Tag Archive | "metrics"

If Your CEO Doesn’t Understand Your Social Strategy, You Don’t Have One

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In my job, I spend a lot of time talking with Fortune 500 CEOs about their industries–what is working, what isn’t, and what challenges are on the horizon. The biggest topic today: social. It’s been widely embraced, yet it is not fully understood in the world of business-to-business marketing to date. Your company no doubt has a presence, but is it truly working? Is it driving revenue?

If you look at the data, with 61 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs not active on any social media channel, and fewer than 12 percent active on more than one channel, they likely don’t personally understand how your social media strategy supports business objectives.

So now we know two things. First, these CEOs are not overly familiar with how social platforms work, and second, they are busy focusing on running a successful business. To get them on board, you need a clear, succinct message that ties back to financial realities of the company.

It’s been more than one decade since social forever changed the balance of power, giving consumers a voice and enabling them to reach other consumers in real-time and at scale. Most recently, you can think of Chewbacca Mom’s Candace Payne and the free advertising Kohl’s received, or Alex Hamberger and the goodwill American Airlines earned by showing compassion.

Your brand needs market validation, and today, that comes solely from social engagement with consumers. The risk is real: If you’re not listening and participating in the conversations your business loses, you’re losing ground to competitors and, more directly, you’re losing credibility in the boardroom.

Marketers are only recently embracing the fact that their brand messaging is a shared proposition. Peer-to-peer conversations make traditional digital advertising obsolete. If you want to resonate with your consumers and the boardroom, here are a few tips to build a social strategy that your CEO understands.

  • Explain audience behavior: Even in the B2B world, people use each social platform for a different reason. Messaging must be targeted to each. A table that showcases audience targets in rows and social platforms in columns can provide the CEO with an easily digestible visual that shows how the brand messaging is consistent and how each platform is optimized contextually.
  • Provide context: Illustrate how social is integrated into every marketing initiative. Whether it’s an eBook, a whitepaper or a product launch, social is a key driver of distribution. Illustrate how it’s baked into every program you run. This provides a framework for not just why social is important, but how it actually help drive inbound leads.
  • Define measurable key performance indicators: B2B decisions require multiple touch points; it’s not realistic to think that social media alone will drive a purchase decision. Social should provide content that delivers value. The goal is engagement and leads. Providing information or education that makes people feel and look smart will not only ensure they engage with you, but also encourages them to share with others. Create KPIs around your social messaging that measure the actions people take and the number of new leads generated.
  • Correlate results: Looking at social numbers in vacuum misses their overall impact. It should go without saying, but you should be measuring everything you’re doing. Assuming you are, you have a good baseline of how each channel performs. During each campaign, how are these numbers affected? Is there a correlation when social is active? Measuring this impact not only ensures you have optimized your message, it allows you to predict future success through causality. Believe me, CEOs love nothing more than a marketer who can deliver predictable, sustainable growth.
  • Demonstrate use of proceeds: Remember, CEOs are focused on the big picture. Social is a key element of the marketing mix and typically requires external support. Whether you’re working with an agency partner or paying for a social customer-relationship-management platform, make sure you demonstrate how you’re leveraging third parties to increase return on investment.
  • Build a data dashboard: Finally, provide a weekly (or monthly) dashboard. You literally can’t be too data-driven. Getting your CEO on board with your social strategy is not a onetime exercise–show engagement and conversion trends over time. To gain credibility for social, every decision moving forward must be informed by data. This provides a clear ROI to your CEO on social activity.

For your social channel to have an impact, it’s critical that you get alignment internally. If the CEO doesn’t get it, you’re just experimenting. Social is a key element of your marketing strategy, so make sure you have clearly articulated the strategy, defined the KPIs and demonstrated that you are measuring and optimizing every week to deliver better results.

