Brain freeze, also known as an ice-cream headache or a cold-stimulus headache, a kind of short-term headache typically linked to the rapid consumption of ice cream. While the idea of consuming your favourite ice-cream which results in a brain freeze might sound appealing, it’s very much the same feeling I sometimes get while trying to understand social media metrics, the end result, BRAIN FREEZE, delightful.
I know enough about social media metrics to hold my own or at the very least give a top line overview when in conversation. In an effort to understand those that I do, I thought it would be worth looking into the many different metrics one might track and more importantly which ones are worth focusing on.
As a social media marketer, your focus and goal regarding research should be to acquire data that helps with the decision-making process of your business. It is therefore vital that you know what you’re tracking and why.
If you have ever been in a situation where you see a metric and have no idea what to do with it, I know I have, then you’re probably looking at what is called the vanity metric. A vanity metric is data collected about a company or it’s users that do not help entrepreneurs make decisions and many claim that these metrics serve no purpose other than to make the entrepreneur feel good.
If there is going to be one key takeaway it’s this: Are the metrics you’re using helping you make decisions? You need to be able to answer this question because there is a difference between knowing what the stats mean and knowing which stats are meaningful.
Definitions of popular social media metrics
Social Media over the last 5+ years has brought a whole new range of metrics to the table for marketers to consume and dissect to their hearts content.
Metrics in general fall into *4 categories, namely:
- Consumption metrics: How many people viewed, downloaded, or listened to this content? Page views, Video views and downloads
- Sharing metrics: How resonant is this content, and how often is it shared with others? Likes, Shares, Tweets, +1, Pins & Inbound Links
- Lead generation metrics: How often does content consumption result in a lead? Webinars, Competitions, Downloads, Email Subscription, Blog Comments “Conversion Rate”
- Sales metrics: Did we actually make any money from this content and customer engagement? Social NPS, Influence, Response time
*Source – Content Strategy Consultant @Jay Baer
Related: 2015: The Year of Brand Experience
Which social media metrics should matter to you?
Of the many metrics we have to consider I believe there are 3, which for me stand out more than most. Fan Growth, Interaction and Response Time, it’s these which impact the decision making process and here’s why.
1. Fan Growth %
Fan growth or otherwise know as audience growth rate is a refinement of New Followers or similar stats, expressed in % change over time, the growth rate of your audience depicts your social media momentum.
Why it’s important is because it allows you to evaluate marketing efforts over time, without getting distracted by irrelevant information like total followers’ numbers.
It’s important not to confuse engagement with interactions and understand why interactions is now the preferred metric for measurement as demonstrated by Social Bakers.
Engagement rate measures how well your fans interact with your content. The Facebook Post ER formula takes into account Likes, Comments and Shares of the post to the total number of fans at the time is has been posted. You then multiply that by 100 to get the final percentage, which expresses how well your brand is doing in engaging your fans.
Interactions, on the other hand, serve a better purpose. Because we do not know if a competitor page has promoted a post and increased their overall engagement rate performance, hopefully someday we will have that insight, the level of interactions is non-dependent on page size and therefore is a fairer metric to measure.
The recommendation is that brands follow overall Interactions (Engagement, not Engagement Rate), check the structure of the interactions (i.e. types of interactions – likes, comments, shares), and support their interaction levels with comparisons to benchmarks at location and industry level, as well as with competitors.
By understanding how your interaction levels are comparing to your industry you can benchmark performance, and by understanding the structure of your interactions you can judge value, as naturally a share holds more weight than a simple like, this is why interactions is critical to the decision making process.
3. Response Time
Now you have your fans and they are interacting with your brand, job done? Nowhere near.
In order to be truly successful in social you should be having 2 way interactions with your fan base. This is highlighted by the rise of Social Customer Service but any conversation means your customers are taking the time to interact and it’s an opportunity to make them happy.
Seeing that most social media users are on their mobile phones, the importance of these conversations happening in as close to real time as possible becomes more apparent.
If you have an issue, you want it dealt with NOW and brands need to match the expectations of their customers. The customer owns the social media space and you owe it to your customers to own your channels. Reports state that more than 10% of customer queries are now resolved over social, so operations now need to be streamlined and one effective way of doing this is by using a dedicated social customer service CRM.
Consistency and preparation are essential to effective social media measurement. Pick your favourite metrics and start tracking them now.
Everything You Need To Know About Instagram’s New Shopping Features
The app is giving influencers and brands new channels on which consumers can discover them.
Influencers and brands have two new ways to sell products to users scrolling and tapping through their Instagram feeds. After a summer of testing shopping buttons that drive purchases via Stories, the Facebook-owned app has launched them for businesses in 46 countries.
