Money can buy data, but it cannot predict future.
1. Truth: It has never been easier to build brand trust. Rule: Add value to your customer’s life through more than just the product you sell.
2.Truth: Brands are a part of communities beyond their control but not their influence. Rule: Consistently activate your brand considering its broader cultural context.
3.Truth: You see online and offline, but your customers only see you. Rule: Deliver a singular experience of your brand online and offline.
(Oliver Walsh | Founder of Wednesday)
Words of wisdom for marketers.
Engagement with the customer today isn’t just pouring a message down on their head and hoping they get wet. It really is understanding that you must be present in a conversation when they want to have it, not when you want to.
Pre-shopping before buying has become a huge, huge part of customer behavior. In the past, it was pretty much confined to big-ticket items like cars, or expensive electronics or homes. Now people engage in discovery before shopping on very small things.It’s crossed all categories of shopping behavior. It’s just the way people buy today.
Gravitytank Strategic Advisor and former CMO of OfficeMax
How you should not (and should) measure your social media marketing campaign
This is the 1st instalment of a 2-part series explaining how to measure your social media marketing campaign. In this series, I will discuss 3 things:
- Why do you need to be careful when measuring your marketing campaign?
- What are the suggested metrics you should use to measure the effectiveness of your campaign?
- How can you find out which are your campaign’s key metrics?
Doshi recently wrote a great article urging business owners to focus on one key actionable metric. PandoDaily followed up and said that writers should also focus on one key actionable metric. Some of you might not understand why - let me explain.
The problem with vanity metrics lies with what comes after that
Using vanity metrics - growth in revenue, repeated customers and new sign-ups - pleases your internal and external stakeholders. Vanity metrics give your investors and employees confidence. If you’re a social media marketer, these figures work wonders to please your bosses and add gloss to your end-of-month report at the board meeting.
Now, let’s consider the opposite: a sharp decline in revenue, customer acquisition and retention rates worry your internal and external stakeholders. Your investors start questioning your abilities. They get impatient. If you are in charge of your company’s social media marketing campaign, they start to breathe down your neck. They warn that you must get the numbers up by hook or by crook. Your job is on the line.
Perhaps the most important consideration however, is how these vanity metrics do not tell you what went wrong. If you only tracked revenue, customer acquisition and retention rates, you are in trouble. These big metrics are the sum of many parts - your website sign-up rate, your tweet click-through rate and your Adwords click-through rate, among hundreds other things you could track. In short, vanity metrics paint a picture that you can only see. You might see a beautiful shade and gradient of purple symbolising twilight, but you don’t know what colours are mixed and in what proportion to achieve that effect.
Imagine that you only just relaunched your career as a social media marketer. Before this, you branded yourself differently on various social media platforms. Thus you made the necessary changes to your social media accounts. You changed your bio on Twitter, job title on Linkedin, and started a blog, among many others. Within 2 to 3 weeks, you experienced a 25% increase in the number of followers on Twitter.
Here comes the all-important question: So what?
Figuring out whether your metrics are vain or actionable requires you to ask a few key questions
This increase in number of followers seem great. A glance at the list may tell you that more than 75% of them are legit and relevant followers. However, these mere numbers do not tell you what you might have done right. Worse, what if all these numbers were just a coincidence? You might wonder:
- Is it because of your tweets?
- Is it because you used focused hashhtags?
- Is it because you talked to others about Social Media on Twitter?
- Is it because of your change in bio?
- Is it because of your blog posts? Perhaps you wrote blog posts more regularly during this period and distributed them more actively on Twitter.
- Or was it purely coincidental because Twitter is already a popular social media platform, hence attracting traffic from an already present social media enthusiast community?
Well, you probably have no answer. And you’re quite right. You shouldn’t have one when you’ve only seen the mere increase in number of followers.
So, before I publish the second part of this two-part series to share with you some actionable metrics you can use to track your social media marketing campaign, examine your social media marketing strategy and campaign again. Take a metric you’re tracking and set hypothetical situations for it. Let X be the arbitrary figure for your metric. Ask yourself:
- What if this metric is X?
- What does X tell me about my campaign? Am I on the right platform? Am I talking with the right customers? Am I creating engagement with the customers? So what does X tell me about my customers?
- What if X is extremely high but my revenue is still low? What are the possible missing links? List them. Which ones should you track? Which ones can you track? Filter.
- What affects this metric? Do you have other metrics that correlate to this metric, or is this metric the lowest possible denominator?
Don’t stop there. Surely you have more than one metric. If you’ve more than 10, shortlist the top 5 you think are the most important to your business and set multiple hypothetical situations for each of them. If you still can’t tell which are vain, share them in the comments section below and I’ll help you out.
