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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Social Media

Which numbers matter on social media?

Social media is full of metrics: How many impressions did your advertisement have? How many likes, shares, retweets, and faves did your post generate? How many people clicked through to your website? How many followers do you have?

All of these mean different things depending on the channel you’re on, but the question is, which of these numbers are the most important? The metrics can largely be broken into three groups: audience size, views, and engagement. Here’s a breakdown of what they mean and how you should value them in relation to your sales efforts.

How big is your audience?

On Facebook, your audience size is determined by the number of people who like your page, while on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, your followers are your audience. Different nomenclature, same concept. These are the folk who have asked to hear from you, specifically, and your posts will appear on their feed. You don’t have to pay anything to speak to these people, so the larger you grow this number the lower the cost of getting your message out.

As we said previously, you want to give your fans a lot of love, but don’t push a sale too hard or you’ll push them away.

Who’s seeing your content?

When you make a post, you want to know how far it goes. This is usually measured by the number of impressions the post received, or by how many people the post reached. The difference between the two is that while reach measures the number of people who saw your post, impressions measure how many times it was seen (even if it was seen by the same person multiple times).

The number of impressions can get quite high, particularly if you’re putting money into an advertising campaign. However, their value is limited. Imagine you’ve put up a billboard on the side of the highway: the number of people driving by who see your billboard are equivalent to your impressions. But you don’t know if “seeing your billboard” means if they responded to it, or even if they read it fully.

This doesn’t mean impressions are worthless. They do help build awareness for your brand, meaning that if someone sees your advertising repeatedly they may become more familiar with who you are. It is, however, important not to be too focused on them simply because they are a large number.

What is your engagement rate?

Engagement is measured as your cumulative likes, shares, retweets, clicks, comments, etc. In short, any time someone interacts with your content in a meaningful way, it counts toward engagement. These numbers will always be significantly smaller than your impressions, but they carry much more weight because they express interest. Track your engagement numbers month-to-month and compare them against averages in your industry to get an idea of how you’re doing.

Will these numbers help me build sales?

When you get down to the brass tacks, marketing efforts that don’t lead to sales at a certain point waste your time and money. Selling on social media can be fast for some (online retailers) and slow for others (B2B services), but only dedicated effort will get you there.

With all the excitement and publicity viral videos bring, there can be an illusion that social media is a fast track for success. In the real word, social media is much more like a workout: show up every day, put in your best effort, and over time you’ll build your brand and see the result in sales.

Just don’t expect it to happen overnight.

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Building a fan base for your brand on social media

For decades, traditional advertising appeared as an interruption to daily life. Television and radio, billboards and magazine inserts were all about grabbing your attention during otherwise routine activities: the ad itself was never the destination.

Until the Internet.

Today, social media channels, while not ads per say, have provided a venue for advertising that audiences have voluntarily chosen to be a part of. Consumers have adopted brands as part of their identity. They have become fans.

This is not to say disruptive advertising is a thing of the past: most advertising is still an interruption (and it probably always will be). If you’re new on the scene and trying to get people to know who you are, you have to say “hello” somehow. But once people have shaken your hand (i.e. opted-in to your social media channel), you’re no longer working with a cold audience. You’re speaking to people who have chosen to listen to you.

You have to prove your value to them. And that means NOT treating your social media like an advertising feed.

Avoiding the hard sell on social media

In order to have an effective presence on social media, you must stay focused on your audience. They are not interested in a relentless stream of sales pitches.

Imagine you are a tire company. You could waste a lot of time (and money) on social media pushing a lot of coupons and sales that will get exactly zero people excited. Why? Because no one buys tires on impulse. They are in the market maybe about once a year or so (per vehicle they own), or seasonally depending on your climate. If you’re trying to convince them to go buy tires TODAY, you’re wasting your breath.

Instead, you want to be sure that on the day they choose to go buy tires, you are the first company that comes to mind. And you do this by establishing trust and providing value up front. For instance: You could put out tips for how to check your tire pressure, advice about which tires will work best for your climate, and safety infographics about how keeping your tires in good order will help prevent accidents.

And then, when Fall rolls around and the opportune moment arrives, you can promote a special sale on winter tires. Because by then, not only do you have their trust, you’ve earned it as well.

Respect your audience

Cultivating a fan base is about putting them first. It’s about showing them you’re worth their time by giving them value and not asking too much in return. It’s about the relationship you’ve built with your customer, about dialog, and about being a good listener more than just a good talker.

