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What You Might Not Know About Your Earned Social

For brands, social media’s power doesn’t lie in your ability to broadcast messages on yet another channel. Owned campaigns are well and good and, yes, necessary, but social media’s greatest power is what it reveals about how average people see your brand, industry, and essential topic(s).

Conversations to Conversions: How to Measure Anything on Social Using Simply Measured

When you have an ongoing understanding of earned social media — conversations that happen organically — and how it is evolving, you can both inform your owned campaigns better and gain unprecedented access to consumer insights on an immediate basis. But earned social can be a tricky area to navigate. Here’s what you might be missing. 

It Might Be Coming From Unexpected Places

Conversations about your brand may be happening on different channels than you think they are. For instance, maybe you assume that most of the earned conversation around your brand and target topic is happening on the social channel where you and your competitors are most active. That would make sense, right?

But you know what the say about assumptions…

ChannelsGaining insight into earned social performance enables you to finally, definitively answer questions about where your audience or potential audience lives, and branch out (or double down) from there.

It Might Be Directly Impacting Business Value

Did you know that your earned social activity directly impacts the bottom line? Of course you did. But that doesn’t mean everyone else in your organization knows it. And it doesn’t mean that you’ve been able to tie actual financial numbers to how people interact with your brand on social.

Clip5This has all changed with Simply Measured’s NEW Social Attribution solution, which connects owned, earned, and Dark Social activities to business results.

It Might Include Dark

See that green bar in the chart above? That’s Dark Social, which is any website traffic that originates from a shared link but does not pass a referrer, and thus appears as “direct traffic” in traditional web analytics.

Screen Shot 2016-09-29 at 10.57.53 AMPeople aren’t just sharing on Facebook. The use cases for dark sharing are plentiful:

  • A wife texting a husband about a concert she’d like to attend
  • A group of friends on a group email chain sharing content about their favorite sports team
  • A friend WhatsApp’ing a pair of shoes she’s going to buy
  • A colleague Slack messaging a recent industry announcement

There are so many places where it makes more sense to share 1:1 instead of 1:many, and many times when a private forum is more appropriate. Earned social tracking can tell you which brand-related content people are sharing organically.

Are You Making the Most Out of Earned?

Don’t sleep on earned social. It means more to your brand than you’ve considered until now. Download the guide below for the basic definitions around this topic, as well as how to start incorporating earned social measurement in your own organization.

Get everything you need to analyze the metrics that matter

Owned, Earned, Paid, and Dark Social: Definitions, and Where to Begin


Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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