Entrepreneur magazine has written another useful story about social media and how it can ruin your reputation. It also provides tips to avoid such an outcome. We’re doing the same but adding our own tips to help ensure your good online reputation.
Post YOUR Goods
The first point made is about avoiding boring posts. True, this should go without saying but, often it can be difficult to find topics to consistently post about in a manner that remains appealing each time. The first advice is to stay on topic related to your expertise. After all, it’s your expertise in an area that would draw attention your way. If you’re a chef and owner of your own restaurant, posting about a new smartphone and its features is probably not going to draw desired attention. However, if your post is about how that smartphone is the ultimate for a chef, now that’s more in line with your expertise. But, you’d better be capable of drawing a clear argument for your case.
Staying memorable is directly in line with staying on topic – the topic related to your expertise. It’s important that you ensure your profile clearly explains your expertise on a topic too.
It’s not a good idea to disrespect or argue with someone via a social channel and the Entrepreneur article points out at least one way to handle this. Good comments start with good social media guidelines for you and your organization. And, any good social media policy should include clear methods for how to deal with argumentative or distasteful posts directed at you. While one answer may be not to respond at all, it can be difficult not to address some negative posts too. For example, if you own a beauty salon and someone posts that you turned their hair green, well, this kind of post – true or not – can spiral into many negative posts about you. You might imagine, say on Twitter, a string of negative comments popping up about this supposed incident. Gone unchecked, it can ruin your reputation – sometimes a response is necessary. In this case, if you did indeed turn their hair green hopefully you would have resolved the problem before they left your shop. But, if you didn’t you better act now. In such scenarios it may be best to admit it and offer to fix it at all costs. Make sure to follow-up with tweets on how you resolved the problem and encourage the unfortunate customer to chime in with their new satisfaction.
If the post is untrue, a different and careful approach is needed. You’ll need to first apologize this person feels the way they do about your service and make clear that you’ve concluded an internal review (after you’ve actually done so) – that no one here recalls such an incident. Offer that person a direct and private line of communication to resolve the rumor. Once done, ensure you tell your followers of the positive outcome. It’s tough to stay on top of such sentimental posts being made on Twitter. If you are invested in your followers, it may be a good idea to use a social media monitoring tool that tracks sentiment about your profile so you can be responsive to good or bad sentiment trends.
The next point that is made is to ensure you properly recognize the contributions of others, just as we’ve done here by properly attributing our idea for this post to the good article in Entrepreneur. But, it goes beyond just someone giving you good advice and recognizing this. If you provide a product or service, engaging with your followers to reward them for their business is a good way to spread positive word of mouth and more good posts about you. Here too a social media monitoring tool that lets you track loyal followers is a good idea. You might then be able to track your most engaged Facebook users and reward them in a way that keeps them positively engaged.
Social media does require more of your time. But, this investment in time is beneficial to enhancing your online and offline reputation. Part of this time requires that you be responsive to blog comments, etc. True, many are SPAM-like comments but, it’s your job to weed through them and be responsive to the ones that are not. Make a practice to be responsive – and positive in your response too.
It’s still amazing how many times some celebrities or politician show up in the news with an unfavorable photo floating around social media sites. It’s not just celebrities. It can happen to you. Be mindful of any picture you take or being taken of you. This means being mindful in general of the things you do. It can easily end up on the Interwebs and spread like wildfire. Do you really need to be concerned with everything you do in public? If you’re concerned about your reputation you need to be. Today, every person around you is a walking photo journalist – with smartphones and their cameras so easily available. One bad move on your part and you can almost bet someone will snap a picture or video and ponder posting it to Facebook or YouTube. That’s just the way it is now.
Managing your online reputation need not be too difficult. It’s important because it also impacts your offline reputation. There are social media tools of all sorts to help you out, from apps that help you post content, to monitoring tools to track it all. The important thing is to stay active, be responsive and stay positive. You should also use good judgment about what you do online and in public. This requirement grows in need the more your reputation grows. The more popular you are, the more of a target you might become. Be careful out there and stay on top of it.
An article in Entrepreneur magazine highlights that small business owners are spending more time and money on social media. The data is presented as an infographic. Here are some of the most interesting points.
