answers from the survey: we no longer have demographic, customer, social media, and mobile phone data.

All we have is ‘evolving data’

Mobile data = Social data = Customer data = Demographic data

We have a constant pipeline of new data points that are injecting thousands of invaluable data assets into our current business processes from hundreds of sources.


The End Crisis – Analysis Paralysis

The massive injection of data is completely disrupting most executives ability to take actionable decisions.

We have executives who are simply looking at a Web 3.0 chessboard and they are trying to interpret the market they are playing in by traditional rules of chess. They don’t realize (and or accept) that the rules are changing on a daily basis and that entirely new pieces are being played.

When we combine analysis paralysis with marketing isolation (problem #1), slow reaction time (problem #2), and changing market data (problem #3) we end up with an interesting business dilemna.

What other problems are social media analytics facing?

Social Media Infographic – Social Business Breakdown

While I appreciate the metrics being detailed in this social media infographic about social business, I am still troubled by the fact that marketing and public relations teams are claiming ownership of social business elements due to the  cross-over of social media and communication campaigns.

I’d like this chart a lot more if there was one basic change to this phrase:

In a fully collaborative social organization, there is a Social Media Center of Excellence (COE) that reports into corporate marketing.

I believe it should say:

In a fully collaborative social organization, there is a Digital Innovation Center of Excellence (COE) that reports into executive leadership.

The reality is that social media is not social business. Social media is included in a number of business areas within a social business model, but the ring leader of 15+ departments has never been marketing (or IT, Legal, HR, etc) and the process points of social business should be addressed at the top most level of the organization.

One of the largest shifts to ‘social media’ over the next few years will be the adoption and integration of social trends and technologies across the entire business structure. We will see more and more elements of mobile, cloud, human resources, talent acquisition, and knowledge transfer take a ‘fair share’ of the social buzz away from marketing.

To give any one sub-group control of the social business strategy is a sure fire way to eliminate ROI and business benefits in other operational silos.



Graphic created by

Click here to see more social media infographics.

Social Media Infographics – Mobile Trends & Patterns

When you talk about social media, nothing is more connected to the concept than what is happening with mobile trends.

Mobile technology has enabled a good portion of the population to have immediate gratification for knowledge, social networking, and personal recreation. The following social media infographic from puts some good visual elements together. Read more