Social value is a critical element to any brand's marketing strategy. One major metric that affects social value is the SHARE. The more organic shares content receives, the more impressions -- and potentially engagement -- it receives as a result.
Although often associated with Facebook, the idea of sharing content relates to any platform (including a physical discussion that carries an idea that starts online to the offline world).
So why do people share content?
They were so affected by the content, they want to give others that feeling.
Knowledge is power and being able to inform others makes one powerful.
(Almost) everyone wants to be: inspirational, funny, helpful, and part of something larger than themselves.
The reasons to share content help you understand what kind of content is highly shareable:
DEALS:Discounts and offers should be available for everyone (after all, with the power of a share your deal could end up on another continent in no time at all). The standard neighborhood phone call exclaiming, "There's a hug sale at Macy's!" has been replaced by a network-wide click of a button.
HUMOR:Because who doesn't need a good laugh? Just make sure it isn't offensive to anyone or you could see some major backlash.
ADVICE:We are in the self-help era. People want tips (and to share tips) that can help everyone. Think "3 easy ways to save money," or "Everyday household items thatremove stains."
ADORABLE ANYTHING:From babies to puppies -- if it's adorable, it will at least merit a like, and more often than not, a share from your Aunt Janine and her fellow book club members.
AMAZING FACTS:Did you know? More importantly… do you care? If both answers are YES, people will share your content.
WARNINGS:Is something major happening in the world that relates to your brand? Get the word out.
INSPIRATION:Everyone has a motivational quote that gets them every time. Be the mid-afternoon pick-me-up folks need.
UNITY:People love being a part of teams, clubs, groups, etc. They wouldn't "like" your brand if they weren't proud of it. Whether you're promoting #USA, #TeamBieber, or #CoffeeLovers, give your fans a reason to feel proud.
Didn't this blog post make you feel so incredible that you want to SHARE it? No? Okay. Comment below about what inspires YOU to share.
For years, people have been saying, “Mobile is the next big thing.” The truth is, mobile isn’t next. It’s now.
It didn’t happen overnight, but there’s no denying that understanding the way people use their mobile devices has become super important – to retailers, to publishers, and to marketers. Here’s the mobile explosion, in 11 impressive stats:
General use: 1. Consumers now spend 25% of their total digital time at home on tablets or mobile phone 2. 75% of all mobile ad impressions are viewed within the home 3. 80% of smartphone owners and 81% of tablet owners use their devices in front of the television 4. 51% of mobile traffic is sent from mobile video 5. 63% of cell phone owners use their phones to go online
Shopping: 6. Consumers using mobile devices to make purchases, or to take a step toward purchasing, now account for 31% of total web conversions 7. 58% of adult smartphone users regularly engage in showrooming (checking out products in stores to compare prices on smartphones or later at home online) 8. 32% of smartphone shoppers are using their mobile devices to make a purchase on a weekly basis. That’s almost double the amount in 2012, with an additional 25% of smartphone shoppers now purchasing items every month
Social media: 9. 78% of Facebook’s 128 million of daily US users are mobile 10. 27% of mobile Internet time is spent on social networking sites 11. 60% of users access Twitter through mobile
Remember 10 years ago when it became evident that every brand, big or small, simply couldn’t afford not to have a web presence? Yeah, that’s where we are with mobile now. But it doesn’t have to be daunting. We’ll be following this post up with more info about how to make the most of mobile.
References: 1,2 and 6. AOL and the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, August 2013 3. eDigitalResearch, October 2012 4. Cisco, February 2013 5. Pew Center for Research, September 2013 7. Parago, July 2013 8. eDigitalResearch, July 2013 9. Facebook, August 2013 10. Experian, April 2013 11. February, 2013
If you log on to Facebook daily, like 70% of Facebook's 1.15 billion users, you may notice that you see content from the same groups of people or brands in your news feed. You may also find that the same people like or comment on your updates, links, and pictures.
Facebook has an algorithm for sorting posts and giving certain stories priority in your news feed – it’s called Edgerank. Edgerank (and everything I am about to explain) applies to Facebook relationships between brands and individuals as well as individuals and other individuals.
Edgerank puts three metrics into its equation and spits out stories for you. Those three metrics are affinity, weight, and time decay.
Affinity: the relationship between users (remember, this applies to both brand-individual and individual-individual relationships), which is based on repeated interaction in the form of likes, comments, shares, messaging, and clicks on stories in the news feed.
Weight: the priority your post gets based on the type of post and the interaction it garners. Traditionally photos are given highest priority, then videos, followed by links, and, finally, plain text. However, if a text post received lots of comments (which are weighted slightly higher than likes, and a bit lower than shares), then it is likely to appear higher and more frequently in news feeds than a photo with less interaction.