Nearly 80 percent of small business owners spend at least six hours per week on social media. Compared to a year ago, 66 percent of small businesses are spending more time on social media. Most of this time is still dominated by Facebook and Twitter. But, other social sites are used too: LinkedIn, Google+, etc. In addition, more than half of small businesses also have a blog. More and more, small businesses are coming to accept the importance of social media. In fact, another finding points out that four times the number of small businesses have increased their social media budget versus decreasing it.
When it comes to spending on social media, 36 percent state they pay for social media publishing and social media analytics tools. More than half say they spend $26 or more per month. While this is not a large amount compared to other marketing activities, it’s clear social media is amongst the most rapidly growing areas of developing brand awareness.
Getting in on social media is something that, clearly, more and more small businesses are doing. However, the majority of small businesses are also now spending on social media analytics. This is an important step forward for social media in general. Social media analytics helps justify the time and money spent by helping to evaluate and validate results. Such analytics also help small business owners adapt campaigns or to keep doing what works. For example, if a small business owner uses two landing pages for a campaign. Let’s say one landing page was in an email newsletter to give away a coupon. Another landing page was in the newsletter to promote a new service. With proper analytics, one can not only measure visits to the landing page but also, how often those landing pages were shared. One should also be able to view where the link was shared and who shared it. Adding sentiment analysis to Twitter shares also helps evaluate how customers perceived the landing page. This is all valuable data to learn what works and to keep doing what works. This data can ensure time spent on social media leads to good results. After all, one other data point of the infographic included that 1/3 of CEOs / owners / proprietors want to spend less time on social media. Knowing that social media is yielding results can actually make you want to spend more time on it.
Measuring Gamification in Social Media
Also in Entrepreneur, an article points out that gamification is a good way to engage users in your social media channels. There are many ways to do so and contests are the most popular. Let’s say you own a beauty salon that sells a new hair color product. You could run a Facebook campaign encouraging followers to post their before-and-after photos when they use the hair color product. Your store employees can be the judge of who wins and offer the winner, say, a free product or free services for a period of time in return. Such campaigns help promote the beauty shop in multiple ways. It demonstrates it sells products customers want. It demonstrates customers are happy. It creates mindshare for future purchases, and more.
In doing such a campaign, you might launch it from your email newsletter. Then, you might refer to a blog post with the details and then mention that blog post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Then, it’s time to start measuring the results. Using a good social media monitoring tool, you can track the progress of it daily, weekly, etc. Did it take off in the first week? Were some social media channels more useful than others? How many people passed along details about the contest via social media? Or, if it didn’t take off, you’ll know that too and can adjust to change the popularity of the contest in your favor and ensure success.
Social media is here to stay. More and more, small businesses and big businesses are getting in on it. Also more and more, measuring results with good social media monitoring tools is important. As businesses come to spend more time and money on social media, ensuring a return on investment via social media intelligence will also continue to grow in importance.
An article by Xaffo was recently published in SMBNow highlighting recent plans from Google to offer Google+ for businesses. The article explores ways SMBs can leverage Google+ for promotions and measurement of social media success. Below is an excerpt of the article. You can also read it in its entirety at SMBNow.
Google+ for Businesses Now Available for SMBs; Also Best Time for a Trial
by Mangala Karunaratne
In August 2012, Google announced a preview version of Google+ specific to schools, businesses and government agencies. Google+ for businesses is available as an app in the Google Apps Marketplace. Word is Google will offer it free through 2013 and then start charging for it. This makes now the right time to trial Google+ to conduct SMB brand awareness via this social network.
There are plenty of expected features in Google+ for businesses that SMBs can leverage for anything from collaboration to SEO. Google+ will likely integrate with Google Docs, Gmail and Calendar for collaboration. You can probably expect to be able to video chat while collaborating. Hangouts are also expected to be integrated with these other Google tools. The social site will offer private and public sharing. Enhanced administrative tools are also expected to provide capabilities such as company-wide sharing defaults for posts. Such collaborative features are great but, SMBs would do well to remember the main purpose of Google+ should be to support brand awareness.
Most experts agree Google+ came about to compete with Facebook. Leading social media sites demonstrate their power and need for SMBs to take advantage of them. For example, in 2011 Nielsen found that more than 80 percent of all Americans use a social network. They also found Americans spend more time on Facebook than any other USA website. In addition, market research company Lab42 reported in September 2012 that roughly 50 percent of consumers think a brand’s Facebook page is more useful than the brand’s website. And, in October 2012 Facebook surpassed one billion users. It’s no wonder why Google has developed Google+ to compete with Facebook.
Google+ for business is free for SMBs – until 2013.
