Tag Archives: metrics

The Art of Taking a Step Back

Photo credit: @WiredForLego

Photo credit: @WiredForLego

This week one of our account teams held an “Intense Period Debrief” – an opportunity to assess what went well, what could have gone better and what we can do moving forward to learn from experiences once a project is complete. The irony of this particular meeting was that, in taking the time to take a step back, much of what we learned from this particular account was the importance of taking calculated steps back more often.

The marketing world moves fast – new platforms, new products, content trends (this week it’s sarcastic polls on Twitter, FYI), changes in user behavior… the list of things that change actually changes itself quite frequently.

Add aggressive deadlines and high expectations to the list, and we’re frequently working in a world that pushes forward so fast that it’s easy to forget to step back and think strategically once a plan is in place. Ultimately, the best-laid plans don’t mean much if expectations aren’t set, processes aren’t communicated, and those plans don’t evolve based on trends and ongoing data.

Read more after the jump…

Is Organic Facebook Reach Dead?

Organic Facebook Reach

What can we do to increase organic reach?

We’ve recently been hearing a frequent question from a number of our clients: “Is it even worth it to be active on Facebook anymore, given how you have to pay for anyone to see your content?”

It’s true that Facebook’s continually evolving news feed algorithm has been placing less and less emphasis on brand-related content. There are so many variables at play that it’s hard to provide a concrete statistic, but some research shows that your posts may be organically reaching only 6.5 percent of your total fan base – or even less. Gone are the days when all of your organic posts can easily reach thousands of customers. Read more after the jump…

Why Facebook’s Inflated Video Metrics Don’t Matter (That Much)

How long is long enough for Facebook video views?

How long is long enough for Facebook video views?

It was reported last week that Facebook had been artificially inflating the average viewing time of videos on the social media platform for upwards of two years. Obviously the news is somewhat of a shock, as indicated by the outcry of complaints by marketing professionals.

This is absolutely big news in our industry, and I’m definitely in favor of creating some form of third-party verification for social media platforms and their native analytics. But I do challenge the impact of this news a bit, and believe its something that highlights a larger issue within our industry: A greater focus on meaningful metrics.

Read more after the jump…

Use a UTM Code to Create Tracking URLs in Social Media Campaigns

You’ve created amazing, fresh, original content on your blog – and people are actually reading it! So you go to Google Analytics to find out how they got there… and then realize that although you posted the link to that blog post on Twitter 3 different times, it’s only showing up as one referral source all lumped together. So, how do you know which of your 3 tweets garnered the most traction?

Use a UTM Code to Create a Tracking URL

UTM codes are tags you add to the end of a URL that, when clicked, will be tracked in Google Analytics. Adding these UTM parameters allows you to track the effectiveness of various aspects of a campaign, such as the source or medium, and make decisions about how to best drive traffic to your website in the future.

Read more after the jump…

Google Mobile-Friendly Update Not So Friendly to Your Website?

Over the past few months, you may have noticed a dip in organic, mobile search traffic on your website. Wondering what gives? The recent Google Mobile-Friendly Update may be to blame.

What’s This About a Google Mobile-Friendly Update?!

Google released a mobile-friendly search algorithm update back in April 2015 that changed the way mobile search results are displayed, giving priority to mobile-friendly webpages.

Ok, but what does that really mean?

  • Only searches conducted on mobile devices are affected
  • Applies to individual webpages, not the entire website
  • Preference will now be given to mobile-friendly webpages in mobile search results
  • Non mobile-friendly webpages will experience a significant decrease in visibility in mobile search results
  • All languages are affected

Read more after the jump…

Marketing Metrics 101: Five Simple Steps

We get the question often, and it comes in several forms:

Metrics can be confusing, and worse, time consuming.

Metrics can be confusing, and worse, time consuming.

“What should we be measuring?”

 “We’ve got all these followers, but what are we doing with them?”

 “There are so many metrics, but which are the most important?”

“People saw our message, but what does that mean?”

