If you’re anything like me, you’ve struggled defining what constitutes success from a social campaign. If you’re running a Facebook campaign, what metrics do you look at to gauge your success? Likes, comments and shares are great, but they don’t always translate in to success. What about Twitter? Are you looking at your campaigns with all those re-tweets and favourites and thinking…I’m doing pretty well! Don’t worry if you’ve fallen into one of these traps, we’re here to help! Let’s start by breaking the steps down to take to ensure you’re getting the most out of your social media campaigns.
Clearly define your campaign goals and KPI’s
One of the biggest mistakes that marketers make when running social campaigns is that they fail to define the goals of the campaigns and a way to effectively measuring this. ROI can be measured in many different ways like: lead generation, customer acquisition, click-through-rate, increased fans, or even the tried and true metric – revenue.
Choose your platform
It seems like everyday there is a new Social Media platform popping up with hopes of capturing some of the already saturated market. For this article, we’re going to focus on the 6 social networks listed above, however, it is essential that you find the platform that allows you to build an audience and effectively communicate with them. A simple checklist can help you optimize your chances of success by answering the following about your target audience:
- Who are they Age, location, interests, etc?
- What social media platform(s) do they prefer?
- How much time do they spend on social media?
- What mind-set are they in when they are spending time on those social platforms?
Track your campaigns
So after you’ve set your campaign goals and decided on your platform, its time to watch all that hard work pay off…but wait, you need to have some way to keep an eye on how your campaigns are performing. Measuring influence on social media platforms can be difficult, and it’s been the topic of debate in much of the industry. Depending on the needs of your business, there are both paid and free tools to use for campaign tracking and management. Some of the better free tools out there include Google Analytics, Hootsuite, SocialMention, and native platform insights (Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics). Check out our list of 6 Free Tools to track Social Media Campaigns here.
Optimize your campaigns and efforts
Now that your campaigns are live and running, you can just sit back and wait for all the conversions to come in….right? NO WAY! This is where many marketers drop the ball. Using the data you’ve obtained from tracking your campaigns, now its time to optimize and really hone in. One tip is to run A/B tests on your landing pages and ads. You may find that some methods helped you convert more, while others weren’t so successful. By having multiple versions of your advertisement, you can really see what works and what doesn’t and put your efforts (and spend) into those that will bring the best results.
Analyze, Optimize, Repeat
One of the most difficult tasks that anyone who has worked in marketing is defining what is success, specifically, ROI as a measure of success. Traditionally, ROI has been measured like this:
Return on Investment (%) = (Net Profit / Marketing Costs) x 100
When dealing with traditional marketing methods, this is a clear-cut way of defining success and ROI for your campaigns. If you reading this, my guess is that this doesn’t work for you in social media and you need some answers! Social Media Marketing (SMM) can be tricky, but these tools should help give you an edge and help you steer your campaigns in the right direction.
Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool that can allow you to get a better understand of your customers by providing you with loads of data and statistics to help you analyze your visitor traffic and optimize campaigns. Using Google Analytics Campaign Tracking, you can set up tracking links for campaigns with UTM parameters so you can really understand your customers!
Hootsuite has been around as a staple in the social media management and metric tracking since SMM took off. An easy-to-use interface provides users with a dashboard where they can manage and measure multiple social networks. One feature that many people overlook is the ability to work in teams – a huge bonus for anyone who has multiple people working on their accounts. Hootsuite is a great tool for scheduling posts from multiple social media channels as well as giving you the ability to create individual reports.
Facebook Insights is a powerful tool that provides all the analytic data for your Facebook page. Page Insights gives Page managers a number of aggregate metrics, including the number of people who like their Page, how many people see a post and how many people clicked the post. The insights allow you to understand your audience, what they are reacting to, and adjust your content to meet their needs.
Twitter finally caught up with the rest of the major social media platforms and has released some analytics. With Twitter Analytics, you can track timeline activity, including tweets that were favorited, retweeted, and replied to. Another helpful aspect of this tool is that it tracks the number of mentions, new followers and newly followed. Check out our “Beginners Guide to Twitter Analytics” for a full breakdown.
Bitly is an incredibly powerful tool that is vastly underrated. Most people use bitly to just shorten their urls, but it does so much more! This link shortener allows you track everything you share. This is a great way to see what your audience is interacting with and decide if the content you share is valuable.
Social Mention is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user-generated content from across the universe into a single stream of information. It allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.
Facebook has started to roll out some changes to Facebook Offers that will allow page admins and owners to offer more to their fans.
According to Facebook, Offers bring people to your business with an offer they can claim and share with their friends. Offers require a budget to run and the amount you pay is based on how many people you want to reach. Currently there are three types of offers available to page admins:
In Store Only: People can show to the staff at your business by printing the offer email or showing it on their smartphones
In Store & Online: People can redeem at your business’s physical location or website
Online Only: People can only redeem your offer by visiting your website
Additional features that were recently added include bar code scanning which allows business owners to create and track the results of the offers they share on user News Feeds. This also extends Offers to be run on a retailer’s own e-commerce platform, which provides a seamless integration for both the user and admin.
Facebook has not had nearly as much success as location based app giant Foursquare, which offers users the ability to check in at locations and claim deals and offers, however, with the massive internal audience, Facebook has a captive audience to test out its new features until they get it just right.
Do you think that Facebook is being too aggressive with their advertising tactics since going public with their IPO? They certainly do have a lot to think about with how to monetize on 850 million users and how to prove their worth.
Much needed improvements coming to Facebook Security Systems
In a recent attempt to cut down fraudulent activity, Facebook has announced that they will increase their automated efforts to remove Likes on Pages that have been obtained by methods that violate the Facebook Terms and Conditions. Many page owners base their social media efforts and results by the number of likes they have on their brand page. This can be very deceiving, as there are many companies that have sprung up over the years selling Facebook Likes and scripted bots that will click competitor Facebook Ads Like to increase the bid spend.
In an official statement from the Facebook Blog:
On average, less than 1% of Likes on any given Page will be removed, providing they and their affiliates have been abiding by our terms. These newly improved automated efforts will remove those Likes gained by malware, compromised accounts, deceived users, or purchased bulk Likes.
With this new implementation, hopefully we will see some more accurate statistics and data coming from our Facebook Insights. Let’s all try to keep Facebook free from these types of antics so that everyone can get the best user experience possible.
Facebook pages with 5,000 likes will receive advanced post options
Page admins and owners with 5,000 likes or more will start to be able to take advantage of some advanced features within the next week. Facebook has announced that they will allow targeted posts to be sent to fans based on criteria including: gender, language, relationship status, location, interested in, and education.
Targeted posts will still be visible from the page timeline, however, they will appear only to the selected groups in the news feed. This has great potential to share relevant content with target audiences and will increase the overall page interaction.