Social Media Coding Standards – revised

By: Claudio Rehmet / 17.12.2015

Source: The Conclave on Social Media Measurement Standards

In 2013, the Conclave on Social Media Measurement came out with general guidelines for measuring social media. The Institute for Public Relations (IPR) Measurement Commission together with CyberAlert, a media monitoring and PR measurement service provider, has now launched a research study that is going to reassess these standards in order to create a validated standard coding document for social media analysis.

In 2011, the Conclave on Social Media Measurement, a 40+ member group of companies, public relations, social media agencies, and industry associations came together to address the lack of standards around social media measurement. After two years of work, they published guidelines for social media measurement as has already reported. Thereby, the Conclave established general parameters for measuring sentiment, opinion, and engagement in a catalogue of six groups, but stopped short of providing validated processes.

Variation in professional research practices often leads to uneven research quality, inconsistency, and confusion. Now, the IPR study, running since August 2015, seeks to resolve one of the major issues in analyzing social media: the lack of universally-accepted and agreed upon measures and processes for evaluating social media mentions using the Conclave standards as a benchmark. Michelle Hinson, director of public relations measurement for CyberAlert and chair of the IPR Measurement Commission, is leading the research team. Within the study, CyberAlert’s analysts validate and test the Conclave coding document measuring social media mentions provided by the three participating organizations: Southwest Airlines Co., Goodwill Industries International, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. “Much like the related work to achieve standards in traditional public relations measurement, the work to create and test standards for social media coding is an important step to creating a common language and approach for our profession to utilize,” said Linda Rutherford, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Communication & Outreach as a member of the Conclave. When to expect the results remains ambiguous.

The complete Social Media Measurement Standards of June 2013 can be downloaded here.

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