Because in the end, social media is about people. As in: real human beings on the other end of that Internet connection who will be liking, sharing, and retweeting your brand pro bono, simply because they love you and they want other people to love you as well.

Treat them well.

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The position of social media manager is a relatively new one. Most people don’t realize the amount of time and effort invested to develop what appears on their newsfeeds or Twitter streams. There tends to be a shroud of mystery surrounding social media, including what exactly social media managers are expected to do, and what it takes to be a good one. Generally, when I tell people that I work in social media, they respond with “Oh that’s nice! So… what exactly do you do?”  Let me give an answer here.

A social media manager is a hybrid position.  It requires that the person filling the role draw from a wide range of skill sets to be effective.

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Account Executive

In almost any marketing position, the agency must have a relationship with the client. Social media is no different. The manager must be able to manage relationships with the client, communicate effectively and understand the client’s business and their goals in order to inform the strategy.

Strategic

Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of social media is strategy. A social media manager must be able to develop a strong and creative strategy that takes advantage of the power of social media and is able to fulfill the goals of the client.

Content Creator

Most obviously, a social media manager must be able to create content. They have to be a unique fusion of clever copywriter and creative graphic design. In addition, they must have the know-how to adapt content to fit each platform.

Fingers on the pulse

Social media is all about being relevant and plugged in. A social media manger must have strong monitoring skills for trends and breaking news and be able to curate content and adapt it to fit their strategy.

Community Manager

Social media is first and foremost a community. As a result, they must be able to engage with the community, stimulate discussion and create engagement with their audience.

Data Analyst

Finally, they must be able to mine the data. Not only must they run the appropriate analytics, they must be able to collect and synthesize information and draw conclusions that will influence the overall strategy.

 

Now, when someone asks, you can tell them EXACTLY what a social media manager does. Whether you’re trying to better define a position, hire a new candidate or simply communicate what you do, feel free to use our infographic to communicate what it takes. And if you can’t find the right mix, know that we at MOVE are always here to help you #MOVEahead in your social media. 

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The power of social media lies in its "social" aspect. It has the power to create communities and allows businesses and brands to connect and engage with people through those communities. But business and brands should engage with these groups as they would with any community; authentically and with the desire to be a part of something, not just to sell something. 

#weeklyword

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For a long time, marketing and advertising have been, in large part, a guessing game.  But with online technology advances, your marketing has the ability to become much more targeted and effective.

Data, easily accessible to any business, allows you to measure how many people your marketing reaches, how many people engage with your content, how that affects your perceived brand and whether your efforts convince them to take action.  These metrics can equip you to know exactly how your creative ideas are faring, and whether you need to switch tactics.

But there are massive amounts of data constantly being created; every action users take while online is tracked, compiled and analyzed. There is so much data at your fingertips but making sense out of it can be overwhelming. So where do you start?

Google Analytics

Most likely you’ve heard of Google Analytics. It’s a free service created to track all of the relevant analytics related to your website. This platform is extremely robust, but can be quite complicated.  That’s why Google also provides you with great tools to help you navigate it. You can take this online Google Analytics course.

We suggest taking the class, but we’ll give you the CliffsNotes version as well. First, create a Google Analytics profile, which will provide you with a tracking code. Add this code to your website (ask your developer or if you are using a hosting site like Wordpress or Joomla, they have extensions). Once you've added the code, Google will begin tracking all of the traffic. You can look through the various reporting tools like demographics, page visits, time spent on the page (and more) and analyze what those metrics mean for your company.

Social Media Metrics

Social media is one of the most effective ways to reach a targeted and engaged audience online. Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube and Instagram are the most popular social networks and there are various platforms to track their metrics.

Hootsuite & Sprout Social

Hootsuite and Sprout Social are similar social media management platforms with analytics tools. However, when it comes to metrics and analytics, we prefer Hootsuite. With the free platform, Hootsuite allows you to track up to 3 social media channels, which is a great option for a small business. If you are running more than 3 channels, consider upgrading to Pro (it’s relatively inexpensive). From this point you can add all of your channels and use reporting templates or create custom reports to collect the data you want to see. Set these to run on a schedule, perhaps weekly or monthly, to consistently measure your progress.

Note that Hootsuite can only track metrics for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +. So, this is where the additional platforms come into play.

