How Do You Know You Just Wasted $4.5 Million on a Super Bowl Ad

is super bowl advertising worth it
While most of you watched the Super Bowl last night, I was tracking the game of Facebook (my Twitter feed just moved too fast) – mostly for mentions of Super Bowl ads. And, if Super Bowl advertising success mapped to mentions on Facebook, Nationwide won, hands down.

Now, you might ask why an ad that created so much discomfort was my pick for the winning Super Bowl ad, it’s because folks mentioned the ad so much. It doesn’t really matter that folks didn’t like the ad or thought it was a real “downer”, they talked about it. And, 2 days from now, the association between Nationwide and a dead kid will fade, leaving only the memory of having seen Nationwide mentioned a lot by people you know and respect.

Question: What is success for a Super Bowl Ad?

This is really the $54 Million question — how do we define success of any ad — a Super Bowl ad, in this example?

By certain metrics, a Super Bowl ad, even at $4.5 million, is a deal. For that $4.5 million, you get over 100 million viewers (or 200 million eyeballs). Certainly, that number doesn’t approach the 1.25 billion users on Facebook, which begs the question of why advertisers don’t just scrap their Super Bowl ad in favor of spending $4.5 million on promoted posts on Facebook (and I’m sure Mark Zuckerberg lies awake at night trying to figure out this conundrum).

Which brings us back to our initial question — how to define the success of a Super Bowl ad?

Super Bowl ad success

Obviously, the ultimate measure of success for a Super Bowl ad (or any ad) is whether it makes the cash register ring. And, some Super Bowl advertising hit a home run (sorry to mix metaphors) when it comes to ringing the cash register.

Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl ad capitalized on the book, 1984, by George Orwell and saved the brand from the debacle cause when John Scully (and the Apple board) thought running a technology company like a soft drink business (Scully was formerly at Pepsi) made sense.

Coke hit the ball out of the park with their commercial featuring “Mean” Joe Green during the Steelers heyday.

ROI of Super Bowl ads

But, overall, the ROI of a Super Bowl ad is a mixed bag with some winners and many losers. GoDaddy, for instance, produced the worst Super Bowl ad for several years running and their misstep this year (scrapping their planned commercial at the last-minute when faced with overwhelming criticism from animal rights groups led to a last-minute replacement that fell flat — again).

According to CNBC, perennial winners Budweiser and Coke pulled of wins again this year, with their cute ads we won’t forget any time soon. Of course, with the pressure both face from competition, this might not be enough to save the brands from their downward spiral (Coke faces pressure from waters and teas as health conscious consumers swap out high calorie drinks and Budweiser faces threats as the market falls in love with craft brews).

Yahoo Sports hated my choice of Nationwide as the winner because it was a downer. Others recognize what I did — that folks are talking about Nationwide specifically because the ad stood out and did it in a positive way. Time will tell which of us is right.

Remember, the goal of a Super Bowl ad is to make money, not friends. Just like the popular QB on your high school football team often traded his cleats for a hard hat and the geeky nerd ends up owning a multi-billion dollar company, it’s not popularity that gets rewarded in the long run, but skill. Putting all your marketing effort into creating a popular Super Bowl ad might fade from memory when it comes time to open your wallet while a more memorable ad moves the brand into your consideration set where it influences decisions far into the future.

The changing tone of Super Bowl ads

In the past, funny ads won the hearts of Super Bowl watchers and pundits. In yesterday’s game, advertisers focused on going straight to the hearts with ads full of positive (and negative) emotions.  Recent research suggests these emotional tugs pull at our collective wallets and storytelling reigns supreme as an advertising technique that gets us to buy.

Several Super Bowl ads worked on our hearts yesterday, especially Coke’s effort to highlight the devastating effects of digital bullying and the NFL’s commercial countering recent publicity about domestic violence.  Unilever (Dove) and Budweiser produced ads with less of a social message, but still hit an emotional cord with viewers.