Promise Phelon is CEO of influencer marketing company TapInfluence.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

How Drake can help you understand your business

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APTOS, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Dr. Frank Drake, the founder of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), poses for a portrait at his home in Aptos, California, Friday, February 27, 2015. Dr. Drake also created the Arecibo Message - a simple binary encoded message broadcast into space by the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico in 1974. The message encodes several things: the numbers 1 to 10, the basic chemistry of life on Earth, the double helix structure of DNA, Earth's population, a graphic of the Solar System, a human figure, and a graphic of the Arecibo radio telescope and it's dish' dimensions. (Photo by Ramin Rahimian for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Rising Cost of Influencer Marketing: How Much Is Too Much?

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Influencer marketing has come a long way. Big-name influencers are demanding big dollars, and if a recent “confessions” article in Digiday is anything to go by, not everyone is happy about it.

From getting paid too much to being chosen simply based on the recommendation of the CEO’s child, it raised some interesting questions. And as influencer payments continue to grow, some are beginning to question the return on investment of influencer marketing in general.

So are we in some kind of influencer bubble? Are influencers really being paid too much?

Add some zeroes to that figure

“We threw too much money at them and did it too quickly.” Some people may be shocked to learn that influencers can be paid hundreds of thousands of dollars just to “take some photos.” Brands are forking out serious cash to access influencers’ audiences, who may otherwise be resistant to their advertising.

And those payments have continued to rise each year as brands recognize the effectiveness of influencer marketing. In fact according to SocialPR Chat, marketers that implemented influencer marketing campaigns earned an average of $6.85 in media value for every $1 they spent on paid media. And 81 percent of marketers say influencer marketing is effective.

But as the price tag continues to climb, it becomes more and more important to justify the cost.

Metrics matter: The importance of demonstrating ROI

“We paid $300,000 for a few photographs because the CEO’s kid liked someone.” “Too much” is a relative term and impossible to discuss without considering the value influencers bring. Determining that value relies on metrics.

As costs increase, it becomes more important to have reliable metrics. When you are spending $300,000, you want to be able to clearly say, “Yes, this is worth this cost.” Although reach and engagement are effective for measuring influencer campaigns, a more comprehensive approach may be needed to justify big-dollar decisions.

Influencer marketing ROI can be measured by comparing results with additional metrics, such as overall brand sentiment and media mentions. They can also be correlated with spikes in web traffic or higher conversions in concurrent ad campaigns. And as social media channels develop, it is likely to become easier to track purchases from within the platforms themselves.

The better the metrics, the better we will be able to evaluate the success of influencer marketing on a case-by-case basis, and not through sweeping generalizations about the industry as a whole.

Like any other marketing channel, influencer marketing requires strategic planning and ongoing management. It should form part of the marketing mix and contribute to a broader strategy, and not be done simply for the sake of it.

You wouldn’t let the chief marketing officer’s 13-year-old son do your media planning, nor should you let him determine which influencer you work with.

But in addition to measuring ROI to justify the cost, there are a number of other challenges brands face when working with influencers.

It’s hard to hand over the keys

Great influencer marketing gives a lot of creative freedom to the influencers. But brands can have a hard time giving up control of the content. It’s understandable: After all, it takes trust to give a young kid the keys to the Ferrari.

What if they miss the mark completely and crash it into a wall? What can brands do then?

This is an understandable fear and one that needs to be overcome to successfully move forward with influencer marketing.

New influencer marketing platforms are taking steps to help to remedy this problem with clear and consistent briefing functionalities to help achieve that clarity up front. It allows brands to provide the right amount of guidance without getting too prescriptive.

Productive influencer marketing relationships come down to clear communication. But sometimes finding the right influencers and arranging the details of the agreement can take a long time. This impacts the ability to quickly implement campaigns and makes it frustrating to hit deadlines–a challenge that only increases when working with multiple influencers for one campaign.

This problem is also being addressed by some influencer marketing platforms that use pre-negotiated contracts, templates and live chat to speed up the whole process. This can be particularly effective for quickly capitalizing on opportunities, especially when it comes to working with multiple influencers.