The advent of digital marketing and social media is great because it allows us to measure an infinite amount of metrics.  The downside is determining which metrics are most important, and not wasting time on all of the other statistics. Here are five simple questions to ask when identifying the metrics that will matter most: Read more after the jump…

Lionel Trains Proves Old Brand Can Learn New Tricks

Lionel Trains screen shot

Image from www.lionelcollectors.org

It’s a common misperception that social media is only for young and innovative users and brands – but 113-year-old Lionel Trains has proved the naysayers wrong. Capitalizing on the Christmastime tradition of families setting up model trains as part of their holiday display and the popularity of train-themed holiday favorite The Polar Express, Lionel Trains launched an engaging and effective Facebook campaign earlier this year. By leveraging available metrics and listening carefully to the online conversation, the brand engaged with existing fans as well as fans of The Polar Express. For more on this successful – and seasonally relevant! – campaign, read the full story from Mashable.

The Downside to Social Media “Marketing”

Statistics and analytics are extremely useful, especially when balanced with a focus on your actual customers.

Statistics and analytics are extremely useful, especially when balanced with a focus on your actual customers.

Transparency, authenticity and two-way communication are terms thrown around frequently in the social media world, and for good reason. The brands that are frequently highlighted on Mashable and other similar social media news sites are the brands that take the time to understand their audience and provide them something they want – something useful that helps the individual relate to and rely on the brand.

That approach creates “brand advocates,” “enthusiasts,” “loyalists,” “champions” and all of those other terms we use to talk about the Holy Grail of customers. It’s the extremely tangible “upside” to social media – bringing the brand to life and creating life-long advocates. Read more after the jump…

5 Social Media Resolutions for 2013

I’ve never really cared for New Year’s resolutions. My take has always been, “If you want to do something, just start today. Why wait for January 1st?” But since budgets and annual marketing/communications plans tend to start anew on January 1st, I’m making five social media resolutions for myself, and my clients.

1)   Measurement & Metrics: Put a Stake in the Ground…Today.

Most of my clients are forward-thinking enough to have some form of measurement process in place – the New Year is a good time to reassess that process. What do you want to accomplish via social marketing in 2013? Are you following the appropriate metrics to track your progress? Are you actively tracking any metrics? Now would be a good time to put a stake in the ground – we’ll all be thankful we did when we have results to celebrate in March. Think of this like your resolution to get into swimsuit shape by spring.

2)   Get to Know My Followers/Audiences Even Better

A lot has changed since January 2012. Pinterest, Google+, Instagram and even Facebook’s privacy settings have come a long way (for better or worse…), and users are constantly changing their habits. Not to mention the fact that individuals are most likely becoming burnt out on information, making it harder to have a meaningful interaction with the people in your online community. Reassess what they want to talk about, what they want to read/watch/interact with – and how those wants might be different from platform to platform. This is similar to your, “Stay in touch with my friends more frequently” resolution.

3)   Define the “Action” I’d Like My Community to Take

Conversations, engagements and page views are all great, but what action do you want your followers to take? Purchasing a product? Visiting a website, or visiting a retail location? Sharing your posts? If you define the action, your social media/content plan will become infinitely clearer. Your “spend more time with my family” resolution is a lot more attainable when you tie it to something tangible like, “eat dinner at the dining room table at least twice a week.”

4)   Invest in Quality Content

I beg of you, it’s time to stop saying, “content is king” and start acting on it. Assign resources and budget to meaningful content creation in 2013. If you know what your community wants, what action you’d like them to take and what metrics you’re tracking, then spending time and budget on dynamic content to connect those dots will be more than worth it. I like to think of this as the “stop talking about it and get it done” resolution.

5)   Be More Social, Have More Fun

Don’t let all this talk about metrics/content/audiences/goals consume you so much that you forget a fact that has not changed in the past year: it’s still “social” media. Resolve to interact with people more often. Post a quick “congrats,” “cool!,” “you rock,” and “where did you find that?!?” more often. Promote colleagues, partners and friends; share interesting and useful content from others; and generally talk more about others than yourself or your company. After all, is there a more noble resolution than, “Putting others before yourself?”

