The revolution in human communication brought on by social media helped to usher in a new era of public relations that is measurement-focused and data-driven. With the rise of social media and digital technologies came an influx of relevant data to the public relations discipline.
However, the discipline at large is still trying to come up with widely applicable measurement criteria. The Barcelona Principles—which now include specific suggestions for measuring social media—do a good job at this, but they remain unknown to many communicators.
On top of this general confusion, many social networks offer their own native analytics, which don’t necessarily play nice with metrics from other platforms. To make sense of the often-disparate data, Sarab Kochhar, associate director measurement, APCO Worldwide, offers these best practices that communicators can apply across any social media measurement effort. With these tips, PR pros will be able to gather and analyze their data to align with business goals and build social media intelligence into organizational strategies.
Integrate insights from social media with other information sources
Work across departments to create a collaborative environment for analysis.
Separate your financial outcomes from non-financial outcomes. Each needs to be measured and interpreted separately.
Maintain a list of everything you can measure against everything you must measure to make sure you’re focusing on what matters.
Align social media to business goals
Differentiate between strategy and tactics by separating what you want to accomplish from how you’ll accomplish it. Set metrics for each strategy and tactic in the beginning to gauge progress, and adjust if necessary.
Plan for performance measurement
Choose the tools and methodologies you’ll use to measure carefully. Make sure to select the right social media measurement software for your program.
Set key performance indicators from the beginning that are aligned with specific business goals. Track these throughout a campaign but be on the lookout for blind spots.
Google Analytics is one of the most popular tools that digital marketers have come to rely on to measure social media success. Here’s how to make the most of this ubiquitous tool.
Nowadays, social media has come to be recognized as an important asset for promoting business growth. Various enterprises have been leveraging on its ability not only to communicate your brand message but more importantly, to connect and engage with target audiences.
However, it can be challenging to quantify exactly how your social media strategy contributes to the overall business success. With so many metrics to measure, the problem is not a lack of available tools, rather not having enough time to monitor all of them.
One way to narrow down your focus is by zeroing in on a single tool, which is Google Analytics. It’s not the most widely used social media monitoring tool for nothing. So, if you haven’t installed it yet, make sure that you attend a course on Google Analytics training as soon as possible.
Granted that most social media channels have their own analytics that are readily available for you to use, jumping from one dashboard to the next can get confusing, not to mention time-consuming. You want to be as efficient as possible, so looking at Google Analytics will help save valuable time.
Google Analytics Reports to Monitor
Here are a few reports to monitor on Google Analytics: Measure how well your current social media channels are doing, as well as a few tips how to improve your content and promotion strategy.
Determining your Audience
On the left side of Google Analytics, in the Audience section, you get an overview on which language your website visitors use, which countries and even cities your audiences come from. Also, you can determine which browser they are using when visiting your site as well as the Operating System (OS) and Service Provider they are using in both computer and mobile devices.
This gives you an idea of how well you are performing in your target country or market. It lets you know more about your prospective customers. This can serve as a marketing guidance and be the basis on how you will strategize on your marketing network
Google Analytics provides a detailed report of how visitors are getting to your site. It includes data about which social media channel your visitors came from, and how they arrived at your landing page.
There’s also an option to set up goals that enable you to monitor traffic on the social network sign-up form you’ve set up.
For example, if your website is currently offering digital marketing courses, and you see a surge of traffic coming from LinkedIn going to your landing page, this means that your offering resonates with leads coming from that social network.
Identify which social media network leads to more engagements
Knowing which social media channel your traffic comes from will help you track another important metric, which is the level of engagement. Simply put, the ones that are performing the best are those that lead to the most engagement.
On the flip side, those that aren’t will engaged need to be improved on, tweaked, or even abandoned altogether so you can focus on the ones that are working.
Identify the most popular pages on your website
Finding out your most popular pages allows you to see what sort of information your visitors are resonating with, and which ones aren’t.
Knowing this will give you a ready-made “template” as a basis for what types of posts or copy to adopt when sharing information in the future. This, in turn, increases your chances of coming up with a sure-fire strategy for winning your target audience in your future campaigns.
Find out your visitor’s point of origin
Google Analytics provides a description of your visitor’s location when they checked in on your website. Having the data available gives you insight into which areas are performing better over others.
For local businesses who are targeting a specific area, this information will confirm if your visitors are indeed coming from your locality. This allows you to tailor your messaging and campaign to fit your intended audience based on where they are located.
