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Vanity Statistics Vs Engagement

Do you manage your own social media campaigns?

Many business owners will choose to manage their own social media pages and blogs, which is great for those who have the time to update it. It offers many benefits and gives your readers freshly squeezed news, engagement and company updates straight of the press.

If you don’t need your social pages to drive direct sales but are using it mainly to create more brand awareness and online presence, you will need to focus on conveying a personal social tone to help build customer relationships and build a helpful online community for your brand and product/ service.

Behind the Posts

However, if you do want your social media pages to specifically drive more sales and traffic directly to your website, you will need to know what you’re doing when it comes to analysing your stats. Firstly, you’ll need to come up with a social strategy and a plan of action to help get your social media campaigns underway; prepare yourself to learn about the other faces of your social pages than you at first thought.

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Analytics and Admin Panels

Most major social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter offer a basic Analytics option which allows you to monitor your page statistics. It will show you where your likes are coming from, how much engagement your posts gets, how many people have seen your posts and graphs about general page activity.

facebook admin panel

On every Facebook page, if you are a page manager, you will see the Admin Panel at the top, above your cover photo when you’re logged in. You will see sections that look at help you when inviting new likes, keeping track of competitors, post analysis and the option to advertise or promote your page. Twitter has a similar analytics option and you can access it on any Twitter account, via the settings > analytics option.

These offer a basic option and offer no fancy marketing skills, especially in comparison to specifically designed software. But for those of you who are doing it alone, it’s a great place to start. You will learn about the most prevalent areas and the relevant terminology associated with social media analytics.

 

Vanity Vs Engagement

Vanity metrics tends to refer to the things like raw/ organic pageviews, registered users and downloads. Which are all seemingly valid aspects, however they are easily manipulated and don’t necessarily correlate the most important numbers. By the most important numbers, we mean things like active users, engagement, revenues and the cost of getting new customers.

Companies, especially startups, who keep updated and analyse their social strategy regularly and thoroughly, will have much more of an idea of the true state that their business is in.

CatLionMirror

The difference between Vanity Statistics and Page Engagement is paramount on social media. Contrary to what many think, likes and retweets aren’t everything and they don’t always lead to sales. Simply having a page that regularly engages with and understands it’s audience is bound to be more successful on a social level than one that has bought 1,000 likes over the internet. Vanity stats aren’t completely useless at all, but just don’t be fooled by them; make sure you have enough further stats to back up your figures.

Once you have an understanding of how the Facebook or Twitter analytics work on your pages, you will probably be relieved by stepping up a gear into professional software. You could consider investing in a premium (usually paid for) program or app. This will give you more information, more options and inevitably help give you more confidence in what you’re posting and the results it should bring.

A previous blog post by us talks about why buying social indicators is a bad idea here if you’d like to find out more.

 

How One Businesswoman Embraced Social Media Management

Mashable.com is currently running a great story about Julie Smolyansky, who inherited the position of CEO at the company her parents started in 2002, and was responsible for deciding the company’s direction at the tender age of 27. Since then, annual sales have increased from $12 million to $80 million and Lifeway Foods’ product has never been more popular. Smolyansky attributes much of this success to her early adoption of social media management. So what is the trendy product that has been embraced by internet users? Kefir, an ancient fermented milk drink. Not exactly the stereotypical subject of online popularity.

The product is made by introducing special ‘Kefir grains’, which are really a mixture of yeast and live bacteria, into milk and allowing the liquid to ferment for 24 hours. The resulting drink is rich in protein and in bacteria, leading some to praise its probiotic effects on the digestive system. Kefir has been around for some 2000 years, and Smolyansky credits its popularity explosion to her adoption of MySpace, Twitter and Facebook at a time when businesses did not commonly use social media services: ‘Everything that we do, we make sure that it’s sharable. We become a friend and a trusted source of information’.

At first, the young CEO attempted to manage the accounts herself alongside her other duties at Lifeway. Having realised that she just did not have the time to effectively engage with potential customers online, she hired a social media management expert in 2009. Nowadays, Lifeway employs 5 social media managers, and Smolyansky seems to suggest that she wishes to expand this even further: ‘We want to do more and more of it. You have to be everywhere’.

Lifeway’s story is an extreme one – few businesses can realistically hope to turn over $80 million each year. This case study does, though, illustrate the potential power of active social media management. If you want to explore the possibilities that social media could hold for your business, give us a call.

Why BJ Mendelson is Wrong About Social Media Management

As is my wont, I picked up a copy of the Metro yesterday during my commute in order to entertain myself during my lunch break. Can you imagine my horror when I read that social media management for businesses is ‘myth and hype… perpetuated by marketers all over the world’? U.S. comedian BJ Mendelson, who himself has over 760,000 Twitter followers, was loaned a two-page spread to inform readers of the great social media swindle. He would have us believe that any business investing in a social media campaign is throwing their money away. I might be biased, but I beg to differ – and I think that most will agree with me.

Social Media Management Isn’t Magic

It’s true that businesses can’t just set up a Facebook page, post a couple of boring company updates, sit back and watch the cash flow into their coffers. It doesn’t work like that. But, contrary to what Mr. Mendelson says, social media profiles are viable business tools. Instead of thinking of them as a way to plaster your slogan and product across a million screens, it’s better to see them as they were designed: as communication platforms.