It’s important to remember that brands and influencers are essentially working toward the same goal: To create great content that engages the audience and motivates them to action. The more effectively they work together, the better for the industry. Instead of talking about influencers being paid too much, we should be focusing on how to deliver and measure the best value possible.

By approaching it with professionalism, the right strategy and the right tools, the industry will continue to thrive.

Francis Trapp is CEO of Brandnew IO, a platform for global influencer marketing.

Portrait Francis Trapp Hintergrund

Image of shocked couple with empty wallet courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Facebook News Feed: Friends and Family First, Core Values

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Friends and family come first in Facebook’s News Feed, as the social network detailed the latest tweak to its algorithm and detailed the values that guide that algorithm.

Engineering director Lars Backstrom announced the algorithm update in a Newsroom post, saying that posts from friends will be ranked higher in News Feed than posts from pages. He wrote:

Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to—starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook. That’s why today, we’re announcing an upcoming change to News Feed ranking to help make sure you don’t miss stories from your friends.

We’ve heard from our community that people are still worried about missing important updates from the friends they care about. For people with many connections, this is particularly important, as there are a lot of stories for them to see each day. So we are updating News Feed over the coming weeks so that the things posted by the friends you care about are higher up in your News Feed.

As for the change’s impact on pages, Backstrom wrote:

Overall, we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some pages. The specific impact on your page’s distribution and other metrics may vary depending on the composition of your audience. For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through page posts. We encourage pages to post things that their audiences are likely to share with their friends.

In a separate Newsroom post, vice president of product management for News Feed Adam Mosseri explained the core values that help guide adjustments to the News Feed algorithm.

Mosseri stressed that friends and family remain the top priority, and he added that News Feed should inform and entertain, not favor specific sources or ideas and remain authentic and customizable by its users.

Highlights from Mosseri’s post follow:

People expect the stories in their feed to be meaningful to them—and we have learned over time that people value stories that they consider informative. Something that one person finds informative or interesting may be different from what another person finds informative or interesting—this could be a post about a current event, a story about your favorite celebrity, a piece of local news or a recipe. We’re always working to better understand what is interesting and informative to you personally, so those stories appear higher up in your feed.

We’ve also found that people enjoy their feeds as a source of entertainment. For some people, that’s following a celebrity or athlete; for others it’s watching Live videos and sharing funny photos with their friends. We work hard to try to understand and predict what posts on Facebook you find entertaining to make sure you don’t miss out on those.

We don’t favor specific kinds of sources—or ideas. Our aim is to deliver the types of stories we’ve gotten feedback that an individual person most wants to see. We do this not only because we believe it’s the right thing but also because it’s good for our business. When people see content they are interested in, they are more likely to spend time on News Feed and enjoy their experience.

It’s important to note that while we welcome a multitude of viewpoints, we also believe strongly that people should feel—and be—safe when they use Facebook, and we therefore have community standards that define the behavior that we think is out-of-bounds on the platform. We think it’s possible to be inclusive without making Facebook a place where people are subjected to attacks, hate or other harmful behavior.

The strength of our community depends on authentic communication. The feedback we’ve gotten tells us that authentic stories are the ones that resonate most. That’s why we work hard to understand what type of stories and posts people consider genuine so we can show more of them in News Feed. And we work to understand what kinds of stories people find misleading, sensational and spammy to make sure people see those less.

Ultimately, you know what’s most meaningful to you—and that’s why we’ve developed controls so you can customize what you see. Features such as “unfollow,” “hide” and “see first” help you design your own experience, and when you use them, we take your actions as feedback to help us better understand what content is most important to you. For example, if you hide a story from someone, that signals that you’re less interested in hearing from that person in the future. As News Feed evolves, we’ll continue building easy-to-use and powerful tools to give you the most personalized experience.

