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March 18, 2013 at 09:02am
Social media is full of numbers, but most of the time we don't use them in any actionable way. The reason is simple: Social metrics are often too complicated to understand, and they provide few clues on how we can improve our success.
The reality is that the return on social media marketing can vary widely for each business. Some companies see quick and immediate returns, while others fail to see much of anything at all. What could the problem be? And, more important, how can we be sure that our business won't fail online?
This article looks to answer those questions by offering a few quick-and-dirty methods for gauging your online marketing strengths and weaknesses.
Through the use of these basic metrics (the data for which you are in all likelihood already gathering), you can gain insight about how you are actually performing and glean some good ideas on how you can improve performance.
We'll start by asking three key questions, and then we'll do some basic calculations to measure our success in each area:
- Are my efforts bringing traffic to my website?
- Is my social reach growing?
- Are people enjoying my content?
Remember, these are intended to be rough calculations that give us a general idea of success. They may not be perfect, but they will give you actionable insights you need to succeed online.
Question 1: Are my efforts bringing traffic to my website?
One of the primary reasons for any business to get involved in social media is to bring traffic to its website. Your social presence has intrinsic importance, but it means much more if it's serving that greater need. Without being obnoxious and sharing a link to your website every five minutes, you should make sure that a steady stream of traffic is flowing as a result of well-planned efforts on your social media properties.
The good news is that most of us are already tracking this information. Google Analytics is free and can be installed on your site easily. If your site is running on WordPress, then the Jetpack plug-in will provide you with a completely free stats package in a matter of minutes.
Once you have implemented an effective method for monitoring traffic, you need to check on two metrics: monthly referral traffic and month-over-month traffic growth.
Metric 1: Monthly Referral Traffic
You need to know where your traffic is coming from. For most websites, the top source of traffic will be Google. After that, though, you should be seeing the social networks that you participate on. A simple way to measure their share of traffic is to add up all of the visits from social networks in a month, and then divide that number by total traffic. That calculation will tell you what percentage of your traffic is generated from social media:
Metric 2: Month-Over-Month Traffic Growth
Most stats packages track two useful types of monthly traffic (among others): new visitors and total pageviews. Don't get hung up on either; for tracking purposes, just pick one. Take a single month's traffic and compare it to the traffic from the same month in the previous year. You will end up with something like this:
This is a helpful metric to track each month. I have a spreadsheet set up in Google Docs documenting our progress month over month for the last couple of years.
Question 2: Is my social reach growing?
Social reach is basically a reference to the size of your social media audience. It is true that every social network prominently displays your follower count on its site, but how much do these numbers really matter?
More and more, I am convinced that those are merely vanity metrics that deserve little attention. To calculate the true reach of our social media messages, you need to look beyond those vanity metrics with a couple of simple calculations.
Metric 1: Potential Audience Reach
Potential audience reach can be determined by measuring the number of people participating in sharing your posts and adding up the number of followers that they potentially serve.
For Twitter, that can be done manually. On Facebook, it is a bit more difficult, but it can be done via Facebook Insights. http://todaymade.com/blog/facebook-course/using-facebooks-insights/
Metric 2: Email List Conversion
Believe it or not, the growth of your email list provides a reasonable indicator of your social media success. As your social and blogging efforts bring new traffic, that traffic should result in new subscribers and followers. Tracking that growth is easy. This metric will tell you approximately how many conversions resulted from your social activity:
Question 3: Are people enjoying my content?
We know that great content matters most for social media success. Your followers want useful and helpful information. The great thing about social media is that consumers of your content have a variety of methods for "voting" on its quality.
Metric 1: Total Engagement Score
This simple metric will give you a glimpse of the big picture. By measuring a variety of metrics in one simple score, you can get a pretty good idea of how interesting and engaging our content really is. For each week, complete the following calculation:
Metric 2: User Feedback Wall
Frequently, commenters or email recipients will let you know what they think of your content. Usually, such comments are within a larger comment, but they are very important for you to notice. Start a Google Doc that will help you organize and track you feedback. You could break that feedback down into a few possible metrics, including this one:
Conclusion: Taking Action
Perhaps you have your own equations you use to track metrics. The key is to track them consistently and over a period of time to ensure you have stable numbers for measuring growth.
Tracking metrics this way can be a lot of work, but the reward is clear: You will be able to measure your success, and you'll have numbers to prove it to your team and to management.
The biggest benefit of these simple calculations is a good understanding of where you are succeeding and where you are falling short. They may be quick and dirty, but they can help you make changes that will improve your social media presence over the long term.
February 14, 2013 at 08:58am
Super Bowl XLVII could be called the "Super Bowl of the Third Screen." Viewers turned to their laptops, smartphones, and tablets to comment via social media on everything related to the game, from the much-touted advertisements to the half-time show to the blackout to the calls on the field.
To help make sense of all the social media buzz during the Super Bowl, we're sharing the "Social Super Bowl" infographic from ExactTarget and "The Social Super Bowl Ad Brawl" infographic from Whispr Group.
Curiously, the biggest social media buzz wasn't about the game itself but about a break in the game. During the third-quarter power outage (#blackoutbowl), Twitter whirred with 231,500 tweets per minute.
The most popular tweet was apparently the prediction that the 49s would win the game. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on which team you rooted for), the prediction was wrong.
So, which team benefited most from social media during the Super Bowl?