Time Decay: how long the post has been live, and how long it's been since the last interaction with that post. Ever wonder why friends "like" a photo of you from 2008? The odds are that someone was creeping, liked that photo, and started a chain reaction because the activity of that friend "liking" your photo appeared in your mutual friends' news feeds.
While these three metrics are weighted to determine how Facebook will display content in your feed (and your content in your friends' or fans' feeds), there are also four factors that determine the success of your post each time you make one.
1. Past interactions with the author
2. Past interactions with the post type
3. Activity surrounding your post
4. Amounts of negative feedback
The bottom line on Edgerank?
It's complicated, it's always changing, and although it has a formula, it's still unpredictable amidst such a saturated channel.
What can you do to get on Edgerank's good side?
Create quality content. No interaction is better than negative interaction, so make sure you're posting what your fans want to see.
Encourage engagement. What's the best way to get what you want? Ask for it. Use open-ended questions and fill-in-the-blanks, seek captions from users, or ask for a certain action based on their opinions or experiences regarding your post.
Post consistently (and at the best times). There is no magical time of day here. These times will be different based on each brand and its audience. Through a little trial and error (and monitoring your Facebook Insights), you'll be able to tell when fans engage with your content most.
Have questions about your brand page's Facebook success, and how Edgerank may be playing in that? Comment below to share your experiences, and hopefully we can help you understand them!
I talk a lot about the ROI of social and digital media. I can produce all sorts of amazing figures, graphs and examples of how we've measured online media and the results. Awesome. Good for the internets.
But a lot of times you can NOT measure the direct result of social media. I've talked about this before, but now I have the perfect example. Last weekend, my wife and I decided to have a little "staycation" in Dallas since we were visiting for a wedding shower.
I started to think where we could stay and I really wanted a great pool. I ended up booking a room at the Omni Hotel in Dallas. Being the over-analyzing, advertising nerd that I am, I decided to retrace my steps as to why I picked the Omni.
It all boiled down to this Instagram:
You may be asking yourself, "Chip, what are you smoking?! That's not even a picture of the Dallas pool!!!" Correctomundo. That's exactly the point. I saw this photo several days before we even decided to get a room. When we decided to stay at a hotel, the first place I thought of was the Omni in Dallas.
Had I seen a picture of their pool? No, but I remembered there was an Omni in Dallas and I knew they always had great pools. I decided to see what deal I could get and looked on TripAdvisor and OmniHotels.com. After looking a couple other hotels, I ultimately decided the Omni would be the perfect place.
Now, can Omni Hotels track the purchase of my room to the view of a photo on Instagram? No way, Jose. Can they track it because I clicked on a link from Instagram? Nope, you can't even have clickable links on Instagram (at the time of this writing). There is no way for Omni to track this. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
So was there value in their social media? You bet. Were they able to measure it? With the exception of this blog post, there would be no way to measure it.
Social media is becoming a bit more like TV, in many ways. When you go to the store, you don't know why you want Mio instead of liquid Kool-Aide, but you do. You forgot the ad you saw 26 times in the past three weeks. Obviously, us marketers track this whenever we can (for example, does a larger TV media buy result in more sales?), but we don't know if spending $1,000 in TV will result in $2,000 more sales.
Tracking and measurement is always improving. I wouldn't be surprised if, in three years, Omni is able to track the purchase as a "view-through" conversion (the technology exists, but it is not used by Instagram today).
The morale of the story? Just because you can track so many different metrics does not mean that you are really tracking everything.
Exhibiting at a trade show can involve a major investment of time and money. But the financial return for your business can be big – if you approach the show with a winning strategy.
Most exhibits are handled one of two ways: 1) by spending hundreds of hours and dollars incorporating the entire company’s ideas into a mishmash of copy, graphics and giveaways; or 2) by spending two minutes dragging out the exact same booth that’s been used for the past 25 years. Both approaches have obvious disadvantages.
But there's hope! If you’re considering setting up at a trade show, here are five tips for a successful trade show experience:
1. Plan for success.
We all claim to be “really busy” then are disappointed when the show doesn’t go as planned – that’s usually because there was no plan! Develop a detailed plan addressing goals and challenges ahead of time – ideally 12 months prior to the show. Additional planning meetings should be held every three months leading up to the show. You’ll set the team and yourself up for success go by communicating a clear strategy, roles and expectations.
2. Let ‘em know you’re coming!
If you don’t tell anyone you will be at the show, how can you expect your fans to stop by your booth? In your plan, be sure to include a pre-show marketing strategy. Include answers to the following questions: why should people stop by your booth? What special promo will prospects receive for stopping by? How will prospects find you on the trade show floor? Where can they receive information if they are unable to attend the show?
