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.
Facebook changes daily, and so do the rules you have to play by to win. Here are 8 quick ways to kill your business' social media efforts (and a couple may even help you get rid of a few personal Facebook friends too!).
1. Over-sharing: We know you want every last fan to see each post… but guess what? They're not going to. And while you're busy flooding peoples' news feeds with repeat content, your fans who have seen it over and over are hiding your content… or unliking your page.
Similarly, if you share every update your page makes to your personal profile, your friends are going to get sick of your spamming, and think your page is annoying and that the product or service doesn't speak for itself.
2. Content Trumping: If you have awesome content that could potentially help grow your page, share it! FROM. YOUR. PAGE. Once the page shares it, feel free to share it to your personal profile (thereby directing traffic to the original source - the brand's page).
3. Impersonal responses: Automated responses make me feel so special! Said no one ever. People are on social media because they want to feel special. Use their names and answer their questions as if the brand were actually managed by humans. Oh wait, it is.
4. Delayed responses: Fans these days are expecting responses from brands' Facebook pages in hours (preferably less than one hour). If you can't keep up, hire help, or prepare to lose business.
5. Not responding at all: Imagine approaching a girl at a bar. You say hi and offer to buy her a drink and she just turns around and ignores you. You're left alone, looking dumb, thinking to yourself, "What a B*%$@". This is what it's like to fans when you don't listen to them. Social media is meant to be SOCIAL. Take part or people are going to stop talking to you, and soon enough, it won't matter how pretty you are... you'll be going to prom alone.
6. Not posting regularly: Social media strategies are built to be flexible because it's imperative to serve up relevant, timely content. However, dry spells can lead fans to believe you're shady and unreliable. Always have a strategy and content calendar in place just in case.
7. Don't share what you think is cool: Share what FANS will think is cool. If I shared what I thought was cool to every single page I manage, Catholic Churches, cowboy boot manufacturers, and retail stores would all be sharing the latest Justin Timberlake album and memes supporting the 2nd Amendment. Yeah...
8. Don't post just to promote: Make sure your posts are of value or your fans will leave you, simple as that. If you're sharing the page's posts to your personal page - what will excite your friends about it? Stop selling them, and start engaging with them.
Luckily, these 8 steps aren't punishable by death or we'd all be goner's. They are however punishable by unliking and de-friending, so I urge you to evaluate your social media efforts and see where you can tighten up a few screws.
Have any other pet peeves or suggestions for social media managers? Comment below to share!
Think you’re ready to start a company blog? Here are eight
rules to follow when you write that first post – and every other post after.
1. Know your goal.
Your ultimate goal is to gain more business (or more
support, if you’re a non-profit), but keep in mind the goals specific to the
blog. Things like:
Get more web traffic
Collect email addresses
Build a community
B smart: To build authority with potential customers
and with search engines, don’t try to sell something every five minutes.
2. Write stuff your
audience wants to read.
Content should be:
Related to your business
So useful and/or amusing people
want to share it with friends.
Not an ad for your product or service.
If you’re a medical company, write about healthy lifestyles.
If you’re a nonprofit, write about people you’ve helped. If you’re a B2B
company, write about industry legislation and best practices.
B smart: Posts with tips, tricks and how-tos are
3. Write an intriguing and specific title.
Specify what’s in the post and why it’s valuable to your readers.
“Sack Lunch Ideas” is boring
“Make Every Day Delicious”
“12 Easy and Delicious
Sack Lunches” is both specific and interesting
B smart: Include relevant keywords for search engine
4. Make it easy on
Chances are, your readers’ eyes are already tired of the
screen. Huge Dostoyevsky blocks of copy could scare them away. Break up the text
with subheads and bullet points. Readers should be able to tell what you’re
saying at a glance.
B smart: Train yourself to keep posts under 500
words. It’s okay to occassionally write a longer post that’s more in-depth(i.e., “everything you need to know
5. End with a call to
Give people something to dowhen they finish reading. For instance:
“Read more” (followed by
links to posts on similar topics)
“What’s your favorite sack lunch? Tell us
in the comments!”