Iconosquare

Iconosquare is a great, free reporting tool for Instagram. What the program lacks in robustness, it makes up for in simplicity. Simply link your Instagram account and it will email you a report tracking likes, follows, engagement and the best times to post. To get new reports, you’ll have to log back in and wait for them to run.

Google Analytics (for Tumblr)

Using the same account, you can create a new page and ask for a new tracking ID. Then within your Tumblr account, you can add this tracking code and run all the same metrics you would on your website.

Native Metrics

Various platforms are beginning to house their own metrics and analytics. Facebook has an “Insights” tab that allows you to see a strong set of metrics related to your Facebook page. You can see the effectiveness of posts, advertisements and page promotions all in this tab. You can even export the data into an EXCEL file for a more critical breakdown.

Twitter also runs an analytics platform, but only for its advertising. If you create a Twitter ad campaign, you are able to use their analytics to measure favorites, follows, reach and more.

Your metrics run continually and it’s up to you to decide how often you want to run reports, but no matter how often you decide to run them, establish a routine so you are consistently checking in.

Though this isn’t all of the information, this breakdown should give you an idea about how to begin to immerse yourself in the world of metrics and analytics. If you’re looking for something more robust, we’re here to help.

As always, we hope this helps you #MOVEahead

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Social media isn't something new or unexplored anymore. The water is warm, your customers are all in the pool already. It's time to make the jump. 

#weeklyword

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Instagram is notoriously the brunt of jokes about selfies and food pics. A few years ago, you would have been on the receiving end of a host of judgmental looks for taking a picture of your food before you ate it. Now, instead of judgmental looks, food pictures are receiving likes and jealous comments from your friends and followers. Some people have entire profiles dedicated to the food they eat, and some are even making careers of snapping pictures of their meals (@chicagofoodauthority). This new trend creates an opening for culinary experts to improve on their historically (and generally) minimal marketing efforts in an inexpensive and engaging way. Recently, we had the opportunity to work with an up-and-coming food truck, Cordwood BBQ, in developing their social media strategy. We picked up a few tips (and maybe a few pounds) along the way. 

Get artsy

Instagram is primarily a visual medium. While creative captions are important, the old adage “a picture is worth a 1000 words” holds especially true on the social media platform. Instagram is no place for blurry or unfocused pictures. Taking a moment to think about the composition of a photo or what interesting scene you could capture makes all the difference between likes, new followers and new customers, and just another social media account to manage. 

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Play with your food

In the name of being artsy, don’t be afraid to play with your food. Any restaurateur knows that presentation is everything; the same applies for a photo of the food as well. Move your plate around to find the perfect lighting, push that carrot over to create a perfectly symmetrical plate and perfectly position your drink next to your meal.

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Be a fan of filters

When you’re creating the perfect image, use the magic of filters. As an eatery, there may be a specific filter that really communicates your brand, so use it! If you’re a retro-diner, use an old-school filter with a high grain and sepia tones. If you’re a modern sushi establishment, use filters that make your colors pop and keep everything clean with high contrast. Start with the filters in the platform and you can expand your horizons to include filters from other apps like VSCO Cam. If you’re feeling really advanced, you can use the different tools to change the levels yourself.

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Play with your words

While photos are important, image isn’t everything. Clever captions can take a fantastic image to the next level. As a primarily artistic medium, wordplay is highly encouraged. Keep your captions relatively short, but work in poetry, rhyme, alliteration or a funny pun.

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#smart #hashtags

Hashtags are probably the best way to boost the effectiveness and the reach of your image. Do some research to discover which hashtags are popular for your area or your type of food. I am a big fan of using location-based hashtags paired with hashtags that are specific to the image that’s being posted. In food, I also found the following to be fan favorites: #foodie, #nom, and our location-specific #eatdrinkmi.

Don’t forget to engage!

Your customers are engaging with you; it’s simple logic that you should do the same. Create contests that challenge your customers to take the most tantalizing photo and re-gram them. Encourage conversation in the comments section of your photos. If you talk to them, they’ll talk back, and they’ll likely become more loyal customers in the future.

Tag your friends...

...and locations…and businesses…and anything else you can tag. This is another great way to engage with your potential customers. This also gives you a greater reach and access to the networks of whomever you may be tagging—which means more eyes will see your delicious food!

