The Importance of Social Media Metrics

Social Media Analytics

As social media continues to grow, it is essential for companies to be where their customers are: online. Although many companies know which platforms to use to reach potential customers—Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, among others—many do not know the most important metrics to track the success of their social media efforts.

Tracking metrics is necessary in order for companies to determine which posts are most effective in reaching their end goals, whether it’s higher awareness or more sales.

What Are the Most Important Metrics?

According to ratings and reviews site Clutch, the social media metrics businesses overwhelmingly prefer are engagement and conversion rates.

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Companies that prefer high engagement aim for their posts to result in a high number of likes, shares, comments, and other interactions with their brand. When followers are engaged, it means the message resonated with them and provided value.

To increase engagement, companies should take note of what makes their most engaging posts so successful. Do these posts include images, quotes, or links to articles? Are they posted at certain times of the day or week? Keep track of trends and duplicate engaging posts’ formula. For example, if a restaurant’s most engaging posts are images of food posted just before lunch and dinner times when people are hungry, it should plan to increase that type of content in order to increase engagement.

Companies that prefer conversion rates want viewers of their social media posts to take a desired action, such as making a purchase. A higher conversion rate can lead to more sales and increased profits.

Increasing conversion rates on social media can include promoting a sale, offering promo codes, and posting about new products. For example, a restaurant that offers a free dessert with entrée purchase or posts pictures of a brand-new menu item is more likely to encourage followers to visit and make a purchase.

Although not as widely preferred as engagement and conversion rates, some businesses prefer metrics such as clicks to their website, where followers open a link from a social media post to a business’s website, audience growth, where a company’s social media followers increase, and impressions, the number of times a company’s social media content is displayed.

Analyzing Social Media Metrics

According to the Clutch survey, 17% of social media marketers say the biggest challenge they face with social media is tracking results. Many platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, offer their own analytic tools. There are also third-party tools that provide social media analytics across all platforms.

The first step in analyzing your social media metrics is to decide what your business wants to accomplish with social media, whether it’s more sales or more engaged followers. If your goal is higher engagement, the most important metrics to measure are activities like the number of comments, likes, and shares. This helps determine the type of content that performs best with customers. If your goal is conversion, many tools allow companies to track where leads come from; the more leads that come from a social media post, the higher the conversion.

After analyzing your social media, it is important to replicate content that has been successful in the past. If you notice higher conversion rates offering freebies rather than promoting a sale, continue to promote freebies to further increase conversion. If you notice a post with an image tends to get more likes and shares, continue to post pictures to increase engagement. Being in touch with your audience’s needs and wants and posting the content they prefer will allow you to find success on social media.

Social media metrics are an ongoing process. The type of content that once found success may not a few months later. It is important to keep measuring and adjusting your posts as necessary. Constantly improving your social media efforts can create engaged followers, which can, in turn, lead to more sales.

How to Set a Facebook Ad Budget

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It’s no secret that the more you spend on Facebook, the more reach you can accomplish. But spending for the sake of spending isn’t effective. Understanding how much is enough to spend in order to accomplish your goals can be hindering.

As more and more companies use Facebook’s advertising tools, it is becoming increasingly competitive. With that being said, the cost of running a Facebook ad is much more cost effective than traditional advertising avenues, such as, print ads or TV commercials. The best part about Facebook is that it's all trackable! And with 2 billion monthly users, chances are, your customers can be reached on Facebook.

To establish a Facebook ad budget:

  1. Establish your end Goals: Decide what it is you want people to do as a result of seeing your ad. Do you want them to sign-up for a newsletter, engage, or click-through to purchase? Then ask, "What is this conversion worth?" Maybe a click-through is worth $1.50 while an email sign-up is worth $3. Establishing these numbers will help guide your target cost-per-engagement or click-through rate, ergo providing perimeters for success.

  2. Develop your Audience: Be very clear who you trying to reach. Identify specific interests which align with your brand and audience's lifestlye. Another great tool within Facebook is to create lookalike audiences from those already on your email list to attract like-minded purchasers.

  3. Test your Creative: Run A/B testing of images and copy to see which ad most resonates with your audience. As specific ads gain traction, continue to invest in the creative that has a lower cost per conversion.

The best way to establish your Facebook ad budget, is starting with your end result in mind. Overall budgets may fluctuate from season to season, especially in hospitality and retail. For example, as the holiday shopping season approaches, be prepared to increase your budget as competition for placement will be higher.

When it comes to Facebook ads, to have the biggest impact, testing and trying new creative and audiences is an ongoing process. We’ve worked with clients who have spent $100 a month and seen great results, while other companies have spent $20,000+ a month with great results too. The same challenges are present for both size companies, it really comes down to knowing your audience and establishing clear objectives.

Seeking assistance in creating your Facebook ad campaigns? Learn more about our Social Media Consulting service.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer Marketing

If there is one marketing trend that has accelerated this year, it’s influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is working with individuals who have a large following and high engagement to help spread your brand’s message. It’s a form of third party referral that has audiences everywhere paying attention.

In fact, 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference.

That is exactly why brands should consider influencer marketing when planning their social media strategy. So, how do you do that?

Find Influencers

It starts with finding the influencers. Start by searching industry hashtags on Instagram or Twitter. You can also use a number of social media listening tools. Then create a spreadsheet or use a CRM to track their names, handles and number of followers by platform.

Build a Relationship with Influencers

Once you have identified potential influencers, start to build a relationship with them. Connect on each social media platform and be sure to like and comment on their posts. Remember, by being "social" on social media, you can build long-term relationships.

Partner with Influencers

After you have built a relationship with an influencer, reach out to them via direct message or email, to inquire if they would be interested in partnering with you. Working with influencers around a product launch or for general brand awareness are both tactics to increase organic reach.