It’s also begun rolling out a personalised shopping section in the Explore tab, which Instagram redesigned earlier this year to feature AI-powered channels categorising content based on topic (e.g. travel, art, decor).
The shopping tab will be a place for users who know they want to browse and potentially buy, with Instagram’s algorithm serving up brands the user already follows or would likely be into, based on past activity on the app. Meanwhile, the shopping bag stickers in Stories will give users a chance to not just admire their favourite influencers’ outfits, but actually click through and learn more about promoted items.
Since Instagram began testing the feature in June, more than 90 million users per month have tapped to reveal tags in shopping posts, according to a Sept. 17 Instagram blog post. The app already allows brands to purchase ads in the form of Stories.
More than 400 million accounts watch Stories daily, and one-third of the most-viewed Stories are from businesses, Instagram also reports.
Instagram has been testing shopping in feeds for nearly two years.
Related: Creating Power Digital Campaigns
Back in November 2016, the company explained on its Business blog that online shopping often involves research and deliberation, rather than impulse purchases, which is what led Instagram to build out shopping posts that would provide consumers with information about products without having to leave the app until they’d made a purchase decision.
Salesforce has forecasted that the referral traffic Instagram drives to retailer websites will increase by 51 percent between the 2017 and 2018 holiday seasons, according to Adweek.
Speaking of leaving the app, Instagram is rumored to be developing a standalone shopping app, according to The Verge, but the company declined to comment on these reports to both The Verge and Entrepreneur.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Social Media Marketing For Start-ups: Essential Tips
There are plenty of ways to get the leads your start-up needs, but only a few tactics you’ll need in your arsenal to get the job done at a limited cost to your burgeoning business.
Social media marketing, when you’re short on funds, can seem like an intimidating prospect. If you and your team aren’t already knowledgeable about digital marketing strategy, you may think it’s impossible for you to manage marketing campaigns yourself. With a bit of determination and a great deal of studying, however, your startup will be able to successfully launch, direct, and refine your own digital marketing strategies.
What things can you do to help your start-up get more press, attract more customers, and get more brand awareness? There are plenty of ways to get the leads your start-up needs, but only a few tactics you’ll need in your arsenal to get the job done at a limited cost to your burgeoning business.
Get to know your niche
Many young companies adopt random acts of internet marketing. They’ll throw a few hundred dollars into promoting Facebook posts without necessarily understanding how to communicate to their audience.
Before you dive into advertising and promotion platforms, you should spend some time to define – and to get to know – your niche.
To help define your target market, use questions like:
- Who are your existing customers?
- How would you group them?
- Who does your product or service help?
- Does your product help business owners, stay-at-home parents, college students, or someone else?
- Who are you looking to reach out to?
- That is, are you looking to refine your target market or expand it?
Once you’ve answered a few questions like the ones listed above, you should be able to get a better idea of who you’re marketing to. With an understanding of who you’re communicating with, you should be able to craft a tailored message about your brand.
Related: 10 Laws Of Social Media Marketing
Choose social media platforms wisely
Many start-ups try to master as many social media platforms right at the start. Instead of dividing your attention between Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you should identify one or two social media platforms that will help you market your product or service. This is why defining your target market at the beginning is so very important.
You must first decide who your message is intended for before writing, editing, and positioning that message. After you’ve got your target market down, you’ll be able to pinpoint which social media platforms can serve you best.
Here are a few examples to give you an idea of which social media platforms are best suited for your needs:
- Best for blog links
- Frequent posts: 1-4 posts every few hours is the most effective
- The community is open to businesses promotion
- Best for communicating to existing customers
- Daily posts: 1 post every 2 days is the most effective
- Users respond best to images, videos, and clips
- Strictly promotional posts are undesirable
- Building readership and/or a following is slow
- Better suited for long-term growth strategy
Do your social media research
Start conducting some preliminary research about social media platforms. Build a profile of each, listing their pros and cons. Try investigating other social media platforms such as GitHub, Stack Overflow, and Quora. While these aren’t platforms as large as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, they could have a far greater impact on your start-up.
Answering questions on Quora and interacting with other users on GitHub, for example, could help you build genuine business and customer relationships.
Concentrate on mastering a few channels
Ultimately, it’s important to concentrate on one or two social media platforms based on your target market and your goals. Attempting to have a significant presence on all of them will prove expensive, time-consuming, and, at worst, counterproductive.
Focusing on one platform will allow you to track your marketing efforts with greater precision, revise your marketing strategy more easily, and help you speak more directly to your target audience.