Identify conversions that can be traced back to social media channels
There are instances where conversions that are heavily assisted by social media are not given due credit. This is because conversions are often attributed to the source of lead right before the conversion, this is called the Last Click Attribution.
Let’s say that a customer first discovers a brand from a Facebook ad, but doesn’t immediately visit the site from the get-go. Two days later, the same customer sees a re-targeting ad and ends up buying something from your website. With Last Click Attribution, the pay-per-click ad is given credit, where in fact the Facebook ad was the first thing the client discovered.
You can check this valuable piece of data by clicking on the First Interaction Analysis tab to use the First Click Attribution Model.
Compared to traditional media, social media marketing is still relatively new, and the tools used to measure it might not be as sophisticated as they could be. But, it’s also fast gaining traction anbout Social Media You Should Know In 2016”
Social media sites are now a major part of any marketing campaign strategy, and will only continue to grow in importance in the coming years.
Content Curation is a valuable instrument in content marketing and social media. But for many people, it is not clear what content curation is.
Content curation is sorting through a large amount of web content to find the best, most meaningful bits and presenting these in an organized, valuable way.
In this very short definition, the most important part for me is that content curation needs to provide value. That is what makes the definition of content curation so hard to grab. There is a thin line between simple content aggregation and content curation. In social media, the simple difference may be that you check what you are sharing and maybe add a little comment of your own in contrast to blindly (or automated) sharing content provided by others without actually knowing what you share. In content creation, this thin line lies between aggregating a simple list of content sources and curating existing content and adding comments, additional information or even take a different point of view.
People often cross this line in an attempt to get more out of their social media without putting in the necessary time and effort. Some tools can help you automatically retweet content that includes certain keywords. That is content aggregation. Spending time on browsing your favorite blogs and share only what you read and liked that is social media content curation.
Content curation should always add more value and something from yourself. Your audience will recognize the effort. Trying to game social media and content marketing processes without considering the ground rules often backfires. To know how to use content curation in your social media and content marketing efforts, you need to understand what content curation can do for you and what it cannot do.
So, here is my list of 10 things content curation can do (or not do) for your business:
Content Curation can:
1. Help you grow your social media accounts and help you fill your content need
Many times I get asked: When I start with social media marketing, what should I post? I don’t have enough to say, and I cannot produce enough content.
And that is precisely where content curation can come to your rescue: No matter how much own information, content, and value you have to share, curated content can help you find even more valuable information to share in your social channels and thus add value.
If done right, you can use content curation to get your social account in front of a broader audience by adding the social account of the author or source of your curated content.
One of the biggest challenges for businesses in social media and content marketing is to come up with enough content. Content curation can help you fill that need.
2. Help you add value to your social media accounts
When you share curated content on your social channels, it will not only help you fill the gaps when you do not have enough of your content to share. Curated content can add value to your accounts by adding a new viewpoint and more expertise to your channels.
3. Position you as an informed and helpful person
By curating content and sharing this content, you can show how well informed you are. That you know the sources of valuable information. Your audience can see that you look beyond your existing knowledge and know where to find the best information. They will also recognize your effort to share this knowledge and information with them.
4. Give you ideas for more own content
Content curation cannot only help to fill your social channels, but it can also help you to come up with new content ideas. Of course, I am not talking about copying other peoples’ content. But you can respond to a post, you can make a collection of resources on a given topic, you can contradict a piece – or write your personal take on a subject.
5. Help you build relationships
Did you know that you can use content curation to connect to people? Let the author of a piece you share know that you curated his/her content. You can mention them in your social media updates. You can comment on their original piece of content. Or you can let them know via email how you responded to their piece of content. This can even inspire a public conversation about the topic, which will even add more value. Your audience will appreciate it.
Do you want to know how to build a social audience and reliable Social Media Traffic?!
Six days, six emails – learn how to generate social media traffic with our FREE email course!
6. Save time (and money)
Content creation is a time-consuming task. Even finding topics for your content can be a hassle. Content curation can serve as an efficient way to find new content ideas and even help you with your content creation. There is so much great content and knowledge out there that it would be a shame not to use it.
Heidi Cohen gives some great advice on how to curate content into new valuable pieces of content by adding your voice to the information.
By now you should be able to see the value of content curation for social media and content marketing success. But however valuable content curation is to you, there are some things content curation cannot help you with, even though many people still think it can.
