Social Media Analytics & ROI

Social Media Analytics & ROI

Social Media ROI can be such a debatable topic; it’s nearly impossible to measure what exactly is coming back to you, based on an Instagram post or a Facebook tag, with 100% accuracy. It’s hard to tell if “that one IG post” increased your revenue or bottom line. Measuring the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts is, in fact, really challenging! A recent study showed that:

41% of companies admitted to having “no idea” of whether or not their social media marketing efforts were successful (ConvinceAndConvert.com).

What is social media ROI?

Basically, it is the sum of what you are getting back, based on the money, time, and resources you are putting in to your social media. Generally, you measure your return in dollars.

You need to track what you are doing, what you are spending, and what results you are getting.

Why measure it

Measuring your ROI is crucial so that you can find which media channels are bringing in the most revenue, you can avoid wasting time and money, you can improve your marketing efforts, and you can see how changes in your strategy affect the overall return.

How to measure it

  • Step 1: Start by defining your social media goals.

    • They should be quantifiable and measurable… something you can assign a number to. (Examples: email list sign-ups, completed contact forms, downloads of your e-book, time spent on an important webpage, trials, purchases, etc.)
    • You can track metrics like followers or shares, but these shouldn’t be your main goals. It’s more meaningful to track the number of people who go from a casual browser, to a lead, to a paying customer, than to worry about “popularity.”
  • Step 2: Track and measure your goals.

    • Google Analytics seems to be the easiest way to track your goals. Within the dashboard, you can set specific goals to be tracked on your social media platforms. This is where you set the goal you chose earlier, such as email sign-ups or downloads of your e-book (For these, set up one landing page for sign-ups and/or one landing page for downloads, and within Google Analytics, choose the goal type of “destination page.”) For accurate measurements, be sure that the landing page you are tracking is created specifically for this campaign. It should have a special, unique URL and should not be discoverable on Google; this way, you can be sure that you are only tracking the conversions brought in from “that” specific effort. You will know that the only way the person landed on this landing page was by signing up for your email or downloading your e-book.
    • Here is an article that lists some other super helpful tools: Social Media Analytic Tools

 

 

 

  • Step 3: Track your expenses.

    • Include things like:
      • Ad costs – Ads cost money… Include the expense you put towards your boosted Facebook post, your promoted tweet, etc.
      • Labor (man-hours) – Time is money. Measure the amount of hours spent altogether on each specific campaign, per campaign, and multiply the hours by the hourly rate paid.
      • Content – Did you have a professional copywriter help you create a landing page? Did you outsource postings and status updates?
      • Tools – Do you use any tools, like Buffer, Grum, or Hootsuite? Social media management software can be extremely helpful (and reduce man-hours), but there is sometimes an added cost to having/using these. (Again, don’t forget to measure this on a per campaign basis. If you paid for a year’s subscription, and the campaign only lasted 2 months, include the cost of 2 months of that year-long subscription.)
  • Step 4: Calculate your ROI. Income minus costs, times 100, divided by costs.

(Income from Campaign – Costs from Camp.) x 100 / Costs from Camp.

= SOCIAL MEDIA ROI

Going deeper

If you were using multiple efforts to direct consumers to your landing page, and you want to break your numbers down further, look at each social media platform individually. Find your income and your costs for that one campaign on that one platform to calculate your total ROI for that one platform. (Use the same equation above.)

Analyze & adjust

Find the platform that is giving your company the highest ROI, and adjust your marketing efforts to focus more on the most effective platforms.

A negative ROI on a campaign or social network means that your strategy needs to be adjusted. Work to reduce your costs, or make your campaigns more effective.

If you’re more of a visual person, check out THIS INFOGRAPHIC created by ‘Quicksprout’. It will walk you through an excellent example of a fictional company setting, measuring, and analyzing their own social media efforts and ROI.

It’s not all in the numbers

Keep in mind that not everything can be tracked and measured. It’s important to also remember the indirect benefits you can receive through social media. For example, if a top influencer on Instagram shares one of your photos, your brand is instantly exposed to a whole new (huge) audience! You will likely gain some followers, and this may or may not result in sales. So when you look at your social media ROI, remember that it’s not all in the numbers and dollar signs. Everything you do on social media can affect your ROI.

It’s possible, and it’s worth it

While tracking and analyzing your social media ROI can be incredibly challenging, it’s worth taking the time and energy to do! It will pay off by showing you where you are struggling and where you can shift your marketing efforts and dollars to better benefit your business.

Go in with a planned strategic approach. Organization will make this task immensely more enjoyable (and accurate)! Over time, fine-tune your numbers; your expense estimates will become more accurate with experience and, as with anything, the process will get easier with practice. 🙂

 

– Mandy

Social Media Policies for Employees

Social Media Policies for Employees

What’s your company’s policy?

