• Three Key Measures to Know If Your Social Media Campaign is Working

    Three Key Measures to Know If Your Social Media Campaign is Working

    If you’re investing a sizeable amount into your social media marketing — particularly if you’re engaging a third party to run it for you — chances are you’re being bamboozled by numbers, percentages and marketing gobbledegook, under the guise of progress and results. Amidst all the spin, what should you be looking out for that will give you the best indication of how your strategy is performing?

    Having conducted a number of social media campaign audits analysing the work and outcomes of campaigns run by other agencies, it seems pretty clear to me that the value in a social media campaign comes down to a couple of key strategic outcomes. Not that some of the measures I’ve left off the table aren’t of any value, but for me, when all is said and done, there are three measures that if you’re not getting right, are probably an indication that the campaign is either too expensive for the results you’re getting, or you’re not getting any return at all.

    As a bit of a preface, and separate from numbers, I’d be looking at the content going out to your followers. If you’re not seeing a variety of content, and content of value — what do your customers want you to be sharing with them? — then I think there is some cause for concern. You should expect more than motivational quotes and still images on your pages. Are you getting good content from your campaign — strategic video, well-written articles and blogs, things that will spark a conversation and deliver genuine back and forth with your community?

    CPM

    As far as numbers go, the first thing you should be looking at (and it might seem obvious on the surface but there’s more to it) is reach. What you really want to know is how the reach numbers are being measured. If you’re being told that you reached 100,000 people this week, that might sound great, but who were they and what was the cost to reach that many people? What you really want to be finding out is, what is the Cost Per Thousand, or CPM. The reason for that is two-fold: firstly, if your CPM number is high — as in, you’re spending a lot to reach that many people — then that could be a sign that although you’re reaching those people, they’re not engaging with the content and they’re not noticing you.

    The flipside of that is, if your CPM is very low, then your social media team might be pushing your message to communities that aren’t going to help you make conversions. If you’re target market is Victorian teenagers, a really good way to keep that CPM value low is to push the content to India, Philippines, South America — areas with high volumes of people to help inflate the reach and deflate the cost… great on paper, but useless to you. So when it comes to reach, you want to know, what is the CPM and what is the demographic breakdown of the people being targeted.

    Engagement Rate

    The next measure is Engagement Rate. Again, marketers have been talking about ER for a long time, and it is important. How many people who are being delivered the content are engaging with it in some way? That is the clearest indication that your content is actually being consumed. There’s a lot of differing opinion about what is a respectable engagement rate. Many experts feel that anything above 1 per cent is acceptable, meaning that if one person or more engages with the content for every 100 people that it is served to (not necessarily 100 people who see it), then that’s respectable. But don’t just take this as gospel, because the truth is, that number differs from industry to industry. The average for the clothing retail industry for example might be up to four or five per cent, so being told that your content is enjoying an engagement rate of three per cent is actually below expectation.

    CTR

    Finally, you should be looking at Click Through Rate numbers. If there’s a link in the posts you’re serving, such as a shopping page or a learn more type of option, how many people are taking that next step? I think you most certainly want to be paying less than a dollar a click in terms of your ad spend. If this isn’t happening, then the reason to click might not be compelling enough for your consumers. This could be a problem with the content of the post, this could be a problem with the deal being offered, perhaps the targeting is off, the set-up of the ad is not as on point as it could be, or this could be a problem with the product or service you are promoting. Do people even want to buy it? If your CTR results are not strong I’d be looking at these reasons and try to isolate the problem across any and all of these issues.

    Beyond this, it comes down to whether there were conversions down the line. Did you sell units for the people that landed on the web page? There’s a bit more to that — a story for another blog post.

    If you’re interested in social media marketing without the spin, get in touch today.

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  • The low cost of social advertising will be short lived

    The low cost of social advertising will be short lived

    There’s this pervasive belief that social media has been and should remain a free platform for people to promote their businesses, as well as a space to share with friends, family and followers. For many, paying for this service is simply out of the question.

    I get where people are coming from. As a content creator, I took pride in achieving great organic reach for my clients, by producing good quality content in the form of blogs, video and strategy. It was a cornerstone of my business.

    With Facebook’s recent changes, which made organic reach even harder — near impossible — to achieve on the same level, marketers and business people, myself included, felt betrayed by the Zuck, many deciding to move away from the platform, exclaiming that Instagram and LinkedIn would be their focus. I have no issue with either of those platforms. In fact, businesses should definitely be playing there. We are.

    But Facebook’s move was not about shutting out marketers specifically. It was about ensuring that they keep people on the platform, and keep winning new users. It was critical for their business that they did not see people leaving their platform in droves, as a result of newsfeeds being filled with people posting advertorial type material constantly. Instead, they want companies to pay for it. They want people to see what their friends are doing first, and what Nike is doing second (unless Nike pay a lot of money to be there constantly).

    Something that really struck me recently, having worked in the print industry earlier in my career was how much investment companies would make on print advertising for access to a potential audience, and they’d do it without a second thought. Not only would they drop tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes hundreds of thousands on this medium annually, they’d also spend huge amounts on creative, strategy, execution, without really knowing what impact it was having other than the bottom line down the road, than the numbers they were being fed by the publishing companies themselves.

