Share Rocket’s 2016 Social Standouts: Methodology
Graphic by Megan Sullivan

Share Rocket’s 2016 Social Standouts: Methodology

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Share Rocket is a social media ratings company with a software platform that was developed to give broadcasters a way to measure their real-time performance in social media. We track and gauge performance on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in much the same way broadcasters do on-air – with ratings-based metrics. Click here to learn more about our product.

For our 2016 Social Standouts analysis, we pulled together a year’s worth of data from the social media profiles for 382 stations, 247 sub-brands (such as a station’s sports or weather pages), and 8,272 individual journalists. Collectively, these profiles produced more than 24 million posts over that year, and people engaged with those posts a total of 1.99 billion times. Every one of those posts and engagements were factored into five key performance indicators we used to determine our top 10 lists.

A big challenge for a big data exercise like this is how to normalize the social performance scores across so many markets of varying sizes. To do that in a fair and equitable way was a large undertaking for our analytics team. In short, we want to level the playing field whether you’re in market No. 1 or market No. 100.

We’ll explain how we attempted to go about that:

We believe that engagement is at the heart of what defines success on social media. It is the key driver behind our proprietary algorithm that determines the two more important numbers on the Share Rocket platform – Social Share and Social Equity Index.

Social Share measures a page or station’s share of the total audience, voice, and engagement in your defined market. It tells you how you’re performing over the course of the day, the week, or the month. In short, it tells you if you’re winning the “battle” on social media in your market over any given period of time.

Social Equity Index (SEI) measures the social equity a page has built over time with its performance. Think of it as a grade for a page’s overall social performance over a 90-day running period relative to its peers. It tells you if you’re winning the longer-term “war” of overall performance.

With those definitions in mind, here are the five key performance indicators factored into our rankings:

  • Average Social Share – We took the aforementioned combined Social Share score on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for each of four quarters for each individual and station we track and averaged them out for a year into a single figure.
  • Average SEI – We then repeated the process for our Social Equity Index scores.
  • Engagement – The total sum of engagement on all social platforms we track combined over the year.
  • Engagement/Audience – Engagement on all social platforms in each quarter divided by the size of the station or individual’s total followers at the end of each quarter.
  • Engagement Potential – This metric is Engagement divided by the total number of times a station or individual posted (what we call “Voice”), but with total Audience also factored in. It’s the “special sauce” in our formula.

Each of the five key performance indicators were evaluated for each quarter, then were either summed or averaged for each station or individual and given a rank for each category. The top 100 finishers in each of the five indicators were given a 1-100 grade based on rank. For example, 1st place in Social Share was given 100 points and 100th place in the indicator was given 1 point.

Ultimately, points were total for each category and the stations’ brand pages and individuals were sorted and ranked based on total points accumulated. Those with the highest total points represent our 2016 Social Standouts.

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