How One Company Rates Digital Engagement for Brands

ListenFirst produces daily ratings for consumer brands by tracking engagement across social media platforms, including Wikipedia.


Social media metrics mean nothing without a little context, says ListenFirst Media co-CEO and founder Jason Klein. ListenFirst is a media platform that gathers data and helps brands — from consumer products to Hollywood — leverage it to move forward. They recently launched both their Digital Engagement Ratings and Digital Audience Ratings for consumer brands and television programming, respectively.

For ListenFirst, it’s all about telling a story. He says:

Across different brands, there was this huge problem of making sense of all the data that was coming into the organization. In theory, the data could be quite insightful, but in practice, it’s all over the place. It’s in different formats and from all different sources and there’s no context around the data so it’s really difficult to be actionable from it. The idea was to help solve that problem and bring the data together to help tell stories that were actionable… A coherent digestible, single metric story around the level of engagement around a brand.daily engagement ratings

Enter the daily leaderboard and the Digital Engagement Index, which you can find daily over at MediaPost.

It’s actually a sort of simple idea. ListenFirst tracks social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Google+, and Wikipedia. They then catalog all the different ways consumers engage on those platforms: liking something, retweeting something, clicking on the Wikipedia search result, etc. To narrow it down in terms of brands, they are using the Redbooks 500, a catalog of companies from various industries. Klein says it gives you a good view of where the market, in general, is going:

It’s a representative sample of companies from different categories and industries and it helps tell stories about the direction the market is going. It gives you a sense of direction, but really it’s peeling the layers below that’s interesting. For example, on Saturday, there tends to be a higher consumer engagement rating. Or looking at the individual 500 companies’ ratings is fascinating. Last week, it was Beats by Dre that went right up after the LeBron James campaign. We see similar behavior with the NFL; so Sundays and Mondays, the DE rating across the brand goes up across the board.

The Digital Engagement Index is more of an overview of social media activity and engagement for brands:
daily engagement index
ListenFirst’s other daily ratings are for television and social engagement. The methodology is similar, and the leaderboards are published weekly on Variety.