Another change in Super Bowl advertising is social integration. For instance, the Budweiser ad had 42 million views before the kick-off of yesterday’s game.

Surprisingly, more folks watch the Super Bowl for the ads than the game. I remember when I first started teaching asking our A/V department to take my VHS of the game and edit out the game, leaving just the commercials. They thought I was insane. Now, 78% of respondents said they watch for the ads, not the game, according to USAToday.

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We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies.  Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get the 1st chapter of our book on digital marketing analytics – FREE, or contact us for more information on hiring us.

Hausman and Associates, the publisher of Hausman Marketing Letter, is a full service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and social media.

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Tips for Measuring the ROI of Digital Marketing

social analytics suckIn the bad old days, digital marketing was a free-for-all where instant gurus touted their money-making formulas (usually little better than snake oil salesmen) and deluded followers into spending thousands for coaching programs that didn’t work. Of course, without metrics for measuring the ROI of digital marketing, these gurus continued raking in the money from gullible and desperate businesses.

This isn’t a new problem and it’s unique to digital marketing. As far back as the late 1800’s John Wannamaker is quoted as saying:

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.

Traditional advertising faces a similar problem with companies allocating 60% of their media budget to television when only 18% of TV advertising campaigns generate a positive ROI, according to Nielsen.

Now, of course, digital marketing is much more sophisticated and it’s harder for false gurus to seduce business owners without proving the ROI resulting from their digital marketing programs. Below are results from studies showing the ROI of digital marketing:

ROI of digital marketing

the ROI of digital marketing

  1. A study by Microsoft used big data to measure the ROI of digital marketing both with and without traditional advertising. They found digital marketing outperforms all forms of traditional advertising (TV, print, radio, and outdoor), while combining both resulted in the highest ROI. Thus, digital marketing isn’t an either/ or strategy, but businesses should blend traditional advertising and new media. Also, businesses whose media spend is still focused on traditional advertising should migrate their budgets in favor of digital marketing.
  2. A case study by Google and Dove showed a 6% lift in sales, while combining traditional advertising (TV) with digital marketing resulted in an 11% increase in sales. Interestingly, the study showed the “tide lifts all boats”. In other words, advertising a single product through digital marketing caused an uplift in sales of other Dove products.
  3. Nielsen showed that CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods Companies) demonstrated the positive ROI of digital marketing was nearly 2.8%, with some industries showing an ROI of over 5% — not too shabby.

The state of ROI assessment

The state of ROI assessment is dismal, according to the Fournaise Marketing Group, which found:

Nine out of ten (90%) global marketers are not trained to calculate return on investment (ROI), and 80% struggle with being able to properly demonstrate to their management the business effectiveness of their spending, campaigns and activities, according to new research.

Why is ROI assessment so bad?

Fournaise CEO identified 2 problems in their study that account for the dismal state of measurement of ROI in digital marketing (or marketing in general, for that matter).

The first is the poor training of marketing majors in assessment of marketing ROI and the second is the influx of non-marketing majors into the marketing discipline (over 1/2 of all marketing employees have non-marketing degrees, most often in the social sciences). He sums up the problem with this statement:

In other words, every Tom, Dick & Harry is a Marketer, lacking the scientific and financial knowledge necessary to inform and optimize the creative side of Marketing. CEOs have told us again and again: they want ROI Marketers, i.e. 360-degree performance machines trained to deliver (real) business results and prove/optimize ROI. As long as Marketers continue to fail to get trained in, master the use of and optimize Marketing Performance & Marketing ROI, they will struggle to demonstrate to CEOs that they are not ‘money spenders who jump on (and hide) behind the latest fads and blow smoke’, but real business generators

ROI of digital marketing and market performance tips

First, let’s take a look at digital marketing and where it fits within the spectrum of traditional marketing. Here’s a very cool infographic I created with the help of Matt Valvano from Ideas and Pixels — a first-rate graphic designer.

digital marketing strategy

The infographic shows the various elements necessary to achieve positive ROI of digital marketing campaigns. Basically, 2 things account for positive ROI:

  1. bringing more visitors to your store (or estore)
  2. convert more visitors who show up at your store or estore


Unfortunately, many attempts to measure the ROI of digital media focus on these end results, totally ignoring the variety of factors that generate positive outcomes — a very dangerous practice.

