Working on Your Social Media Metrics

The importance of refreshing and repositioning your approach to the social media metrics that you use to analyze your social media presence cannot be too exaggerated. As the use of social media for business progresses to higher levels of sophistication and better experience for customers, it becomes increasingly important to keep working on your social media metrics, which measure your ROI from your social media presence.

Relying too much on the age-old metrics such as likes and number of fans and followers (which are of course still quite relevant) will not present a true picture of the efficacy of your social presence. The metrics that matter will depend on several factors such as the size of your business, vertical, products, social media goals and so on.

Social Media
Social Media

Here are some general pointers on what to look for to measure the value your social media presence:

  • Having a vast following may not be sufficient in itself. That is because, for example, pages with thousands of fans on Facebook aren’t really addressing their best customers. Measuring quality has to be taken up more seriously. Find your own criteria to measure quality and give it a go. Cultivate those fans that are particularly interested and engaged. Invest in targeting them in organic ways to maintain an authentic audience.
  • To ensure a quality audience, it is utterly important to find out who your fans are. One way to know your fans is to check out their demographics. The countries, languages, age groups, and so on are criteria that tell you important things about your fans, such as location, cultural preferences, and trends. Once you have such information, you need to align your marketing message and even offerings to the preferences of the fan base to the extent possible.
  • Simply keeping a tab on the popularity of your pages or messages is not enough. It is more relevant to find out why they became popular. What question, link to a video, white paper, or other similar content lead to the popularity of that page is the question to consider. Being attuned to visitor and customer preferences is crucial to the success of your social presence.
  • Keep an eye on content such as white papers, blog posts, podcasts, and infographics. Your visitors will come to your pages mainly to acquire information about your products. Such content gives them that information. You need information regarding what particular and kind of content gets the maximum click-throughs and what pages are viewed the most. Then on, your content production effort becomes a well-directed initiative.

You will also need to keep asking from time to time what social platform is more successful at bringing audience responses such as purchases, signups, and tweets or retweets. The more meticulous your analysis of your overall social presence, the more attuned will your social efforts become over time.

Scoring with Social Media

Take any social media platform, at random, and make it a point never to promote there. If it were only because social media platforms are not meant for your promotional effort, it would still make a very strong reason.

Subscribers to social media platforms go there for genuine social interaction, sharing, connecting, and such other activities. Never to look up an advertisement.

Already, billboards, TV ads, and print ads are enough of a nuisance. They crop up in the unlikeliest places and make the particular environment. The Internet itself is a place where a vast majority of users goes for information and entertainment as well as many things in between. What nobody expects or wants to see there is advertorials and promotional campaigns.

Social Media
Social Media

It is not as if there will be a huge uproar if one fine day Mark suddenly decides to flood Facebook with giant ads (no puns, literal or figurative, intended at all). But certainly does not want his subscribers to leave the Facebook planet after the second flood in any way comparable to the first one.

For that reason as well, social media platforms will never be places to place ads.

In addition, what marketer will want to spend on ads at a place where no one’s interested in them? Why spend top dollar on ads that will anyway be ignored?

So will you be creating that page on FB for your business? Sure, go ahead. Just don’t get in the way of social interaction. An announcement to, say, herald the advent of your Facebook page will not be obtrusive. Thereafter, take care.

So are there instances where your audience will want to view ads some time on social networks? Possibly, yes. Here are a few instances:

  • Create a social format for your ads. Use your imagination. Be casually informal.
  • Provide the benefit of your ads only to those who are looking for your products. Research well.
  • Offer useful content in the ads. Let the customer come to you now; enough of going to him/her.
  • Put away everything inane – as often seen in TV ads. Creativity and usable info are key elements.
  • It’s difficult to budget for, but see if you can creatively promote yet never repeat an ad too much.
  • Use content that makes your audience come flocking. Offers, discounts, schemes … you get it.
  • Advertise if you must, don’t just pat your own back. People who can be customers hate that.

I have personally witnessed ads on billboards, TV, and even social networks that made me smile … and even go back again to check out. It’s been rare, but it does happen. The best designers, developers, and content writers can make that happen for you. So look for all those.

I can only write straight from the heart (and personal experience), and therefore I say no to advertisements on social networks. Let these social platforms challenge your content creators to come up with appropriate and suitable content.

Play the natural game and watch customers flock to your Facebook store, re-tweet your tweets, and generally feel inclined to help you grow your business, which is what you want your ads to do!

Show them the maker’s name!*

Happy advertising!

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* This is a popular expression used by cricket commentators, usually when a great shot is played by a batsman. The reference is to the manufacturer’s sticker – another form of promotion – on the bat used in the sport. The fielders and the bowler can clearly see the sticker and the manufacturer’s brand name on it only when the batsman raises the bat to play a great, cricketing shot. Cricket, by the way, is arguably the largest social media platform in those countries, in a broad sense.