Subscribe to my email list on the left sidebar so that I can notify you after the 2nd part of this two-part series is published.
Update: Madison wrote an article on HBR worth a read - Why your Social Media Metrics are a waste of time. She expresses the same sentiment about vanity metrics. Don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments below!
Why your customers don’t respond to your social media marketing efforts
Reposted on SMMInsights
3 reasons why you should use Twitter to network
Deciding whether to use Twitter for networking requires you to ask 3 key questions:
- Do you often meet new people? Do you often attend seminars, conferences, workshops and networking parties?
- Do you read about industry news and developments? Do you often ask tough questions? Do you frequently have an urge to find answers to these questions?
- Do you always look to improve in your niche? Do you jump at opportunities to go abroad for industrial exchanges?
If you decide to use Twitter for networking, you will not only strengthen and widen your network, but also save time and effort doing so.
Increasing use of Twitter during professional events
Event organisers love the use of Twitter #hashtags. Some even inform participants of official hashtags before the event, because hashtags increase these events’ visibility. However, event organisers are not the only ones who stand to gain from Twitter. Using the same hashtag when posting tweet-worthy stuff allow participants to connect with one another. Participants can arrange to meet during lunch breaks or afterparties.
Guest speakers alike ride on the Twitter bandwagon to connect with others too. They often share their Twitter handles at the end of their presentation and invite participants to connect with them.
More recently, exchange of Twitter handles between 2 strangers has become increasingly common. It shouldn’t won’t be too long before you start saying that “Twitter is the new name card”. For myself, I don’t carry stashes of name cards with me. Hence I pass my limited name cards to those few I surely want to connect with. For the rest of the people I meet, Twitter allows me to still connect and follow up with them after our first meeting.
Communicating with well-known industry professionals through Twitter
In addition to connecting with others at an event, you should be concerned with connecting with others you don’t already know. Key to this process is knowing your niche thought leaders. Twitter tools such as Twitalyzer can help you do just that. Look up each of them, view their history of tweets, find out if they reply to others or if they only curate articles. Ideally, most industry professionals whom you’d want to connect with would not only share links to valuable resources, but also actively engage their followers.
That being said, by virtue of Twitter’s global reach, you can actively follow thought leaders in your niche and reach out to them by asking relevant questions. If you ever have a chance to meet them, you can relate to conversations you’ve had on Twitter (you can avoid awkwardness of doing this if you do it right), break the ice and foster more meaningful relationships, as I have experienced on a couple of occasions like DemoAsia and Failcon.
Knowing who to connect with using Twitter
Last and perhaps the most important reason, no other social networking platform allows you to reach out to relevant industry professionals as quickly as Twitter. Linkedin restricts you to connecting with others you already know, thus Linkedin users usually feel awkward adding strangers to their connections. Facebook contains information of your private life, discouraging users from putting up their professional identities. Twitter fills in the gap very well. It allows you to connect with other industry professionals with a simple tweet, without restricting you from tweeting to strangers to or requiring your private personal information. Furthermore, you can only spend so much time in your career networking. Every minute you spend networking can be made more effective by using Twitter in the 3 following ways:
- Target events to go to by listening to the buzz and seeing who’s attending what events
- Look up event guests’ Twitter profiles and understand who they are, where they come from, and what their specialties are
- Contact and arrange to meet people who you want to know, but do not already know
Even though Twitter has been around for 7 years, it is still not too late to get started. In fact, Twitter only recently soared to new highs, serving over 200m active users worldwide. To put this number in perspective, it represents a huge 42% increase in just the last 9 months. Therefore, if you previously delayed joining Twitter because you were considering if it was worth your time, what better time now than ever to hop onto this bandwagon, foster your relationships with those you know and widen your network by reaching out to those you don’t already know?
P.S. Twitter is not all about receiving though. Everyone is special in their own rights, and I’m sure you’ve got some strengths and knowledge which you can value-add to the network. If you give more than you receive, you might even end up building precious online credibility. Before I end off, let me wish you a Merry Christmas and a joyous season of giving!
Merry Christmas everyone!
Update: I added a link to Brian Solis’ book, “Engage”, which better explains how social networks like Twitter increase events’ visibility. Look for this phrase “As people RSVP for the event” to read the relevant paragraph.
