Tactics

Your Social Media – When is it a Waste of Time?

social_media_ROIWhether you’re a small or big business, being on social media is a good idea. The visibility and connectivity accessible through social media has convinced most business owners that it’s worth their while. But what isn’t so clear is how to measure what’s working and what’s not, and when to drop a platform that’s just waste of time and energy.

While its possible to track ROI and conversions, it can be tough to accurately measure the effectiveness of a social media campaign. You might find that some social media efforts that drive visitors to your content can be measured in other ways. For example, if your social strategy isn’t so content-heavy, and if you are promoting products or events, then your business would fit a more traditional measure for ROI and conversions. The only way to know if what you’re doing is enough is to have a gauge on your ROI.

In order to get there, you have to align your objectives to your measurement. For each network (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) you’ll need to have an objective before you can decide on how successful the network is. You’ll need to decide what measurement would be the most valuable to you. Maybe you’re a blogger and your goals are e-mail sign-ups and blog followers, or, maybe you are a retailer looking to increase sales and traffic to your website – either way you must consider your key metric. I can guarantee that if you have had no objectives for your social media, then you will be extremely disappointed with the results.

Capturing the data is the easy part – measuring interactions (likes, clicks, shares, followers) and analyzing traffic, reach, and leads, can help gauge what your business is getting out of its social media investment, but you’ll need to measure these outcomes against your objectives.

Like all marketing tools, each social media network provides some general trends and demographic information to help guide your decision as to which platform your unique business should focus on, but ultimately, you need to understand your brand and your audience before you can choose the right platform, set objectives and measure if it is successful.

If you leverage the right tools and tactics necessary to better understand your audience, then you are more likely to put out messaging and content that is most likely to increase loyalty, drive sales, and help you reach company goals.

Measuring social media ROI can be extremely frustrating and difficult. I’d love to know how you measure your social media ROI, and what metrics you measure. Share your comments and thoughts with me in the comment section!

How does content “Go Viral”?

Perhaps you remember the #KONY2012 video, which was the fastest video to receive 100-million views  in the shortest amount of time. Or maybe you recall the Dove Real Beauty sketches, where the brand invited a group of women to sit down with a sketch artist and describe themselves to him. 

These campaigns are examples of marketing content that has gone viral, but what does this concept actually mean, and how can we channel it into your marketing strategy?

To say something has “gone viral”  usually means that a piece of content has been well-received and widely shared, which is a a marketer’s dream, but the truth is, the vast majority of even great content will never enjoy widespread attention.

The infographic below discusses the science behind viral content and how it comes to be:

viral

What are your takeaways from this infographic? As a marketer, several tactics stand out to me:

Content: Make a statement with your content. Do you want it to be funny? Incredible? Dramatic? Emotional? Decide what message you want to send and choose a way to communicate it.

Integrated: A great video may get a lot of traction on it’s own merit, but many campaigns rely on integrated approaches that share the same brand message. The other platforms will support to the overall success of your viral campaigns.

Easy-to-Share: If your platforms aren’t easily accessible, fans of the content can’t share even if they wanted to. Make sure you give your audience both a way AND reason to share.

What kind of content could go viral for your business? Do you think viral marketing could work for you? I look forward to your comments below.

 

Customer Service: the Milk and Cookies of Marketing

Milk-and-Cookies-cynthia-selahblue-cynti19-32514897-1024-768

Despite the fact that marketing and customer service are usually separate departments, I find that, like milk and cookies, the two are always better together.

When we traditionally think about marketing, we think about strategy, our messaging, our unique brand identity and how to attract new clients. It is fair to say that marketing tactics, therefore, are often focused on attracting the attention of potential clients.  With an increase in a global economy and growth in competition, many companies have discovered that client retention costs less than client acquisition.  Quite simply, the value of loyal clients is that they buy more, buy frequently, are cheaper to serve, have higher retention rates and are more profitable than newly acquired clients.

Ideally then, we all want more loyal clients and the only way to do this is to make sure we treat our existing clients very well.

So in addition to thinking up clever advertising and direct mail pieces, we need to “walk the talk” of good customer service, ensuring that every staff member, especially the ones that deal directly with the clients, provide superior customer service. Your staff should know who the client is, where they are in the buying cycle, what opportunities they might want to be involved in and how your business can help them achieve their goals. You have to be able to align yourself with the values of your client and make decisions in the interest of their company.

By ensuring your staff provides consistent customer service at every touch point with the client (including online marketing), your client will come to trust you and therefore, continue to come to you to help them.

Let’s face it- all companies care about their clients, but the companies that keep them happy are the ones that prosper! A happy client is a repeat client.

Where have you seen quality customer service make a difference with a client? How do you employ good customer service tactics? I look forward to your thoughts below!

10 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew About Them

You want the right people to receive your company’s message. How do you make an impact with your demographic? When it comes to marketing, understanding your target audience’s behaviours and patterns doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Whether you are looking to increase your customer base or strengthen relationships with current clients, some education in basic social psychology can help you make strategic decisions that will yield results for you business.

I would like to share the infographic “10 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew About Them” that presents several tactics businesses have used to appeal to their customers.

10-things-your-customers-wish-you-knew-about-them-infographic 

The ideas are often simple, when you think of how easy it could be to personalize outgoing messages or remembering customers’ names, but it is often these thoughtful gestures that make a lasting impression on a customer. Have you ever experienced any of these tactics as a consumer? What was your response? Which of these could you see implementing into your strategy? I look forward to your comments below!

#4 Piece of Advice for SMBs is Tracking Marketing Tactics

measurementContinuing in our series on the results from our online poll a few weeks ago, we asked what the best piece of advice a SMB owner needs to help them grow their business and the fourth highest response was “”track your marketing results”.

Even though it ranked fourth in our poll, I want to highlight just how important this point really is. As a marketer, tracking marketing results is key, and it helps us determine the success of a campaign and also can indicate what decisions we should make in terms of further investment, making tweaks to a campaign and setting the expected return on investment (ROI).

Many SMB owners have produced brochures, one page ads, sell sheets, flyers, and even websites, but when asked for the ROI on each of these marketing tactics they are hard pressed to produce the results.  With analytics available on everything these days from emails and websites to webkeys and radio ads, SMB owners need to know that they can ask for and expect results. I have outlined below what I feel are the top marketing tactics that SMB’s need to be measuring.

  1. Do you have Google Analytics on your site? If not, why not? Google Analytics is free and lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track your Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications.  At a minimum, you should receive a regular report about your site from your marketing agency or internal resource. If you have extra time, ask you marketing agency not just for a report, but also to give you access to your Google Analytics account.  You need to be looking at this report and make sure you understand what it means. If it doesn’t make sense to you… then work with them until you can clearly see the value.
  2. If you are using print in your marketing, make sure the print pieces can be tracked.  One way to do this is to add a code to each piece and have the recipient quote that code when they contact you. Another way is to add a QR code to your print materials and then you can measure the success of the “visits” on the site you have entered into the code.
  3. Online marketing should all be measurable via its own application, a landing page or links to your site.
  4. E-blast vendors all offer analytics – open rates, click through rates, etc.  Make sure you get a report once you send out the email so you can assess the results to determine if it met your campaign objectives.

Before you launch any marketing tactic, make sure it’s tied to your marketing strategy, has clear objectives with clearly defined goals and ensure you have a measurement system in place that will help you meet your objectives and achieve your results.

Have you ever launched a tactic without using measurement?  How did you decide if it was successful or not?  How important is the measurement of your tactics? I’m looking forward to hearing your opinions on tracking your marketing results.