Tip #1: Think beyond outcome measures

So, my first power tip for measuring the ROI of digital marketing is understanding the complex set of activities and interrelationships among activities resulting in positive ROI. For instance, a focus on building a social media community backfires quickly if you have problems with customer satisfaction due to poor product performance — all you’ve done is give disgruntled customers a platform for complaining about your product or service.

Tip #2: Measure what matters, not what’s easy

Often you’ll find digital marketers measuring the easy things — likes, clicks. Sure, these things matter (somewhat), but they’re not the most important (or only) important aspects of a successful digital marketing campaign.

First, set clear goals for your digital marketing campaign — goals that go deeper than just outcome performance measures. Then, create KPIs (key performance indicators) related to those goals.

If you’re convinced customer satisfaction impacts market performance (as is the case for most businesses), assessing sentiment makes a lot of sense. But, don’t stop with sentiment analysis — look at the totality of KPIs and measure all of them. Better yet, chart performance across all KPIs over time, which is much more insightful than putting all your faith in point measures.

Tip #3: Metrics aren’t enough

Don’t simply create dashboards with displaying your metrics. Statistics don’t speak for themselves and require interpretation by skilled analysts combining both the art and science of analytics to uncover actionable insights from your metrics.

While we’re on the topic of dashboards, think about issues related to the level of analysis appropriate for different users. For instance, the VP marketing needs a broad overview of metrics related to the entire product bundle, while brand managers need a more detailed view of just the products they handle.

A good dashboard allows users to dive deeper or take a broader overview of metrics. Also, adding the ability for users to create ad hoc reports and alternative visualizations increases the effectiveness of your dashboard.

 Tip #4: Tie compensation to metrics

One of the biggest challenges firms face (once they get over the hurdle of generating meaningful metrics) is translating data into insights then applying those insights to actions. So, it’s a good idea to tie compensation to metrics — this ensures your employees pay close attention to metrics and try to optimize market performance by using insights provided through these metrics.

I have 3 caveats, however, when it comes to tying compensation to metrics:

  1. Balance the compensation to ensure it’s challenging to achieve higher levels of compensation without being too difficult to achieve. If you expect too high an ROI of digital marketing employees (something unrealistic) they won’t try. If the expectation is too low, they’ll leave money on the table by not doing everything possible to optimize your digital marketing campaigns. You also want to pay attention to the degree to which compensation fluctuates based on performance. There should be adequate incentives to optimize the ROI of digital marketing.
  2. Be very careful that you’re compensating employees for metrics that correlate highly with the ROI of digital marketing. Tying compensation with vanity metrics, like # of Facebook Fans, will drive behavior toward achieving a large Facebook fan-base. However, there’s strong evidence that absolute size of your Facebook community matters little while the engagement of your community provides a stronger impact on the ROI of digital marketing. Pay for what matters.
  3. Employees must have control over factors impacting metrics. For instance, marketers might have little control over customer satisfaction if the production department turns out a really crappy product or logistics can’t get the product delivered in a timely manner. Employees quickly become dissatisfied with a compensation plan containing elements they don’t control.

Tip #5: Don’t stop with descriptive analytics

Move past descriptive analytics (how many, how much, how often) to employ predictive analytics.

In essence. predictive analytics build models using big data to uncover relationships among the factors that impact the ROI of digital marketing (or any other variable of interest).

Your turn

What advice and tips do you have for improving the ROI of digital marketing?

Need help?

We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies.  Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get the 1st chapter of our book – FREE, or contact us for more information on hiring us.

Hausman and Associates, the publisher of Hausman Marketing Letter, is a full service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and social media.