We view our work as only 1 percent finished — and are dedicated to improving along the way. As we look for ways to get better, we will continue soliciting feedback. We will be as open as we can — providing explanations in News Feed FYI wherever possible and looking for opportunities to share how we work.

Readers: What are your thoughts on Facebook’s latest News Feed algorithm change?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Brands Are Still Too Reliant on Engagement Metrics (Report)

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Social media marketers have been plagued with a number of problems in recent years, and it seems that many find it difficult to keep up with the changing objectives. The 2016 State of Social Marketing report from Simply Measured provides valuable insight into the areas marketers need to work on.

Some businesses are becoming more sophisticated in their understanding of how to leverage social media channels. However, 63 percent of businesses using social teams use them for marketing, 16 percent for communications, 5 percent within public relations departments and only 1 percent dedicate social media resources to customer support. Unfortunately, social customer service is definitely an area that continually lacks support, but it can bring great results when integrated into an overall strategy.

Social teams still remain very small. 71 percent of the 350 social media professionals surveyed have up to two employees working for them, while 27 percent have up to 10 people on the social media team. What’s more, social teams lack resources, according to the survey results, probably because businesses still struggle to understand and quantify the value of social media activities.

56 percent of marketers still rely on engagement metrics for indications of success, while only 20.7 percent focused on conversions, which are the better gauge of return on investment. 61 percent of marketers surveyed reported that measuring ROI was their main challenge, 38 percent cited securing budgets and resources and 33 percent cited tying social efforts to business goals. Less than 10 percent reported that they are able to quantify social driven revenue.

Without sufficient budgets, many find solving these problems is also problematic. 42 percent report that budgets are insufficient for all of the software they need to track analytics and publish content, and 34 percent say they have no software budget at all. Additionally, 42 percent say they need more staffing, and 43 percent want more analytics software.

Social media marketing has proved its value many times over, through influencers and personalization, among other advances. Given the evolving nature of well-established platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the new models created by the likes of Snapchat and Pinterest, it’s important to understand what social teams need to be most effective.

Download the full report for more details about the state of specific social networks and how brands can get the most out of their social media efforts. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

What’s Next for Social Video? (Infographic)

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Video has become a driving force behind engagement on social media. Indeed, social media users spend more time watching video than ever before, and providing video has positive impacts on conversion, audience retention and a number of other metrics.  A new infographic from Animoto examines the tactics businesses are employing to capitalize on the swell in video engagement.

Marketers are increasingly taking advantage of video, and more of them are generating original content for their campaigns. According to Animoto, 84 percent of professional marketers and 55 percent of small and midsized business owners have produced or outsourced an original video in the last 12 months. SMBs are a growth market for video, as more millennial business owners work it into their strategies.

A total fo 76 percent of those who have used video in the past 12 months report a direct business impact, and more than 60 percent plan to increase their investments in video next year. And this is a wise decision, given where the market is heading.

Business owners are going where the engagement is, with 44 percent on average planning to spend money promoting video on Facebook during the next year. Additionally 26.4 percent of pro marketers and 18.5 percent of SMB owners are planning to spend money promoting content on YouTube.

For more details, and to see attitudes toward Instagram video, view the infographic below.

The-2016-Social-Video-Forecast-a06eba3073

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Squarespace introduces new analytics for its commerce-focused customers

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Commerce Metrics

How the Convergence of Marketing, Ad Tech Led to Richer Data Insights

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Marketers spend most of their time on marketing strategy, budgeting and planning–processes that require collaboration across business groups to analyze consumer data and insights. Traditionally, this cycle of moving from strategy to execution took weeks and possibly months of refinements, all based on limited data points.

This practice is still commonplace today, but it doesn’t have to be. The marketing landscape changed significantly in 2015. Channels like social media can now provide detailed, actionable data points within hours. Marketers can now move quickly–provided that they’re willing to use the data that is now accessible.