Digital marketing, while best left to a team of experienced marketers, content creators, and creative designers can be done by your team.
Start-ups tight on cash don’t need to fret, they only need to do a bit of market research and direct their energy accordingly. After narrowing down your audience and performing some preliminary research on social media platforms, you can start working on your social media marketing strategy.
Master a few channels rather than trying to dominate all of the social media space. Keep conducting research as you start your marketing campaigns. Each community naturally changes so you’ll want to keep up-to-date. Leverage your research and dedication to get the most out of your startup marketing.
How To Create The Best Small Business Website: 5 Easy And Effective Steps
Check the steps below and get ready to create a successful small business website.
It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. If you don’t have online presence, it will become difficult to obtain the results you expect. Your target audience is using the internet nowadays for almost anything. So, if you want to attract more customers and build your brand reputation, you need to build a website. This is how you will be able to expand your business in an easy and not so expensive way.
On the other hand, you don’t have to be a savvy web developer to create a basic website and let the others know about you. Web development and design software have evolved a lot and now you can use several website builders to develop a functional site. You will have plenty of templates to choose from to increase your business’ visibility.
Check the steps below and get ready to create a successful small business website.
Easy and Effective Steps to Create a Website for Your Business
1. What is the purpose of your website?
It doesn’t matter if you develop a simple or a more complex website. Before you start working on anything related to your website, you should start with saying what your company does. Your customers need to understand from the first minute they access your homepage what is your mission and vision. They don’t have too much time to invest when they enter on a website. So, you can make their journey smoother by telling them from the beginning about you. In case you are not so talented at writing, you can use writing companies like RewardedEssays or SupremeDissertations to give you a hand.
2. Choose a domain name and a web host
Even though many think they shouldn’t focus too much on it, the domain name is an important feature of your website. You will use the URL to promote your business to existing and future clients. So, this means that your domain name should be explicit and talk about your business to anyone who wants to find more about you. A domain name should be short, clear, without acronyms or numbers. What is more, you shouldn’t forget to check if your domain name isn’t already taken by someone else.
Apart from a domain name, your website will also need a server where all your data is stored. When you own a small business, creating your own web host will represent a serious financial effort. So, it would be more cost-wise to choose an external host.
As your business grows, you can choose a different host, or you can ask several providers to work on a personalised solution.
3. Build your website’s pages
You will need more than a homepage to create a good website. If you want your customers to understand that you are a professional in what you do, you will create several pages dedicated to different elements of your business. For example, you can include a catalog with your products or a blog.
Natalie Andersen, CEO of GetGoodGrade mentions that “It is obligatory that apart from the homepage, a website should have at least a page with the products’ catalog and a Contact Us page.”
Below you can find a list with the minimum number of pages a professional website should have:
- Homepage – here you will include details about your business, making sure that you also talk about your mission and vision.
- List of products and services – your customers need to know what are the products and services you offer. This will help them decide whether you can answer their questions and provide a solution to their problems.
- About Us – “About Us page is the place where you talk about your story. Your target audience wants to know more about yourself. This is how you will create a connection with your customers and let them know more about you”, says James Daily, Head of content department at FlashEssay.
- Contact Us – it should include your address, email, phone number and working hours. You can also include the links for your social media profiles.
Furthermore, if you want to achieve an international presence, you can also use the translation services offered by IsAccurate. Thus, you will be able to address your message to a wider group of people and expand your business on new markets.
Related: How To Secure Your SME Website
4. Test if your website works properly
Christopher K. Mercer, CEO of Citatior recommends that “before you launch a website, you should first test whether it works. You cannot tell your future customers about your website without knowing for sure that it will work without problems once you launch it”. Therefore, you should click on each page and check whether it has any errors. You still have time to fix something if necessary.
Once you have launched your website and something goes wrong, it will become more difficult to do any change. Plus, always remember that the first impression matters. So, you need to be perfect in the eyes of your customers.
5. Maintain your website
After you launched your website, this doesn’t mean that your work is done. You will need to keep your customers engaged and curious about your business. Therefore, updating the products’ catalog constantly or producing content for your blog will keep your audience informed about what you can offer and the latest trends in the industry. Plus, you should also check if your website is up to date with the latest add-ons. If you don’t know how to produce new content for your website or you feel that you are not talented enough, you can collaborate with HotEssayService or RatedByStudents for professional writing services.
It shouldn’t be complicated to create a website for your small business. As long as you keep a clear structure and create a story around your business, you don’t have anything to worry about. It is very important to understand that a website is very important for your business visibility. Thus, you should put all your efforts into it.
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