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The Internet Economy

Saul Klein
Saul Klein of Index Ventures — author of the Klein Report

The Internet economy is bright — very bright according to Saul Klein of Index Ventures. But, are investors getting returns like Facebook and Google when they invest in tech? Or are they missing some of the secret sauce that makes these investments almost bullet-proof?

Returns like Facebook and Google

Look at recent investments by Facebook and Google — Instagram (by Facebook) and YouTube (by Google).

Facebook paid $1 billion to acquire Instagram in 2012 – not a paltry sum. Begun in 2010 by a couple of Stanford grads, the app today boasts over 200 million users with more than 75 million logging on each day, including both the Obamas, the Royal family, and most celebrities.

What did Facebook see in Instagram? The fast growing users base on dedicated users fit Facebook’s business model and the photo sharing over Facebook (and other social networks) created synergy, but maybe the thing that drew Facebook to buy Instagram was because they were afraid of Instagram — afraid users would desert Facebook for Instagram … afraid users wouldn’t want to split time between the 2 apps and would choose Instagram … afraid Instagram solved a problem — sharing photos — that made Facebook obsolete. Just as General Motors acquired Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Chevrolet (once competitors) to eliminate the competition, Facebook did the same with Instagram.

Google’s purchase of YouTube for $1.65 billion 4 years earlier made it the most expensive acquisition by Google to date — topping what they paid for all acquisitions the year before. Again, the purchase was a strategic fit for Google, who grew from its search roots to become a major player in many aspects of life for its target demographic. Following the successful strategy of Apple Computers, Google seeks to be everything to this target market from search to wearables to automation (self-driving cars, for example), to communication and productivity, to every aspect of innovation (life extension, for instance). Buying YouTube meant not only acquiring more folks in this target demographic, but convincing them to spend more time with Google properties and, through its single sign on, making easier to bundle everything a consumer needs into one package. Acquisition of YouTube also provides synergy — making Google’s chief money-maker — adsense — even more valuable and driving more businesses to the advertising platform (which also operates on YouTube).

No wonder Google sowed up 70% of search!

A good question is what Facebook and Google see that eludes other investors? And, how can other tech investors get returns like Facebook and Google?

Investor barriers

According to Saul Klein, investors today are investing like investors of 20 – 30 years ago — not understanding the ecosystem changed forever with the rise of the Internet economy.

According to Klein:

The Internet isn’t really a technology, it’s a belief system

And, ecommerce companies, software, and online travel outperform the traditional markets (creating tangible products) where investors traditional focused their resources. With the exception of smart devices, these markets just don’t perform that well anymore.

And, Klein isn’t alone. The prestigious Boston Consulting Group (which created the infamous BCG matrix taught to generations of marketing students) estimates the growth potential for the internet economy at $4.2 trillion. In their report, BCG analysts say:

By 2016, there will be 3 billion Internet users globally—almost half the world’s population. The Internet economy will reach $4.2 trillion in the G-20 economies. If it were a national economy, the Internet economy would rank in the world’s top five, behind only the U.S., China, Japan, and India, and ahead of Germany. Across the G-20, it already amounted to 4.1 percent of GDP, or $2.3 trillion, in 2010.
the internet economy
Courtesy of BCG

Because Internet growth is exponential, not linear, opportunities in the Internet economy far exceed those available through any other opportunity — which also fueled not only the growth of Facebook and Google, but their acquisitions of Instagram and YouTube. Take a look at how the Internet economy is shaping up next year in this chart from the BCG report

And, they expect continued growth means the economic impact of the Internet economy will double in just 6 short years — between 2010 and 2016. Beyond 2016, exponential growth continues — shortening the time it takes for economic impact to double.
Developed markets in the US, Western Europe and much of Asia (including a surprising strong showing by South Korea) lead the way in the digital economy in terms of BCG’s e-intensity, which assesses a countries Internet infrastructure, online expenditures, and online engagement online, but new comers in Latin America, China, and the Middle East (except Israel, which maps to Western Europe in e-intensity), are leap-frogging directly into social the way they leap-frogged directly into mobile rather than land-based telephones.