Do you know? Do your employees know?

As with any policy, in order to be effective, this needs to be a firm set of rules.

It needs to be an organized, well thought out list that is written down, shared with employees, updated over time, and posted around the workplace as a constant reminder.

Enforcing a social media policy is important in keeping your company (and brand) safe!

A firm policy will protect your brand, while empowering employees. A social media policy tells the employee what is accepted in the workplace, as well as what is expected from them. Laying out these guidelines will give the employee a sense of creative freedom; by having everything laid out, they feel confident in their work and know they are doing exactly what they are supposed to be.

Your company has likely developed a certain voice, a certain character. It has become a brand…

Keep your brand and message consistent.

This will ensure your brand’s voice, vision, and character come through loud and clear. A social media policy will make this easy! Use the policy to outline expectations of what your brand’s voice and tone should be. Images, as well as copy, should follow one unified voice. Keeping your brand consistent will help you draw in your ideal market and allow customers to really connect with you.

Do you have public-facing employees? Make sure they are well aware of the company’s policy and “voice” and that their public image fits with yours. Consider encouraging them to create a Twitter handle that includes a reference to your brand. For example, if you have employees interacting with the public on behalf of the company, they could create a Twitter handle such as: @”Co.Name,EmployeeName” (Ex: @AmazonTiffany). This makes it clear that Tiffany is an Amazon representative.

What to include in your Social Media Policy

Your policy should cover how your company uses social media, as well as how employees are expected to use their own accounts. Here are some ideas on what to include:

  • General guidelines for overall conduct. Use phrases such as “Act respectfully, amongst both customers and peers” or “Be the solution, not the problem.”
  • Stress the importance of confidentiality. What is your company’s policy on new product releases? What’s your policy for company news?
  • Employees should never reveal or discuss sensitive, private information – not about the company, other employees, or your customers.
  • Be very clear in describing the brand, the character, and the voice. Give examples of what kinds of messages, wording, and images to use, and explain how to talk about specific products within your portfolio.
  • Humor posts can be good, but stress to your employees that it has to be appropriate and relatable to your brand. (Ex: Is politics somewhere you want to go…?!)
  • It’s important that your employees know how to act, but they also have to know how to re-act. How should they handle negative content that they see on your company’s page? How should they handle any negative comments about your brand that they come across? What procedures should they follow?
  • Include etiquette guidelines that explain how employees should respond to complaints respectfully.
  • You might want to clarify which sites employees may/may not visit at work.
  • Do you want your employees to claim accountability on their own social media profiles? For example, should they write something like an “opinions are my own” disclaimer?
  • A lot of people’s personal profiles link to their employer, stating where they work. Do you think employees should “behave” a certain way on their own personal accounts? They are, after all, public representatives of your brand…

Assign roles.

To ensure a successful social media policy, assign employees to specific tasks that they will be held responsible for. Here are some basic roles that should be filled:

  • Training, education, and implementation of the policy to new and current employees
  • Branding guidelines (voice, character, images)
  • Social media post approval process
  • Online customer service guidelines and protocols (how to act and re-act to both good and bad comments)
  • Safety and security of the company/brand
  • Legal issues (always credit original sources if sharing or borrowing content)
  • Maintaining a logical, effective, up-to-date social media policy

Here are some examples of social media policies!

This is Adidas Group’s social media policy: Adidas Group

Here is one by AP (much more in depth than Adidas’): Associated Press

More: Reuters’Shift Communications

The following is more formal, as a governmental policy: NYC Department of Education

A healthcare industry example: Mayo Clinic

And last but not least, the following article is super helpful because it gives a list of big brands’ social media policies, then goes on to discuss where each one succeeds and/or fails.: Need Sample Social Media Policies? Here Are 7 to Inspire Yours

Social media policy templates, for you 🙂

Templates provide an AWESOME starting ground for your own company’s policy.

This one is short and sweet, and super clear: Template Sample

Here’s another: Workable.com Template

So, how would you define your company’s social media policy? Good, bad, old, non-existent? It’s time to get a solid, updated policy in place so that you and your team can start curating great content (AND SHARING IT SAFELY!), today. 😉

 

– Mandy

The Importance of Creating Video

As technology progresses year after year, consumers continue turn to it, even rely on it, for advice, news, networking opportunities, and so much more; and as the digital world is advancing, it is YOUR job to keep up with it.

Give the people what they want!

Consumers are out there using this technology, searching for answers to their questions and problems, and YOU need to be out there, too! You need to be there, providing solutions to their problems; and you need to be current with not only the information you provide them, but also in your marketing strategy and message delivery.

How do you connect with this technologically-savvy, digital-age audience? To keep up in today’s modern world, VIDEO needs to be a major component in your marketing strategy.

It was recently reported that, on average, 100 Million hours of Facebook videos are watched every single day! And Business Insider reports that YouTube earns approximately six times that amount, 650 Million hours! … every day! (mediakix.com)

Then, in a study from Facebook, The Persuasive Power… , researchers used eye-tracking to find that people gaze five times longer at videos in their newsfeed than they do at still, static content. (Facebook states: “We identified five factors related to the rise of online video viewing: smartphones, shorter attention spans, binge-watching, the importance of context, and the thrill of novelty.”)

According to Livestream.com, video dominates again. Apparently, 80% of a brand’s audience would rather watch live video from a brand rather than read their blog. Additionally, 82% of the audience prefers live video from a brand rather than social posts. The bottom line is: online audiences have definitely taken to video… 78% of online audiences are ALREADY watching video on Facebook Live.

Last but not least, YouTube reports that mobile video consumption rises 100% year over year. (livestream.com)

What that all boils down to is that, basically… You should to be making videos for your business! 

Use native videos rather than shared.

A recent study (quintly.com) proved that original videos (native videos) that are uploaded to Facebook get a 1,055% higher share rate than videos shared from links (like from YouTube or Vimeo, for example). Native videos also get a 186% higher interaction rate.

If you want to get serious with video content, the only way to do it is to BE ORIGINAL! Create and upload your own videos natively; or, do your own live videos!

With your own, original, entertaining content, your reach, engagement, and share rates will increase.

 

Is Live video better than pre-recorded?

They both have their places…

If you want a perfect, polished video, you will obviously want to plan it, prepare for it, pre-record it, edit it, the whole “shebang.” With live video, however, it’s generally much more quick and spontaneous! It’s an easy way to create quick, original content for your page; plus, it will boost reach and engagement.

A major perk of live broadcasting is that you are able to connect and interact with your audience in real time. Viewers can write in the comments section, and you can read and respond to them in your video. This is neat because viewers have the ability to sway the conversation into exactly what they want; you will know that you are providing the content that the audience wants!

You have lots of options for live broadcasting, including: Facebook Live, YouTube (need 10,000+ channel subscribers), Twitter Live (Periscope), Instagram Stories, and Snapchat Stories.

Facebook’s Newsroom recently reported that FB Live videos are watched three times longer than regular videos.

Have you considered going live!?

The successes of programs like Meerkat, Periscope, and Snapchat have proved that worldwide viewers thoroughly enjoy original and authentic, candid content.

 

What should you do when you go Live?

Here are some things you can do to entertain your audience (on Facebook Live):

  1. Share a helpful tip. All you have to do is open your Facebook page on your mobile device, go to make a normal post but instead click “Go Live.” Next, choose your front/rear camera preference, give your video a description (this can be edited later), and “Go Live.” Finally, go ahead and share a quick, helpful tip with your audience, and if questions come in live, respond!
  2. Let them behind the scenes. People love sneak peeks! Share a quick, candid video of what’s going on “behind the scenes” at YOUR business. You can also share videos of events – setting up for them, during them, or even when you are the one attending them.
  3. Host a live discussion, talk show, or mini-webinar. This video might be a little longer. If you want to do some of these videos, it’s a good idea to plan ahead so that you can give your audience a head’s up through email and you will have more people “in attendance.”

Remember, though, video doesn’t always have sound.

Keep in mind that videos don’t necessarily have to have sound. In fact, 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound! (mediakix.com)

This means you need to make your videos versatile. Design your videos for sound-off, just in case. The viewer should be able to get the main gist of the message regardless of whether or not they can hear it.

If words are necessary to get the point across, you can always use captions. The key is to make videos that are captivating and engaging, even if watched in silence.

Check out the app Animoto, which allows you to easily create professional quality videos using video clips and/or images. You can also add text overlay (This is GREAT because people tend to watch a lot of videos with the sound off).

Ripl is another cool tool that we personally like to use for our Instagram posts!

It’s okay to be camera shy!

If you or your team is not comfortable being in front of the camera, there are still PLENTY of things you can do to create videos without ever personally being on-camera. For instance, create a tutorial for your product (maybe showing just your hands, demonstrating the product), or get guest speakers to come on and do little mini-talks. Videos can also be easily created by making slideshows of images, using animated effects, and getting creative with apps.

Adobe Spark is a FANTASTIC free tool, for both desktop and iOS users, for creating videos and fun animations. If you’re new to the “video-game,” camera shy, think video-making will take too long, or think you need a lot of equipment, you need to try this app! Your smartphone and this app is all you need to create attractive, professional quality videos. It’s definitely a great place to start. 🙂

Here is an article that will walk you through filming and putting together the best, most eye-catching videos using just your phone and Adobe Spark: 16 Time-Saving Tips for Making Awesome Videos with Your iPhone

Just Make it good.

