Social Media Metrics: the snapd example

tinageisel    February 26, 2015

 snapd_logo_V_RGB-01 (1)

Organization Name: snapd Inc.

Industry: Publishing

Dawne Taylor-Gilders, Owner/Publisher/Editor at snapd KW
Sean Gilders, Co-Owner & VP Marketing & Sales snapd KW
Andrea Dunn, snapd Director of Social Media

Web References: snapd

As part of my UWaterloo online course; Social Media For Business Performance, students are required each week to do a case study/blog post pertaining to our particular area of research. I try to pick businesses and/or topics of interest to me specifically, while keeping it local. This week I chose snapd KW, since I have been working with this business since December of 2010 as a Media Photographer and more recently in addition, snapd KW Community Liaison.

IMG_1706In this role, I specialize in friendly and entertaining photography, while capturing local events, develop my network connections and meet fascinating people within the community. Promote advertising sales with local marketing partners and involved in social media engagements on a variety of channels such as Twitter and Facebook in order to promote and showcase community events.


About snapd:

snapd, previously known as SNAP Newspaper Group, is a franchise-based newspaper business, both for print publications and online, with over 60 snapd franchises across Canada.

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 4.49.58 PM

Their business model is specializing in community connection and positive events, showcasing the life, entertainment and spirit of the community in which they operate.
The central component of the monthly “news” publication, is specializing in friendly
and entertaining photographic views of living in the particular local community.

Below is an example of a snapd KW newspaper.
Cover photo by: (me) Tina Geisel:










Social media is used as an extension of the core purposes of the business, which are to promote and share local events, to engage with organizations, businesses and individuals, and to draw traffic to individual websites.

Andrea Dunn is the Director of Social Media for snapd, and has been with the company since 2009. She is the social media resource for all franchises, including headquarters, where she provides training, support and up-to-date information on individual platform changes and news.

“Social media plays a pretty big role in the business. Since our publications are community based, having 300 engaged fans to whom our local content is relevant to is more valuable than having 1,000,000 disengaged fans. Therefore you must tailor your social media strategy based on interaction and not just the number of followers and fans.” ~ Andrea Dunn

Overall (all franchises) Facebook Fans/Twitter Followers from all franchises from
April 2012 to present:

fans followers graph

Franchisees are responsible for managing their own social media engagement, which results in mixed outcomes that are dependent both on the franchisee and the community. Some franchises use social media more consistently than others, and some communities are more engaged through social media than others. Dunn says that snapd Kitchener/Waterloo is successful with Twitter engagement because it is a community that is particularly receptive to that specific platform.

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Local content is also included on snapd’s widely viewed website (as seen below) and may be used in conjunction with other media initiatives, and new forms of media like video, TV, and social networking.

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 7.47.14 PMAbout snapd KW:

Franchise owners:
Dawne Taylor-Gilders and Sean Gilders:
51 Breithaupt Street, Suite 100
Kitchener, ON N2H 5G5
Tel: 519-573-7627 (SNAP)

Podcast interview with Dan Lauckner, Live-Eye for CTV Kitchener and Dawne Taylor-Gilders about snapd KW:

Launched by Dawne Taylor-Gilders as SNAP KW Newspaper on June 1st of 2007, now snapd Kitchener Waterloo, focusing its energies on enriching the community to create
a win-win scenario:

  1. The First Win is for the Community:
    By showcasing the various activities that event participants are involved in, as well as promoting the upcoming events, consumers now connect better with their fellow community members with better efficiency.With a larger audience and more participation, event organizers will get a better return on their investment and more contributions in volunteers, donations and sponsorships. Sponsors involved will receive more recognition; and the community will have a deeper, more sustained, cultural atmosphere.
  2. The Second Win is for Advertisers:
    Associating their advertising with a “positive” entity like snapd allows for the message
    to be psychologically well received, and inspires a consumer to reflect positively on
    the advertiser in both support of their product and to the community. It is an essential
    responsibility of snapd to promote the various community related events that
    businesses in the community take part in.

snapd KW and online advertising:

The continuing progress of technology and innovative ideas have made significant
contributions to making online advertising exciting, interactive, and affordable to organizations.

  • snapd online associates organizations with their high-traffic website, extends organization’s reach, and maximizes the effectiveness of snapd campaigns in a cost effective manner
  • snapd online increase brand recall, strengthens promotional strategies and drives traffic to organization’s websites

What is Social Media Metrics?