Research versus buying online

We probably already knew this — or at least suspected it. The amount of money spend online is really tiny despite years when gurus predicted this would be the year when online sales (desktop and mobile) would take off. But, don’t underestimate the importance of online marketing and retailing. A large percentage of consumers do their research online, then buy what they want in the store — the brick and mortar kind. Mixed channels — using 2 or more channels — are common, especially in the US, where almost twice as much stuff is purchased in a brick and mortar (after researching online) as is purchased online.

Multichannel retailing goes the other way, too. With companies like Best Buy complaining about customers taking up time (and time IS money) shopping in the stores, then buying online. Shoppers even shop the price of an item right in the store before making a purchase. If they find a TV or Blu-ray for less on Amazon, there goes the sale.

Of course, not all research is intentional. We get recommendations from our friends all the time on social networks. It’s also common for folks to ask their friends for recommendations before buying. I recently had a friend ask whether to buy a Sleep Number or Temporpedic mattress to replace his existing foam mattress. We trust our friends because they don’t have any hidden agendas — they give it to us straight. This, of course, explains the true power of social media.

Not to mention all the brands building their image through social channels. Branding sends subtle messages about the positioning of the product and it’s suitability that have a subconscious influence on the brands we choose in both online and offline settings.

Even though a small number of purchases actually occur online (about 4.3% of GDP according to BCG), the power of the Internet in influencing offline purchases is enormous.

So, what does it all mean?

I’m glad you asked. The Internet economy impacts much of how we market businesses today. Like Klein said, its a belief system supported by technology, not a technology.

As an investor

You should probably think like Facebook and Google — investing in the Internet economy by building synergies with existing business and stopping competitors by gobbling them up. Stop investing the old way and supporting startups who are doing things the old way. Today, that probably means stop looking for the next Facebook or Google and, instead, look for firms like Instagram and YouTube who expand the internet economy.

Two suggestions — the Internet of things and email substitutes.

As a marketer

The Internet economy presents great opportunities, but also great challenges. Learn to harness the power of the Internet economy by putting on a different set of glasses than the ones you’ve used to view the world so far.

If you’re not online (and mobile-friendly), you’ve missed the boat. A digital presence is just the price of admission now. And, don’t go creating an app unless you provide some enhanced capability over your website. Just make you website mobile friendly. The high cost of keeping your app at the top in the app store is too high to do anything different.

Joining today’s Internet economy means becoming part of the new ecosystem — an ecosystem that’s consumer-driven, not like the one we all grew up in.

As a consumer

The Internet economy offers great opportunities to increase your buying power and get things that truly make your life better. Demand more from brands — make them earn your $$$$ every day. When they do something wrong, vote with your dollars to drive them out of business. If they offer greater opportunity, give them a try and tell your friends if it works out. We certainly need that more than sharing another cat video!

Need help?

We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE.  Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get the 1st chapter of our book – FREE, or contact us for more information on hiring us.

Hausman and Associates, the publisher of Hausman Marketing Letter, is a full service marketing firm operating at the intersection of marketing and social media.


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Crafting the Perfect Viral Share

secret to viral sharing

Crafting the perfect viral share

If sharing is caring, then we’re all head-over-heels in love with social media. It’s not just Facebook anymore, there are hundreds of social platforms besides, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn where we’re meeting and greeting new friends all over the world. While these platforms create a great place for sharing cat videos, pictures of what we had for lunch, and talking about our last vacation, businesses use social media as a way to engage with customers and prospects. Sharing amplifies a business message, while making it more relevant because the share comes from others in your social network.

Sharing is the core of these sites and often, given the right set of circumstances, you can create the perfect viral share. Once associated with disease, the term viral now has a more positive definition. Rather than the spreading of germs, it’s now images, videos, content, and other material spreading rapidly from one user to the next.

The ability of free or low cost sharing of information reaching millions of people is a marketer’s dream come true, so how can we create the perfect viral share?