    Fast-forward ten years, and these same companies refuse to spend a fraction of that money on social media advertising, even though they are getting more of a guarantee on who is seeing it, where they live, what their interests are, how old they are, what gender they are and for how long they are engaging with it. And further to that, they are getting information about what actions these people are taking after seeing your ad. They are refusing to do so, I believe, because of this idea that social media should be free for all, but also, this belief that social media probably doesn’t work for them.

    Something I’ve had to adjust to is the idea that the same content, or even better content that we are creating now, needs dollars behind it to reach people on Facebook. Yes, there’s still organic value on Instagram, but in addition to the other main inhibitors of the Instagram platform, namely that you can only post a video that runs for 60 seconds, it’s less copy based so you have to nail your messaging in different ways and that it’s a mobile platform rather than a desktop one, Instagram is also owned by Facebook. As marketers and businesses flood Instagram with content, changes to that platform akin to the recent Facebook changes, are merely a matter of time. Both LinkedIn and Instagram are going to have to go through a similar process as Facebook if they intend to keep eyeballs on their feeds into the future.

    The point is, the situation isn’t going to get better for you to promote your business on social media, and it certainly isn’t going to get cheaper. Quite simply, now is the time to be on these platforms and paying money for the reach, while it’s still dirt cheap — and it is dirt cheap.

    Ultimately, advertisers go where the people are, and more importantly, where people’s attention is. The big companies of the world will work out eventually that people’s eyeballs are on their phones and on social, and your newsfeeds will be chock full of ads by the usual culprits that own the TV and billboard space currently. Because the competition for this space will heat up, so will the cost of entry, pushing the little guys out and back to square one.

    That hasn’t happened yet. Don’t let this opportunity pass your business by.

    If you’re looking for a business that knows how to manage your next paid campaign, contact Hook Media at info@hookmedia.com.au.

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  • Does your brand need social media anyway?

    Does your brand need social media anyway?

    What would your business be like if you didn’t use social media?

    Big brands such as Tesla, Playboy, Mozilla and Sonos recently left Facebook amid the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. Theoretically, these companies made a moral choice about Facebook’s misuse of data and the potential exploitation of the platform.

    But maybe they just realised they don’t actually need social media all that much.

    This is something to consider: maybe social media isn’t for you. Or your business. It’s right for a lot of businesses, but not all. Some businesses don’t require it, so be honest with yourself: What would your business be like if you didn’t use social media?

    Social media can be a great tool for small businesses and single traders who are in a position to really connect with their fans in a content-directed way. However, larger companies that have no desire or use for creative content might not need it at all.

    After all, a lot of big brands’ social media accounts only exist to have some online presence and to field a deluge of complaints every day. It must be a relief for these #deletefacebook companies to not have to deal with that anymore.

    And since Facebook decided in December 2017 that it was reverting to a more friend-focused model, maybe the Cambridge Analytica scandal could not have come at a better time for brands finding their reach and engagement levels way down.

    Harkening back

    So, some brands can get away with removing Facebook altogether — and maybe their other social accounts too. That’s still a little drastic for most companies though. But it does provide a good launching pad for thinking about other avenues that brands can be too blinded by social to consider.

    With Facebook’s recent changes to how business accounts to operate, we’re seeing a move to an older form of internet marketing, more linking back to owned assets like websites and direct marketing in the form of email newsletters, still one of the more reliable formats in terms of conversions.

    At one point, Facebook was great for levelling the playing field between the big guys and the little guys. For better or worse, it flattened everything out, gave every company a clean design. It made it hard to tell who was a big player and who was just a pretender. It gave even the smallest of businesses a modicum of professionalism.

    However, now that the only way to get much benefit out of your business page is to pay for reach, all that hard work building an organic community or people for naught, some brands are deciding that it’s time to pack up and move things back to where you own everything and have control: your website, your email newsletter, events, your other social networks. Social as publishing

    Marketing beyond social

    Back in the days before social media, brands would actually have a marketing strategy other than Facebook. They had magazine ads — to its dying day, still a better branding tool than it was given credit for. They had outdoor advertising. They had event signage and point-of-sale. They had TVCs that were actually on TV. Then came social media, which people saw as a way to save lots of money and abandon all other marketing.

    At Hook Media, we’ve always thought about social media as just one channel to spread your business message and treated the actual content as the key what defines how your brand represents and defines itself. With a background in publishing, we like to think of it as another kind of publication, albeit one with content all broken up rather than combined in one package, like a magazine.

    So if one platform isn’t working anymore, that’s not the end of the world. That’s just a new opportunity to change tactics and come at it from a different angle. It’s the brands who are still trying to play the same old numbers game that will suffer.

    The recent upheavals with Mark Zuckerberg’s platform just serve to illustrate once again that it’s still a good idea to have a media strategy aside from social.

    Social media isn’t dead — there are other options besides Facebook, after all. But you might not need to place as much importance on it. It’s just one weapon in your arsenal.

    It’s just too bad everyone already abandoned the magazines.

    If you need communications advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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