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 Newsletters

e-newsletters

e-newsletters

The Importance of Newsletters

How do you stay connected to your fans? How do they stay informed and “in the loop”? Is there a particular method you use to reach out to them? If you need to send them a message, how do you do it? …Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, newsletters, snail mail?

If you’re relying strictly on social media to communicate with and build connections with your fans, that’s probably not enough…

You need a direct mode of communication to your fans. You need a way to send them messages that they will receive right in their inbox.

E-Newsletters.

E-newsletters are an essential piece of your marketing plan. It’s not safe to just assume you are connecting with your fans on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or through your blogs. There are too many reasons your posts on these pages might be overlooked or never even shown to your audience. For example, Facebook and Instagram use algorithms to decide which posts will appear in each user’s newsfeed; posts that are getting more “likes” and/or “reactions” will automatically receive a higher post ranking in the newsfeed, thus gaining a higher reach and exposure. Far too often, posts on social media get overlooked.

Newsletters, though, are a way to directly send a message to your audience.

Newsletters are great because people tend to feel an emotional connection to their daily/weekly/monthly subscriptions. If it’s a good newsletter, fans might even look forward to and anticipate getting it each term.

Fans have to first agree to receive your newsletter, either simply by sharing their email address with you, or by making the conscious effort to personally sign up for your e-newsletter through your website. So in that, you already know your mailing list contains an audience that is interested in you and your business. As long as you continually add value to the lives of your readers, they will continue to open and read your newsletters.

newsletters

How do you add value?

Think in terms of, “If I signed up for this newsletter, what would I want to see?” What information would I find interesting? What photos would I enjoy? Are there links I would like to be included, in case I want to read more about a topic? Is there a certain length and depth of detail that I would expect in a newsletter from this company?

Tips for creating a captivating e-newsletter:

  • Be creative.

    The Subject line of your email is the first thing the reader will see. Be creative! If your reader isn’t already sold on your e-newsletter, the Subject line could be the one factor that determines whether or not the reader chooses to even open your newsletter. (Tip: Emoji’s are sometimes a good way to make your Subject line stand out among the other emails in a reader’s inbox.)

  • Use a professional email service.

    MailChimp and Constant Contact are two examples of email marketing tools. They are especially helpful for newsletters because they allow you to create and save a general template for your newsletter; then, with each publication, you simply need to update the details within the letter. Speaking of “professional”… Don’t forget to proof-read for spelling or grammatical errors!

  • Make it informative and relevant to your readers.

    Most importantly, your newsletter HAS to interest them. You could include items such as: links to your own (or 3rd party) blog posts, how-to’s, tutorials, current industry news, events, local happenings, promotional offers or coupons, helpful/educational information, interesting facts, fan photos, contest winners, any deadlines or other important dates, etc.

  • Be reliable.

    Provide accurate, up-to-date information that your readers know they can trust.

  • Be consistent.

    Pick a schedule, whether it be monthly, weekly, or daily, and stick to it! (You might want to include in the reader’s e-newsletter opt-in form the frequency of your newsletter. Some people want to know exactly what to expect when subscribing to new email lists.)

  • Make it look good.

    The newsletter should be professional, visually appealing, and enjoyable to look through. Use content blocks, pictures, blurbs, and an attractive color scheme.

  • Keep it short and sweet.

    Your readers’ time is precious, and in today’s modern world, their attention span is spread thin! Not only should the content of your newsletter be interesting and informative, but it needs to be easily scannable and easy to digest. Use content blocks, snapshots, and bullet points to help organize the letter and make it easier to scan. Keep the information short and sweet; then, you can use links to direct readers to things like: articles on your website, your “shopping” page on your website, your Facebook page, etc.

  • Don’t sell.

    The reader was already kind enough to let you into their home by agreeing to receive your newsletter; now don’t be a salesman! Readers want to be informed of special promotions or sales, but they don’t want to be pushed. Either just briefly mention upcoming sales in your e-newsletter (e.g., “Don’t forget about our 25% off Spring Savings Sale this weekend!”), or, use a separate, promo-specific email to relay the message. E-newsletters are not the place for selling; they are a means to convey information to, and build a connection with, your audience.

  • E-mail is not one-way communication.

    Let your fans know you are listening. If they reach out to you, respond! When creating your newsletter, in the “From” label, make it clear who the email is from and who the reader can respond to (e.g., “info@diannarands.com”). Use a company, not personal, email address.