Also known as ‘social media measuring’ or ‘social media monitoring’, it is the monitoring of social media channels for information about a company or organization, usually tracking various social media content such as blogs, wikis, news sites, Twitter and social networking sites, video/photo sharing websites, forums, and message boards.

measurementpersonSocial media monitoring allows users to determine the volume/number of social media subscribers “Reach” and sentiment of online conversation about a brand or topic, find insights into a brand’s overall visibility on social media, measure the impact of campaigns, identify opportunities for engagement, assess competitor activity, and be alerted to impending crises. It can also provide valuable information about emerging trends.

Companies can track what consumers are saying about their brands and actions, then react to these conversations and interact with consumers through social media platforms.

How is social media being measured by an organization like snapd?

Organizations today are using social media metrics to measure their impact and Return On Investment (ROI) on Social Media. In order to access social media data and analyze and monitor social media, many companies use monitoring software which help the client track the presence of the company in social media.

These tools do a complete analysis of your brand like who is talking about it? Are they positive or negative about your company? Who is the influencer in the social media?
They may use programs like Google Analytics or the reports generated by monitoring platforms such as Hootsuite, TweetDeck or Sprout.

Google-AnalyticsIt can be difficult to measure all social media conversation due to privacy settings and other issues, therefore not all social media conversation can be found and reported by monitoring tools.
Social media monitoring cannot
give absolute figures, but can be extremely useful for identifying trends and for benchmarking.
These findings can influence and shape future business decisions.

How can these tools be used to benefit snapd?

Social media monitoring benefits businesses, big or small. It analyzes consumer preferences, sentiments and intentions in real time.

Advantages of social media monitoring include:

  • alerts the company immediately
  • easily detect who is talking about their product
  • easily identify people in need of their product
  • provides answers to questions
  • influencer identification
  • monitoring the response of customers
  • helps identify where you should “hang out” digitally

Social media metric tools can be used to increase profits and communicate more effectively. Good methodologies take into consideration the following:
Attract, Absorb, Activate and Analyze:


The snapd example:


In a tight-knit community such as Kitchener-Waterloo, verbal promotion and word of mouth has been very successful for snapd KW, along with the use of Twitter.
snapd KW also runs ads of their own and rolled out snapd Tix, an online ticketing agent in December 2014. This service designs and sells event tickets through snapd’s franchise websites, and includes social media promotion:

IMG_1707 IMG_1712


The snapd KW franchise owners and team of photographers are extremely community oriented and genuinely interested in the people and events in which they cover. Their business model is putting the community first, as opposed to their competition:

Screen shot 2015-02-26 at 11.35.54 AM


snapd KW engages in community contests with their marketing partners. Along with Choose Chicago, American Airlines & Region of Waterloo International Airport, snapd KW was thrilled to send this lucky couple to Chicago. Nathan & Cherie Grieve were the lucky winners of the Fly From Home Valentines get-away contest:

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To date, snapd KW has 2,444 likes on Facebook and 7,902 Twitter followers.
Some of snapd KW social media monitoring results from 2011 include:

  • 50% of snapd readers have found out about events through their Social Media initiatives
  • 59% of snapd readers go online to view, comment and share photos
  • 25% of snapd readers share events through Social Networking sites like Twitter & Facebook
  • 82% of snapd readers have used the online event calendars to attend a community event

Sean Gilders, Co-Owner & VP Marketing & Sales snapd KW, had this to say when asked about the above methodologies:

Attract – we use Facebook & Twitter as an additional platform to get the word out about our advertising partners, we also have used it to promote snapd events. A big one was our brand change launch back in Oct 2013, we used a twitter campaign and a hashtag to RSVP which created a local buzz and resulted in just under 200 people attending the event. We also use social media to connect with potential advertisers by engaging with them.
Absorb – In our case we engage with community members, non profit event planners for content creation. As a media our social media is an extension of our monthly paper & website, we can connect with readers and share content on a timely manner. We also will give away prizes using LIKE, Share or retweet on our social media platforms.
Activate – we use social media for our #FlyFromHome contest, also we use it to get our readers to submit events to our website as well as use our community calendar
Analyze – one of the biggest analytics we use is number of Facebook likes as well as Twitter followers, this give us a good amount of klout to promote events and our marketing partners which we use to create new marketing partners. We also measure social media impressions as a measure of our local klout.”
Indicated on the infographic below:
Screen shot 2015-02-26 at 1.33.09 PM


Lessons for Others

Devise a strategy to measure social media success based on the purpose of your product. Social media platforms offer a variety of metrics, and it is worth the effort to consider all information and relate that back to your business.

The success of your business does not rely on the number of followers that your social media marketing has attained. You must tailor your social media strategy based on interaction and not just the number of followers and fans.

 Other resources:

Submitted By: Tina Geisel, SMBP Student, University of Waterloo

To contact the author of this entry please email at:

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.