The fact of the matter is that almost everybody spends a great deal of time online these days, and that for better or worse, social media has replaced more traditional forms of communication. It’s good to have a Facebook page because the majority of your customers probably use Facebook. You’re talking to them on their terms, through a platform that they have chosen. Twitter is excellent for keeping customers up to date with relevant news and for lending your company a distinct personality, due to its informal ‘pub conversation’ nature. From a more individual perspective, it’s hard to deny that Linkedin is a great way to find and engage with others in your industry – there’s a reason that even the least ‘trendy’ of professionals have a profile there.

Our Expertise Brings Real Results

Effective social media management won’t guarantee that your business will go viral and become an internet sensation. That isn’t to say, however, that your page or profile is an exercise in futility. It is possible to engage with existing and potential customers, stimulating sales or increasing brand loyalty – providing that you put out an appropriate message and respect the etiquette of that particular site. That’s where we come in. Our social media management services can provide your business with expertly crafted profiles, including professional graphic design, and the interaction that your customers will respond to. If you don’t believe us, ask our clients – why would they keep using our services, month after month, if they weren’t seeing a return on their investment?

2012: Mixed Fortunes for Facebook

We thought we would let the newest member of the team, Tom, loose on the blog this week. Here’s his take on Facebook in 2012:

Facebook is the symbol of social media. Its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has firmly entered the public consciousness following the success of 2010’s quasi-biographical film, The Social Network. Much is made of the company’s meteoric rise, which has made the lack of a Facebook profile a cultural taboo and earned Zuckerberg a place as the youngest billionaire in the world. Following the company’s disastrous IPO, observers have noted that its development is being used as a barometer by investors seeking to judge the continued viability of social media companies.

Facebook has taken the initiative, though. Aware that the pathetic demand for its stock was driven by a lack of faith in its ability to attract advertising and other commercial revenues as more and more users turn to mobile devices, the company quickly sought to refine its platform to allow for easier commercial usage. For starters, American users logging in from their phone will now see an opportunity to send friends gifts as Facebook integrates its birthday reminder feature with an e-commerce element. The site is also now offering businesses the opportunity to sponsor search results, allowing them to boost their app or page above their competitors’. The most important innovation, though, is the new dedicated mobile advertising network. This major development means that mobile ads will now be targeted to users in the same way as the regular Facebook ad service is – that is, by using information drawn from the user’s profile, including their bio, ‘likes’ and chosen apps. Though in its infancy, this change is already making its presence felt, as the company’s third quarter earnings revealed a 32% growth in revenue compared to the same period last year. This is extremely impressive, especially given that the new ad network has only just been rolled out and so we cannot expect to see the full results until the end of the next quarter. The market was obviously pleased; Facebook’s shares shot up by 10% following the earnings report.

Social Media Heading into 2013

Assuming that these measures are a success in the long term, and investors begin to see greater and more stable returns, we can expect to see more excitement around social media platforms in general as commercial entities. The exposure of Facebook to the forces of the market was a risk, and one which some people thought had been miscalculated. If those people are proven wrong, it could be that others in the sector also open their companies up with a public offering. This change would fundamentally alter the course of the web’s development, as social media sites would become accountable to shareholders as well as users. The potential of the internet as a catalyst of economic growth is just beginning to be realised. Interested parties would do well to keep tabs on the market leader’s progress.

Social Media Management

If you’re not on Facebook yet, what are you waiting for? With hundreds of millions of users, it’s a great way to get into contact with potential customers. We can help you manage your social media to make sure that you see the biggest increase in customer engagement, website traffic and sales. Just give us a call or pop us an email – we don’t bite!

 

Facebook To Introduce a Want Button

Facebook are looking to introduce a ‘Want’ button.

Though you wouldn’t be able to do this on a site other than on Facebook itself, in the same way that you might be able to ‘like’ an article you’ve just read, it is a rather interesting development as to the direction where Facebook is heading in. Let’s look at the possibilities:

Advertising

It’s not been a great year for Facebook, with a huge chunk being knocked off the value of the company since their IPO. Facebook as a means of advertising is now being seen in a different light since the revelation that a large number of their profiles are in fact fake or inactive. Introducing a Want button would encourage the posting and sharing of content that would be related to products you can buy, adding a new appeal to Facebook as a place to share what you really want.

Pinterest

We do love Pinterest at our office; both to view pictures of funky interior designs, and to benefit clients and their products and business. The Want button would be a move towards making Facebook less focused on user-to-user interaction, but instead as a place to simply hang out (if I can steal a phrase from Google’s lexicon) and consume content. Pinterest for example, is not so focused on our followers but about the content which pops up on your feed. More people are realising just how much time can be spent on a site like Pinterest (which has potential for advertising revenue) which doesn’t rely on chatting to friends or relationships.

Amazon Wish List

For those who don’t know what an Amazon Wish List is, it’s basically a publicly-viewable list of things you would like people to buy for you, which people can, if they like you, take you up on. A lot of minor celebrities or self-sufficient, fledgling figures who aren’t on massive salaries sign up to this, so enthusiastic fans can show their adoration for them. With Christmas approaching, and things like birthdays, you can get an idea of what a family member or friend might like to receive as a gift with the Want button.

 

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