Google+ for SMB Brand Awareness
You can expect that using Google+ will enhance your search engine optimization (SEO) with Google. This is just one important reason for getting on Google+. First, you’ll want to setup a Google+ business page. This will include providing basic information about your business and specifying categories to be in. Remember to optimize your profile for search engine rankings. Once setup you’ll want to start developing your Circles. Circles are friends you invite to be part of your Google+ page. You can categorize each person, for example for business, friends, etc. Segmenting your audience is a good idea as you can target your posts specifically to Circles. For example, let’s say your SMB sells restaurant supplies to local restaurants and to walk-in customers. You might want to create a Circle for each to target special savings for each one. Read the rest of the article here.
We came across an interesting article in Entrepreneur magazine which outlines 5 Ways to Use Your Network to Grow Your Business The article lists 5 tips that you need to keep in mind when you ask your network members for advice. Below we try to look at these tips from a social media perspective to grow your fan base and build an engaging network.
1. Before you ask for something, give something
It’s no secret that today many brands seek consumer opinion through social media. While this is a good strategy to reach your consumers and get their feedback, it is important that you build an engaging network by offering giveaways and promotional deals through social media pages. It’s not a good idea to expect something for nothing. To better solicit feedback from social media users, first offer them a reason to do so. Let’s consider a hypothetical situation. Serene is a boutique hotel which maintains a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a Foursquare place to reach their consumers and create a fan base. Serene can offer, 20% off on ‘Breakfast all day’ for their Facebook fans and Twitter followers or 10% off on drinks for Foursquare check-ins. These giveaways can be tied to landing pages to track their performance using an analytics tool. Once they have acquired a considerable number of followers in their network, Serene can post questions for users to give their feedback in order to better their service.
2. Restrict your requests for advice to a person’s area of expertise
It is crucial that your social media posts are appealing to your network. When you ask for advice or opinions, make sure that the question is understood and is in the area of expertise of your network. Identify you network’s most engaged and influential users, find out their interests and expertise and make sure you address and focus on them when posting content or promotions. Always take their opinion into consideration and thank them for the valuable feedback. It’s important to stay within your network of verified customers to get feedback. This is better than trying to send blanket requests for feedback from any social media user.
3. Don’t have hidden motives
Transparency is a key factor when it comes to social media as it is a platform where good and bad sentiment can spread at the blink of an eye. So whenever you post content, be transparent and to the point. Being transparent includes, divulging who you are and your intent with any given post that requests action from social media users. Hidden motives can discourage users from giving their feedback. For example, let’s say you are a high-end spa who just hired a new manicurist and is eager to know what your consumers think of her services. You could post on you Facebook page or Twitter account, “Anne recently joined us as a manicurist. How do you like her signature manicure? Please give your feedback to help us train her”. Also, in such situations, you could offer promotions like 50% off a manicure with Anne.
4. Avoid potentially controversial and sensitive issues
Like the article says this is pretty much common sense, yet needs to be carefully adhered to as this can lead to social media disasters. When you are posting content stay focused on what you provide as a company rather than ideologies, political statements, etc. that can lead to hurtful social media posts.
5. Don’t ask for advice people would normally charge you for
Again, this comes down to staying on topic about your products and services. When you post content make sure it is to build awareness about your brand and gain more impressions. If you do want to ask for advice that needs to be paid for, offer a reward. For example, you could be the newest pub in the town and you want to introduce a new beer. So, perhaps you put out a call to beer specialists to come in and rate your beer. If you’re asking for specialists, they’ll likely need to be rewarded more so than a typical customer. Here, a free beer may not be enough. Consider something of more value, such as naming a beer after them.
Social media continues to press new boundaries for companies, small and large, to develop more direct relationships with potential customers. Done right, social media can also be a platform to learn what to do to improve your product or service. Just be careful to stay on task, be transparent and to measure results so you can improve them for the next campaign.
The Xaffo Social Media Monitoring Tool Now Lets Subscribers Manage Brands for Social Media and Web Page Analytics; New Sign up Process Also Debuts
SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwire – Aug 13, 2012) – Calcey Technologies® today announced two feature updates for Xaffo™, the online social media monitoring tool for businesses to intelligently examine social media activity for their brand’s web and social media pages. The first update helps businesses achieve more brand-centric social media analytics. Users can create brand names within Xaffo to manage web and social media properties under that brand. The second update allows users to create a Xaffo account instead of using OpenID®.