Pinterest Clones: Where Angels Rush In

Pinterest’s status as the latest-big-thing among social media platforms is not exactly under siege. It has had a major impact by simply taking up image sharing for its USP. It’s also growing well, having overtaken even Twitter insofar as the generation of referral traffic is concerned.

Businesses the world over are already contemplating a presence on Pinterest, which speaks to the immense acceptance Pinterest enjoys. That when it is still an invitation-only platform.

You click on an image, see it enlarged, and click on the link that accompanies it to see the website where it belongs. This model is now being imitated by host of much smaller sites that have latched on to more specialization within the broad idea behind Pinterest.

Pinterest
Pinterest

Here are a few of those:

Facebook Friendsheet
Can you believe that? Even big bro’ Facebook has an app to display your Facebook photos in the Pinterest format. The scrapbook-style layout has become so popular online, Facebook has had to offer an app that emulates that style. This format is all set to become the standard for social media image sharing.

Gentlemint
This is a site for men with an interest in refined design and recipes that look and taste great. Well, manly is the word for it. But there are also great shoes, cars, tools, accessories, guitars, gadgets, … you get the drift. An off-white background stands it in good stead too. At the time of this writing, Gentlemint had 417 pages on it. This looks like serious competition to the deadlier-half-dominated Pinterest.

Manteresting
While Pinterest has been besieged by the better half of humankind, Manteresting is a response that doesn’t differ much in looks. It is not full of the usual stuff that ‘manly’ sites are made of. You have motivating quotes, décor, and models of the sort that you can also see on Pinterest. The emphasis is on team sports here. The header banner and the lettering there somewhat spoil the pride of exclusivity.

Pingram
Pingram puts Pinterest and Instagram photos together. Doesn’t carry as much appeal as some of the other clones. Why Instagram pics are supposed to be so ‘hawt’ is beyond me. The look is similar to Pinterest, as is the functionality. Only Instagram photos here, though.

Chill
Pinterest doesn’t quite make it as the platform for sharing videos. Where it concerns sharing them, even YouTube doesn’t quite cut a pretty picture. Chill is meant for sharing them, however. The layout does resemble Pinterest a bit, but then it’s a whole different ball game.

Copyright issues notwithstanding, these sites have gone ahead and improvised on something that is itself pathbreaking.

In addition to these, there are also Usabila, Shopalog, Urbantag, Pinspire … and so on. Image sharing and visual bookmarking have taken off in a big, big way in social media, unless I am very much mistaken.

Check these out and let me know which ones impressed you.

How to Combine Social Media and Email Marketing for Best Results

As marketing tools go, both social media platforms and email marketing messages have their own merits. Many comparisons are being drawn online between social media and traditional forms of marketing and promotion at the time of this writing. Obviously, the best bet would be a combination to make the most of both.

Marketing tools have their own gestation, rapid growth, and fading phases. In between those phases, the best marketers adapt their marketing strategy to benefit from both.

For the present purpose, I will mention Facebook and email marketing for illustration. However, you can explore and experiment with other online me

Social Media and eMail Marketing
Social Media and Email Marketing

dia to find out what combination suits your business the best.

Create an email tab on your business’ Facebook page. Ask users to enter and submit their email address there. Users can submit their email address and qualify for a discount, an ebook, or similar incentive. Highlight that incentive in a suitably inviting cover image on your page.

When users submit their email address, you are not only growing a community that is genuinely interested in your products but also increasing your social media presence. On the other hand, you can also simply include social media icon links in the emails you send out. You can even promote your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platform in your email messages. These are relatively inexpensive ways to grow a following.

Email marketing is very much effective even in the times of social media platforms. At any rate, what is important is not so much the platform itself than the proposition contained in the actual message. While Facebook decides who gets to read your messages, email marketing can be much more targeted, although it does require much more effort to manage and grow.

How will you create quality email messages? Here are a few tips:

  1. Subject Line – Don’t ignore this field. If you do, there’s a risk that your email message will be promptly deleted. Make your subject line catchy and attractive enough to prompt the recipient to open your email, if only out of curiosity.
  2. Call to Action – Tell the readers what exactly you want them to do in the simplest language. Use appropriate calls to action that are both clear and easy to find.
  3. Mobile Device Compatibility – People do use their handsets to view email messages. Make your message clear, concise, and compatible with as many devices as possible. Let them also view your videos on the mobile device.
  4. Images – Use images in your email message that are fast loading. If the image you use does not load correctly, your prospective reader might decide to move on. In addition to the image, also append suitable written content to convey the message whether the image loads or not.
  5. Testing Performance – A/B tests will help you see those headlines or calls to action that are the most effective conveyors of your message. With that approach, you can optimize as required going forward.

So have you made use of both traditional and social media platforms? Can you share your experiences here? Do tell us about your online marketing effort.

Cheers!