Tracking the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts
Christmas is just around the corner. Businesses are busying themselves trying to add some much-needed lustre to their income statements. Advertisements continue to bombard human traffic everywhere. But let’s face it, in this day and age, everyone whitewashes all sorts of advertisements, both offline and online. So just because your company has a “social media marketing presence” or “campaign” is not necessarily going to help you boost your company’s revenue for 2 simple reasons:
- Your competitors are also making an incredible amount of noise.
- You’re not sure of your campaign’s effectiveness. Take the traditional marketing funnel as a guide:
- Awareness: Undoubtedly the easiest objective to achieve out of marketing campaigns. You could be increasing awareness among the masses, but are they your target audience? And how many of your target audience do you actually reach?
- Consideration: Social media experts has long touted to that Social Media Marketing efforts primarily influence customers in the Consideration Phase. But how do you know if your marketing efforts really make potential customers consider your products?
- Preference: Perhaps the 2nd hardest thing to do for a marketer: how do you make a potential customer prefer your product to other brands? For a face-to-face sale, your salesman would probably differentiate it by emphasising certain benefits of your product, like excellent after-sales service. But more and more people are going online, scouring thousands of strangers’ reviews as well as looking to friends for recommendations. Amidst this noise, how do you try to make sure your potential customers still prefer your product over the others?
- Action: Needless to say, the hardest thing to do for a marketer is to convert leads to actual sales. Quite regrettably, neither traditional marketing nor social media marketing has quite a direct impact in this, and therefore is not the topic of discussion just yet. Online merchants such as Groupon are exploring ways to do so, but have seen only moderate success through mechanisms such as social discounts.
Having said that, what can your marketing team do to try to influence consumers and lead them down the marketing funnel, from mere awareness of your product to serious consideration and preference for your product, so as to maximise the possibility of them eventually buying it? These processes sound daunting, but you can do them in a systematic way over time.
This blog post will walk you through how you can take the first step: tracking the effectiveness of your existing social media marketing efforts.
Word of caution: Even though your existing marketing campaign can track many metrics, don’t jump at them. It takes time to figure out the metrics that actually matter to the product/brand you’re marketing.
Case Study: Scoot™'s Xmas Facebook Marketing Efforts
Our focus will be placed on an umbrella actionable metric termed “Engagement”. More specifically, in Scoot™’s case, they will likely track the following metrics:
During the event/campaign (Refer below for bottomline metrics to track before the campaign)
- Facebook page “likes” as a result of the event. (Vanity, but can reflect your campaign’s reach)
- Number of shares (Vanity because the sharing is made mandatory to participate in this campaign to drive awareness. However, if your campaign does not make sharing your post compulsory, it could be insightful to track the number of people who share your campaign with their friends, because it shows that they find it valuable)
- Number of participants in the campaign (People who share, participate, and return at least once)
- Frequency distribution of the number of times participants return to the campaign
- Number of people who react to the Facebook Posts (stated as Step 3 in the Poster). More specifically, number of people who read the Facebook Posts (which I assume are extra chances for winning prizes/tips) AND (a) share about it, (b) respond to the CTA. e.g. increased traffic after the tip was posted.
Before & after the event/campaign:
Establish and compare results to the bottomline
Perhaps most importantly, to find what all these efforts are worth in leading potential customers through the business’ marketing funnel beyond increasing awareness, Scoot™ should not just track the increase in sales, which are tangible but vain metrics because they cannot act on the mere increase/stagnancy in sales, or directly relate any change in sales to their marketing efforts. Instead they should monitor the interaction that potential customers have with the Facebook page and the number of customers who cite information off Facebook. For instance, Scoot™ could take note of number of customers who call/write in citing what they see on Facebook, especially deals. There are many more metrics that Scoot™ could track, by establishing a bottomline of the information they have, such as daily visits to the Facebook page, referrals to the Scoot™ site from Facebook, before, during and after the campaign.
Having said that, I’d be surprised if Scoot™ isn’t doing all that already. Their facebook marketing efforts look like a well-planned strategy laid out to accumulate and track several metrics that directly and indirect attribute to their sales revenue.
With the increased awareness and engagement with your brand, especially during the campaign, you should advice your staff to tread carefully and ensure that every of their response/interaction with the potential customers speaks good of your brand. More people are looking at you than usual, so the impact of any one move, good or bad, may have amplified effects on your brand.
For one, we think Scoot did very well to manage a rather unreasonable complain.
What do you think of Scoot™’s Xmas facebook marketing efforts? What do you think can be improved? Do you have better examples to share? You can value-add to our discussion below!
See you soon for our next post on a Quick Twitter Marketing Guide for your business!
Update: Thanks to Melvin Goh for your valuable feedback.
3 Dos for your Twitter Marketing Team
Reposted on http://smminsights.com/2013/