Social Media Insights – A Strategic View

social media The starting point for all your social media insights is your strategy — what do you want to accomplish? Gain more subscribers? Get leads? Make sales?

Social Media Insights

From these goals, you establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) — in other words what tells you you’re reaching your goals. When you’re talking about making sales, you’re KPIs involve traffic (the more traffic to your site, the more sales), conversion (what % of visitors actually buy something), and AOV (average order value) or how much does the average buyer buy in $ or # products.

Next, you’ll look for specifics within each of these KPIs. For instance, when looking at conversion, it’s also helpful to see what path visitors took. Did certain paths result in higher conversion than others? You’ll also want to look at what caused visitors to abandon their carts — a major problem in online shopping. Did visitors get to a certain screen than abandon? Maybe there’s something wrong with that screen. Does it load slowly? Ask for information you could live without — the more information consumers are asked to provide, the more likely they are to abandon? Were there other issues that might cause abandonment, such as asking for information consumers already entered on an earlier screen.

In other words, you’re trying to get to the root cause of problems.

Collect -> Analyze -> Decide -> Deliver

Social media insights involves a deliberate process for collecting the data you need without getting buried in non-essential data, analyzing the data, making decisions based on the data, then delivering changes to processes based on these decisions.

The social media insights process requires careful thinking about your KPIs and a disciplined set of procedures for accomplishing change based on insights.

Once you know which KPI’s you need, collect data across websites and social networks. This can be a little challenging, despite the great tools out there that help. I use Hootsuite to bring my analytics together, but it’s still hard to get insights with everything in separate files. I’m currently looking for a good solutions to this problem and welcome input from folks who’ve mastered this.

Social media insights

The solution I’m toying with now is using IBM’s Cognos software to analyze across multiple data feeds. Of course, the problem is getting the data in there — especially since I’m not a programmer. Right now, I’m importing CSV files from my social networks and Google Analytics to create a dashboard showing everything going on in my social media campaigns.

Cognos has a FREE download for personal use. I’ll update you on this dashboard once I feel it’s ready for public display.

Need help with your social media analytics

I know, this stuff is mind-bending if you’ve never worked with it before. My brain was seriously expanded after spending a week in training with IBM’s top folks.

Hausman and Associates is here to help make your marketing SIZZLE with advanced analytics. Subscribe to our newsletter or contact us to let us know what we can do for you.

 

 

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Running a Successful Facebook Contest

facebook contestI ran across this infographic on running a successful Facebook contest yesterday and I thought I’d share it with all of you, along with my comments, of course.

Facebook Contest Strategy:

Before you start a Facebook contest, figure out what you hope to accomplish.

  • Will your Facebook contest create more engagement? Will the Facebook contest encourage fans to share your message (amplify it) in their own social networks. Have you made it easy for them to share your Facebook contest? Are their tools to share your Facebook contest on other social networks to cross-pollinate?
  • Do you want to create content with your Facebook contest? This not only gives you content to share, but visitors may engage more with content created by peers. Crowdsourcing works great for engagement.
  • Who is your target market and will the Facebook contest attract them without a lot of waste — reaching folks who aren’t in your target market? Facebook contests work best when you have a large, diverse target market. But, Facebook contests can work if you can tap into a niche market effectively.
  • How will folks respond to your Facebook contest? If visitors enter a sweepstakes, for example, they have a vested interest in NOT sharing your Facebook contest because it reduces their chance of winning. If the Facebook contest rewards entries that get the most votes, they have an incentive TO share your content. Think about this.

Develop a Budget for the Facebook Contest

Next, you’ll need to develop a budget and estimate your ROI (return on investment). Don’t forget that a Facebook contest might not generate a high ROI immediately. The value of your Facebook contest might lie in building a more engaged network that pays off over a long time.

Here are some budget items to think about:

