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How to Track Social Media Metrics Like A Rockstar

Day 1 of #SESNY wrapped up with sweet, petite, brutally-honest Noran El-Shinnawy, Internet Marketing Manager with Acquisio. Her first order of business was to address the forbidden term: “Voldemort” “Social Media Expert” (or “Social Media Guru”… *shudder*)… a term that seems to worm into way too many Twitter bios. Noran’s two cents:  “All that term means is that you’re unemployed & unemployable.” (She also used a naughty word to describe such people, which I will not repeat here.)

Harsh. But true-ish! It’s quite the feat to be expert in an area that’s still very much in its infancy; moreover, most self-proclaimed “social media experts” don’t know jack about real marketing. Social media ain’t just sunshine & pussy cats. There’s a very real marketing aspect that requires attention to metrics, reporting, testing. Attendees at Noran’s solo presentation on Social Media Metrics were in for a crash course in how to track social media metrics like an expert a rockstar. Read on for the full scoop.

Noran gave a rundown of the upcoming agenda before digging into the deck:

  • Listening Before Measuring
  • The New ROI
  • Facebook Ads & Metrics
  • Twitter Ads & Metrics
  • Top 5 Best Practices

Listening Before Measuring
“Listening before you measure is the new ‘Think before you act,” Noran began. (Or for the millennials out there, the new “Google before you tweet.”) “But,” she continued, “when it comes to listening, we’ve all got our heads up our asses. Including me. So, let’s work on that.”

What should you listen for? Who should you listen to?

  • Your target audience
  • Brand evangelists
  • Detractors, complainers– understand what they’re complaining about
  • Who your target audience is influenced by
  • Who they consider trust sources
  • What tools they use
  • Their places of employment
  • Their biases
  • Their motivators

The New ROI
“Everyone who has a boss is concerned with ROI.” says Noran. “We’re obsessed with ROI. But in social media, it’s not just about ROI.” In social media, ROC is the new ROI. ROC = Return on Conversation. Is someone talking back to you? Is someone retweeting you? If you wanna get really fancy, ROIII is the new ROI. ROIII = -Return on Investment, Interaction, & Influence.

Some Must-Be-Heard Ugly Stats About Measuring
A recent poll showed that, when asked the question, “Do you measure the ROI of social media marketing campaigns?” 55% of marketers said no. When asked, “Do you feel you’re measuring the impact of your social media marketing campaign effectively?” 60% said no. I feel unclean. Or mostly, just sad. The biggest takeaway here is: we must be informed enough so that we don’t add to those percentages.

Facebook Ads
Facebook offers a plethora of assets/opportunities for you, the marketer, to leverage: from pages, to ads, to sponsored stories– each with its own set of metrics (likes, interactions, check-ins, posts, etc.) It’s easy to forget that there’s so much more beyond the universal FB Thumbs-Up stamp of approval (such as comments, cross-page sharing, interactions, etc.).

Beyond that, so many facets of interactions are measurable on Facebook:

  • Clicks
  • Unique clicks
  • Unique click rates
  • CTR
  • Actions
  • Action rates
  • CPC
  • CPM
  • Spend
  • Impressions
  • Social %

Digging Into Facebook Insights
Facebook Insights are the analytics of your page. Dig in. Get down and dirty. Track everything you can: new Likes, Like sources, page views, post viewers… everything. Another useful nugget is to verify that your page Insights should reflect your postings. Ideally, anyway. If you launch a big Facebook campaign on February 14th, then ideally, you should see a spike in visits, interactions, etc. If you don’t, understand why. Were people on vacation? Did no one give a rat’s behind? Integrate your takeaways in your  next campaign.

Facebook breaks down everything in analytics, down to every single post you share on your page. Each post features the date, # of impressions % feedback… everything. Noran recommends you log into Insights once a week, note what you posted, observe the feedback, and  use the insights to advise what you post tomorrow.

Learn From Your Feedback
On February 14th, Noran posted a silly cartoon picture on the Acquisio Facebook wall, tagging six people, and wishing them a Happy Valentine’s Day. Seems simply. Probably took five minutes. Insights showed the picture garnered 1.39% feedback – the highest of anything she’d ever posted on that page. Her takeaway?

“People like crap. And that’s okay!…you don’t have to shove your brand in people’s faces.”

In addition to Insights giving you a better handle on the reach of your content, you can use the data to glean what type of content your users like or don’t like. If you post an article, and subsequently, 43 people “unlike” your page, odds are they didn’t find the content relevant, were offended by it, etc. Serve them more of what they like and engage with.

Noran cruises through some in-depth Facebook reports generated by Acquisio. Unfortunately, the only way to express their splendor is to recommend you get a demo for yourself.

