Most social marketers that I know have been hard at work trying to build a robust presence on various different social channels. They are building connections on linkedin, gaining followers on Twitter, and some are even being liked on facebook…I know, right! But when they go to their executive team to tell them about all the success they have been having they get a resounding, “So what?” Any marketer that cannot show the economic impact of their activities will fail to earn the attention of their executives. Further, they will fail to get those same executives to focus on the right social strategy because they are not showing any impact of their efforts. Proving the value of Social Media Marketing is not as hard as it seems. I have 4 simple metrics that will help your executives understand if you are participating in social media optimally, and prove the short and long term value of your activities.
1. Conversation Rate. The Conversation rate is the total # of audience comments per social contribution. The primary function of social media is to have conversations with people. If you analyze your conversation rate you will understand what is interesting to your audience as a result of how many user comments you get. This is very important to understand because if no one is replying to your posts then why are you posting? There is no purpose if no one engages with you. Tracking the conversation rate forces you to go back and understand which posts are engaging your audience and which ones are not. Once you know that, you will know what type of posts will work going forward. Taking this further, you can show your executive how your efforts are driving deeper conversations over time.
2. Amplification Rate. The amplification rate is the # of forwards per social contribution. This is really cool! If I participate in a social platform and I just talk, or talk to a few people that is not really very cool. But if my direct audience shares my messages with their networks then they will magnify my messages and my brand. When I participate in social media, I am participating as a brand, just like Coke or Pepsi or Marketo! The core purpose of the amplification rate is to understand if the people who are following you are amplifying your message beyond your immediate reach. This is brilliant marketing. Now you can go to your executive team and not only show how your followers have grown over time (boooooring!) but instead how your messages are being amplified by orders of magnitude! Now that will get their attention!
3. Applause Rate. Applause rate is defined as the # of "positive clicks" per social Contribution. One of the key things about Social Media is that it is really hard to understand the quality or relevance of our contributions to our audience. Normally, brands go on to social media and start shouting at people, here are some promos, here is our content, and here is our website. Well this is not always very useful to the audience in general. So then how do you measure the quality of your contributions? That is where applause becomes a great metric. What applause measures is that for any given contribution, how many people have you delighted enough to like or favorite your post? If I see that a post has 0 or very low applause rate I can understand that it is not relevant, high quality, or of value to my audience. Remember we are trying to initiate conversation on social, so this becomes very important. By tracking your applause rate you can show your executives that you are driving brand affinity over time.
4. Economic Value. Economic value of a social campaign is calculated by adding the revenue generated by the campaign + any cost savings. Every single brand needs to measure this and the people who create economic value will receiving never ending attention from their leaders. Revenue might be the result of someone coming to your website because of your tweet and converting. It could also be the result of a longer term relationship, such as signing up for a newsletter and converting at a much later date after many other interactions. Cost savings could be derived from having such a robust social channel that you can reduce costs advertising on other channels. To calculate economic value you might use a tool like Marketo, Omniture, Web Trends, or Google Analytics. To perform the calculations you need to measure actual revenue from macro conversions. This might be people buying on your website, or through a sales rep. Either way, you analytics tool will have this data. Secondly, you have to calculate the economic value of your micro conversions. Micro conversions are things such as app downloads, newsletter subscriptions and video views. Each of these micro conversions has an inferred value which you will input into your analytics package. Your analytics package will track all micro conversions and report on the total value of each micro conversion type. Cost savings will be the delta of what you are spending on your other channels now versus what you would have spent without social. Just add these together to get the economic value of your social channel.
Now you can go to your executive team and say, here is the amplification rate, here is the applause rate, and here is the conversation rate. All of this has been helping us create deeper, richer engagements with our audience. Not only are we making social media a marketing asset, it also generates economic value every day. Drill down to your analytics and demonstrate the economic value of each social media campaign.
Focus on these 4 metrics and you can optimize your efforts across all social channels and maximize their economic value.
