Archive | June, 2018

Is Your Social Media Marketing Strategy Effective? Here’s How You’ll Know

25 Jun

With more than 50 million businesses owning a Facebook Business Page and 94 percent of B2B organizations relying on LinkedIn for content marketing and distribution, it is clear that social media is continuing to grow.

With so many new businesses breaking into Social Media, it is no wonder they can often times feel overwhelmed and find it hard to determine the impact it is having for their business.

Social media ROI comes down to having a strong understanding of what your goals are, what you plan to do, and what you’re looking to get out of it.

Let’s review some key steps to building a social media strategy that results in definite ROI.

Social Media ROI Definition

ROI is getting a return. Obvious, right?

But when it comes down to how to calculate social media ROI, it isn’t just the result of revenue minus expenses.

ROI is value received in return of an investment.

The value you receive as a return on your social media marketing investment might include increased:

  • Customer lifetime value: Transactions —  sales
  • Customer referral value: Referrals — leads, traffic
  • Customer influence value: Word of mouth — branding, reach
  • Customer knowledge value: Information — market research

You might be interested to know that engagement is the social media metric most important to respondents of Search Engine Journal’s 2017 state of digital survey.

Recent research in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science connects customer engagement strategy to marketing goals, like customer acquisition, growth including cross-selling and upselling, and retention.

If the value you’re looking for isn’t something that social can provide, then what’s the point of investing in social?

If it is, then it’s time to set your Social Media goals.

How to Determine Social Media ROI

ROI is getting a return. ROI isn’t just a number.

You need to know where your audience is most active and the platform they are using. You need to evaluate your internal resources and Then understand the investment of time and energy for quality updates.

Once you have your setup, then you determine what is the ROI — understanding your goal and what you’re getting out of it. Then you can understand the return. Here are a few tips to help you figure it out:

1. Know your social media goal.

First determine what social media means to your company.

What’s your reason for jumping on social media. Is it realistic?

From driving leads, sales, and traffic to automating or scaling customer service to information gathering, a social media campaign may make a lot of sense.

There are many different goals that will influence how you utilize social media as a whole, such as:

  • Increased website traffic

  • Increased leads

  • Increased sales

  • Increased customer engagement

  • Reduced cost of customer service

  • Information

  • Exposure to a new audience

By the way, obtaining information from your current or potential customers is a commonly overlooked goal. And I urge you not to forget the value of data.

2. Align your social media activity to your resources.

For this step, you should absolutely look inward.

If your whole company is on Facebook regularly, knows its features and community expectations and participates on Facebook naturally, well, you see where I’m going with this.

Better ROI might come from not having to hire a new person for Facebook.

Developing your social media strategy is more than throwing a body on an initiative and hoping it comes out well.

3. Reality check the social channel.

Before you jump on social, consider the longevity of the channel.

Snapchat’s growth has become stagnant, down to around 2 percent quarter to quarter, as of Q1 2018. With Instagram growing to become one of the most popular social networks worldwide, it seems only a matter of time before they replace Snapchat all together.

Facebook Pages are becoming less visible. A recent Facebook News Feed algorithm update reduces the chances for Facebook Page content to be seen as much in the organic News Feed. Depending on how things progress, traffic from Facebook could continue to dwindle.

Obviously, developing a strategy for a platform in its sunset days doesn’t make sense for ROI.

4. Analyze your data to determine ROI.

At the end of the day, you’ve started with a clear goal in sight and designed a campaign that matched your goal to your audience to a channel and your resources.

You put tracking in place and assigned a value to your metric. With the performance data rolling in and everything in front of you, you can ask the question: Did this campaign show ROI?

Say, for example, your goal was traffic and your campaign ran on Facebook. You posted content combining statistics and great images. As a result you got a 2-3 times increase in website page views over the lifetime of the campaign. That’s a campaign that demonstrated ROI.

What do you want social to give you to make you feel good at the end of a campaign?

5 Social Media Tips to Help You Drive Sales

18 Jun

The evolution of social media and technology has completely reshaped marketing. Today, data is plentiful and insights are easy to gather, allowing social media savvy marketers to drive tremendous results.

Social media allows you to build a loyal following and share your message in a unique way, resulting in generating sales and ultimately building a successful business. It’s quickly becoming one of the most effective forms of online marketing. Here are five tips to helps you use social media to drive more sales for your business.

  1. Use the same handle for all of your social profiles.

It’s important to use the same handle on all social media — Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. While it sounds like a small detail, it’s a branding play that can have a significant impact on your growth across social media.

Consumers have become accustomed to remembering usernames, and most assume a brand’s handle is the same across the board. Something as simple as maintaining a consistent brand, username-wise, ensures that you will always be found, regardless of the social media platform.

Personally, when I am creating a new consumer brand from the ground up, I always make sure the brand name handle is available on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Once I know they are all available, along with the exact-match “.com” domain, I will begin my trademark research.

  1. Re-post content from real people using your product.

There is no better testimonial than real people posting about your product on social media. Re-posting this content on your social media pages is more effective than any forced-advertising. You are letting actual customers do the selling and convincing for you.

By sharing content created by consumers who have already purchased your product (or use your service), you are putting out content that instills trust. Consumers love reviews and endorsements by real users — give them incentive to create this content for you. Create a branded hashtag and incentivize its use by creating contests or giveaways.