“Like this article? Pass
it on!” (followed by share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
B smart: Choose calls to action based on your main
goals. Sharing is great for traffic; comments are great for community-building.
6. Add a picture.
Use a photo a relevant photo that’s striking or amusing to draw
the eye and help break up the text. Only use pictures you own, or have
permission to use from the owner.
B smart: Search the Creative Commons section
of a photo-sharing site like Flickr for images you
can legally use (as long as you link back to the owner).
7. Post on a schedule.
You don’t have to post every day – five posts a week can be
daunting to your subscribers as well as your writing team – but posting one to
three times week, preferably on the same days (e.g. every Monday, Wednesday and
Friday) is ideal.
B smart: Share your own posts on your social
networks. You can connect some networks (like LinkedIn) directly to your blog
to post new article links automatically.
8. Reply to every
thank people who compliment the content. Strike up conversations with your
B smart: Don’tfeed the trolls – in other words, don’t try to argue with people who post
inflammatory comments just to get a rise out of you. Instead, shut them down
with something benign like “Thank you for your input.” Consider implementing a
Comment Policy reserving the right to ban trolling, strong language, racial slurs,
What questions do you have about blogging? Let us know in
Most of us use social media for primarily personal reasons –
keeping up with old friends and getting better acquainted with new ones. But
that’s something that businesses in the social media space tend to forget. They
post, comment and interact in a very, well, business-like manner. And when a
businessy, impersonal post shows up in the middle of someone’s all-too-human
feed, it just feels wrong – and turns your audience off.
That’s why developing a strong voice or persona for your
brand is one of the most crucial components when launching your social media
initiatives. Tweets, Facebook posts, pins, even LinkedIn communications – all
online messaging needs to be consistent with branding, and relatable to the
And like any friendship, you can’t neglect things if you
want your online connections to thrive. Your persona needs to be revisited by
Community Managers biweekly or monthly, just to make sure that everything stays
on-brand. It’s also important to take an in-depth look at the persona every
year to account for any changes in the audience or the brand itself.
Here are the basic steps to developing a social media
1. Research the audience.
How old are they? Where do they live? What are their general
interests? Why are they connecting with your brand? What are they hoping to get
out of the social connection? If you don't understand the audience, how are you
supposed to be able to entertain them, speak with them, and, ultimately, sell
2. Develop personality traits from the audience research.
Now that you know the basics about the audience, you can
define their character. By pinpointing 5-7 strong adjectives that describe the
brand's persona, you’ll get an idea of just who will be speaking to fans and
followers, and what he or she will sound like. A persona described as
"intelligent, thoughtful, nurturing, quiet, and articulate" would
interact far differently with an audience than a persona described as
"gregarious, witty, involved, funny, and enthusiastic."
3. Find a visual (famous) character who fits the persona
to use as a model.
A Facebook page for an upscale women's clothing line
wouldn't speak in Will Ferrell's persona, and a children's learning center
probably wouldn't speak as Chelsea Handler. Find a character who fits the
brand's persona, so that visualizing the person sharing updates and responding
to feedback and more tangible.
4. Compose sample posts.
Get a feel for both the content the brand will be sharing,
and the way it will be shared. Does the persona use exclamation points? Does
he/she ask open-ended questions? Are posts straightforward and informative, or
conversational and light? These also serve as good back-up content when the
brand is getting away from the persona’s messaging, or is in a content
So, there you have it! 4 quick steps to helping develop a
strong social media persona. Any you would add? Comment below to share.
I think most marketers today have a puppy problem. Everyone
loves a puppy – they're fun, cute and playful. Just look at the above picture of Asher (aka, the world’s cutest dog).
I had the opportunity to puppy-sit Asher, and he actually
taught me a lot about marketing. I would pull out a toy and he would get
super-excited. I could almost hear him say, "OMG!!!! That's my favorite
toy! I love it, I love it, I love it!" Different toy, same reaction:
"OMG!!!! That's my favorite toy! I love it, I love it, I love it!"
Too many marketers have this puppy problem. So often, we
miss the big basics because we’re chasing the next trend – Pinterest, Vine,
Reddit, etc. For CMOs, this can mean getting seriously off-task, wasting time
and, potentially, your company’s money. So what’s really important for CMOs
when it comes to technology?