The Baltimore Ravens. The team received 19,860 Facebook likes and added 12,711 Twitter followers.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers received 11,738 Facebook likes and added 7,927 Twitter follower
As expected, viewers also focused on the commercials throughout the game. According to Whispr Group, for every 7 tweets about the game there were 2 tweets about the ads.
And what were folks saying about the ads? Tide had the highest positive sentiment; GoDaddy had the lowest.
Thank you MarketingProfs for sharing this information.
January 17, 2013 at 01:12pm
At the end of each year, I predict what personal branding trends will be valuable to career-minded marketers in the coming year. In writing this article, I continue the series with much enthusiasm, because many exciting changes are afoot that will simplify building your brand in 2013.
You will see some common threads linking many of these trends, as well as interconnections between them. For example, LinkedIn features prominently in many of the entries because of the significant changes it has been making to its functionality. The importance of using multimedia, and using it well, is also a notable theme.
As you review these brand-building opportunities, consider how you will incorporate them into your strategies to increase your influence, achievement, and personal brand value.
Since social media turned the Internet on its ear, seemingly everyone on the planet has become their own media outlet, creating, posting, and distributing original content.
The resulting upload overload has left many looking for less-demanding alternatives. Career-minded professionals understand that personal branding does not require constant content creation, and that the new key to expressing your point of view is content curation.
Potent curation tools like Tumblr and Pinterest, plus newbies that will pop up in 2013, provide the opportunity to express your brand with the help of the ideas, images, and other information from the vast library that is the Internet, with limited original writing required. Phew!
At one time, if you wanted a truly customized brand identity on the Web, you needed to build your own website. That requirement is so last year. A host of services now allow you to build and customize a profile that uniquely reflects your brand.
Some social networking sites have always allowed limited customization. YouTube, for example, lets you pick the color palette for your channel, and other social networking sites provide a structured template for members to create a personalized profile.
More and more sites are making real customization a key feature of their offerings. Even LinkedIn, one of the most structured social media sites, now allows you to change the order of the content and to easily personalize your profile with videos, images, documents, and presentations. I predict it will eventually allow you to choose color and other design elements, making your LinkedIn profile a good substitute for having your own website.
In 2013, look for more platforms like About.me, flavors.me and Zerply, which provide a one-of-a-kind home on the Web—without the cost or effort of building your own site.
According to JIBE, over 80% of smartphone users would use their phone to search for jobs. And 77% of job seekers use mobile job search apps, and of those who use them, nearly half would apply to a job right from a smartphone, according to Beyond.com.
Thousands of job-search apps are available—some to find jobs, others to manage the process, and yet others to help you make the connections that are critical to finding a job. Most of the apps have some type of personal branding component. Here are a few of the coolest one I've found to help you build your brand:
- Lunchmeet helps you find geographically appropriate contacts so you can expand your network over lunch.
- Pocketresume allows you to get the most updated information from your LinkedIn profile and export your resume to a PDF. It also lets you tailor your resume for specific positions.
- Sparkhire is a video interviewing platform. Job seekers create video responses to employers' text-based questions, letting them showcase their brand. (See Trend 10: Video.)
As job searching and personal branding become increasingly mobile, those who are evaluating candidates will be using mobile devices as well; that means you need to optimize for mobile review whatever it is that you develop on the Web to express your brand.
When I started my personal branding business 11 years ago, HR execs would tell me that companies would never want their employees to build their brands. In fact, one HR leader laughed me out of her office, saying, "We don't want our people to be known outside the company."
Personal branding is now integrated into many companies' talent and leadership development programs. Savvy, people-centric organizations understand that they need to get the best from their people, not the most, and they realize that each employee is an authentic part of the face of the company.
Well before Mitt Romney's much maligned "Corporations are people" comment, organizations began promoting the human aspect of their businesses (Chevron's "Human Energy" and Cisco's "The Human Network Effect," for example) Increasingly, external communications campaigns are featuring actual employees (GE's "Pass the Wrench" and IBM's "I'm an IBMer," for example).
Expressing the corporate brand is not just for the CEO anymore. Individual employees will be the spokespeople for their companies. Businesses once reluctant to allow social media sites to be available inside the company firewall now build programs to help their employees post stellar LinkedIn profiles and timely tweets to communicate their brand. This trend will continue, blurring the line between the company and its people.
"A picture is worth a thousand words" can be traced back to 1911 and is attributed to New York Journal-American editor Arthur Brisbane; Wikipedia nicely describes it as a "notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image."
Graphic designers, architects, and artists have always used portfolios of images to showcase their work. Now, career-minded professionals will increasingly use infographics to show the value they added to their workplace. (Here are some examples of infographic resumes.)
Kinzaa is a site that allows you to build an infographic resume. Pinterest pinboards enable you to express your brand and your passions through images. Prezi lets you use pictures on an interactive whiteboard to convey your point of view and share thought leadership with others.
The traditional word-based resume or CV will be quickly replaced with pictures. The About Us section of visualize.me's website states: "We believe that the traditional text resume is boring, lengthy and long overdue for a makeover." I agree.
The movement away from words and toward pictures is not just for forward-thinking careerists; social medial sites are recognizing the power of Mr. Brisbane's wisdom. For example, LinkedIn is using images to make your profile more visually interesting. Its inserting the logos of the companies you work for into your experience. Have you noticed?
In addition, it now supports integrating images and presentations into your profile so you can take the infographic you create and share your thousand words' worth of image with your network contacts.