Using Online Promoter™ Score to Measure Social Media Effectiveness


In our previous post, Using Net Promoter Score to Measure Social Media Effectiveness, we took a look at Net Promoter Score as a social media metric. In this post, we look at some other social media metrics, including Online Promoter Score.

Online Promoter Score chart

Using Online Promoter™ Score

One metric that has been shown to produce a positive correlation between online promoter measures and sales is Online Promoter™ Score (OPS), developed by Northwestern University and MotiveQuest.

According to MotiveQuest, OPS measures the number of people online who are recommending your brand to others combined with sentiment measures, which are a way to determine the attitude — sentiment — expressed in online postings. MotiveQuest says OPS differentiates persons who discuss more than one product and assigns a score to their most-favored brand.

MotiveQuest did an analysis[1] covering 16 months of data from January 2006 through April of 2007 for car company Mini USA. The graph above shows the correlation of the monthly change in online promoters for the previous month versus the change in sales. MotiveQuest claims that statistical analysis gives 99.8 percent confidence that the metrics are positively correlated.

Other Metrics

In 2008, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, an advertising industry group, created its Social Media Ad Metrics Definitions.[2] The IAB breaks social media into three categories, and applies different measures for each:

  • Social Media Sites — Defined by inherent functionality that facilitates the sharing of information between users within a defined network
  • Blogs — Used by individuals, groups or business entities to publish opinions and commentary on various topics
  • Widgets & Social Media Applications — Social media software programs designed to work on one or more platforms, for example, Facebook apps like Mafia Wars or Farmville

The social media metrics IAB defines comprise a whole long list that you can find online. We excerpt a few of the measures here to give you a flavor.

  • Unique Visitors
    • A unique individual or browser which has accessed a site or application and has been served unique content and/or ads. Reported unique visitors should filter out bots.
  • Cost per unique visitor
    • The total cost of the ad placement or application, divided by the number of unique visitors.
  • Return Visits
    • The average number of times a user returns to a site or application over a specific time period
  • Interaction Rate
    • The proportion of users who interact with an ad or application.
  • Time Spent(section, microsite, community)
    • The amount of elapsed time from the initiation of a visit to the last user activity associated with that visit. Time spent should represent the activity of a single cookied browser or user for a single access session to the Website application or other property. Most publishers consider a session continuous if and only if not broken by more than 30 minutes of inactivity.
  • Conversation Size
    • Number of Conversation Relevant Sites
    • The count of sites in the conversation whose content contains tracked conversation phrases
    • Number of Conversation Relevant Links
    • The count of links to (in-links) and from (out-links) content that contains tracked conversation phrases across all sites identified for and/or supporting the campaign plan
  • Conversation Reach
    • The number of unique visitors (monthly) across sites in the conversation
  • Author Credibility
    • Number of Conversation Relevant Posts on the Site
    • The number of posts on the site with content containing tracked conversation phrases
    • Number of Links to Conversation Relevant Posts on the Site

As you can see, there’s lots to measure, and lots of ways to tie metrics to your efforts. If you want to learn more about social media metrics, read Tia Fisher’s excellent survey of measurements on the eModeration blog.[3]

But we’d like to talk about a couple of other measures that are getting some interest: Return on Engagement and Share of Conversation. That’s what the next postis about.


Using Online Promoter™ Score to Measure Social Media Effectiveness is the 43rd in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at http://bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

See the previous posts What is Social Media?, Social Sites Defined, Why Social Media? How is Social Media Relevant to Business? First Steps Toward a Social Media Strategy, and Decide What Your Business Will Do About Social Computing, pt. 1

Next up: Emphasize Return On Engagement to Measure Social Media


[1] MotiveQuest analysis: bit.ly/90gewK

[2] Interactive Advertising Bureau Social Media Ad Metrics Definitions: bit.ly/asRNe2

[3] eModeration blog: bit.ly/9450vS

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About Social Media Performance Group

Social Media Performance Group is a premier enterprise social media consulting company that offers a unique approach to integrating social media into the enterprise — forget about the tools, it's all about the strategy! Rather than focusing on the tactics (do this or that on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube), first we work with you and your senior leadership to comprehend your corporate strategy. Once we understand your strategic objectives and goals, we show you how a comprehensive social media strategy can integrate with and support your corporate strategy. We take an enterprise-wide view based on our unique Enterprise Social Media Framework, which maps social media to all appropriate touchpoints in your enterprise. We go beyond the obvious quick hits — sales and marketing — and help you achieve social-media-driven results in areas such as product development, customer service, and employee engagement and retention. As a result, social media is not just bolted on; it is integrated with, and provides support for, your company's existing strategy and operations, yielding unprecedented results.
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