When partnering with influencers, be sure they are aligned with your brand messaging. Influencers should be like-minded individuals who’s following will find value in your product.

How Much Does it Cost?

Not all partnerships are paid, but many are. The more “influence” or following, an influencer has, the higher their fees may be due to demand. Celebrities endorsements are a great example of needing a higher budget, whereas, working with a micro-influencers, (someone with a smaller but engaged audience), could possible trade product for a post.

Establish your budget and amount of product you can dedicate to sending influencers before reaching out to your list.

Create Guidelines

Be sure to create guidelines for your influencer partnership. The FTC has strict endorsement guidelines to show transparency in sponsorship. For that reason, Instagram recently released new Branded Content Tools which allows brands and influencers to communicate sponsored posts and track analytics. We recommend requiring the use of these tools for any influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram.

Interested in working with influencers for your brand but not sure how to start or manage the process? Work with us and gain access to our Influencer Marketing Database.

Wine Harvest offers a Gold Mine of Social Media Opportunities

Wine Harvest and Social Media

It’s September, which means, wine harvest is about to be in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere. For wine marketers everywhere, this is a juicy time of year. (Pun intended). For those specifically in charge of social media, this time of year is a gold mine for content possibilities.

While timely posts of harvest activities, from the blessing of the first grapes to early morning picks, are appropriate, harvest also provides a huge opportunity to capture valuable content to be repurposed throughout the year. Take these examples:

Food and wine pairings 

If food and wine pairings are of value to your followers, harvest helps to elevate this conversation on social media. Capturing crush activities from destemming grapes to fermentation, creates an opportunity to speak directly to the interplay of acids and sugars, and their impact on food. Create content that illustrates food pairings from the fundamentals in a whole new perspective.

Similarly, show behind the scenes photos of what the harvest crew is eating for staff meals. Invite your community to vote on which wine they should pair with the meal.

Winemaking

If your winery has a strong messaging around the details of winemaking, it is imperative that you capture as much content as possible. It’s no secret that video is increasing in popularity, so grab your camera and film every element of the winemaking process. Each stage of the winemaking process from harvesting the grapes, to fermentation, to racking, can be developed into bite sized educational videos. As Winemakers tend to be a little busy this time of year 😉, once harvest is over, work with your Winemaker to include voiceovers. Have them speak to the details of your unique process. Then, create a social media campaign using these videos. Heck, you can even include it in emails and on your website.

Another idea could include setting up a camera high above the cellar and creating a time lapse video of the day’s activities.

And, another idea, (cause we can’t stop!), is a day in the life of an Assistant Winemaker or Enologist. Have them do an Instagram Story takeover and let followers get to know the people behind the glass.

Education

If your winery has a strong emphasis on wine education, create a video or photo series that chronologically tracks a wine from start to finish. Create a video of your signature label being produced, from the time the grapes are harvested, to the time it is bottled. Show the value and level of attention that goes into making your wine. This content could be repurposed at points-of-sale such as your website, at a release party, or in your wine club emails.

Entertaining

If the above components aren't in line with your brand, or maybe your brand is more spunky or sarcastic, use harvest imagery to create an entertaining video. This could come in the form of highlight how messy harvest gets or telling harvest from the perspective of grapes -- seriously! Think about, what would the grapes say after spending all that time on the vine developing only to be smushed and fermented?

Regardless of the content you develop, we’re all fascinated by how things are made. Use harvest as an opportunity to tell your story. The ideas are endless!

By incorporating a content plan into the harvest season, wineries can leverage content year round to bring customers closer to their product. The more creative you are, the more you will stand out amongst your competitors and attract new customers.

Need assistance in creating your harvest content plan? We invite you to get in touch, we’d love to help!

Why Social Media isn't a Cakewalk

Social media isn't a cakewalk

Ask any social media professional and they will tell you that developing an authentic following on social media is no cakewalk. There is no “quick fix” or magic hashtag that makes you an instant success on social media. While our news feeds move quickly, it doesn’t mean that social media for your business should be a scramble. It’s about owning your social media process.

It is critical to be strategic to build brand awareness, community, and yes, sales. But if you approach social media solely as an injection to your bottom line, you won’t see ROI on your social media.

So what should your social media process look like?

  1. It starts with knowing your brand inside and out. Create a brand book or style guide that outlines the look and feel of your brand online. Be sure to include language guidelines for phrases to be used and words not to be used.
     
  2. Know your audience. Knowing who you are speaking to will help drive your content creation. Dig into your customer avatar and go beyond the standard demographics of income, family size, location, etc. Ask “what websites do they visiting?” “Which social media platforms are they most active on?” “What products do they buy?” “What they do on their weekends?” The more information you can gather, the better you can serve your community.
     
  3. Have a strategy. No business should be on social media without a strategy. Social media should support your overall marketing objectives and business goals. Create annual, quarterly and monthly goals.
     
  4. Create monthly content calendars to stay consistent and anticipate which content you need to create. Knowing what you need ahead of time will allow time for a photo shoot or writing that next blog post. If you are in need of a content calendar, download our free template here.
     
  5. Execution and Community Management. Once the posts are planned, don’t post and run. Stay and respond to comments, engage with influencers and answer questions as it relates to your area of expertise.
     
  6. Measuring results. The last key to having a strong social media process is to measure results. When creating your strategy be sure to set some KPIs (key performance indicators), to assess which content is most successful and which isn’t performing as strongly.

By taking charge of your social media process, you own the conversation being had with your customers. Now, that does that mean you can’t outsource some elements of the process, such as content creation, but by taking charge of your social media strategy, you will be happy to eat cake to celebrate each milestone of success.

Want to set up this process for your business? Get in touch or download our Social Media Checklist to get started right now.