Interesting, Very Interesting

Back in the sixties, comedian Arte Johnson gave us many a chuckle on the popular show “Laugh In” when he carefully examined something irrelevant or just plain stupid and still found it “interesting, very interesting.” Drawing on this, crafting the perfect viral share happens when the content is practical, surprising or interesting in some way. A study of the most emailed articles from The New York Times (shown in the infographic below) found these topics common in shares by their readers.

I Want Some More

Oliver Twist surprised and saddened us when he made the bold statement, “Please Sir, I want some more” to his cruel master in the Dickens classic. According to research, our audience is also happier with more, rather than less. Articles with fewer than one thousand words get much less attention than their lengthier counterparts — weighing in between three and ten thousand words. Experts still recommend that your posts come in somewhere near the two thousand word mark.

Image is Everything

Crafting the perfect viral share often starts with a killer image. Rising tennis star Andre Agassi teamed up with Canon cameras to successfully market the “Image is Everything” campaign back in the nineties. While you can optimize your content marketing strategy in a number of ways, using images, photos, and videos helps create the perfect viral share, with your article shared by twice as many viewers as with mere text alone.

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

This old quote associated with newspaper sales was also a song recorded way back in 1975 by Ralph Carter. The authoritative sales pitch, “Extra, extra, read all about it” captured our attention, enticing us to buy the latest paper so we could check out the most up-to-date news. Building on this, we add two more characteristics of the perfect viral share —  a catchy headline and an authoritative tone. Don’t be afraid to state your expert status on your topic with pride. People will see you as more trustworthy and genuine, while increasing your sharing numbers.

Last, But Not Least

Some will attribute this popular phrase to the theater or more specifically to Shakespeare when he wrote a short line in King Lear, “Although the last, not least.” Just as we highlighted quotes and phrases in this article, we can use them in crafting the perfect viral share. By utilizing quotations and sharing anecdotes from their journeys, we will gain further interest and more shares from our readers.

But It Ain’t Over, Till It’s Over

This pithy quote is associated with legendary baseball hall of famer, Yogi Berra who would often use this phrase when speaking to reporters. Often it is difficult to gauge on social media what is popular and what is not, what trends are just beginning and which are basically over. Using True Social Media Metrics helps us analyze the most popular posts and give us a better picture of the more powerful social media content. Using these insights, we can more easily craft the perfect viral share.

After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Here’s hoping that your material is seen by a thousand people and shared with a million more.

About the author:

MeganMegan M. Ritter is a business writer with a background in marketing and telecommunications. In addition to contributing her
research to infographics, she also enjoys sharing her knowledge of business globalization, virtual technology and mobile communications through her writing. Follow her on Twitter.



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15 Ways to Be Nice in Social Media Posts

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Are you “nice” in your social media posts or are you spammy?

Nice social media posts engage and build your audience, while spammy posts make you look stupid, ignorant, or just plan lazy. Spammy posts might also get you banned from social networks.

Making nice in social media posts

Take a look at the infographic below to see prevailing etiquette. Then, let’s take a look at 15 ways to be nice in social media posts. If you want more information on how to create the perfect social media posts, check this out!

First, let’s get this out-of-the-way.

There is NO such thing as the perfect social media post.

That’s because each platform is different and its users expect a different form of interaction on each platform.

A corollary to the fact there is no perfect social media post is that posting isn’t enough for success on social platforms regardless of how perfect your post is. Brands who do nothing but post, get little engagement and engagement spurs interest in your brand and amplifies your message.

