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Katlin Swisher

Katlin Swisher

Senior Strategist, Campus Sonar

Breakout 1: Friday, June 2 | 10 a.m.

"The Metrics That Matter Most: An Audience-First Approach to Measuring Brand Awareness"

We’re measuring social media wrong. Rather than just relying on traditional social media monitoring, social listening helps you understand what your audiences are really saying online. Vanity metrics like followers, engagements, and impressions only offer a limited view of the online conversation and are driven by what data is provided to you by the content sources you monitor. Social listening offers a deeper understanding of your brand than basic monitoring—it assesses your conversation whether you’re tagged or not. It helps you move away from conforming to platform demands. This session will show you how by examining the most critical metrics for brand health: conversation volume, earned conversation, and authors. 

Social listening is focused just as much on earned conversation as owned content—what you publish. It is an audience-first approach, giving you an authentic and unfiltered view into your audience’s questions, opinions, celebrations, anxieties, and fears. Using higher education as a lens with industry-wide data from Campus Sonar, this session will demonstrate how social listening is more than just capturing data. It provides a framework for measuring and analyzing your conversation. Then, you can use those insights to inform your strategy and identify opportunities to take action like assessing how social media helps or hurts your brand, impacts enrollment, or secures alumni donations—elements of your purpose and mission. 


Understand the differences between social media monitoring vs. social listening 

Identify the most effective metrics for evaluating your online conversation 

Explore best practices for measuring brand awareness long term to support your goals and make data-informed decisions


Katlin Swisher is a senior strategist at Campus Sonar. She is dedicated to using data and storytelling to help campuses build trust with their audiences, support strategic planning and branding efforts, and inform organizational change. During her decade of on-campus experience, she led initiatives and programming in enrollment management, orientation and transition, and marketing communications. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts in higher education administration and a Bachelor of Science in journalism from West Virginia University. She is an instructor of media and leadership studies and has presented research at the American Marketing Association’s Higher Ed Symposium, American Educational Research Association, Association for the Study of Higher Education, and National Rural Education Association. In her spare time, you can find her hiking in West Virginia’s beautiful state parks and traveling the world as a clarinetist with the WVU Alumni Band.

Social Media Links

Twitter: @KatlinSwisher