Archives for September 2012

Factors to Track to Measure Your Social Media Campaign’s Effectiveness, Part 2

Earlier this week we discussed the importance of paying close attention to the performance of your social media campaign. If you don’t track the results, you won’t know which factors to maintain and which to put more or less effort into.

Klout was the tool we recommended last time to track your brand’s influence via social media. Today we encourage again getting more analytical, but this time by focusing on your website.

Signing up for Google Analytics is a simple, free way to connect your website with a comprehensive analytics tool that will reveal all you need to know about your website’s performance and the behavioural patterns of your website traffic.

Now, because we are focusing on social media, the following tips will hone in on using Google Analytics to track traffic from social media, rather than website traffic as a whole, but do ensure you are using the tools to track your general website traffic as well – that is always helpful.

Google Analytics now has a tool called Google Analytics Social Report, which tracks visits to your site from your social media channels (it can link to more than 400 various channels).

This tool can reveal:

  • visits via social referrals
  • conversions
  • social visitors flow – this helps you get an idea of which social media channels are producing the most traffic
  • social value-at-a-glance – gives you an idea of how social traffic helps drive conversions

For more on Google’s Social Report, check out this article by Social Media Examiner.

Factors to Track to Measure Your Social Media Campaign’s Effectiveness, Part 1

When you invest time and money into launching a social media campaign, there is no point in letting it fall by the wayside by not bothering to follow up on tracking its results. Then you have only done half the work, and you may continue to just filter money into Google AdWords, or your blog writer, or your Facebook ads, and maybe they are not the parts of your campaign bringing in any money. It could be that actually it’s all of the things you’re doing that are not costing money that are actually producing results – and then you could find you save a large amount of money!

There are a few ways you can track the performance of your campaign, and we will discuss these in today’s and Friday’s blog posts.

Firstly, consider signing up for Klout.

Klout is an easy-to-use tool that gives you an overview of what avenues of social media are bringing in your audience, but if you want you can also use the tool to look at statistics in much greater depth too, making it ideal for both the novice and experienced social media managers.

The site gives scores to each site based on its influence as measured across a variety of social media channels. It starts at 10 and goes up to 100. Consider Justin Bieber as an example – he has a Klout score of 100, as something Tweeted or Facebooked by him influences a large number of consumers.

Klout also tracks scores such as True Reach, Amplification and Network Impact. Here is what each means:

  • True Reach: the number of people you influence (the number of your followers, on a simple basis, but also the people they share your posts with)
  • Amplification: how much these people are influenced (does your tweet make them run out and buy something – a la Bieber – or just consider something for a potential future opportunity as, say, a tweet by a real estate agent might be taken by someone not currently looking at buying/selling)
  • Network Impact: the influence your followers have (if a fan shares Bieber’s post, are all their friends – also Bieber fans – seeing it too and spreading the word and buying power, or is the person just a lone ranger who keeps the post to him/herself? Are important figures in your business industry seeing your posts or just individual consumers?)

Consider looking into bringing Klout into your analytics as a way to truly measure the impact of your social media efforts.

What to Decide Before Implementing a Social Media Campaign

What businesses need to understand is that social media, like any other marketing tactic, requires careful thought and planning.  Just because you’ve been using Facebook for personal use for years doesn’t mean that you automatically know how to leverage the medium for business purposes.  Social media may be a less formal way to market a business, but it needs to be taken just as seriously.  Due to the pressure to get involved in social media, many businesses have jumped in and taken a “we’ll learn as we go” approach.  What this results in is lots of wasted time and missed opportunities.  Social media activity (or lack thereof) reflects back on your business and brand.  If it’s obvious that you don’t know what you are doing or can’t get your act together, that’s bad.  Before implementing a social media campaign, be sure to decide on the following:

The best networks for your niche

It’s best practice to be active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.  Those are the most popular social sites and are likely to be where customers will be looking to connect with you.  However, there are so many more social networks beyond the Big 4.  Depending on your industry, there may be niche social groups to get involved in.  It’s important to consider how much time you will realistically be able to spend on social networking activities.  You need to choose the best networks and maintain an active presence on them rather than selecting too many networks and spreading yourself too thin.

Who will manage it

While every department of a business should be integrated into a social media strategy, it’s important to select one person or one team to ultimately be responsible for implementation. For a small business, the owner may be able to handle it.  For a larger business, it’s a more complex decision.  Will there be a dedicated Social Media Specialist?  Will it be handled by the marketing team or by customer service?  Or will it be outsourced to a social media management company? These decisions are largely based on how social media will be used.

Who the target audience is

Most people today are active on at least one social network so there is a misconception that the target audience for your social media is “everyone”.  The truth is, not “everyone” is going to choose to follow you in social media.  It’s important to devise a strategy that will attract a certain group of people.  Who do you want to engage with?  Potential customers or clients? Others in the industry? Professionals in related industries? All of the above?

What kinds of content will be shared

Businesses take different approaches to social media based on their target audience.  It can be used as an outlet to share informational content, promotions, company updates and to engage in a conversation with followers.  A good social media strategy includes a bit of each of these components to keep it interesting.

Frequency of posts

The key to success in social media is maintaining active profiles.  There is no reason to follow, or continue to follow, an account that never posts anything.  While some businesses may choose to post multiple times a day, once a day or a few times a week may be plenty for a smaller business.  It’s important to find the right balance that is appropriate to the needs of your followers.

About the Author:

Nick Stamoulis is the President and Founder of Brick Marketing, a Boston SEO company that offers full day SEO seminars.  For more information please call 781-999-1222 or visit http://www.brickmarketing.com.

Importance of All Forms of Social Media in Relation to Internet Marketing

We have discussed the impact that individual social media channels have on your website’s search rank, thanks to information detailed in this article by Search Engine Watch.

Now it is time to look at the final two points that can have an effect on your website’s ranking in Google and other popular search engines – and these two points encompass buzz that your website gets across all forms of social media.

Firstly, let’s look at Positive vs Negative Brand Mentions. Search Engine Watch recommends that site owners track these mentions using a tool such as Radian6. However you choose to track these mentions, you – obviously – want to ensure that your brand has far more positive than negative mentions. This isn’t always easy – people are far more inclined to write a review or make a comment on a negative experience than they are a positive one. That is unfortunately the nature of consumer behaviour. However, you can encourage positive mentions by politely requesting feedback or testimonials from customers, perhaps even offering them an incentive to do so. If they go to write a testimonial and were happy with their experience, you should be able to cancel out many negative reviews after some time.

If you have a large number of negative mentions online due to faults of previous management or a genuine mistake that you are still paying for, consider using the services of an Internet reputation company. These companies will work hard to get your name out there in a positive way, slowly burying the negative links so that they have less and less prevalence in search engine results.

Lastly, Search Engine Watch recommends looking at the Number of Social Mentions your website has across all forms of media. The main reasoning for this is that there are specific campaigns a company can run to try and boost its presence on a social site like Facebook or Twitter, but that may not accurately represent that your company deserves this reputation – it could simply be the result of running a competition, for example. So instead try and diversify your online reputation among a variety of sites – this will help Google know that your content really does deserve to be featured.

For previous articles in this series, visit the links below: