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

Creating Images for Blogs and Posts

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Images. They capture us and invoke emotions when we least expect it. A picture is worth a thousand words. Our brains can process an image faster than it can read a string of text. We’ve all heard those descriptions about images, and those are the reasons they are so important in social media. Life is fast paced, and if you can’t get your message across in 1-2 sentences, then you have lost your audience (well, if you’ve gotten this far then I have captured your attention!).

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Now that we are snug into the second month of 2015, we are starting to get the statistics and data from 2014. And one of the biggest results is the importance of the use of visuals in posts (on any platform). If you want to really get into the numbers from 2014, I encourage you to read 17 Stats You Should Know About Visual Content Marketing in 2015, by the great minds at Hubspot.

You can find countless articles written on all the great tools available for designing images for your posts and articles. They tout numbers like “Top 30 tools for …” or “My 15 Must Have Tools…”. Today I just want to share ONE tool with you: Canva.

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Not only is this a FREE tool, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create stunning images. As with other tools, there are paid features. However, if you do end up using their paid features, they only cost $1. And that’s pretty affordable in my book.

The first thing I want to point out is the pre-made templates they offer for creating your images. As everyone knows, every social media platform out there is in constant change. That means that image size requirements for different locations are changing all the time. Canva keeps on top of this for you. When you go to change your Facebook cover photo, they will have the most current dimensions for you.

I’m going to go show you step by step how I created my cover image for this article using Canva. You will see just how easy it is to do this for yourself!

Step One: Select type of image to create

Choose the style/size image you want to create from the header selections (I’m assuming you have already created an account with Canva – remember….it’s free). I have chosen the “Presentation” design.

Choosing Canva style

Step Two: Name and design image

This will open up a new tab/window where you will create your image. The first thing you want to do is name this image/file. Click on “Describe and #tag” and name this image (you can also use hashtags if you want to track this image in any way).

Naming image 3

One the left side panel, you are given several options for creating your image. If you do not have any stock photos, I recommend looking through the “Layouts” tab. There are both free and priced items you can choose from. For this example, I am going to use an image I already uploaded by selecting the “Uploads” tab on the left. If you have an image you want to use on your computer, simply select the green “Upload your own Images” bar to start the process.

Header photo 1

Now you simply drag and drop the image you want to use (this method also applies to any other features you want to ad to the image you are creating).

Now I’m going to go to the “Search” tab. In this area you will find lots of features you can add to your image. We will be looking under the “Text Holder” category.

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Here you will see the Text Holder feature I selected. I simply dragged it into my image and added the text and colors I wanted to use.

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Next I just drug my logo from the uploaded images in my account and placed it in the image.

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Step 4: Save image

Once you are satisfied with your image, select the “Download” button in the top right of your screen. You will be given two options to save your image to your computer (I typically use the “As an Image” option).

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Here is my final image (and it is the version used as my header image).

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It really is that simple to create images for all things online. There are many other tools out there for you to choose from. I didn’t want to overwhelm you, so I stuck to just one. Now go out there and be creative!

Dianna

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4 Simple tasks to improve your Newsfeed on Facebook (and 1 LinkedIn bonus)

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Have you ever wondered how you can take control of some of the information that is bombarding you on your different social media platforms? Do you want to tailor things a bit more to your liking? Don’t get derailed by stuff you don’t care (or need) to see. Here are 4 simple things you can do to improve your Facebook Newsfeed (and one bonus tip for your LinkedIn updates).

Facebook is constantly looking at their platform and trying to determine the best way to develop their product. In 2014, the biggest message for businesses was “You have to Pay to Play”. As consumers, that meant yet another avenue for us to be bombarded with advertisements. None of us should be too quick to discredit this methodology. While, yes, as businesses we need to spend a little $$ to get in front of our audience(s), Facebook is doing a pretty good job of giving us the tools to really drill down and target the right folks. However, Facebook is also giving a little power to those end users to choose whether or not they want to see our messages.

 

1) How to hide certain posts

There are mainly two types of posts: those you signed up to see and those that are paying to be in your newsfeed. Those you signed up to see then fall into two categories: friends and businesses. If you have a friend that you don’t want to “unfriend”, but don’t necessarily care to know what they ate for lunch (you know the type, they tell you EVERYTHING they do), you can simply click on the small arrow in the top right corner of the post and decide if you want to see fewer posts like that one, or unfollow the person. Unfollowing allows you to stay friends, you just don’t see their posts anymore.

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Or you can “unfollow” your friend from their personal profile page.

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If it is a business that you like, but don’t want to get 10 posts a day from them in your newsfeed, then you can do the same with their posts. Or, if you want to support a friend’s business by “liking” the page, but don’t necessarily want to see the posts, you can select to “unfollow” that business.

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Another option would be to go to that business profile page and click on the “following” button to quit following that page, but you still “like” that page.

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2) Saving Posts

If you are going through your newsfeed and see an article that you want to either read more about later, or simply want to save for future reference, you can do that! Simply click on that small arrow in the top right of the post for a drop down list. Then select “Save….”. Now you have it for later!

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Now say it’s “later”. How in the heck do you find it again? Simple! Scroll back up to the top of your Home page. On the left hand side under your name is a list of your “Favorites”. You will see your “Saved” link there!

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3) Learning “why” you see certain sponsored posts

When you come across a sponsored post on Facebook and are wondering why that post ever crossed your Newsfeed, well, now you can get a little information on that. While Facebook doesn’t disclose all the ways that you fall under that posts’ target market (because that would give away too much information on their dynamic algorithm), they do provide some info. Once again, go to that useful little arrow in the top right corner of the post and select “Why am I seeing this?”

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This is the result I got for this particular ad:

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You can also Manage Your Ad Preferences from this screen too. I suggest you do this if you want to get even more control over what you see in your Newsfeed.

 

4) Take a short survey

This is another tool Facebook has created to give the end user more control over what they see in their Newsfeed. Here is an ad from Living Social. Once again I’ve gone to that little arrow in the top right corner.

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This time I selected that I didn’t want to see that ad. That prompted a series of windows to come up asking me more questions.

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As a former brick and mortar business owner, I was extremely unhappy with my experience with Living Social, hence my “Something else” response.

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By taking the time to click through a few windows on my computer, I was able to garner a little more control over what I see in my Newsfeed.

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Bonus – LinkedIn

As promised, here is one little tool you can use to better improve the content you see in the updates on LinkedIn. Many folks view this social media platform as a more professional site. This in turn makes it a go to place where professionals may not want to be bombarded by a bunch of advertising. Therefore, if there is a certain person or business that you wish to see a bit less of on your Updates page, this is how you do that. Up in the top right of the update hover your mouse until you see “Hide” (this one happens to be a paid post). Simply click “Hide”.

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And that’s it! 4 really simple quick things you can do to take control over your Facebook Newsfeed (and one quick LinkedIn bonus). I would love to know in the comments below if you found this valuable. I’m also continually looking for suggestions on future posts as well, so feel free to leave those recommendations too.

Dianna

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