Author Archives: karvell

Facebook Campaigns and Ads Manager

The social media analytics tool that I am writing about is the Campaigns and Ads manager built right into Facebook. I found this built in tool easy to use and able to give good insights into any ads spend on Facebook.

My team, Plastic Free Seattle, initiated two ads, $5 on 4/8 to promote our overall page, and $25 on 4/25 to promote a bottle give-a-way contest.

I found the ads analytics tool to be flexible in that it allows scheduled reporting (can subscribe via email) and export via .csv that I can use to perform other analysis. For basic usage, the built in dashboard provided sufficient information.

First, the campaign and ads overview, gives a high level summary of each campaign:


Driving down gives an informative graph:


The information here is quite useful in determining the effectiveness of this ad, and gives a concrete value for our customer acquisition cost, as measured in Likes. The reach for this ad was impressive, at over 1600, but equally disappointing was that we were only able to receive 1 like. The tool presents this information very clearly – we spent $3.78 for just 1 like, which indicates the engagement ability of our ad needed work. Taking that as a lesson, our second ad was comparatively more successful:


Additional details can be obtained by clicking on the link:


As can be seen by this report, this ad was much more effective. It didn’t have much more ad reach, but the engagement levels were many folds higher. The Total Action break down was especially helpful. Among user actions, we were able to see our photo views were the highest, next to post likes. This allowed us to determine that photos are a better way engage users than just a straight post (compared to our $4 ad).

The overall graph was also useful in highlighting that the impact of an ad is highest at the beginning and will slope down over time. Using this info, other promotions and ads can be timed, such that high engagement is maintained on the site.

Overall, I think this tool worked very well.


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Filed under 2013 - Post 3


When I was evaluating social media tools for review, I was looking for a tool that will help me identify who I should follow on Tweeter. That is, who are the influentials for my cause? If I could identify them, I could try to interact with them and leverage their influence to promote my own Twitter feed. To that end, I found TweetLevel.

TweetLevel,, is a website that provides analytics for Twitter. In particular, it helps Twitter users:

–          Measure how much people are talking about their brand

–          Analyze conversations about their brand

–          Helps in identifying what weblinks are shared the most

–          Gauge how influential their twitter account is, including influence, popularity , engagement, and trust

–          Finds the most influential tweeters

I found all these features well implemented and easy to use. Using this site enable me to gain a lot of insights into my cause and our Twitter account. Of the above features I was drawn especially to a word map that Tweetlevel generates automatically based on topics or hashtags. This allowed me to identify what people are saying around my cause. A few examples of queries I ran:







For each of those hash topics, Tweetlevel displays basic analytics such as number of times the topic was mentioned in Tweeter over time and provides graphical illustrations, such as this graph:


More actionable for my needs was that Tweetlevel displayed a list of Twitter accounts it thinks are the most influential for the topic. For #plasticfree:


This functionality was exactly what I was looking for – a way to identify the influentials as a first step towards engaging them and driving traffic to my own site.

Tweetlevel also provides more detailed information on a per Tweeter account basis. Running a query on #plasticfreeseattle, I was given a score:


Along with this score, I was given detailed information on what the different levels mean. Tweetlevel has these levels:  Idea Starter, Amplifier, Curators, Commentators, and Viewers.

Its definition of Commentators, below, was I feel, quite accurate for our account, given the status of our Twitter efforts:

Commentators – these people individually have little influence. Their behavior often resembles little more than adding a comment without contributing greatly to the conversation. Their influence should not be ignored but should instead be viewed as a collective to measure the trend of opinion around a subject. An interesting factor is that this group are often self-moderating – when negative comments are posted often these contributors will often intervene to correct inaccuracies or a unfounded negative views.

Besides analytics, Tweetlevel also devotes a page to “Influence tips.” Some of the tips were basic, such as using URL shorteners. Others were a bit more insightful, such as advice to treat Tweeter as a conversation and to be interaction.  One tip was interesting in noting you should create value when you Tweet. The example they gave was, “Just saw Watchmen” could be extended to “Saw Watchmen movie. Graphics brilliant! Great action scenes, you should see it!”. I feel this tip in particular is quite useful for my team’s own @pf_seattle account (as well as to a lot of other accounts I’ve seen) and will be helpful in making us more influential.

Lastly, it also gives a handy summary of our engagement level:


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Filed under 2013 - Post 2


Zillow is a Seattle company providing real estate data, mainly home price estimates (“Zestimates”), to home owners, buyers, sellers, and others interested in such information. Its main presence is a website as well as a strong mobile app.

On the social side, Zillow operates a number of its own blogs as well as have presences on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Goggle+, Pintrest, and LinkedIn. Zillow appears to be a very active in the social channels. Some products, such as Zillow Digs and Zillow Rentals, actually have their own handles on those social sites. This is an interesting approach as presumably buyers and renters are interested in different information and are engaged differently

Their blogs are written on its own website, separated into the Zillow Engineering blog focused on products and technologies, the Zillow Pros blog, focused on posts for real estate professionals, and the regular Zillow blog, which covers broad topics from posts about Zillow CEO’s appearance on CNBC, to mortgage rates, to tips on how to decorate your home. Zillow seems to use their blog posts mainly as 1-way conversations. Although they posts to the Zillow and Zillow Pros blog often, there has been little to no reader comments/response to those postings.

On the other hand, their Twitter (93K followers) and Facebook (300K likes) appears much more engaging. However, I found that a lot of their Facebook posts has been about complains, both technical and otherwise, such as below:

User engagement on their social sites seems consistent with what a lot of other companies experience– that Facebook has become a public unofficial support channel where users can come to air their grievances. Replies by Zillow are usually quick – I can see how if I have a problem with using Zillow, this would be more effective as a support channel than email.

It appears that Zillow uses social media channel consistency to push new products, such as “Dig”, which allows users to look at and share (in a Pintrest style way, with a board you can share) photos of homes, sometimes with estimates of their worth. Digs related posts are on all their channels, either explicitly, or implicitly by showing pictures of remodels from Digs.

The most interesting social media feature I found on Zillow actually only becomes available after you’ve linked your Facebook account as your signin for the site. Zillow actually request to use your friends’ addresses on Facebook, and when you search for a home, it automatically shows you friends who are living in that area. For example, when I searched for a home in Issaquah, the home details page showed:

*names and pictures blacked out to protect the innocent.

This is actually a great way to connect users to each other, and aids in the viral promotion of Zillow itself.

In my opinion, what seems lacking in Zillow’s social media line up is a showcase of its culture. Unlike other companies whose culture oozes from every blog posts they make, Zillow’s seems to be less personal. It would be great to see more of an insider look of what their company is really like.


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Filed under 2013 - Post 1