  1. Target the social networks your audience is active on.

You don’t need to have a social presence on every platform, but you do need to have a strong presence on the platform’s your audience is active on.

  1. Speak your audience’s language.

When building a relationship with consumers, it’s important that you use their vernacular.

This is especially true if you are asking a user to take a specific action — like comment on a post, tag their friends or even purchase one of your products. A great way to show that you understand your target consumers is to speak their language and use keywords, phrases or emojis that resonate with them.

When you make that personal connection, your audience is more receptive to your marketing message. Let your brand voice and personality shine.

  1. Link to the product you’re trying to sell.

At the end of the day, driving sales from your social media efforts is all about making it easy for your followers to convert into customers. If it’s complicated in any way, a potential customer will turn their attention elsewhere.

Make it seamless for consumers to click-through from your social media page to your website. You can include links in your bios, as well as within your content. If a user can’t access your product page in one or two clicks, your conversions will be extremely low. The social networks are constantly making changes to help their business users perform well, like Instagram’s product tagging.

Social Media Engagement is the New Social Media Marketing

11 Jun

Social media is as much about engagement with other people as it is about sharing content.

It’s why we call it “social” media.

Here are just a few reasons why social media engagement is a vital part of any social media marketing strategy.

  1. Simply broadcasting content results in low reach and referral traffic

Over the last few years, organic reach (on Facebook in particular) has dropped so dramatically that some people have questioned the viability of organic posting at all.

In 2017, Buzzsumo analyzed 880 million Facebook posts and uncovered a sharp decline in engagements. This is linked to a perceived push by social media platforms to encourage brands to use advertising to boost their reach.

In 2018, Facebook also announced that they would change their post ranking algorithm to prioritize personal posts over brand page posts in the News Feed. A key part of the change is that they are using “meaningful engagement” as an important signal that a post should be prioritized.

In other words, posts with more active and thoughtful interactions will get more reach.

  1. People expect businesses to respond on social media, and fast

Twitter and Facebook have become the first places people go to for customer support, product enquiries or just to say thank you to businesses.

Back in 2013 it was estimated that 67% of consumers use Facebook and Twitter for customer service, and that was five years ago! With the rise of Facebook Messenger usage, that number is likely to have trended upwards as over 8 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses on Messenger alone each month.

The speed at which business respond is also important. According to research commissioned by Twitter in 2016, 71% of their users expect a response within an hour.

  1. Social media engagement increases loyalty and generates word of mouth.

People love positive interactions with brands on social media.

There’s also a ton of data that suggests that answering complaints on social media increases customer advocacy and reduces churn. For example, Jay Baer’s research found that answering a complaint on social media can increase customer advocacy by as much 25%.

On the flipside, in Sprout Social’s research they discovered that 30% of customers who are shunned by brands on social media are more likely to switch to a competitor.

What’s more – social media experiences are, by design, both public and easy to share. This creates a compounding impact on positive experiences, compared to say, an email exchange or phone call.

The benefits of social media engagement seem clear, so why haven’t more brands fully embraced it as a marketing strategy?

I believe there are three key challenges that, on the surface, seem quite daunting for marketers and their organizations.

  1. Finding the resources to engage with all relevant conversations
  2. Quality control: maintaining a consistent, authentic voice and tone
  3. Measuring the impact of social media engagement

The best brands on social media turn these challenges into opportunities, and this is how you can nail your social media engagement too.

After Facebook and Snapchat, What’s Next for Social Media Marketing?

4 Jun

We’re in an interesting time, to say the least, for social media marketing.

Today, for most large brands, small businesses and creators, it’s hard to stand out from the digital noise on social media without investing large sums of money into advertising and content that includes investing in resources (people) for graphic design and video production.

In spite of the social media landscape continuously evolving through algorithm changes and Snapchat’s recent redesign, which has made it harder for users to get views on their content in both cases, there’s still value to be had from a sales and marketing standpoint if businesses go back to the basics of 1-to-1 marketing and accept the reality that organic reach is depressed without ad spend.

Is Snapchat for business dead?

For the greater part of two years, Instagram has made significant improvements to its platform that have resulted in a mass movement of marketers and creators who once believed that Snapchat would, in fact, be the next Facebook over to Instagram. A recent poll in the Social Media Masterminds group on Facebook indicated that less than 10 percent of professionals are using Snapchat in their business. While Snapchat is not dead completely, the potential reach isn’t there for most businesses unless their target demographic is between the ages of 13 and 24 years old.

Facebook ads

Whether you’re a florist, a local gardener or a dry-cleaning company, the easiest way to reach local buyers in your city or town is through Facebook ads. Personally, I work with real estate agents and I often recommend setting aside a minimum Facebook ad budget of $300 per month or $10 per day to get their content in front of the right audience versus posting their content to an unknown user base. With such a small percentage of page fans seeing your content these days, running Facebook ads is not an option – it’s a requirement.

Chatbots and AI

Bots are a practical tool for businesses that can’t invest in hiring a dedicated community or social media manager. Within your own Facebook page you can set up a Messenger bot assistant within a couple of minutes (for free) whereby anytime someone clicks on the “Send Message” button on your page she will receive an auto-reply message whereby you can let your visitor know that you’re currently away but to leave you a message and you will get in touch ASAP.