3. Edit, don’t add.
Have you ever seen a billboard on the highway with a bunch of copy? It’s hard to read, right? Same with trade show displays. Make sure the graphics on your display tell who you are, what you do and how you can help in a succinct 8-12 words. Yes, 8-12 words – and that includes your logo.
4. Listen to your prospects.
Silence is golden … sometimes. Listening to prospects’ needs first will help you clearly communicate your company’s solution. Avoid bombarding them with information on every little thing your company can do – rather, identify top-level needs to draw them in, then you can inform them of additional solutions your company can provide.
5. Follow up.
Create a system before attending the show that ensures no leads fall through the cracks. This follow up might be a packet to be mailed after the show, or an email with attached information the prospect was interested in – personalize and give the prospect something of value. This is also an opportunity to leverage technology and accelerate the follow up process.
If a trade show is handled correctly, you can make more connections in one weekend than in a month of cold calling. But remember, a trade show is not a cheap, quick-fix kind of thing. A company must be prepared to invest time, money and attention into its exhibit in order to see a beneficial return.
Imagine being able to walk into a store and when you open the door, the exact item you were looking for is right in front of you. Wouldn't that be nice? No more hunting, searching, asking someone, trying to find the right size or just leaving in frustration when you can't find what you're looking for.
Online can be that easy. For example, when someone is looking for Widget X using Google, advertisers can send them to a landing page that talks just about Widget X. No need to tell people about all of the other unrelated widgets, just send them directly to the one they are looking for and tell them everything they need to know about Widget X.
However, many marketers are still sending ads to the homepage -- and people are bouncing (the online version of just leaving the store in frustration). Think of it this way: your homepage is the entrance to a store, while a landing page is a whole department around the one thing (product or service) that a visitor is looking for. Which would you choose? Done well, a landing page helps people find what want and helps you sell more.
Here are some tips to help you get it right:
Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. If you are buying any sort of online ads, you have some context into what they are looking for. Think about what YOU would like to see.
Make sure your landing page is a logical extension of the ad/search result that's directing people there. Don't try to bait and switch people with a landing page that sells something other than what they're looking for.
Track, track, track. Make sure you have Google Analytics installed on the landing page with goals set up.
Remember the "inverted pyramid" style of writing: put the most important facts at the top of the page and more details below. Make sure the visitor can get the basics at the beginning.
Make sure you have a strong, clear call to action: If you are selling a product, make sure the visitor can, at least, add the item to their cart. If you're generating leads, make the form easy to use.
Another note on forms: Make sure you ask for the bare minimum information you need to qualify them. People are wary of giving their information, and it's better to have too many unqualified leads than no leads at all (I'm looking at you, landing pages that ask for my social security number).
Incorporate security seals, third-party validation, testimonials and no-spam promises to ensure that the visitor can trust you.
Limit the navigation to other pages on the site. Don't trap the user, but if you are certain that you've selected the correct page for them to land on, don't allow them to get lost in the store.
The one exception to this rule is that if you can cross- or up-sell. For example, if someone is searching for a particular red dress, it's OK to show them more red dresses. You don't want the visitor to leave because of limited options. Bonus points if you can sell them a more expensive dress.
Track calls. There are some very complicated ways of accomplishing this that attribute a call to a specific keyword or website, but these are also very expensive. You could simply set up a new phone number (or, better yet, forward a Google Voice number) and count the number of calls. Make sure the only way you can see the number is through the landing page.
Give the visitors a way to ask questions. Don't assume they will buy now or give you all of their information, but provide a phone number (see above) or an easy way to ask questions (bonus points for live chat).
Test out different versions of the page. Try showing more information vs. less information. Try a red "buy now" button or blue "buy now" button. The possibilities are endless.
Landing pages are a great way to make it easier for visitors to do business with you. Next time you run ads, make sure to have an honest discussion about what landing page you will be sending visitors to. After all, you've paid for that visit -- make the most of it.
My entry into the world of marketing was somewhat
unconventional, with a BS in Forest Management (RU Rah) and 10 years in medical
device R&D before moving to what my R&D colleagues referred to as “the
dark side.” I had the great fortune,
however, to learn classical marketing from some of the best while at Johnson
& Johnson, on both the consumer and professional sides of the business
(thanks Kay, Mickey, and Melanie). As a
young brand manager, I was elated when I was entrusted with ownership of my
first brand (THROMBOGEN™ Topical Thrombin), which included working with an ad agency.
In my early years working with and then “managing” agencies,
I thought there were generally two types: those who did what you asked, and
those who were constantly hounding you to spend more money. In my opinion, PD&G in Arlington, TX was
one of the later. As the scope of my
management responsibilities grew, I found that my account manager Teri Pierce
Schultheis (of the P in PD&G) was constantly coming to me with new ideas on
how to spend my budget – and then some.