1. Know your audience.
Women are more likely to use Pinterest. Instagram has a
younger audience. It's simple: different audiences use online tools differently.
Find out where your customers are and start there. Quantcast.com has a lot
of great tools that provide demographic information about visitors to specific
websites (the image below shows such data for Facebook users).
Or take a look at how visitors are getting to your website using Google
Analytics. If you're more likely to get a sale from Facebook than Twitter, it's
a no-brainer to spend more time with Facebook. But you should also do it the
old-fashioned way: talk to your customers. If you have a brick and mortar
store, ask people that come in. If you have an email list, send out a small
2. Test, measure and adjust.
This should seem obvious, but it's VERY often overlooked. I've
met with several clients who were enthusiastically trying out QR Codes, without
implementing any way to evaluate their effectiveness. You can track traffic from
QR codes (and Facebook ads, digital ads, etc.), using Google's URL builder.
In the trite but true category: Keep It Simple, Stupid! Just
because technology can be complicated, doesn't mean that it should be. Too
often, brands try and accomplish too many goals with one campaign or
initiative. Focus on one main goal, instead of having a convoluted campaign
that no one can follow.
4. Do something!
The most successful CMOs are the ones that can identify
long-term trends, such as social media and mobile, experiment personally (for
example, don't expect massive results from Pinterest if you don't have an
account set up for yourself) and test professionally.
When it comes to marketing technology, no one wants to be left behind, which makes it easy to be puppy-like -- and ultimately unproductive -- in how we approach the many tools out there. You can avoid chasing your tail by remembering the Big Basics:
Abbreviations can be a huge PITA if you don't know what they mean. Here are a few common ones to help even the least techy peeps know what's going on, and when they're appropriate to use.
The second-to-worst message to ever receive (the worst of course is, "k").
IDK: I don't know
What women say when you ask what they want for Valentine's Day (WHICH I STRONGLY CAUTION YOU NOT TO TAKE LITERALLY).
IDC: I don't care
If you asked a girl on a date via text and left it with this, her response will (or should) be, "NO."
LMK: Let me know
Probably the most annoying of all time. I hate even including it on this list, but so many people use it that I had to.
ROFL: Rolling on the floor laughing.
This should be a filter on Facebook.
TMI: Too much information
The most common one-word response to anything. I find it ironic that this response could be shortened at all, but ta-da! Thank you 14-year-old's everywhere.
How my Dad refers to the truck. Also a term for Spykids.
POS: Piece of s***, or more commonly in instant messaging: parent over shoulder.
Used to insert your deviant opinion without looking like a complete a-hole.
IMHO: In my humble opinion
Use frequently, as everything said online (or not F2F) is true.
JK: Just kidding
Most often used by creepy people-watchers at the airport (yes, I openly include myself in this group).
Commonly used at the end of an email when the sender needs a quick turnaround on a project, but is afraid to ask for it.
BTW: By the way
Because you never know if the other six letters may lead to carpal tunnel...
TY: Thank you
If he didn't type it all out, by golly, why should you?
YW: You're welcome
Interchangeable with the term above in case you really want to spice things up.
NP: No problem, not a problem
Should probably be accompanied by a blonde girl emoticon (I can make that joke because I am a blonde girl). Also appropriate to use if someone breaks up with you via text message. B/C… I mean… what else would you say?
OMG: Oh my God, gosh, goodness, golly, you get it.
90s shorthand salutation, also important to know if you live, work, or talk with individuals with memory loss
CYA: C (see) ya, or also: cover your a**.
When something is funny, but not THAT funny. Never send in relation to bad news, like the woman below did.
LOL: Laugh out loud, no longer: "lots of love"
Have more to add? Share them in the comments below!
Today, February 14, 2013, will go down as the worst day EVER for a guy named Steven at ProFlowers.
It's hard to manage a brand's reputation online, especially when their product or service has substantial flaws or is generally of poor quality. Today, my heart goes out to one guy typing away furiously and cursing his employer - ProFlowers (more like HellNoFlowers).