It’s time to start building relationships.

Now, do you see the value an e-newsletter can bring to your audience?

The ultimate purpose of newsletters is to relay information; inform and educate your readers. In the process of supplying interesting, reliable, consistent newsletters, your audience will begin to know you, trust you, and love you! It’s time to start building relationships with your fans.

Don’t forget to include clear, specific call-to-action buttons in your e-newsletters.  Give readers the option to click and instantly be directed to wherever you choose – your website, your blog, etc. It’s time to start building those relationships, and let your fans know you are there for them. Give them the information they need and want, and give them the information they didn’t know they needed and wanted!

If you already write newsletters for your business, way to go! We hope this article has motivated you to re-evaluate your process and think a little deeper about how exactly you are creating your newsletters. With everything we do, there’s always room for improvement. Practice makes perfect! 😉

newsletters

Mandy

Time Management Tips & Tools

Time Management Tips and Tools

There is never a better time than the beginning of the year to discuss how to optimize your time. Time management can help you get your work days under control. Whether or not you are believer in New Year resolutions, the start of a year has the feelings of a fresh, clean slate. It’s the time to to look for things that aren’t exactly working, and start new ways of doing those things. One of the things you can look at in regards to productivity is, how you are handling the hours in each day. Are you using the hours you devote to your business actually working on and growing your business? Time is precious. Are you using it effectively? This article has some great tips and tools in it to help you become far more efficient in time management.

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”

– William Penn

Time Management Apps & Tools

If you know that you lose time but are not sure where it is going, then you may want to look at an application like Rescue Time. This time management app sends weekly reports indicating where you’ve been spending your time. They do have a free level that can get you started on time tracking. Once you get a baseline of where you are spending your online time, you can start making changes or finding solutions that will allow you to better make use of, and optimize, your time.

These days, there are hundreds of tools and apps out there that are so easy to download and use… why not give them a try!? The data may surprise you!

Remember the milk

Aside from Rescue Time, another free time management tool is Remember The Milk. This app is especially useful for those who juggle a bunch of daily tasks and find themselves bouncing back and forth between various devices throughout the day (It is compatible with desktop, mobile, gmail, outlook, etc.). Remember The Milk stays in sync between all your devices, so you can get those “to-do’s” out of your head, and you can focus on the task at hand! The app will send friendly reminders throughout the day if you choose, wherever you are, so you never miss an important task again. You can even share lists or assign tasks to others, such as your spouse 😉

Focus Booster

If you have a hard time paying attention to the task at hand, try the Focus Booster App, which also offers a free starter plan (no credit card info required)! This app will help you overcome distractions, maintain your focus, and stay on track. You can sign in to use the app online, or you can download the desktop timer for easy access. It is also great as a time tracker, automatically recording your time spent on individual tasks/jobs and displaying them in nice graphs and charts.

Tips for a more productive day

Don’t touch anything twice.

Focus on the task at hand, and finish the task at hand, before moving on to something else. It’s not always easy to just pick things up, put them down, and come back to them later. You lose your train of thought, your momentum, your interest… It’s just a time-waster. As a task catches your attention, whether it’s an email, phone call, or small job, you should act on it, delegate it, or delete it.

Don’t multi-task.

Studies at Stanford have confirmed that multi-tasking is much less productive than just doing one thing at a time. They found that people who are regularly interrupted by various streams of electronic information have a harder time focusing, paying attention, recalling information, and switching from one job to another than do those who complete one task at a time.

Eat the “frogs” first.

Don’t procrastinate. “Frogs” are the most dreaded, unappealing tasks that need to get done. If you “eat the frog” right away in the morning, the rest of your day is open to do the more exciting and enjoyable tasks!

Don’t let meetings be a time-waster.

A 20-minute meeting can easily drag on to an hour-long meeting if you’re not paying attention. The best way to avoid this is to make a schedule for each meeting, and stick to it! Don’t get distracted on side-tangents, and don’t discuss things not pertinent at this moment. Having a schedule to follow is super helpful in making sure you cover the topics needed, and only the topics needed. Having a schedule also encourages meeting members to be more focused and efficient.

Technology is there; use it!