If you’re putting the time and energy into making videos, make them good, so that viewers want to continually come back and keep watching your videos. Put some thought into them, even if they’re candid, so that they are interesting and engaging.

90% of Facebook viewers think video quality is the most important aspect of Facebook Live videos. (livestream.com)

Repurpose.

Over time, your little video library will become a big video library. With all these videos in your “repertoire,” feel free to repurpose them! You have different audiences on different platforms, so share them everywhere! Don’t post the same video to ALL of your social channels on the same day, but save your videos and post them on your various channels over the coming weeks. Recycling your videos (that you put your precious time and energy into creating) will save you tons of time while allowing you to reach new audiences.

Even live videos can be saved for later, “non-live” use. For instance, on Facebook, after you “go live,” you have the option of downloading and saving your video. Then, you can post it to any platform you choose, or consider embedding it into your website or blog! Share the wealth 😉

Now, hit record.

It’s your turn!

Video can definitely seem a bit scary at first, especially LIVE video, but don’t let it intimidate you.

Just start recording! Everything gets easier with practice.

– Mandy

Instagram Business Account with Insights

Is it worth the switch?

Instagram got us all excited about the release of their proprietary ‘Insights’ earlier this year. We all waited patiently for it’s release. But is it all it was cracked up to be? Maybe not…

We went ahead and switched our accounts (not our clients’) over to a business profile, just to test the functionality of it; but the lingering question is whether or not we will get penalized down the road. Business pages on Facebook have to “pay to play” these days, whereas personal profiles are getting increased exposure to friends and family. And since Facebook owns Instagram, we can pretty confidently make the conclusion that the same fate will befall our business profiles on IG in the future.

When you use these social platforms for business purposes, the ‘Insights’ and ‘Analytics’ are valuable tools to test whether or not the work you are doing is, well… working! We are going to take a look at two different analytical tools for Instagram business profiles. The first will be the native ‘Insights’ tool that the new Instagram Business Account offers, and the second will be using information supplied on a third party platform that specializes in Instagram called Iconosquare. (All of the following stats and images come from our sister company, Chill Digital Marketing.)

If you haven’t converted your account to a business account, you first need to switch it to be able to see these insights. Select the cog wheel in the upper right corner:

 

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Next, select “Switch to Business Profile” and follow the steps to make this change.

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On a side note, it does appear that for now, you can always revert back to a Personal Account. Not sure if this will go away or not.

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Now that you have switched your account, you will see four “statistics bars” in the upper right corner next to the settings cog wheel.

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Select these bars to open the Insights for your account. (Note: you will only be able to access Insights if you have at least 100 followers!) Once inside, you get some great basic data. The top section you can scroll through to see your impressions for the week, your reach for the week, and your profile views. In the past, I have seen clicks to website as well (when folks click on your link in your “About” section).

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In the next section, you can see your top posts for the week. If you select “See More”, you will see a list of posts. By clicking on any of the blue words in the description, you can pull up the filters and change them to what you wish to look at.

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You can select the back arrow in the top left to return to the main ‘Insights’ page. In the third section, you can see more detailed demographics of your audience: gender, age, locations, and times of day, as well as days of the week, that your followers are most active. Select the “See More” to get to that data.

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Be sure to click on the different options in each section to get other types of data for that category.

Not only do you get the benefit of the ‘Insights’ when switching your IG account from a personal to business account, but you also get the option to run ads on posts directly within the app. Personal accounts cannot do this. And with each passing week, the ability to advertise on IG through the Facebook Ads platform deteriorates.

Now onto Iconosquare.

While Iconosquare can provide you with all of the same information, they also have some features that you would have to keep a separate spreadsheet going if only using the IG Insights. I won’t be covering EVERYTHING they offer, but I will point out some nice features.

This first little feature falls under their “Community” section. You can see who is following you that you are not following back. While you probably don’t need to follow all your followers, sometimes you may want to follow some of them back! Within this section, directly from Iconosquare, you are able to instantly start following those you choose. 2016-10-21_16-21-33

Another unique feature they have is that they show you which hashtags you used that have garnered the most engagement. This can also be a nice, fun visual to include in any reporting you may do for clients or bosses.

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Another graph I really like is the “Best time to post.” It point-blank states when you should post for the most engagement. Thursdays at 8pm is when Chill should be posting!

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And one of the best visuals (to me, at least) is the ability to see your followers growing right before your eyes 🙂

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This is just a small sampling of the features that Iconosquare offers. As of the time of this posting, you can get a 14-day FREE trial to take their program for a spin if you’d like. (I have not been paid or compensated in any way for this endorsement. I’m just a regularly paying customer of theirs.)

Only time will tell if making the switch to an Instagram business account is worth it… Right now, that will just need to be a personal decision based on each account. Hopefully this article provided you with some information and clarity to be able to make that decision for yourself!

Dianna Rands

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