Xaffo’s new brand-centric approach makes it easier for subscribers to analyze their social media activities by brand. Users can now create a brand and manage web and social media pages under that brand. Users can create multiple brands to manage web and social media properties per brand more efficiently. For example a user can create the brand ‘ACME’ and assign a web domain to it. Xaffo then tracks daily performance — across leading social networks — for the top 100 web pages. The user can also add their social media profiles for Facebook® and Twitter® under that brand. This can then be done for another brand, and so on.
“Marketers think from a brand-centric viewpoint, not a URL-centric viewpoint,” said Mangala Karunaratne, Founder of Xaffo. “Enabling our users to maintain their brands instead of website domains strengthens Xaffo’s capabilities for centralized analytics. This makes Xaffo a more powerful social media monitoring tool for small business or enterprise subscribers.”
In addition, users have requested to be able to use a Xaffo account instead of requiring the use of an OpenID account. Xaffo now offers its own sign-up process to let users create a Xaffo account in place of requiring OpenID. The new sign up process simply requires your first name, last name and email address. Read more.
Popularity can be defined as the state or condition of being liked, esteemed or supported by many people. Social media is a powerful way to reach out to a lot of people in a very short time. It offers an opportunity to increase the popularity of just about anything – a person, a brand, a movement, etc. – unlike any other medium. For brand managers and marketers, they can reach out to more customers and to positively impact revenues. Social media opens up an entire global audience to your brand. The problem is, how does one popularize their Facebook page, Twitter handle or Google+ profile? And how does one inspire more followers and fans? Creating a Facebook page in itself doesn’t guarantee that your brand is immediately exposed to the world. You’ll have to put together an organized effort to interact with social media users.
According to available statistics on Facebook’s performance, there are more than 900 million people using Facebook around the world. According to the Guardian.co.uk (2012), Twitter has over 140 million users worldwide. These numbers are staggering and it gives us a clear picture about the potential to expand one’s brand through popular social media networks like Facebook or Twitter.
Here are some best practices to increase you brand popularity via social media. Let’s begin with some basics. First of all one should engage with social media interactively. If it’s a Facebook page we are focusing on, it should be simple in structure and filled with ample content. Facebook pages with incomplete information do not impress users. If we consider a Twitter handle, there should be regular tweets evangelizing your brand. Being interactive makes visitors feel like their opinion is imperative to you. It might be a good investment to have someone constantly broadcast snippets about one’s products or services, and to participate in conversations on your Facebook page or via your Twitter handle, representing your organization’s viewpoint. Additional interactivity can include campaigns with calls to action. For example, one can do a contest in Facebook to earn likes, or in Twitter to earn followers. Surveys to cast votes about a topic is another opportunity to get interactive. It’s important that such interactivity relates to your brand and social media goals. Of course your Facebook page, Twitter profile, etc. must be customized to your branding.
It is a useful practice to leverage famous brands by tagging them in your posts. For example, let us assume you are a start-up restaurant and new to your industry. You could create a wall post saying ‘Batter fried chicken with Coca Cola’. Coca Cola is a well known brand and has already engaged thousands of fans in their Facebook page. You can grab the attention of Coca Cola fans by displaying the tagged post in the Coca Cola page. The same concept could be employed on Twitter as well. You can use key words and hash tags to get more followers to tweet your handle.
One should always build a relationship with one’s fans. Social media is about two-way communication. This means that your followers can ask you questions in public and you should be able to reply with your point of view in public too. Questions must be answered expediently. This will build trust around your brand and give it a greater chance to entice customer loyalty. Bolstering customer relationships is the key to popularity in social media. It’s also a good idea to establish social media policies for your social media communicators, to know who and how they are to interact with the public.
Advertising within Facebook can of course enhance your brand reach within social media. Your advertising strategy can be twofold; via traditional media such as newspapers or search engines (Google AdWords) and via Facebook advertisements. Even within an old-fashioned newspaper advertisement, one can display one’s Facebook page or Twitter handle in an eye-catching manner. Traditional advertising still remains a component of marketing. For smarter “indirect” advertising one could use market research data to one’s benefit.
