Social Media is About Reach and Engagement, see past the Dollar-Value Returns — Here’s What Marketers Should Measure Instead

A fantastic article published by John Heggestuen in Business Insider reinforces the idea that Social Media Marketing isn’t always about the dollar value returns, but should be focused toward new metrics that evaluate social media strategies in terms of audience-building, brand awareness, and customer relations. It’s important to have clearly defined business objectives and realistic expectations before launching a social media strategy, and the points below really emphasize the larger picture of what marketers should be measuring.

The recent Business Insider report, In-Depth Research On What Matters In Digital reviews how social media strategies are involving:

  • The decline of ROI metrics: Between 2010 and 2013, the percentage of marketers using a revenue-per-customer metric on social media dropped from 17% to 9%, according to the February 2013 CMO survey. The percentage tracking conversion rates also dropped, from 25% to 21%.
  • Even as the vogue for ROI indicators fades, social media budgets are ballooning. On average, top marketers expect to devote 9% of their budgets to social media spend in 2014, and 16% by 2018, according to the same survey.
  • Exceptions: Of course there are exceptions to the move away from ROI. Some social commerce applications and direct response campaigns will achieve measurable results on Facebook, or other social networks. And the end of the ROI-fever definitely doesn’t mean that all metrics can be thrown out the window.
  • The metrics to watch are audience reach, engagement, and sentiment. On Facebook, it’s always important to remember that due to algorithmic filtering, brand or business posts will only be seen by an average 16% of their fans.
  • Facebook shares are particularly valuable, because normal users’ posts are seen in a relatively high percentage of friends’ news feeds (compared to posts by brand pages); between 29 and 35% according to one study.
  • Improving the most common metrics: Insights, Facebook’s built-in analytics tool, offers great basic data for measuring reach and engagement. We show you how to transform those numbers into richer and more valuable metrics.
  • Post reach is the most fundamental indicator of reach on Facebook, but it’s important to track it relative to number of page fans and enrich it with complementary indicators. We show you how, and include screenshots.

The report also emphasizes the importance of reach and engagement as well as other benefits of social media below.  It’s a great report to reinforce that in order to embrace social media you must see past the immediate revenue and dollar value returns, and see the larger picture!

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Please leave a comment below, or tweet me @Marissapick with feedback, enjoy!

My guest appearance on FIR #B2B Show #6 with @pgillin & @allanschoenberg

This week I had the honor of joining Paul Gillin and Allan Schoenberg for their FIR B2B Show #6 titled Marketers Struggle With Reinvention.

Paul and Allan discussed the latest in B2B and Social Media News covering:

1) Recent research from Demand Metric reinforcing the importance of lead generation as just 9% of B2B marketers say they are highly effective at generating leads..

2) A study from IBM which discusses that although CMOs believe that advanced analytics play a significant role in helping them reach their goals, most feel their organizations are not in a position to leverage data to its full extent to gain a deeper understanding of the customer.

3) A new research study of 350 business buyers by the CMO Council and Netline finds that third-party sources heavily influence B2B buying decisions. That’s not surprising, but what’s depressing is that only 9% said vendors are trusted sources of content. “Marketing executives unanimously agreed that a solid content strategy is imperative for building awareness it requires them to position themselves as trusted experts in their field,” the report concludes.

During this podcast we discussed the numerous channels we use at my company Euromoney Institutional Investor to leverage social media across our publishing and events businesses, as well as the power we’ve found through paid advertising on Facebook, and the importance of word of mouth marketing. Click the link below to listen to FIR B2B Show #6 “Marketers Struggle With Reinvention.”

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Leave me a comment below or tweet me @MarissaPick to share your feedback with this FIR Podcast.

Five Simple Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing Success

Inspired by a slideshare posted by Natascha Thomson, The 10 Rules of B2B Social Media MarketingI wanted to share my top five rules for B2B Social Media Marketing Success.  Let me know if you agree, or what rules you follow by tweeting me @MarissaPick.

#1: BREAK THE RULES AND HAVE FUN!

  • Social media provides a way for marketers to test the waters and try something new.  Social media is an exciting and new space to experiment, and see major returns.  Break the rules, have a little fun, and as a brand let your corporate hair down.  Social media gives a behind the scenes look into a person or brand, and can help to facilitate deeper engagement with your audience.

#2: KNOWING WHAT TO DO IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT NOT TO DO

  • Every social media campaign needs a strategy, and it’s crucial to understand your goals. Knowing what you want to accomplish and how you will measure success is crucial before you launch any campaign.  All social media platforms are not the same, so leveraging the proper channels, and having a way to measure your campaign is so very important, and sadly often over looked. Think strategically and decide what you’re going to do before you launch, and start small, you can always expand once you have results.

#3: SOCIAL MEDIA ACTUALLY WORKS!