Content Curation can not
7. Help you grow traffic
Ok, this needs some clarifying. Curated content on your social media channels will not directly give you traffic. If you only share other people’s content, you will not gain traffic to your site. But if you use curated content to grow your social media audience, this audience may give you more traffic to your website once you share your content.
However, if you run our social media channels on curated content only you may well build a social audience, but you will not increase traffic to your site.
8. Position you as an expert
If you only share other people’s great content, you are not an expert in your own right. You are a content distributor and source of information, but you are not the expert. To position yourself as an expert in your niche, you need to add your own voice and share your own knowledge.
9. Help you run your social media on autopilot
As said before content curation is not the solution to all your social media problems. It can help you grow a social account by filling the constant need for more content. But even this content curation cannot be done on auto pilot. You will always have better results with social media if you put in the effort, add your personality and voice.
Some tools can automatically retweet and share content which fulfills given conditions, but this sort of automation always comes with the risk of hurting your reputation. You can never be sure if what you share per automation comes up to your standard or if you share crab.
10. Spare you the use of your brain
Content curation does not come with a magic button. You can use it to give impulses and ideas and fill gaps in your content marketing and social media marketing process. For real social media and content marketing success, you will still need to use your brain: Think about how to best use this curated content, how to connect with it and how to get the most out of it. A good content curator is easily also a good content marketer. A bad content curator can utterly fail in social media and content marketing.
So you haven’t started using Twitter. Why? What’s stopping you?
If you like to be on the outskirts of trends, understand you’re making a pretty serious mistake in the realm of business and successful networking. Twitter has become the go-to tool for business exposure of the last couple years, and new ways to make the social network work for marketing purposes are being invented all the time. Combine these with already tried and true methods and you’ve got a guaranteed way to find success in online marketing.
If you’re already convinced but need a beginner’s guide to using the site, look no further. This will walk you through the seven first steps you need to follow to get Twitter marketing to work for you.
Fill out your profile.
This is actually an extremely important step and necessary to follow if you want to succeed in your marketing goals. Go to your profile and fill it in completely. This includes adding a photo, a name, location info, a header, a website and also filling out your blurb. All your information should be present.
But why is this so necessary? When consumers visit your profile, they want to see that you are a legitimate person and that you can be researched and looked into. Internet-goers are a suspicious sort, and showing off an egg profile picture doesn’t instill faith in you in their eyes.
One way to start looking for people to connect with is to see who is following you. If you haven’t gotten that far yet, start looking into hashtags and topics on Twitter that interest you. See if you can find anyone you can connect with and follow them or start up a conversation using a mention, aka using the @ sign and their username. Twitter is successful only when you utilize it to its full potential, and this means networking with people who can be meaningful to you in some way.
Not every tweet has to be about business, business, business either. Simply saying hello or giving words of encouragement can help you connect with others.
Planning your tweets.
There are multiple ways of setting up your posting, including using eClincher’s own scheduled content posting features, but first thing is first: you need to establish the best times to tweet. It’s good to post often, but when should you be doing this posting? This isn’t something that’s across the board, either. The best timeslots for tweeting are something you have to decide for yourself based on your reasons for Tweeting in the first place.
Tools like TakeOff can help you determine your ideal tweeting time, or trying out some tweets and using the eClincher analytics features to see when your tweets are most viewed and accessed can also work.
Make your content count.
Personal Twitters are for silly and asinine thoughts you have about day to day life. Your business Twitter, however, is for valuable and quality content. Some companies have gotten away with blurring this line, but it’s something that only works once in a blue moon.
What does work? Your content’s quality is something that is decided by your brand and image, as well as your purpose. Your tweets should ultimately give people a reason to follow you: they want to see more of you. Choose topics based on the demographics you’re trying to target and your business’ purpose and go from there.
Utilzing Twitter Chats.
Twitter chats are another way you can connect with fellow tweeters that sync up with your interests and niche. You can either create or participate in a chat geared towards certain topics and that take place on certain days. These chat sessions are conducted by individuals who are looking to meet people just like you are, so don’t be shy and join the conversation.
Remember, though: contribute value to your chats, regardless of whether you’re hosting or being hosted.
Automation isn’t always an answer.
The average consumer is hyperaware of when they’re being targeted for a marketing ploy and they certainly don’t like it when that happens to be the case. This is why automating messages to try and lure them in doesn’t work anymore…unless you do it wisely. If you have to make things automated, make your message look as personal as possible. Ask a question of your audience to get the engagement ball rolling.
Link your twitter everywhere.