However, the single most effective strategy for exploiting the immense popularity of social media is to actively leverage them in your sales processes. Social media engagement is best achieved through discounting tactics, like issuing discount coupons for every 1000th fan of your Facebook page. Or it could be leveraging engagements for further promotion, such as a customer posting a photograph on your Facebook page of their favorite product that you sell. This displays his or her brand loyalty to friends. In return, you reward the loyalty with a percentage discount, points scheme, etc. Investing in mobile apps or mobile friendly websites where location-based check-ins to your store are shown on your customer’s Facebook timeline is also a great way to enhance your brand. Again, automated discount schemes tied to the use of your store’s Facebook app is a great way to entice new customers via Facebook.
Landing pages are a popular method many marketers use to develop sales leads or accomplish other desirable actions. Basically, a landing page is a single web page that is used in an online marketing campaign to encourage people to visit it for a specific purpose or goal.
Sources of landing pages include an online banner advertisement. Advertisers routinely create a landing page for their ads so they can more easily track click rates as opposed to sending them to the home page of a website. It’s difficult to track where visits to the home page originated – was it from an ad or from a search engine, etc. To track the success of the ad, a new landing page is desirable as that link is not so visible as the home page or other popular page on your website. Thus, landing pages are common for online ad campaigns. But, a landing page could also be provided via a direct marketing or email campaign. In addition, the landing page could be a link in a blog post, a press release, etc. How a landing page is disseminated has almost no limit.
Content Remains King
The content and design of a landing page is as important as how you choose to disseminate news of the landing page itself. The content should be clear and to the point – what is it you are offering and why is it beneficial to the visitor? Get to this point in as few words as possible – a paragraph or two should suffice. The design should be uncluttered – clean and to the point. Any use of graphics should directly complement what you are trying to accomplish rather than overtake the content. For example, if your landing page is to have people enter a contest to win a free gadget; the image of that gadget should be there but, as a complement to the content. And the content should clearly state what is needed from the user to win it. Keep it short, simple and compelling. Another goal of a landing page may also be to have the visitor visit more of the site. Additional links are good but, they should be kept to a minimum – one or two more at most. But, if you do this, the rest of your site better be up to the task.
You could string multiple landing pages together to get click rates through each of them – how many people visit the original landing page and then click through to visit the additional one or two other landing pages. This is a particularly useful strategy if perhaps you are trying to promote a couple of products. The original landing page could promote both and the additional landing pages could be links to further details about each product. In this way, you can compare popularity of one product to another.
Measuring Results: Enter, Social Media
At the end of the day, you need to measure results – how many people clicked and how many turned into a lead (conversion rate) – whether the goal was a sale or some other action. Remember that success is typically rated at between two and seven percent depending on what type of item you are trying to sell or what action you’re trying to make happen. How the landing page was disseminated may also impact results. For example, having a link on a printed flier is probably not going to be as easy for your target user – thus, not as impactful – as providing a link in an email.
One newer and now very important metric is social media – how is the landing page shared across leading social networks and what impact does it have as a result? With the right social media measurement tool you can measure the success of a landing page within leading social media networks.
Let’s say you are local restaurant – a popular one in your town. You have a monthly email newsletter you send out to your customers and have 3,000 subscribers to that newsletter. Summer is here and you’re launching a new summer menu you want your customers to come out and try. So, you create a landing page for the new summer menu – a new Facebook page featuring the menu. Now, you send out your newsletter – and Tweet a link to the newsletter to your followers too – asking people to visit the landing page and to like the menu or leave feedback.
With a social media analytics tool, such as Xaffo, all the social media measurement results can be viewed and analyzed in a single place. You’ll be able to quickly see how your landing page succeeded or not. You can even setup the tracking of keywords to see how they’re being re-tweeted. Let’s say, for example, your restaurant is called Natalie’s Bistro and you called your summer menu “Natalie’s Summer Hearty Fare.” You’ll be able to track how often, when and who re-tweeted your menu’s name. Let’s say the signature dish on your menu is the lamb chops, which you’ve called “Moon Bay rack of lamb.” You can also track these keywords to measure the interest for this specific dish. The important part in this is that you can further reward loyal customers who like, share, re-tweet, etc. your menu. You could setup a follow-on campaign to give a coupon to those that liked, shared or re-tweeted your menu.
A proper mix of landing pages with social networks and social media intelligence opens up all kinds of new opportunities. You can better track social media activities and results within all leading social media networks for your landing pages. Keeping track of social media activity for your landing pages also enables far better social media ROI and a more direct relationship with your customers by being more responsive to their feedback and loyalty.