I thought this was self-serving and annoying.
As my career progressed and my business skills matured, however,
I came to truly appreciate what Teri and PD&G were doing. They brought a collaborative spirit along with
a very different perspective to our business, and they truly saw our
relationship as a partnership and proposed new and innovative promotional
opportunities that we had not considered internally. I realized that this was exactly the kind of
agency and relationship that would best serve me and my business.
This is exactly why I hired Balcom Agency to be my agency of
record at my last two companies. With a
strong agency partnership, both my brands and my career flourished. In fact, I developed such a good working
relationship with Balcom, and because I felt I had a lot to offer from a
strategic marketing perspective, I decided this would be a great place to
work. I guess they felt the same way
‘cause here I am.
So whoever your ad agency is, be glad when they hound you
with new and innovative ways to spend your budget. Demand that they push you on
timing and deadlines. At the end of the
day, you may just find that you are doing things you had neither planned nor
considered, but find that your business is better off.
Everyone's got something to prove -- and that's increasingly true in marketing. But these days, it's less about winning a bunch of advertising awards, and more about getting results. Moving the needle. Showing ROI. That's thanks in large part to the rise of
interactive communication channels, which has enabled highly sophisticated means
of tracking what’s working and what’s not. It's making John Wanamaker's famous quote (you know the one: "Half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half") more and more irrelevant.
But there's one area in which the benefits of “big data” have been more reluctantly embraced – social media. This has resulted in two common
patterns of behavior:
There are the brands that are late to the social party
(if they show up at all) for fear that they won't be able to track the ROI and
prove their success to upper management.
And there are brands that jump on the social bandwagon
without even considering tracking their success correctly (or how social media
even fits their marketing goals).
But you don't have to fall into either of these traps. We're
here to give you concrete metrics to show that social media measurement is a.)
very possible b.) very simple and c.) very necessary if your
brand is active in the social world.
1. Engagement: Although this one may seem like
buzz word, it's the most crucial aspect in social media measurement. We stress
quality over quantity. If you have 1 million fans, but they don't interact with
your brand or share your content, then what use are they to you? Important engagement
metrics to watch (all of which can be tracked in Facebook Insights):
2.Sentiment: Are fans commenting on your
posts and posting to your timeline with happy comments or constant complaining?
Dive deeper and discover what part of their experience they're happy or unhappy
with. If they're unhappy with your content, change things up. If fans are constantly
praising your customer service department, send an internal email out thanking
3. Fan/follower growth: Yes, we said to focus on
quality over quantity, but keeping an eye on the number of followers or fans
you're losing tells you something about the content you're sharing,
too. Important growth metrics to watch:
New likes/unlikes (Facebook)
New followers/unfollows (Twitter, Pinterest,
New subscribers/unsubscribers (YouTube)
4. Conversions: Whatever your end goal is for your
brand's marketing efforts, social media is just one extension helping you
achieve that. Maybe you want to drive more traffic to your website, gain email
subscribers, attract new fans, etc. Define a conversion, then track
it. Important conversion metrics to watch:
For email subscribers, maybe you have an
application host on your Facebook page collecting that information. Watch to
see how many visitors that app has, and how many subscribers and adjust your
creative, messaging, or usability of the app accordingly.
Still not convinced? Are there currently holes in
social media measurement? Sure. But I guarantee the measurement online is far
more advanced and accurate than traditional media measurement.
Have other quick and easy social media measurement tips or
questions? Comment below to share.
You’re forging your way into the world of social media,
content marketing, inbound marketing, or whatever you want to call it. And
you’ve heard that content is king and whatever you publish has to be worth your
audience’s time, and good enough for them to share.
But you’re not really sure what that means.
If only there was a basic test you could perform to find
out if content is worth posting and sharing.
You’re in luck. Now there is.
What’s the outlet?
The type of content you should create depends on where
you’ll be releasing it:
Your Facebook and Twitter fans are mostly looking
for deals, sneak peaks and customer service
Your blog or video audiences are mostly looking
for answers and entertainment
Is it about you, or
Be sure that even when you do post about your company,
products or services, it’s still ultimately about your audience. Why it matters to them. How they can get the most out of
it. What they think of it.
Make sure the content does one or more of the following:
problems. Your customers are searching the web for answers – be
the one who has them. If you can’t provide the only solution to a particular problem, make sure your solution is
either the fastest to understand (like this
six-second tip from Lowes) or the most thorough (“Everything You Need to
Know About X”).
Arrests their attention. This content has to entice even the busiest people to
stop and click. Check out the article titles on the BuzzFeed homepage – I dare you not to click
one. Few of them are useful, but most of them are fascinating. And from bizarre
creatures to exotic lifestyles, to funny observations about everyday life, they
share this common thread: they are all story-driven and highly visual.