Finally, if you have a chance to show off your Twitter, do so! People are eager to follow one another on Twitter, so don’t waste the opportunity to link your profile on content you post, other social media profiles and your website. You’ll definitely get more followers the more you put yourself out there.
When it comes to social media automation tools, like eClincher, businesses and marketers alike agree that they are necessary in order to scale. Afterall, social media never sleeps and with this comes a lot of responsibility for typically small teams.
Despite the recent rise in popularity of automation tools, there seems to be one major misconception. We hear this from people all of the time and we decided that it is time to answer it on the record.
So, what is the biggest misconception?
“Social media automation turns your presence into a robot, meaning you are not authentic or social with your audience.”
Let’s be honest, we have probably all said or heard someone say this. On the surface it makes sense. By automating tasks, such as posting, businesses are acting more like robots and less like people.
However, when you dive a little deeper you will realize this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yes, automation alone will make your business look like a robot.
Yes, no one wants to engage with or buy from a robot.
Now, let us ask you this question: How can you expect to have time to engage with new people or answer incoming questions if you are too busy with tasks like posting old blog content or manually checking each of your networks individually?
You see, automation has the potential to save your presence. It has the potential to make you significantly more social. Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at how we automate tasks at eClincher.
Things We Automate
1. Promoting Evergreen Content
The majority of our blog posts are evergreen, meaning they will not become irrelevant as time goes by. Smart businesses understand that evergreen content has extreme value, as it can be continually promoted months, or even years, after it has been published.
Unfortunately, remembering to continually share your evergreen blog content can be hard. It certainly was for us. That is why we created Auto Post, an easy way to recycle content. We simply add our evergreen blog posts to a queue and set up a one-time, weekly schedule.
Though this form of automation we have been able to consistently provide our audience with valuable content that they may have never seen otherwise. By simply not forgetting to promote older blog posts, we have seen our blog traffic increase significantly.
2. Collecting Incoming Notifications and Messages
As your number of fans/followers increases, so does your incoming notifications and messages. New followers on Twitter, messages on Facebook…
Sometimes it can feel impossible to keep up. We reached this point of feeling overwhelmed and decided to do something about it. We developed the Inbox to solve this problem once and for all.
With the Inbox, all of our incoming messages and notifications come to one place. That’s right, regardless of the network. This form of automation allows us to engage faster and ensures we never miss something important. You can certainly see how this form of automation makes a business more social and authentic.
3. Posting Other’s Content
Posting content is a major aspect of social media. That is why automation tools that allowed businesses to schedule posts ahead of time became so popular. We highly recommend that every business uses some sort of tool to at least automate this part of social media marketing.
At eClincher, we use scheduling to share content written by others. By scheduling it ahead of time, we can make sure we are sharing content covering a wide variety of topics throughout the day. With customers in countries around the world, scheduling content allows us to be active nearly 24/7.
4. Curation of Content
Sharing other people’s content is easy, but finding it can be very time consuming. That is why we automate the content curation process.
Through the use of a tool like feedly, we are able to easily find and share content based on our topics of interest. This form of automation has saved us nearly six hours per week.
Things We Never Automate
The main reason that marketing automation tools as a whole are perceived negatively by some people is that certain tasks should never be automated. When businesses begin automating these tasks, the negative feedback is typically quick and harsh.
1. Connecting With New People/Businesses
There are plenty of tools on the market that will promise you thousands of new followers for a small amount of money. Now if these tools automate the process of finding relevant followers, this is ok.
However, if they automate the process of connecting with them all together, be very careful. Matter of fact, avoid them at all costs.
The problem with this type of automation is that it defeats the purpose of connecting. Since you will not be deciding, or even seeing, who you connect with, it will be nearly impossible to gain any value from the connection.
Another downside is spamming people. Most of these tools do not come with the ability to know if your account has already tried connecting with other accounts in the past. This means you could end up trying to connect with the same people over and over. This is one of the fastest ways to get block. We will guess that getting blocked isn’t high on your list of goals this year.
2. Answering Questions
When someone asks eClincher a question on social media, we can guarantee that you will get a response from a real person. Though machine learning technologies can adequately respond in many cases, they are never as effective as a real person.
Make sure that direct communication between you and current or potential customers is never automated. Use the time saved by our Inbox to respond manually. The people on the other end of the message will greatly appreciate speaking with a real person that can understand their needs and emotions.
3. Sharing Content
Another area of social media we do not automate is social sharing, meaning retweets on Twitter, shares on Facebook, etc. The reason we do not automate these activities is that it defeats the point of social media.