Jim Licko is a senior director of social media and digital strategy at GroundFloor Media. He often has a short attention span and likes to make resolutions at all times of the year rather than waiting for New Year’s Day.

South by Southwest: Day two Key Learnings

Jim’s take, Day 2:

I’m amazed at the variety of SXSW sessions, and had several conversations with people about this today: a few are amazingly basic, others push the limits of what we already know, some are targeted toward tech professionals rife with acronyms, and still others have nothing to do with what we do for a living and yet they’re some of the most memorable. Today was no exception:

  • You can’t swing an iPad-filled backpack without bumping into Pinterest. In Texas State University professor Dara Quackenbush’s talk about the legal issues surrounding social media, she touched on the talk surrounding copyright issues related to Pinterest. Long story short, Pinterest tells its users to be sure to link back to the original source of the content to avoid any copyright infringement issues. Make sure you’re not claiming someone else’s content as your own, even if you didn’t mean to.
  • Jacob Young from Wired Magazine and Chris Reynolds from Conde Nast presented on the topic of analytics’ role in driving editorial content for publications – in other words, how often clicks, views, and time spent on stories of a certain topic drive the coverage of that same topic. Ultimately, this is a huge grey area. Media outlets today keep a close eye on the content their consumers want…which means what we like to read or watch can often dictate what journalists are covering to offer better results to their advertisers. What is better, what we “like” to read about, or what we need to know about?
  • If you’re a client or a GFM team member, you’ll probably hear me talk a lot about this a little too much in the coming weeks/months: being authentic, understanding your audience and providing them with useful content (rather than pushing a corporate message or finding a way to manipulate the Internet to get in front of customers) is the all the rage. Nearly every aspect of digital marketing is moving more and more toward what public relations professionals have always known: building relationships with customers, and ensuring that you’re authentic and transparent is paramount. Consumers are increasingly skeptical of being marketed to – talk to them, not at them.
  • Finally, keeping with one of my themes yesterday regarding attending at a digital conference but being reminded of best “offline” practices – there’s a game called Phone Tree that some people play over lunch outings, and is quite simple. Everyone piles his or her cell phones in the middle of table to form something similar to a tree. The first one who answers/grabs/picks up their phone also has to pick up the bill for the entire table. There’s something really genuine and great about being present during a meeting or lunch outing…

Alexis’ take, Day 2:

Brain overload (in a good way) is an understandable symptom of SXSW attendance. I can’t even imagine how I am going to feel by Wednesday morning when we fly back to Denver. Today’s sessions were pretty varied for me, partially because I chose a few that were out of my comfort zone and also because one session I was looking forward to was 100% full so I had to go elsewhere.

Here’s what stood out…

  • In the “Brands as Patterns” session that kicked off my second day, I was struck by a panelist comment that went something like this: “Consumers shouldn’t have to recall the entre brand story upon consumption of your product or service. They should already be living it.” As communicators we get so caught up in crafting every single word of a brand story before we get in front of our publics that we can forget or severely delay bringing the story to life for our customers.

  • According to thoughtful academic data presented in the “Big Social Media Results for Small Brands” session, very small and nonprofit businesses can read and talk about best practices for social media until they are blue in the face, but many times, based on extremely limited bandwidth and staffing resources, the organization may need to buck the trend of being 100% buttoned up strategically and do the best they can with what resources they have. Small brands also may have a greater opportunity to share moments over messages—don’t miss it.
  • “Wow” sessions probably have nothing to do with your professional reason for being at SXSW. When a brand advocate/influencer panel I wanted to attend was at full capacity, I was forced to scramble and find another nearby option. I stumbled upon “Is Social Media a Human Right?” and was captivated by the intense and emotional debate—which ranged from Facebook content policing in unstable situations like recent Middle Eastern protests to the rights of U.S. prisoners to utilize social channels and communicate outside of the prison walls. It was the most provocative panel I’ve attended thus far and I truly enjoyed being pushed to think beyond my clients who use social media, and reflect upon the communications opportunities social mediums can provide for people with a repressed voice.

~ Jim Licko and Alexis Anderson