Social Listening Research 101
10 Sep 2015
It’s more than just listening to those who talk positively or negatively about your brand and your competitors online.  Social listening is such a stronger and more powerful research methodology.  It allows you to understand what trends are impacting your consumers and prospects and also learn what they are talking about so you can join the conversation.   It also provides a stronger understand of what social media channels are most suitable and effective for your target audience.  

Just like any other research methodology, you need to have a concise plan in place and formulate your objectives.  It’s important to think about why you are listening online and what you hope to achieve with this information.

Once your objectives are formulated, it’s now key to find your brand’s target audience.  Using client data, primary or secondary research to understand what is the ideal audience:

·       Psychographics

·       Beliefs

·       Interests/Hobbies

·       Media consumption

Once your audience is clearly defined, now social listening begins. You should listen to what is being said on various sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, online blogs and news outlets.    The more you listen, the more  accurate the perspective.

There are several social listening tools out there such as Trackur, or sproutsocial. Each tool has their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to social listening. Look for what your audience is saying about the industry, trends, interests, beliefs and media habits.

Everything that you hear, make sure that you record:

·       The number of people talking about a topic
Where they are talking

·       What is the sentiment

·       Percent who are influencers and how influential they are (this is often determined by scores such as Klout).

Socially Awkward Companies Get More Action
10 Sep 2015
A recent survey by Provoke Insights found that the majority (82%) of small businesses are using social media.  Yet, more than half (54%) of these businesses state that these marketing efforts are not paying off.   Through analyzing the survey responses, Provoke Insights pinpointed five key areas to help small businesses create more effective social media initiatives.

1) Write out your strategy.  Thirty-three percent (33%) of small businesses say they need help to develop a social media program.  Before seeking outside help, companies should determine their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the social media landscape, as well as understand the gaps in their current plan. Though this isn’t a full social media plan, it sets businesses in the right direction to develop a more comprehensive strategy.

2) Stand out from the crowd.    A social media presence is more than just having Facebook and LinkedIn pages.   However, most small businesses are solely using those channels (77%, 55% respectively). Interestingly, only 45% are using Twitter and even less are using Youtube (33%), Google+ (31%), blogs (18%), Instagram (16%), Pinterest (14%), Vine (9%) and Slideshare (5%).  These additional channels can provide businesses opportunities to stand out from their competitors who don’t utilize these mediums.  In addition, using social media sites such as Google+ and Slideshare helps improve organic search.

3) Invest smartly. Only 60% of small businesses have utilized paid social media advertising.  However, of those who have used these channels, most (77%) have only used Facebook advertising.  It is important to test other social media channels, such as LinkedIn or Twitter, to determine if they have a higher engagement rate.  Also, by continually testing different types of paid social media tactics, you can determine which messages resonate most with your audience, as well as which sites produce the best leads.

 

4) Know what your numbers are saying.   While tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights are free tools to measure customer engagement, only 25% of small businesses are analyzing their website data and even less (19%) are measuring their social media metrics.

Website analytics can show you what drives consumers to your site, including if your social media efforts improve ROI. Furthermore, you can learn more about your target audience, engagement rate, and the number of people who view your posts by simply using Facebook Insights.

Al Matesic, the owner of the digital advertising agency SWAMP80, states, “It surprises me how many companies only care about having a presence online without tracking if it works or not. Whenever I develop a website and social media pages for small businesses, I make sure I teach my clients about how to read metrics so they can be successful online.”

5) Create stronger relationships.   60% percent of small businesses believe that social media helps keep them in touch with their customers.  This provides businesses an opportunity to further engage with their customers by providing advice, improved customer service, and new product offerings.

Methodology

Provoke Insights conducted an online survey among 211 small business employees who are involved in the company’s marketing initiatives. “Small business” is defined as between $100k to $20 million in revenues. The survey was distributed between February 27th- 28th, 2014  using Survey Sampling B2B Panel.

Five Tips For Getting Your Brand’s Social Media Right
10 Sep 2015

Social media has gone mainstream.  Consumers age 45-54 are the fastest growing segments on Facebook and Google+. Users age 55-64 are the quickest growing segment on Twitter.  No longer is it a playground to hopefully show your relevance to younger consumers.

Are you thinking about your brand’s social media strategy?  Here are five tips to getting social right!

  1. Consistent Brand Persona The content you post on social media should be aligned with your brand persona but more importantly should go beyond the benefits of your products to make it more relevant with your consumers and attract prospects.  In order to truly stand out, you need a social media strategy.
  2.  Inspire Your Audience Social sites are not the place to sell your product or services but instead a platform to let your audience establish a relationship with your brand. You want to inspire your audience to follow you by sharing your firm’s belief and motivation.  Apple does not claim to make the best products but instead builds its cult following by insisting that they “think different.” The message resonates with individuals who believe themselves unique or different despite the ubiquity of white earbuds.
  3. Mobile First Consider details such as the fact that 189 million Facebook users only access the site from mobile devices. It is in your best interest to adopt a mobile-first policy for content creation.  Ensure that your content displays well on mobile devices then adopt it for other screens.
  4. Beyond Facebook Social media is bigger than Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.  LinkedIn adds approximately two members per second.  Blogs and forums are viable places to establish thought leadership and frequently harbor influential early adopters. If you are planning on reaching Millennials then you need to consider video, as images are already passé. Cable networks don’t reach nearly as many adults aged 18-34 as does YouTube.  As well, combine that with the previously mentioned facts about mobile use.
  5. Measure! Measure!  Measure! The most important thing to know is your campaign goal and the metrics to assess your progress.  If you are focused on generating traffic, the measurement metric will differ from a firm primarily interested in engagement.