Twitter – Natural & Promoted Tweets
Did you know that (as of April 2010), Twitter had more than 105 million registered users, gaining 300,000 new users on a daily basis? “This thing is a monster,” Noran said. “It’s a search engine on it’s own.”

Too true. And just like a search engine, which spits out organic & paid results– Twitter spits out organic & paid tweets. Noran polled the audience to see how many of us are currently using Promoted Tweets. No one raised their hand. Interesting… even if no one’s on the boat yet, Noran recommends you have a strong presence on Twitter, & be aware of the paid platform, ready to use it when it becomes available / popular.

Promoted Tweets : Top-Down
Promoted tweets are tweets that show up when people do a search for a KW you’ve attached to your tweet. They’re disclosed as promoted with a yellow label, so there’s no confusion or shadiness. Noran strongly recommends you make your promoted tweets insightful, conversational, fresh & timely, and crafted for sharing.

Promoted Trends: Top-Down
Promoted trends are an opportunity to feature your business at the top of an ongoing Twitter trend. (Admittedly, news to me. Interesting concept).

A good promoted trend is…

  • new
  • exciting to discover
  • plays to a theme people recognize because of existing or latent interests from somewhere else

Promoted Accounts: Top-Down
Promoted accounts are basically when Twitter looks at your account & followers to identify similar accounts & followers for great accuracy. And concerning the age-old Q about a “good” follower to following ratio… the same A still stands: it’s really up to you.

What’s a Twitter follower worth? Noran promised to pay whoever guessed the correct answer that amount of money. People shouted figures in the thousands. She scoffed. Apparently, the answer is $2. Well, that’s the amount Twitter suggests you pay for a follower.

Twitter Metrics: Regular / Organic Tweets

  • RTs
  • Replies
  • Clicks
  • Follows (don’t obsess)
  • Lists

Lists? Yes. Twitter lists aren’t necessarily “engagement,” but they indicate someone checked you out & likes what you do (unless they added you to a list called “A-Hole Social Media Expert Wannabes).

Twitter Metrics: Promoted Tweets

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • RTs
  • Replies
  • Engagement (%)

The Cross-Over to Search Engines
When you advertise on Twitter with promoted tweets, did you know… those promoted tweets show up in Google’s “Realtime” SERPs when a user enters those same keywords? Wow. Yes. Right on the SERPs. See the timeline to the right? Leverage the insights it provides you. Right. On. The Google. SERPs.

“Relevance isn’t just about pages. It’s about relationships.”

Search is now much more social, more more personalized — and that’s not a trend that’s about to go retrograde any time soon. Search engines are getting wise to the fact that if they spit back results from your social circles, they’ll be more meaningful to you. When you Google something now, part of the results at the bottom read “Results from people in your social circle for [keyword].”

Bing isn’t lacking in this department by any means. Ever check out Twitter Visual Search? Lives on the bottom left of the Bing interface. Basically, it allows you to search Twitter via Bing– SERPs are complete with thumbnails of most popular tweeters, their tweets, etc. Consider searching for your brand & product terms in that puppy. Helloooo new-wave reputation monitoring.

5 Things You Can Do With What You Learned Today…

  1. Employ effective metrics. Social media doesn’t have one cookie-cutter set of metrics. Your approach depends on your company and its goals.
  2. Always use multiple metrics. This will help you create as comprehensive a picture as possible.
  3. Establish KPIs. Start with the basics: what drives business for your company, etc. Map it back to social metrics that are relevant, based on what your company does.
  4. Track the HELL out of everything! Don’t share anything unless you append a tracking code to the URL. Tracking codes can help you find out where customers come from.
  5. Do something with the data. Look for a correlation between social media strategies & the number of leads you generate.

Wrapping Up With a Lil’ Q&A

Q: Do you agree with the whole $2.00/follower thing?

Noran’s A: I’d rather have 100 followers who know, love & engage my brand than 10,000 who don’t do anything. Of course, you never want to be that geek with only 10 fans. In the end,it’s quality over quantity.

Q: How do you feel about automated tweets vs. manual tweets?

Noran’s A: Automated tweets are not bad, but they can’t look like automated tweets. Make sure you go back to see if people are engaging those automated tweets. If they are, you have to jump back in and engage as well.

Q: New tools for social analytics come out every day. Any advice for newbies?

Noran’s A: Don’t hunt down the fanciest tool. Why shell out the cash if you’re not going to use all of the features? My advice: get many demos as you can. Communicate your goals to the vendor. You’ll find a match that works.

Big thanks to Noran for a great session to close out Day 1 at #SESNY. Stay tuned in aimClear Blog for more conference coverage– follow along with @beebow, @Matt_Peterson, @aimClear & @KJalivay for live-tweets straight from the floor.

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