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Instagram is one of the greatest ways to showcase your creations, whether they be food-related or otherwise. If you haven’t taken advantage of this great (and free!) platform, consider making the jump. But before you do, think about your strategy in doing so. If you need help ironing out the details of an Instagram strategy, we’re here for you (especially if you bring food).

Follow us on Instagram @movecomm_a2 for more tips!

#MOVEahead

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Social media allows you to connect with your audience in direct and tangible ways. Brands no longer have an excuse not to understand their consumer, their consumers are constantly telling them, and the rest of the world, exactly how they feel. Take advantage of social media to really understand your audience. 

#weeklyword

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One of the greatest challenges we come across as social media marketers is the assumption that it’s not that complex and if you want to start using social media, you just have to start posting. We wrote a whole blog about it (Three Social Media Myths: Busted). But if you’re entrenched in social media everyday, I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are a mind-numbing amount of complications and industry tricks you have to be aware of.

So maybe you’ve developed a strategy, set up your platforms and you’ve got the content you want to post. Great job! You’ve almost conquered the social media mountain. But if you go to post all of your pictures on the different platforms without thinking about sizes, you could end up with a lot of muddled material that doesn’t communicate all of the work you put into it.

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If you’re in business, you likely have come to understand the importance of having a social media presence. Companies fall into a wide spectrum of social media proficiency; some brands are dominating the social sphere with their innovative and creative strategies while other businesses are just trying to break into the terrifying, buzzword-filled world that is social media. As a boutique agency, we generally work with clients who know they need to be posting, but don’t know what that looks like, and more importantly, the extent to what it entails.

For many companies, especially those who don’t have entire departments dedicated to managing their social media presence, the thought begins with, “I know I need to be on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, but where do I begin?” While searching for answers, many companies fall victim to classic social media myths, and, as my father says, “The greatest lessons you learn come from seeing what NOT to do.” Here are the greatest myths, and the ways to “bust” them to take you from a social media amateur to a powerhouse.

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We all know that "a picture is worth a thousand words." However, as social media marketing continues to gain traction, a picture is worth more than words. A picture is worth likes, engagement, and ultimately, dollars. Audiences engage with posts that include images 44% of the time, which is much higher than average engagement rates. This engagement can mean likes, click-throughs, brand awareness and advocacy as well as product sales. So be sure to include images wherever it's appropriate to boost engagement and drive success. You can read more about how to use images here: 10 Free Image Sites (for all of your social media needs)

And as always, #MOVEahead

#weeklyword

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Without content, your social media has nothing to share. Without social media, your content has nowhere to go. Create good, engaging content and then share it in the right places, with the right people.

#weeklyword #MOVEahead

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Social media was created to facilitate social connections. As brands and companies try to immerse themselves into the social media scene, they're faced with the challenge of creating authentic connections with their audiences. Many are arming themselves with strategies and content calendars and forgetting the most important aspect of the platforms, the social aspect. As you are using social media for your own business, make sure you are remembering the people you're trying to connect with and be sure to address them as people. 

#weeklyword #MOVEahead

 

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If you’re in marketing, especially if you’re navigating the ever-evolving world of social media, it’s likely that you’ve discovered the importance of a good image. Including images in your posts increases engagement and share rates far better than any other post type. According to eMarketer, including images in your Facebook posts gets them shared 87% of the time, compared to 4% when you include a link. In addition, including a photo in your tweet boosts re-tweets by 35%.

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Before you run off for Thanksgiving, check out our #weeklyword about social media. In a lot of ways, technology has driven the rise of social media. As a result, many think of social media in technological terms. However, in order to leverage social media most effectively, we should think of social media as an extension of human interaction and communication. Instead of thinking of social media as a series of ones and zeros, we should imagine it as a interwoven conversation that involves many different people and involves a complex analysis of our social surroundings and our psychological tendencies.

Tell us how you use social media to understand and communicate with your audience below or by tweeting @movecomm with #weeklyword. 

Enjoy the holiday!

#MOVEahead

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Today's blog post is in honor of Taylor Swift's album 1989 selling 2 million copies. To say that this album has been successful is an understatement; it's the first album of the year to go platinum and the first album since 2002 to sell 1.287 million copies in its first week. Taylor's success doesn't just come from her loyal "swifties" running out to the store to grab the album, but arises out of a brililant marketing strategy. Marketers everywhere can take a few hints from the 24-year old. 

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