Who is an influencer? An influencer is an ordinary person who has an above-average impact on a specific topic, in a social environment. Influencers persuade others in favor or against a given parameter of consequence in society. For example, one can find influencers of brands, products, ideas or beliefs. Sometimes, influencers band together towards a cause, like consumer groups, industry associations or community advocates. For one to standout as an influencer, in a statistical sense, one must be able to influence the minds of the community well beyond the average influence of any other single person or small group.
Influencers can be important to your business. They may not even be aware of your company, but may possess control over a customer segment you seek. It might be beneficial to recognize and win over such pillars in your target community, not merely as marketing tools, but as more subtle “social relationship assets.” They could act as people responsible for leveraging key contacts, supporting new product releases or simply to increase market awareness and foster industry paradigm shifts (e.g. evangelizing the value of Mobile Apps).
An exciting new development is the emergence of influencers via social media, and the possibility of identifying and rewarding them for their good work towards a particular cause. Let’s consider the story of Yago, a hypothetical small to medium-sized dress store. Yago updates their Facebook page and Twitter stream on regular basis, as their principal method of promoting the store. Fans can get actively involved with the Facebook page by:
- Liking the posts and photos
- Commenting on photos and posts
-Sharing the posts and photos, etc.
Followers of Yago’s Twitter handle can get involved in the evolution of the brand by mentioning or re-tweeting posts. Thus Yago can begin to recognize their Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers as potential influencers. For example, a fan can share a post from Yago’s Facebook page and thus make it visible to her entire network of friends. This would introduce Yago to a whole new audience.
This theory of influencers via social media is nothing new – it’s indeed what attracts people to social media use. This is the era of social media, and thanks to social media users everyone now has the opportunity to standout and become leaders with respect to their interests. According to Social Media Today, influencers on social media are either passionate individuals who turn out to be specialists or they are professionals who use Web 2.0 tools as part of their regular work. They tend to take advantage of their presence on social networks for personal gain or as a representative (or “ambassador”) to a brand or a company. They produce and share relevant content, appealing to the interests of the community at large. This can trigger discussions that might have influence on consumer behavior. As a result, marketers and public relations professionals have obviously been forced to reassess their approach to social media and to define the influence and influencers via social networks.
According to Barone, L’ study (2010) there are five types of influencers:
- The social butterflies – The social butterflies love to connect people from inside their different networks. For instance if you need a stylist they would know one. If you need to get drawings they’d have contacts. Social butterflies are always willing to do the introduction for you. They’d have the biggest contact list and establish themselves on all social media platforms. The problem is in finding out how one can identify them. One could create contact groups (Twitter lists, Facebook groups, etc.) and then check for overlapping names. These folks would be likely candidates for butterflies.
- The Opinion Leader (Thought Leader) – The opinion leader can become an excellent ambassador of a brand he/she has built, relying on her strong, proven competency in her field. Their messages are the ones that are commented on or re-tweeted most often. Thought leaders can help you construct a “social imprint” by providing you their endorsement. When they re-tweet your tweets or recommend you with a Facebook post, you may be able to benefit from their circle of influence and thus could massively boost the audience for your product or website. How can one identify thought leaders? This is fairly easy; they usually are well known personalities in social media culture and thus, have high counts of followers, etc. They’re likely to speak at conferences and are always being referred to in other’s tweets and posts. And so on.
- The Discoverer/Trendsetter – these types are continuously on the lookout for new trends. The Discoverer is always the first to use a new platform. They’d know every detail about the newest technologies before others. Discoverers are powerful social media assets because they are the news distributors. If you looking for discoverers, you could find them reading tech notes, commenting on new articles and tweeting about sites and applications you have never heard of before.
- The Reporter/Sharer – Reporters distribute information to bloggers and journalists through dedicated webzines. They are extremely important since they hold three desirable traits; press, coverage and links. Creating links with reporters helps you to enhance your public relationships.
- The User/ Everyday Customer – She signifies the regular customer. These folks are just as important as the above; because they will pass the experience along to their families and friends.
Social media influencers are a new breed of opportunity for marketers. They include a larger variety than influencers pre-dating social media such as, press, analysts, politicians, etc. Today, social media has made it possible for the average Joe to become influential on a topic, brand, etc. unlike ever before. But, remember that influence can be both positive and negative. Therefore, continually monitoring the impact you have with such influencers for your brand and website is more important than ever.