So, let’s discuss the 15 ways to be nice in social media posts

How often to post

  1. On Twitter, you can get away with posting about 5 times/ day, although Buffer published 14 times/ day using its app and claims they get good results. However, SocialBakers produced a study showing 3 Tweets per day produced maximum engagement. Spread your posts throughout the day to ensure you don’t spam anyone’s Twitter feed with multiple messages.
  2. On Facebook, 1-2 posts/ day seems to be the sweet spot according to Buffer. SocialBakers found top brands post an average of once/ day and found engagement drops significantly when a brand only posts about once a week. Posting more than a couple of times per day borders on annoying and TrackSocial finds engagement actually declines after the first post each day.
  3. Everyone seems to agree that LinkedIn and Google+ warrant only 1 post a day before getting pretty spammy.
  4. One caveat to these posting schedules, however. Facebook, and more recently Twitter, use an algorithm to determine whether your posts show up. Increasing your posts per day is a means to combat the effect of these algorithms to ensure you reach users.
  5.  And, don’t send the same post a bunch of times. Guy Kawasaki recommends sending each post no more than 4 times — adjusted to users time zones.

Images in social media posts

  1. Twitter doesn’t support images natively, but creating Twitter Cards allows embedded images in your posts. I personally dislike images in Twitter, but to each her own. Experiment to see what works with your audience.
  2. Facebook images work well — getting 37% more engagement than posts without images. The same goes for LinkedIn and Google+. Google+ is especially image-driven and full size images tend to do better there.
  3. Images that attract, especially quirky ones, create engagement. Images without people work best, as there’s a tendency to ignore images of people we don’t know. Dogs and cats work well, as do memes, as long as they don’t contain people.

Content that rocks

Don’t forget the importance of content in driving social media success.

  1. Limit talking about yourself to less than 20% of posts.
  2. All recommendations assume you have something valuable to share. If you don’t, just shut up!
  3. Use smart contests, questions, and coupons. Creating contests that don’t get your target audience to sign up or using coupons without encouraging sharing miss the mark.
  4. Use some teaser copy to encourage users to click-through for more information.

Getting results from social media posts

  1. Remember, recommendations are just that — recommendations. Each audience is different, so creating systematic tests to determine how your audience responds to different social media posts allows you to optimize for your audience.
  2. Not all engagement is created equal. You’re in business to make money, not friends. So creating engagement among your target audience (those most likely to buy) is more important than just reaching random social media users.
  3. Monitor, analyze, and tweak. That’s the only way to improve performance of your social media posts. What times of day work best, what types of content, which CTA (calls to action), etc.

A few insights on social media posts

I wanted to pull a few things from the infographic below to highlight opportunities for your social media posts.

Almost all social networks are skewed toward women and Pinterest is mostly women.

sexism on social networksSo think about the kind of stuff you’re sharing. For instance, Asus made a truly sexist remark (especially when combined with the Twitter Card, and compounded the mistake by shifting blame to someone else — a third-party. That kind of stuff might play well in the locker room, but doesn’t cut it when the audience is 64% women — as it is on Twitter.

Social networks are just that — social. Be as organic as possible rather than disrupting conversations.

I’ve mostly abandoned efforts at Facebook advertising, except for promoted posts. Promoted posts work well as they fit organically into a user’s newsfeed and, if properly targeted, reach your target audience with information they appreciate.

On LinkedIn, it’s great to join groups, but you shouldn’t share every piece of content with every group because lots of people belong to multiple groups and get spammed by your multiple posts.

Use hashtags responsibly.

Including a #bunch of #hashtags in #each #post gets #annoying really #fast. Hashtags on Facebook have pretty much gone the way of the dodo bird and they never really caught on with Google+.

Say thank you!

When you share someone’s social media posts, give a little shout out (or H/T on Google+) as a little thanks for finding great content. I also like to thank folks who share my content. It gets a little time-consuming to thank every RT, +1, and share, but it’s polite — and gets more. Spread out your thank yous if you have a large number so you don’t overwhelm your feeds.

Tit for tat

This is kind of a corollary to saying thank you. Social media is a community. If you want something from someone, it’s best to start by giving them something. So, when you Follow someone on Twitter, RTing one of their posts increases the chances they’ll follow you back. Mentioning (or linking to) the great content produced by others makes them more likely to share your content.

Need Help?

Whether you need a content marketing strategy or a complete metrics-driven social media strategy, we can fill your digital marketing funnel. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.


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