Don’t let technology be a distraction; use it to your advantage! There are lots of tools and settings you can use that will help you become more efficient in your everyday life. You can set up filters in your email accounts that will prioritize and sort messages as they come in, and set alarms and reminders on your phone for important deadlines. You don’t need to be constantly checking your phone; let your phone come to you! Put technology to work for you.

Get ready for tomorrow, today.

…..especially if you’re not a morning person! This is one of the BEST time management tips! By doing this, you not only solidify the work you’ve accomplished today, but it will ensure that your tomorrow will be off to a smooth start.

 

You don’t necessarily need to work harder or longer, just work smarter. Doesn’t it feel amazing leaving the office after an ultra-productive work day? Let that be every day!

“Time is really the only capital that any human being has,

and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.”

– Thomas Edison

Mandy

Customizing your LinkedIn public profile URL

 

DRLLC Blog - LinkedIn2

Social channels change all the time. One day you perform a task one way, the next you have to go about it a different way.

Recently, as I was doing some follow up emails to the guests that attended my speaking engagement on LinkedIn, I realized that there was a feature I wanted them to take advantage of, but the articles I was finding on how to do that were outdated. So the next best thing to do was to create an instruction article myself!

One feature of LinkedIn everyone should take advantage of, is creating your unique LinkedIn URL. Why they don’t automatically create it for you is beyond me, but either way, we should all customize this item.

On your profile page, select the little gear icon next to your LI URL:

 

LIURL1

 

When you click on that gear, it will open a new tab/window with your public LinkedIn profile screen. On the right side, you can see the box that allows you to change your public profile LinkedIn URL:

 

LIURL2

 

While you are here, you might as well make sure all the sections of your profile are visible to the public that you want to share. Personally, I have them all selected as you want visitors to your profile to be able to see as much information about you as possible. With LinkedIn being a business social channel, you shouldn’t have the type of information that you share on the more personal channels like Facebook or Instagram. Therefore, all the information you put on LinkedIn should be safe to share with anyone.

 

LIURL3

 

Customizing your LinkedIn URL is really quick and simple to do.

Dianna
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It all starts…….Now!

It’s a leap of faith.  But an exciting one that I am thrilled to be making.

Since this is the beginning of this chapter, I feel you deserve some earlier chapters in this book.

Veterinarian. That’s what I wanted to be from the young age of 6, until I graduated high school. Initially in college, my major was biological sciences. And it was interesting. But it was not what I was feeling in my heart. With a move half way across the country (from Georgia to Colorado) and a few “working” years under my belt, I started to notice in myself another yearning….

Accounting. Numbers….I get them. We aren’t talking engineering levels here, but numbers none the less. So my college major changed. I ended up with a Business Degree from CU-Boulder (with an Accounting major). Work was great! It was stimulating! And then…..

Family. I got married and had two beautiful children (two boys if you must know). And well, they became my heart’s song. But as anyone who lives knows, time does not stand still. Those two beautiful babies turned into toddlers, then young boys who were off to school. So it was time to get “back to work”. Having been a stay at home mom for almost 6 years, I still wanted to be there for my sons whenever they needed me. At the time, that answer was to start my own business. And that business was……

A salon & spa. It was so invigorating to be stimulating my brain again with real adult situations! Yet at the same time, it was extremely stressful running the business….and employees. There were some aspects I didn’t like very much about being a business owner. Then there were some I really liked – social media marketing. After a few years, we decided to close the salon & spa. But my entrepreneurial spirit was still soaring high. I didn’t want to go back to accounting. I wanted something new. Something that would keep me on my toes. I wanted to be a …….

Social Media Marketing Consultant. Through my work with the Boulder Chamber as a salon & spa owner, I learned there is a disconnect in my local community between what the small business owners’ marketing needs are and what they can actually afford with their marketing budgets. I get it. I was there. I would interview everyone from solopreneurs to corporations to see what social media marketing help they could give me with my budget. I could never afford them.

My goal is to fill this gap. To offer high quality services at prices that small business owners can afford. Whether that means they become a client, or I can help them in some small way with my published articles, helping them is my main objective. Social media platforms have leveled the playing field between the big boys and the little guys. I just want to make it a fair game.

This is a start, a new beginning. So bear with me as I find my rhythm and flow of these articles. And feel free to chime in whenever the urge arises. I want to listen to you – my audience, as much as I want to share what I learn.

Dianna Rands

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