I am a huge proponent of using Twitter to broadcast important messages because, as of right now, there are over 300 million active Twitter users online. Not only that, Twitter users trend younger, wealthier and more highly educated than your typical internet user. For me, marketing to this audience has also achieved some pretty impressive results. For example, I recently tweeted a link to a hilarious content marketing play that was retweeted 198 times, netting me dozens of new followers (and potential leads!). As the median Twitter account has about 100 followers, this piece of content had the potential of reaching about 20,000 tweeters. Through experience, I have learned how to be relevant to my particular audience, and I am achieving better results because of it. But why do some of my contemporaries still struggle to gain traction on such a promising channel?
Based on my first hand observations, most of the marketers I know who are struggling with Twitter are making one or many of the following mistakes:
1) They don’t pick a specific target audience. This often overlooked task is actually pretty easy, just pick one or more of the top target audiences from your other channels and start from there. If you fail to properly identify your audience your messages will not resonate with the majority of people who see it. The right message may be much different for businesses than consumers, executives than staffers, and so on. Selecting an audience is important because once you have a target audience you can address what it is they are looking for. Some audiences will be interested in product discounts, others in fun or entertainment, still others in exclusive content. Having a clear idea of the audience and their needs will be crucial in capturing their attention.
2) They don’t spend enough time creating a compelling Twitter account. In order to harness the true power of Twitter, you need to have the right people listening to your messages. This means you have to be smart about creating a highly networked account. One where you are following the right type of people and the right type of people are following you. I recommend that you start by simply searching on Twitter for people to follow for 5 – 10 minutes a day, every day. Try to find people your target audience would be interested in. Industry thought leaders, cultural icons, important people or brands, and other smart people with something significant to say. Next start listening to those people, follow their conversations for at least 10 minutes per day. Once you are ready to get involved then start adding to the conversation. For example, begin by sharing some witty comments or valuable links and see what happens. Once you learn what type of content is captivating your audience you are ready to move fully into the realm of engagement.
3) They don’t create a logical posting plan. A posting plan should be based on your overall Twitter strategy with a goal of engaging your target audience. First, you need to have business outcomes in mind for why you are using the Twitter channel to begin with. It could be for general branding purposes, building leads, customer service or something else entirely. Make sure you know what it is (I’m serious!). Then, determine when the target audience is listening and schedule posts accordingly. This is very important because, according to Quora, retweets peak between the hours of 2pm to 5pm EST. If the target audience is listening during the afternoon, they why would someone post first thing in the morning? Lastly, you should have a detailed editorial calendar for Twitter messages. This will allow you to create a series of related messages that work together in a coherent, branded pattern which makes sense to your audience. And when you post, ask for a retweet, and make sure to spell it out, “please retweet”, according to Fastcompany.com, you are 23x more likely to get a retweet when you do!
4) They aren’t using promoted tweets. Promoted Tweets are ordinary Tweets purchased by advertisers who want to reach a wider group of users or to spark engagement from their existing followers. It is important to use promoted tweets regularly to make sure messages are seen by the largest audience possible, especially the most important messages. While regular tweets are only seen by a fraction of the target audience, promoted tweets stay at the top of the twitter feed for an extended period of time, so the audience is sure to see them no matter when they log in. This is vital for growing a Twitter account and finding new followers. Promoted tweets are also great for testing, as you can get time series data on clicked tweets (now you will know when to send your next tweet!). Lastly, plan on using promoted Twitter Cards. These types of posts allow marketers to embed graphics into the tweet for an eye catching effect.
5) They don’t nurture their Twitter leads with an engagement marketing campaign. Engagement Marketing means you open up a dialog with engaged members of your audience. Individuals that have engaged with your brand should be passed directly to your marketing automation platform and placed in a relevant marketing campaign that addresses them as an individual, based on their interests. This is critical because you can now direct them to a desired outcome, such as purchasing your product or service, and attribute revenue to your Twitter channel.
By correcting these five mistakes, you can harness Twitter to grow you audience, reinforce your brand and drive revenue growth.
