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Social Media Research Analyst - Contract

Please note: We are no longer accepting applications for this position. 

Upwell is a nonprofit social media agency whose client is the ocean. Are you an social media-savvy person, with a strong curiousity about metrics? You might identify as a researcher / data scientist / analytics wiz. Upwell needs help with lots of different projects, including briny ones and a range of other less briny issues.

Here’s some of what that will entail.

Campaign Tracking

Upwell runs several minimal viable campaigns each week. You’ll learn, implement and help us continue to innovate our campaign tracking methods. What’s our One Metric That Matters? It’s the social mention. Unlike most web analytics projects, our campaign tracking is complicated by the fact that we usually don’t own or have access to the sites to which we’re sending traffic. We work across multiple social networks, in multiple media formats. This sometimes makes for messier metrics but you certainly won’t be bored! (Btw, dreaming up campaigns in the morning, implementing them by the afternoon and measuring them the next day is fun - like, ‘is this really my job’ fun).

State of the Conversation Analysis

We map, monitor and make sense of big social and environmental issues by analyzing online networks and conversations - what we call “Big Listening”. Mostly we do this for ocean issues, but increasingly we’re doing this for other issues we care about (which is an actual criteria we apply before accepting projects). You’ll learn these issues inside-out through the process of building keyword groups to monitor relevant online posts and exclude irrelevant noise (think: sharks vs San Jose sharks). You’ll lead with your brain, test your hunches and iterate based on data. The build-measure-learn cycle is at the heart of what we do.

You’ll pitch in on these conversational analysis projects and will lead pieces of them. In the process you’ll get hands on experience with cutting-edge tools, but more importantly you’ll gain a unique lens on some of the most important social and environmental issues of our time.

Data, Data, Dataaaa

We’re not driven by data but we’re certainly informed by it. The mix of human brainpower and robot-assisted information-gathering is a potent brew indeed - one that rewards judicious and intentional sips. That’s a long-winded way of contextually tip-toeing into the fact that if you don’t feel at home exporting to .csv, at minimum, this probably isn’t the position for you. There will be some data drudgery - cleaning excel files and reading API descriptions come with the territory - but it will always be in the service of something awesome.

Must-have Skills or Experience

  • Advanced Excel
  • Intermediate Powerpoint and/or Keynote
  • Academic or on-the-job training in quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Experience writing up quantitative data in narrative form, with examples ready to share
  • Experience visualizing quantitative data, with examples ready to share

Nice-to-have Skills or Experience

(If you don’t have these we’ll either train you up or learn together)

  • Power user of Radian6, Crimson Hexagon, and/or TopsyPro
  • Working knowledge of social media APIs (Twitter, Facebook etc)
  • Training in social network analysis
  • Graduate-level statistics


To apply, send a resume and a brief cover letter (1p max) highlighting your interest in this role, examples of research and/or social media projects you’ve done in the past, and a favorite ocean pun, to Use the subject line: “Data Narwhal” or your reading comprehension will be questioned. If you’re wondering, “why narwhal?” It’s because narwhals are special, unique and really exist - just like you do.

This is a part-time contractor position (hours/week negotiable) with the potential for more. We have a fantastic new office in the heart of SF’s Mission District and we also work well remotely.