Updated March 23, 2011
The Heardable name speaks to the underlying human desire to want our voices heard. Most of us crave to make a difference in our lives; we want our opinions to have an audience; we want people to interact with us; we desire a better tomorrow because of actions we take today. But this can only happen if we are found, visible, heard.
We think that brands should be heardable too. Because, well, it’s just plain good for business!
In today's competitive marketplace, getting found online, or being heard, is a marketing imperative. A Heardable Score is a simple way for any business to assess the effectiveness of its online brand visibility, identify weaknesses, and map out the necessary next steps for improvement.
How We Measure
Heardable Scores are like FICO scores for brands. Scores range from 1 to 1,000. The higher your score, the better you're doing.
Each score is comprised of six subscores, each focusing on a unique element of a brand's online effectiveness: Portable, Searchable, Sociable, Measurable, Actionable, and Shareable. When you scan a brand on Heardable, our 'reverse search engine" crawls the web and extracts data from numerous API feeds from the likes of Yahoo, YouTube, Facebook -- then feeds them into our platform where our rules engine and scoring algorithm sort through over 400 unique variables to calculate one’s overall brand health score.
What It Means To Be Sociable
When added together, Heardable's six subscore variables contribute to a brand's total Heardable Score. 1,000 is the scoring limit. Here are the total possible points for each subscore:
1. Portable: 200 points
2. Searchable: 200 points
3. Sociable: 200 points
4. Measurable: 100 points
5. Actionable: 150 points
6. Shareable: 150 points
To better understand Heardable's scoring methodology, let's take a closer look at what it means to be Sociable.
Being Sociable is a crucial sub-component of your overall Heardable Score. The value of social engagement cannot be underestimated. Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing is transforming how consumers think about brands and act out purchase decisions. Organizations that are part of the conversation are in a better position to monitor, engage, influence, promote, and establish relationships with their fans, business partners, and customers.
Heardable's scoring engine monitors nine social media hubs that garner the bulk of the Internet's daily social traffic. Our goal is to determine if a brand is actively engaged in social media or merely sitting on the sidelines.
Why do we monitor only nine social media destinations? Our thinking is that if your brand is not active on the nine "big" social sites like Facebook and Twitter, it's a safe bet that you're probably not participating on many of the smaller, less-trafficked social media destinations either.
Social Network KPI's
Active brand participation in social media can be a meaningful way to add value to your biggest fans -- your customers! Heardable monitors behaviors such:
- Official brand presence on a social network
- Recent mentions of the brand
For example, we know that amassing a socia following is an important KPI (key performance indicator) for brands to monitor. While no brand should value the number of followers/subscribers/fans it has secured based on sheer volume alone, the number of brand enthusiasts you have does matter. You see, your fans can be monetized -- similar to the way opt-in email newsletter lists work -- providing a unique communication touchpoint between brand enthusiasts and your business organization over time. Monetization could mean increasing sales. It could also mean reducing customer complaints or abandonment.
The point is, having a robust platform that you can cost-effectively communicate with some of your best customers/brand advocates is a valuable brand commodity. Relegating social media to a division of a division of your marketing department -- or worse -- outsourcing it to an entity that may not be able to represent your company or services to the caliber you can offer internally, is something you want to avoid.
Another measurement attribute that Heardable monitors is frequency of post, or brand participation in the social medium. Your frequency and depth of social participation will have a direct correlation to your brand's social media outreach & publishing strategy. The greater the frequency and the deeper the level of engagement, the more serious your brand will demonstrate its committment to this channel.
And yes, we believe social media should function more like it's own channel than simply being a bolt-on to another channel. Why? Social media can involve elements of sales, marketing, customer care, technical support, corporate governance, public relations, and more. How a brand particpates, monitors, measures, optimizes, and governs its social media activities should have some type of uber, strategic representation within your business (person/team responsible, budget, goals, measurement & reporting, etc). Failure to do so can cause friction, overlapping roles & responsibilities, mixed messages, consumer confusion, and lack of accountability.
Social Networks We Monitor
Heardable takes a pulse of your social engagement by looking at a representative sample of social sites to guage your social saviness:
1) Digg - A social news service
2) Facebook - A community sharing site
3) Flickr - A photo sharing community
4) SlideShare - A presentation sharing site
5) Twitter - A microblogging site (Twitter)
6) YouTube - A video broadcasting network
7) LinkedIn - A professional business productivity site
8) FourSquare - A geo-location sharing site *
9) Wikipedia - A community reference site *
* In beta on the Heardable platform and points DO NOT count towards your Sociable subscore at this time.
Benefits Of Being Sociable
- Social network use is bigger than email in terms of both aggregate numbers of users and time spent ^
- Become a trust agent. Move from “Trying to Sell” to “Making Connections” **
- Consumers are more likely to interact with your brand on social sites than on your website (that's where their friends are)
- If you are not actively participating on social networks, your brand is just not an active part of the conversation
- Allows you to partake in millions of "Small Acts" over the limited number of "Large Campaigns" **
- Makes it easier for people to get in touch with your brand **
- Social is the new search. Not present = not found
^ Mary Meeker, Morgan Stanley - Internet Trends, 4/12/01 via Scribd.com
** Soren Gordhamer - 4 Ways Social Media is Changing Business, Mashable.com