There are any number of ways to game social media, but any strategy which fails to sincerely represent consumer sentiment will inevitably be self-defeating. Take, for example, the practice of forcing visitors to “like” your brand on Facebook before they are permitted to post comments or otherwise interact with your brand. This certainly drives up the number of “likes” you’ll get -- but what if they’re just “like”-ing your brand in order to tell you how much your brand totally sucks?
That’s where social media analytics comes in. This week brought the launch of Fathom Analytics for Facebook, a Web-based application from MotiveQuest which gives social media marketers of all sizes access to analytics and metrics that were previously available only to Fortune 500 advertisers. Fathom focuses on the emotional context of conversations about brands to help marketers better understand their feelings about a brand, measuring sentiment across twelve attitudinal axes including excitement, frustration, and so on.
Subscribers can create a customized competitive comparison set to analyze their fan page and gauge its performance against others in the industry. The Fathom Analytics for Facebook tool set includes sentiment measurement and natural language processing analytics that help get at the source or cause of a particular attitude, integrated into a self-service interface which eschews complex numerical dashboards in favor of simple, easily-understood metrics. It also lets the user explore the masses of text on which analytics are based, giving marketers a more individual, qualitative view of the data.
As noted, the self-service Fathom offering is something of a new departure for MotiveQuest, which has previously focused on providing custom market research for large advertisers. Its suite of services for big brands also includes social media market segmentation and strategic planning around channels and messaging.