  • Prizes – and I’m often surprised at how users respond to prize offers. Something of little value to me sometimes draws in lots of entries because users find it valuable. You might test a few ideas with your target market before you start the contest.
  • Odds – what are the chances of winning the prize. Some target markets respond well when the odds are low, but prize value high. Others prefer higher chances of winning and a smaller prize. Test!
  • Ensure # of prizes – this may sound obvious, but it’s not. During the 1980 Olympics, McDonald’s gave out prize pieces based on Olympic sports. If the US won a gold medal, the customer got a free Big Mac, a silver got them a medium fry, and a bronze was worth a drink. Unfortunately, for McDonald’s and fortunately for the poor college student I was, the Russians backed out of the games shortly before they began. Thus, the US won gold in many more sports than predicted and McDonald’s had to pay out on all of them. I ate a lot of Big Mac’s that summer and so did a lot of other people. At one point, McDonald’s ran out of buns — they were giving away so many burgers. Pepsi ran into a similar situation when 2 prize-winning tickets were accidentally produced. While Pepsi fought it, they were required to pay out on both tickets. Check and double check!
  • You’ll need publicity to promote your Facebook contest in social media, email marketing, and probably traditional marketing, as well.  Add that to your budget.
  • Now, add incidentals such as printing, website design, graphic design, etc to support your contest. Don’t forget staff — do you need some extra hands to handle the contest.
  • Now, take your estimates of benefits from the Facebook contest and subtract the costs. Still worthwhile, go to the next step.

Plan, plan, plan

Contests, whether on Facebook or another platform, have thousands of little details. Create an action plan detailing each element of the Facebook contest and who’s doing it, how long it takes, and how much it costs. Then, create a PERT chart (or Critical Path Diagram) containing every little detail. Track the critical path to ensure everything comes together without a hitch.

Measure and evaluate

Once the contest is underway, start evaluating your results using tools like Facebook Insights for Business or proprietary tools to track reach, engagement, and conversion.

If you’ve set up A/B testing you’ll get some great insights allowing you to tweak your Facebook contest while it’s still going on — one of the great benefits on online marketing is you can change things on the fly. And, assess the project at the end to glean insights for future engagement activities.

Wanna learn more about measuring, A/B testing, and analytics?

Grab the first chapter of our new ebook. It’s FREE. And, if you provide insights or edits to the manuscript (it’s a word document so you can make changes as you read), I’ll send you the finished ebook — hopefully ready by late summer.

 

 

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Do You Have SMART Goals?

smart goal
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

SMART goals drive business success.

SMART goals are the key element of your marketing strategy and form the basis for every tactic employed by the firm.

But, are your goals SMART?

SMART is an acronym for:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

Here’s an example of a SMART goal:

In the next 4 months (timely), we plan to create a Facebook FanPage, corporate Twitter account, and post 3 times per week to our company blog (specific, attainable, realistic) adding 100 Fans, 250 Followers, and 10 subscribers to our RSS feed (measurable, challenging).

Having Smart Goals Isn’t Enough

SMART goals should fit with the company mission.

A mission is tied directly to who you are as a company.  For instance, my mission for Hausman and Associates is to blend marketing and social media to provide superior returns for my clients.  From this mission, I develop goals that fit.  While I don’t want to share specific goals, let’s just say I have goals for building my reputation in the areas of marketing and social media (which brings in more clients), learning new skills related to marketing and social media (so I can provide better service to my clients), and building my own social networks (to demonstrate my ability).

I also have goals related to building my associate network, since I recognize this is an efficient and economical way to help my clients.  By building a network of skilled practitioners from graphic arts, web design, SEO, and related fields, I’m able to put together dynamic teams with just the right skills to help clients.  Through a network, I can find experts who are available right now, without having to pay a full-time staff.  It’s a somewhat unique business model and it works superbly.  I invite you to join my network through my Social Media Marketing Tribe on Facebook.

Short-term Goals should relate to long-term Goals

After you’ve set up your long-term goals — where you see your company going — you need short-term goals that’ll get you there. You can’t run a business just looking at long-term goals, because they’re not specific enough to guide firm action.  So, you need to break down your long-term goals into short-term tactics that guide daily action.  So, if my long-term goal is to establish a reputation in marketing and social media, my short-term goals help build my reputation — things like maintaining this blog, answering questions on Quora, speaking at educational events, etc.

If your short-term goals don’t match your long-term goals, you’re just spinning your wheels.   And, be careful about getting sidetracked with projects that don’t match your goals.

Don’t be too rigid

OK, I just said to avoid projects that don’t fit your goals and now I’m going to take that back — a little.

Mindless adherence to your goals is also pretty silly.  Passing up a golden opportunity because you never included it in your original goals is nonsensical.  Just be careful that the new opportunity fits with your mission and that you create a SMART goal to encompass the new opportunity.

Things change over time and you need to be prepared to make changes to your goals.

You need to measure progress in reaching your goals.

Goals help you know what measures (metrics) to look at.  If your goal is to increase sales, then measure sales over time to see if you’re reaching your goal.  But, if your goal is to build a reputation, then using sales as a measure isn’t right.  You should be looking at reputation metrics, such as Klout, mentions, new subscribers, etc. because these metrics are surrogates for reputation.

 

 

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