To better grasp what’s possible, let’s first examine four key shifts that occurred in 2015 that are shaping the marketing landscape of 2016.

  • Data sources merged: A slew of companies, ranging from multinationals to startups, helped aggregate data from different sources, including customer-relationship management, third-party data, device IDs and cookie pools. This development allows companies like Facebook to “deterministically” target mobile devices through its ecosystem while maintaining consumer privacy. Meanwhile, companies like Drawbridge and Tapad can do the same “probabilistically” for rest of the digital ecosystem.
  • Marketing tech acquired ad tech: Salesforce, Adobe and Oracle all acquired and/or continued to build more third-party data and ad-tech media buying stacks.
  • Big data became standard: Technologies like data-management platforms became commonplace, allowing advertisers to learn from the Twitter and Facebook feeds, blogs and the open web.
  • Social blurred customer service, CRM and marketing: Twitter and Facebook added capabilities, such as bots for Messenger, which allow marketers to interact directly with consumers. At the same time, they have learned to better use organic posts, social likes and comments to inform their marketing efforts.

These four moves all made in-depth data available to marketers and deepened the level of consumer understanding. Of course, consumer insights, preferences, interests and behaviors are moving variables. Hence, a combination of speed and multiple data sources is extremely relevant for marketers looking for actionable insights that can be applied for fast media execution.

In the past, I managed a marketing strategy project for a Fortune 500 financial services company that involved focus groups. This was in 2007, and it took several weeks and thousands of dollars to organize the groups, aggregate and analyze their feedback and then prepare the insights. The kicker was that this was for a housing and mortgage company–by the time all of the focus group and other primary research was completed, the housing market and consumer outlook had started changing dramatically.

In contrast, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest audience insights are both deep and current. As users spend time on social networks, their interests, attitudes and behaviors are automatically updated, which solves the problem of tracking moving variables.

For example, as soon as I liked the Marine Corps Marathon page in 2012, marathons and related sports activities become part of my personal attributes. In 2013, I posted a picture of running the race, which made my interest in marathons even more specific. Overnight, I became a target for sports brands like Asics, Nike and Gatorade, to name just a few. On the contrary, focus groups or surveys would have taken weeks or months to statistically infer my interest in running, and wouldn’t know that I had actually run the marathon after taking their survey.

Insights are one thing, but they need to be applied to media execution, which largely used to be a black box for marketers. Once marketers develop the campaign messaging and creatives, external agencies or in-house media buyers would spend an allocated budget to target customers and bring back ad performance statistics. Today, ad-tech (programmatic, social, etc.) puts media performance insights at marketers’ fingertips so they can monitor, in real-time, which messaging (ad content) is resonating best with what type of consumer segment, and how that leads to sales.

Today’s technology drives a better, faster integrated feedback loop. The combined powers of ad technology and marketing technology give marketers real-time access to insights, which helps them accurately understand “who” and “why” new customers. As a result, marketers can further refine their segmentation, targeting and positioning strategies for ever greater success. It’s easier than ever to move quickly and efficiently–but it’s up to marketers to adapt.

Shikhin Agarwal is the vice president of products at social marketing data and technology company Kinetic Social.

ShikhinAgarwal

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Social Listening Is Key, but What Should Brands Be Listening for?

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“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey, the brains behind The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, was spot-on. Many marketing leaders and teams make this mistake when approaching social programs. As both a chief marketing officer and a leader at a social software technology company, I see this everyday.

While we use a lot of terminology when it comes to building social strategies—social listening, social analytics, social intelligence—it all starts with the data. To take the first step toward building successful social programs, brands have to start listening to the data. Social listening—specifically listening with the intent to understand and make smarter decisions with better data—is the backbone to any successful social program for any organization, brand or business.

We have been working with large, very successful brands for many years now that are using social data with different levels of success and sophistication. There is a common theme we see time and time again: The moment when they realize that they now have access to massive amounts of data, yet they are not sure what to do with it. Disillusionment and trepidation start to creep in once they are hit with the “so what” moment.