As we discussed earlier, a major benefit of social media automation is the time saved that can be spent on other tasks. This is one of the tasks you should devote some extra time to.
Throughout the day we monitor social media for great content to share. When we see it, we share it right then, in the moment. This type of engagement has led to many conversations and new connections. It is hard to imagine the same result if this task was simply carried out by a tool in the background.
4. Measuring Our Results
Being able to interpret and measure the results of your social campaigns is arguably the most important aspect of successful social media marketing. Without an understanding of what is and is not working, businesses are forced to “fly blind”.
On a daily, weekly and monthly basis, we analyze different aspects of our social media presence. This may be the effect is it having on our website traffic, the number of new connections formed in a given month or how many brand mentions we received. Though this task consumes several hours each month, it is important that we perform this analysis, as it helps us to optimize our efforts.
Do a simple Google search for “Social Media Automation” and you will find 62,600,000 results. What does this tell us? It tells us that social media automation is a hot topic.
Browse through the results and you will see plenty of posts telling you why you should never use automation. You will also find plenty like this one telling you why you should.
The bottom line is this:
When used right, social media automation will allow you to create a more authentic and engaging presence and it will give you more time to do the tasks you can’t automate.
Want more content like this delivered directly to your email inbox? If so, subscribe to our blog.
As a small business owner, it’s imperative you understand exactly what B2B social selling is and why it’s so important to your business’ future. In general, B2B is the shortened term for the phrase “business to business,” or how businesses interact with each other. In the context of social selling, this refers to developing a relationship with a business as a part of the sales process.
Social selling, especially in a B2B context, can be very fruitful, but only when executed in the right way. A common misconception in the world of social media sales is that it’s easy to post, pin and tweet and then all the work is done for you, but that’s simply not the case. Businesses with a mindset of “I’ll just post and tweet and see what happens” are more often than not unsuccessful in their sales efforts. Any business with a sales strategy, social media or not, needs to have a plan of execution.
The good news is that this is a pretty easy to problem to fix with the right kind of planning. Think about your own business’ strategy, if it exists. Examine how lax or ad hoc it truly is, instead of being strong and concrete. Social media posts shouldn’t be thought of as an extra form of marketing, but should be seen as something to integrate into an already set up marketing strategy.
So how do you make this plan, if you are indeed without one? An effective social sales plan is made up of three components:
Understanding an Audience: Even when you’re focusing on B2B social sales, you still have to have a basic understanding of what you’re looking to show to the audience you’ve chosen. Without having at least some idea what your audience is looking for, your ability to form relationships is faulty.
- Marketing Programs: Remember, social media should be integrated into your marketing strategy, not tossed in as a “yes, no, maybe so” form of exposure. As non-serious as social media might seem on its face, businesses with success in the social media sphere have fully realized ideas of where they want their social image to take them.
- Tracking Effectiveness: You can pour all your effort into a social sales strategy, but it’s only actually worth it if you’re able to see if it’s working or not. An ineffective strategy is as bad as not having a strategy at all.
When you have these three things in mind, you’re ready to start working on a new social strategy.
First you’re going to want to center in on your target audience. Think about commercials. While anyone has the ability to identify with most commercials, there is always a target audience or demographic in mind. The takeaway is to always have a set ideal in mind when it comes to who you’re trying to reach with your marketing strategies, and this should be pretty obvious.
Being specific to businesses, it’s essential that you look to create a sort of profile for any specific targets you have in mind. This should outline the basic biodata you know about the person or business in question. What is their position or purpose? What social strategies do they use? Once you have the answers to these and questions similar to them, you’ll be able to center a marketing style around them. You can now build a relationship based on this information.
The goal is to ultimately provide content to a marketing group that connects with them directly, and anyone else you happen to catch the attention of is a bonus. Just remember that the focus should be on the main demographic you want to target. Outliers are nice, but don’t try to catch everyone with varying success when you know you can catch a few with a guarantee of progress.
When the plan is concrete, execute it and start monitoring how successful it is. Without a way of measuring success, you’ll be unable to both understand how well the plan is working and any data you could use based on the plan’s execution is effectively lost. Resources exist to help track and monitor the data of social media postings, like eClincher’s own analytics features.
You’re looking for a strategy that will maximize traffic in two areas: one, the social media account of your business so that its value and exposure will grow, and two, the main business site so that traffic stats will rise and sales will potentially go up.