Engagement marketing is a marketing strategy that directly engages consumers and invites and encourages consumers to participate in the evolution of a brand. Mastering this strategy is a great opportunity for companies to generate brand awareness and build meaningful relationships with their customers and prospects. As a Solution Consultant, it is my privilege to meet with our clients and help them understand how they can empower their business with this innovative marketing strategy. It seems that almost every day I run into a client that loves the idea of engagement marketing but just does not know where to begin. Do they start with content, nurture or lead scoring? What about PPC and Re-Marketing? Not to mention personalizing the website. Each business is different, so therefore it is going to take a specialist to get started in the right direction.
Of course, you need the right software to begin with, ala Marketo, but more importantly, the right people to manage it. Some of my clients will hire full-time specialists to staff the engagement marketing initiative, and others will train existing resources. These strategies can work very well, but what I find more and more is that businesses are turning to Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) to ensure they take full advantage of the benefits an engagement marketing system can provide. Managed Service Providers are partners of Marketo who specialize in a variety of areas necessary to run a great Engagement Marketing Strategy. From implementation, to data integration, campaign strategy to content, there is an MSP out there who can help you in one or all of these areas. It’s what they do! There are many reasons why companies choose to leverage an MSP, and some of these reasons will apply to you I am sure.
1. They have never done this before
Engagement marketing is a relatively new concept and even some of my large clients still haven’t mastered it. Perhaps they are doing traditional advertising, or they might confuse email marketing with engagement, maybe they don’t understand the great ROI, whatever the case, many still have yet to make this important leap. Hence, they do not have the strategy and tools necessary to maintain meaningful relationships with their customers. The good news is that many Managed Service Providers do get it, and in fact are experts at using marketing automation technology to do just that. They have acquired proficiencies in house that take years for a traditional marketing department to master (through trial and error). Not only do they get to a positive ROI in a short amount of time, their clients learn from them as they go.
2. They have done this before but the marketing queue is too long
In other cases I have found that even though my client has proficient resources on staff, they don’t have adequate access to them because their project or department is not a priority. What this means to the marketer is long wait times for critical and time sensitive initiatives, missed opportunities and missed ROI. And as we know, business is moving at an ever increasing pace, so timing is everything. Using an MSP will remove this obstacle because they can typically get your engagement campaign out very quickly and with relative ease, so now they don’t need to wait in line to get things done anymore!
3. They don’t have the budget for it
To this I counter, they don’t have the budget not to do it; research shows that engagement marketing works. We know that buyers are spending most of their time on self-directed journeys and that they demand a personalized approach. So it’s imperative we communicate with them in a meaningful way throughout their journey. Using an MSP to accomplish this goal can be surprisingly affordable. Typically, MSP’s are supporting many different customers at the same time and therefore will get volume discounts from the vendor. Further, they have already devised effective strategies for many clients that can be leveraged for an economy of scale. So on a short term basis, the cost of using an MSP can be 30-40% less than deploying your own instance for the same project. They are getting better value and a higher level of expertise.
So as you are deciding how and when to run your next (or first) engagement marketing campaign, don’t forget to consider that Marketo has a brilliant partner network with the marketing and industry expertise you need. I have had the privilege to work with a fantastic network of Managed Service Providers that can help you take your marketing ROI to the next level. To find the right partner for your business just ask your account executive, or visit us at on Launchpoint, our partner portal, at http://launchpoint.marketo.com.
For our Marketing Nation Roadshow 2015, it was amazing to see in action our Marketo Event Check-In Awesome tablet tool.
A great ingredient for an epic event and successful that took place in Sydney last Friday.
Pictures say more than words.
If you want to learn more about how to check-in people to your event with a tablet just click here.
The Purple People of Marketo just launched this new blog. It will be a place to get the inside scoop from Marketo's employees (and this blog should not be confused with the official Marketo Blog).
Instead, you will hear what's on people's mind about digital marketing, Marketo and other Purple related items. So sit back and enjoy. Read and listen to what we are saying and typing at our desks.
Oh yea, we have one favor to ask. If you have specific product related questions, please ask them Products section of the site. Thank you!