At this point, big brands and savvy marketers understand that social data is critical to their business, and social listening is a must. For the purposes of clarity, social listening is defined as listening to your customers and potential customers, unsolicited online.

In practice, this means capturing mentions of your brand, interesting brand topics, competitors or really anything interesting to your brand found across the internet. This includes the obvious social sites, but also forums, blogs, etc.

So people are gathering and listening to data, but now they are struggling to prove success to their management and higher ups. In some cases, it has reached the point where top-level management has really started to wonder if there is any value and if it is time to put an end to the program in lieu of a new tactic. Social listening … so what?

From social listening to social intelligence

This is where the movement to social intelligence becomes crucial. Social intelligence as a practice means acting on social insights and tying social data to business impact. So you have the data, and you have started to pull interesting insights. It is time to move beyond that and analyze the data into meaningful, actionable insights and distribute those insights to the right parts of the organization, to in turn make smarter, business impactful decisions.

Easy, right? Well, not so much. It is certainly a progression path, and it takes a team and executive buy-in. However, once you have it, it is a process of moving from a project to a program that is scalable and repeatable.

We see this progression from social listening to social intelligence as a maturity model that is often based on adoption through use cases and can be used as a map for your program. There are many different use cases that I can discuss as examples, but I chose to give brief examples of the five most commons use cases that we see regularly:

  • Crisis: step one of almost every social listening program. Listen and monitor to detect potential fires before they arise, and escalate issues to the right people in real-time to be addressed with background and data. You can even dig a little deeper here to help build an informed crisis-response strategy.
  • Market research: social media is the world’s largest focus group for businesses. Use it as such to get answers to the questions you asked, but also to the ones you did not think to ask. The methods behind using social media in this way are getting closer and closer to traditional market research (audience segmentations, definition of panels, etc.), yet the trickiest aspect is insights, as there has to be a fine balance between monthly tactical insights and deep-dive research that drives strategic decisions. That said, all of this can be handled with a proper social intelligence tool.
  • Campaign management: Use data to conduct a thorough social analysis of your target markets, segments, consumers and past campaigns to drive the right messages to the right audiences. Then define true metrics to measure the success of campaigns that go beyond just volumes.
  • Brand health: Track the long-term positioning of your products and sub-brands versus competitors, and measure social reputation and satisfaction by audience.
  • Integrations: a key step for success is to tie social feedback to non-social data and make sure that social media does not live in its own silo. Integrations could be with your customer-relationship-management and sales tools, your business intelligence platform, your customer-care platforms or other social marketing platforms.

PopeGuestPostSocialBusinessMaturity

Once siloed teams across your business are finally connected by data, people and systems, you’ll be able to use integrated tools and metrics to map value and drive smarter decisions. Understanding your goals and accessing the metrics of multiple practice areas throughout your company will allow your team to be able to fine-tune your social strategy and key performance indicators, ensuring that you’re bringing valuable insights back to the organization.

Always look beyond the “so what” of social data and connect your efforts to business impact. The “so what” moment can be distressing, but once you follow the program through the stages and start mapping value back to the business, adoption will follow.

Leah Pope is CMO of social insights provider Synthesio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

Optimize Campaign ROI With Predictive Social Analytics

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Successful brands are taking strategic advantage of using social data and social analytics to build more insightful and customer-driven campaigns that realize business impact and social return on investment.

As Mark Twain once said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” This is particularly poignant when looking at social programs and campaigns. Thinking you know what will resonate or drive success without research is the kiss of death.

Launching a social campaign without conducting a thorough social analysis of your target markets, segments, consumers and past campaigns can lead to subpar results. It is critical to use social listening and social analytics to really understand the data and, in turn, fuel campaign creative and strategy, which will boost the performance of your campaigns.