Last week, Calcey Technologies debuted Xaffo.com (read the full press release here), the industry’s first social media analytics tool for any organization – from small to medium-sized business (SMB) on up to large enterprises – to have an ability to track and act upon the popularity of their website and web pages in leading social media networks. And there’s plenty of reason for Xaffo…
The growth of social media networks and their users has literally exploded since 2005. The impact social media has had on consumers and businesses are undeniable. According to research by Search Engine Journal of USA Internet adult users who use social network sites, in 2005 16 percent of respondents age 18-29 used social networks and that grew to 86 percent by 2010. For 30-49 year olds, the number grew from 12 percent in 2005 to 61 percent in 2010. For 50-64 year olds it grew from 7 percent in 2005 to 47% in 2010. And, for ages 65 and over it grew from 5 percent to 26 percent in 2010.
Social media networks have not only established themselves as useful for individuals but also for business. More and more, businesses are using social media networks to more directly engage with customers and develop sales. Just the same, consumers have used social media to openly praise and criticize business organizations. There are already countless well-publicized social media crises that have brought upon resignations at companies; made companies change suppliers and much more. Today, social media use is a must for businesses to stay on top of.
According to a 2012 survey done by Social Media Examiner with social media marketers (of which 79 percent of those surveyed were from companies with less than 100 employees), 83 percent of respondents agreed that social media is important for their business. In addition, marketers plan to increase their use of Facebook (72 percent); Twitter (69 percent); LinkedIn (66 percent); and so on. The survey pointed out that this year, a big focus will be on measurement and targeting – 40 percent of respondents want to know how to measure the return on investment (ROI).
A 2011 Econsultancy report noted that 41 percent of marketers had no ROI for any money they had spent on social channels and only eight percent could attribute ROI for all their investments in social media. In addition, a survey released in 2012 by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found 21 percent of organizations reported using analytics or reporting tools to measure the ROI for their social media efforts. The SHRM survey also found 12 percent of organizations employ at least one full-time employee, such as a social media director or officer, who is dedicated to the organization’s social media efforts, and this number will only continue to rise. In addition, SHRM found that 41 percent of companies with 99 or fewer employees monitor social media mentions.
There is a lot of time, effort and money being spent by organizations to track everything to do with the hot social media market, and now researching trends and figuring out how to ensure ROI has become paramount. For this purpose, Xaffo.com is now available.
Typically, content performance related to popularity of a website is determined through web traffic. You would analyze the number of visitors and the pages they visit. While this is important analytics, web traffic alone cannot determine the popularity or reach of your web content. It is important that you also know how people engage with these pages. Social media networks have emerged as an opportunity to analyze this type of engagement. Social network users share your web content, tweet it, like it, and comment on it – these actions can help you determine how viral your web content is. While Google Analytics can give you all the necessary web analytics, there is a very valid reason to have an equivalent tool to measure your web content’s popularity in social networks.
Let’s look into some hypothetical scenarios where page-wise social analytics can be useful. Serene is a boutique hotel which recently launched a new in-hotel Italian restaurant. Their website has a page for the new restaurant. In this scenario, Serene could benefit from measuring and monitoring the social activity for this page. If a user shares or likes this page, it shows their attraction and interest towards the restaurant. Simply, they liked the food or the atmosphere of the restaurant. Just the same, it could let them know if any negative shares are occuring so they can act before things get out of hand.
You could also be the author of a blog looking to determine the popularity of your blog posts on social networks. Analytics based on social activities such as impressions, likes, shares and comments can be immensely useful to you. It could show you what works and what doesn’t, to spot good trends and bad trends, and so on. Conversions such as how many of the impressions were realized into a comment, a like, a tweet or a share can help you determine the user engagement.
Content performance analytics is a great way to figure out how popular and attractive your web content is to social network users. It is a must have feature in any social analytics tool. One such tool to help with this is Xaffo, a social media intelligence platform which allows you to measure and monitor the popularity of your web content in social networks. Xaffo’s page-wise performance reports include the growth of social activity for your web site and pages, daily activity count, forecast of social activity and your top 100 pages. Each report provides the breakdown of social activity for you to determine which social network generates the most traffic. However, Xaffo could improve to include conversions such as conversation rate, attraction rate and amplification rate for individual pages.
Monitoring the performance of your web content within social media networks has become more than useful – it’s important. The use of proper analytical intelligence can give you great insight into what works and what doesn’t. With such data, your web content strategies can take on whole new approaches.
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