  • Natascha shared a great statistic from Forrester Research within her SlideShare deck, “85% of business decision-­‐makers said at least one social media channel is important when making technology purchase decisions.”  Social Media has the power to influence the decision makers.  When leveraged properly social media channels are a great place to share content to help influence and drive decision making at the very early stages.  Make sure you have solid content which targets and engages with  your audience.

#4: ENGAGEMENT = ESSENTIAL

  • Social Media is a platform to drive conversation and any post should always focus around engagement.  It doesn’t matter if you have 20,000 or 200 followers, what matters is that you have a captive and engaged audience.  I find visual content works well for my account to drive the RTs, Likes, and Shares.
  • Quick Tip: Find a quote or stat and download the Quoter App. It’s a great tool to brighten up your content, and quickly share on social media.  I shared the quote below from MarketingProfs Ann Handley during the recent NYC Social Media Week.  Since posting this to my account it has generated 45 ReTweets and 38 Favorites making this one of my most popular posts to date
  • Bg7px1pIcAA033h

#5: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

  • Why should your audience follow you, and what’s in it for them? You need to answer this question, and them means the people within your social media community.  It’s crucial to wear their hats and build content which excites, engages, and motivates your audience. Know your audience’s needs, and be the source they go to get information and content. This takes me back to the top rule, always have fun and mix it up!

#SocialMedia, It’s not easy, but it is simple.

In under a decade, Social Media has become a mainstream channel for consumers. My colleague Anna Lee and I have complied some stats to sway you, and we’ve also shared the below article with Online Marketing Institute as well.  We would love to hear your feedback and experiences, please leave a comment below or tweet us @marissapick or @annaleenyc.

socialmediaeasy1

72% of adult internet users in the U.S. are now active on at least one social network, up from 67% in 2012 and just 8% in 2005. (Source: MediaPost)  [Tweet This]

As marketers, we must embrace the change and explore this new & exciting channel for communication with our customers. Simply put, if you’re not embracing social media, you’re missing out.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”- George Bernard Shaw [Tweet This]

For some, this change can be overwhelming, time consuming, fast paced and scary. Whilst it’s true that you must invest in this change, with the same time and care you invest in traditional marketing channels, the bottom line we often overlook is simplicity.

Social media is simply a new channel for communication with your audience that ultimately can compliment your existing marketing mix. It’s a place to listen, to learn, to inform, to help and to engage.

The exact same principles you apply to more traditional channels apply to Social Media too.

Send the right message, to the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

Marketing 101, right?

The Right Message
Earn the attention of your audience. Provide valuable content. Be Helpful. Solve Problems. Engage.

54% of B2B marketers plan to increase spending on content marketing in 2014. (Source: MyCustomer.com)  [Tweet This]

The Right People
Social Media is not a mass marketing channel. In fact, I can’t think of one that is. Use hashtags, targeted ads and social media tools to laser in on your audience. Think your audience isn’t on social media? Think again.

In fact, the 55-64 age group is the fastest growing demographic on Twitter — at 79% since 2012. (Source: Jeff Bullas) [Tweet This]

The Right Place
You don’t have to be on all Social Media channels, but you do have to be where your audience is.

Approximately 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision. (Source: Nielsen) [Tweet This]

The Right Time
Is your brand prepared to be spontaneous? Be timely. Respond quickly. Leverage trends and current affairs.

More than 70% of users expect to hear back from the brand they’re interacting with on Twitter, and 53% want a response within the hour.  (Source: Search Engine Watch[Tweet This]

Make sure your brand is ready to send the right message, to the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Our audience is embracing social media. Are you?

Stop Fighting Social Media Marketing and Try to Visualize the Impacts with a Nifty Infographic

I’m a huge believer in social media (shocking I know!) but as the industry continues to expand and the social media “bubble” continues to bloom people want proof to backup the statement that it indeed social media does work.  How you measure the sucess and ROI of social media may vary, but needless to say often ROI can be seen in things such as website referral traffic, lead generation, sales, and so much more.

A website I visit daily, Social Media Examiner released its fifth annual 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report back in May of 2013 which aimed to understand how marketers are using social media.   Over 3,000 marketers provided feedback, and some of the major findings are beyond powerful.  My top two findings from the report are below:

1) 86% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business, up from 83% in 2012.

2) Increased exposure is the top benefit of social media marketing: A significant 89% of marketers stated that increased exposure was the number one benefit of social media marketing.

Wishpond, a maker of online marketing tools, created an infographic which nicely illustrates the study’s results.  As social media marketing continues to grow, this 43-page report makes the benefits of social media and future planning easily digestible. The Infographic below really speaks for itself with the top benefits achieved in social media in 2013.

I found this report very valuable and insightful, check out the infographic and report and let me know what you think in the comments section below…

Happy Reading!

-MP

The Top Benefits of Social Media Marketing [Infographic] image top benefits social media marketing infographic