I recently published a piece on the progression path from social listening to social intelligence and the use cases and business drivers that are generally followed through this maturing of your social program, and campaign measurement is one of the foundational use cases that drives sophistication and adoption of your social programs. Feel free to dig deeper into the key business use cases that I see driving this adoption here.

Below is a breakdown of the four quadrants of success/failure into which campaigns can fall, based on budget and results. I have plotted the results here based on a Social Reputation Score.

SynthesioSocialReputationScore

Social Reputation Scores allow organizations to understand how they compare to their competitors within their markets, and against other markets, by analyzing customer satisfaction in real time. Brands use SRS as a business metric for customer satisfaction, as well as for industry benchmarking, competitive analysis, campaign measurement and crisis monitoring.

However your campaigns are performing now, it’s important to focus your key performance indicators on shifting your campaigns toward the top left-hand “major success” quadrant of the chart.

As you run more campaigns, gather more data and apply more sophisticated social analytics on the performance of your campaigns, you can begin to correlate campaign specifics, which can include content types, timing, duration and target market. Over time, the analysis will illuminate the types of campaigns that are likely to produce the strongest results and highest social ROI for your business.

Underperforming campaigns fall into a variety of categories. The most common, visualized by the charts below, are typically referred to within the social intelligence industry as “flop,” “bad buzz” and “no spread.” A campaign that flops is one that fails to produce any significant or sustained increase in buzz. A bad buzz campaign is one that generates a boost in buzz–but most of it negative. Finally, a no spread campaign is one that produces a very brief and unsustainable, although significant, increase in buzz.

SynthesioBuzz

With these examples of underperforming campaigns in mind, let’s take a look at what a high-performing campaign might look like:

SynthesioHighPerformingCampaign

While this is just one example of a successful campaign, there are repeatable key points that can be applied to your campaign measurement methodology. Ideally, the start of a new campaign will quickly generate a sustained (and steep) upward slope in positive buzz volume (as seen above), which should peak somewhere in the range of four to 10 times your pre-campaign volume baseline.

How long it takes to reach this peak depends on a number of factors, including the mediums in which your campaign material is appearing, the frequency of content placement, virality and more. Once your campaign has reached its peak, there should then be a gradual downslope of sustained positive buzz. This drop-off will ideally level out to a post-campaign baseline that is markedly, if not greatly, higher than your pre-campaign baseline.

It’s important to chart the slope of every campaign, regardless of overall success, because over time, you will be able to aggregate this information and turn it into an actionable body of historical campaign data. This can then be called upon with each successive campaign to fuel predictive social insights that will help you optimize campaign attributes both pre and post-launch.

For instance, if you have found that high-volume mixed-media campaigns tend to produce faster and higher peaks, this may be a campaign type you wish to rely upon more greatly in the future.

Moreover, by mapping social analytics for each campaign, you will be able to compare it to previous ones and develop useful predictions based on the data coming in. If the data appears to suggest suboptimal performance vis-á-vis historical data, then corrective steps can be taken to boost results.

Adjusting campaign messaging, content, target markets and geographies, and budget are a few of the steps that brands take to optimize campaigns that seem to lag in the early stages.

Once such steps have been taken, it’s then important to gather data on the impact of those corrective measures on campaign performance. Did adjustments in messaging and content boost the campaign peak over what was originally projected? Did an injection of extra budget midway through the campaign help to extend a period of post-peak buzz? Gathering and analyzing these types of data will help you gain a deeper understanding of which corrective actions are promoting higher campaign performance, and which are not as effective.

Truly successful campaigns are built upon thorough social analysis of target markets, audiences and past campaigns. To effectively tie any campaign investment directly back to measurable business impact, you must define and agree on the right business objectives and metrics for your brand and use case; and track them before, during and after campaigns. Most important, remember to always define metrics that are valuable to the business.

For more on social listening and intelligence programs, check out Forrester’s latest research on the market.

Leah Pope is chief marketing officer of social insights provider Synthesio.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes

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