Tag Archives: facebook

The Onion: Facebook a Dream Come True for CIA

22 Mar

The Onion: Facebook a Dream Come True for CIA

First off, I love The Onion. They have a way of summing up exactly what we all think, but most of the time don’t dare say. Even though this video is comedy, I thought it was relevant for the blog. Facebook has revolutionized how we communicate with out friends and families – so much so that we now know what everyone is up to – and where they’re doing it – all the time. While this certainly has it’s benefits for us marketing types, we should remind ourselves as Facebook users – and users of the social web in general – that we are sharing information online. Forever.


CIA’s ‘Facebook’ Program Dramatically Cut Agency’s Costs

I am OK with my information being out there. I don’t care that people know how old I am or that I live in Santa Barbara. Sure, some will say I am taking a risk by putting those pieces of info out there, but I think there are risks in everything. You have to live your life. Just understand the parameters you’re comfortable with in using the internet and stick within them.

Social Media: What Should I Measure?

15 Mar

Social Media: What Should I Measure?

Last week I wrote about what I think you can expect in terms of ROI on a social media strategy. This week, I want to focus on what you should be measuring to gauge the productivity of your initiatives. These are not hard and fast rules, but more my personal preference of metrics.

BLOG

Your blog should be your hub, your epicenter. It’s the soul and personality of your business. In addition to being the most effective place to create and share content, it will also boost your domain rank in search results on sites like Google.

Measuring your blog is fairly straightforward. I use Google Analytics and keep monthly tabs on things like pageviews, visits,  and time spent on site. Also, look under the “content” section in GA to see which of your posts has had the most impact in terms of pageviews and average time on page. My analytics tell me that “Bad Emails Killed the Radio Star” has been my most popular piece of content so far, but people spent the most time (five minutes and 40 seconds) reading “Driving Traffic to Facebook.”

Next, I look at where my traffic is coming from. Right now, 30.41% is direct traffic, 56.43% is from referring sites and 13.16% is from search engines. Of those referring sites, Twitter and Facebook are my top two traffic generators.

Finally, I look at how I’m doing this month compared to last month. Google Analytics tells me I’m up 19.51% in total traffic.

TWITTER

Twitter has been my most popular referral engine for my blog thus far – I can see that from Google Analytics, but what else can I measure in Twitter? First off, I look at how much my community is growing. Are people following me on a regular basis? Is my number of followers going up and not down each month?

Next, Let’s take a look at Twitter engagement. How many people are clicking on links that I Tweet? A great way to measure this is by setting up a free account at Bit.ly. It will tell you how many people have clicked on a particular link making it easy for you to measure how far and wide your content is traveling. Beyond clicking, how many people are re-tweeting your content? Are you creating #hashtags? Are people picking them up and using them?

Twitter can be measured and quantified in a variety of ways. These are just a few of the metrics I look at to make sure my Twitter mojo for my own brand is moving in the right direction.

FACEBOOK

More and more data is emerging that Facebook may not be the best place to interact with consumers. Sure, it’s the largest social network on the planet – by far – but new studies suggest that users don’t necessarily want to interact with brands there. Instead, they see Facebook as a place for interaction with “real” friends and family. That said, I think there is still value in participating there if you’re a business.

How do you measure it? The most comprehensive way is to use Facebook Insights. In addition to tracking obvious things like the number of fans your page has, you can also use Insights to look at Interactions, Post Quality, Page Views, Media Consumption, Discussion Posts and Demographics. Essentially , if there is a stats that has some meaning to your campaign effort, Facebook Insights can probably help you track it.

If Insights is a bit much for you, try looking at simpler things like friend / fan count month over month. Is it increasing at a rate that is meeting or exceeding your stated goals? What about interaction and engagement – are friends and fans commenting on your content and status updates? Are you engaged and commenting back?

YOUTUBE

YouTube is a tricky social media platform. Sure, it has become the defacto standard for online video, but most companies still don’t know how to properly use or measure it. My preference is to not drive traffic to my YouTube.com channel. Instead, I embed my videos on my blog and send traffic there. Why encourage interaction and comments on YouTube’s site, when I can provide a richer experience for users on my own web property?

So what should you measure to gauge YouTube’s effectiveness? I’ll admit that this one is a bit trickier. It’s hard to measure much more than total video views and comments. I think the more valuable metrics when assessing a YouTube video’s success are the ones surrounding the other channels in the social media wheel. Embed the video on your blog and use Twitter and Facebook to distribute it. Then, look at the metrics we’ve outlined above to track the efficacy of that particular piece of content. You’ll get a more comprehensive set of data points.

The other really great thing about using YouTube is the SEO benefits it provides. As we all know, ranking for almost any text keyword is extremely difficult. Getting on the first page of Google for almost any subject is nearly impossible. But, Google is always trying to find a way to feature video items in search results. So, while you may not rank on the first page for text-based keywords, you might be able to get prime placement for a video you created that was tagged and described properly for those competitive terms. The reason? While everyone is out there fighting over text-based results, very few companies are creating relevant video clips thus the competition for those video placements is far less. Obviously, applying some sort of metric and goal around that concept will legitimize your use of YouTube in your social strategy in a big way.

TIP OF THE ICEBERG

Obviously there are hundreds of other social tools I didn’t touch on in this post. I also only scratched the surface of what you can be doing to measure the effectiveness of a social media campaign. For companies that want to really drop some cash and dig into the depths of social media measurement and reporting, there are products like Radian6 that are geared towards enterprise level clients that need more extensive data at a more granular level. While I understand the need for  Fortune 500 companies and the like to go to such lengths to report on such a large component of their marketing budget, I think the tips outlined above should get the majority of you started on planning and launching the first stages of your social media campaigns in a manageable and affordable way.

Keep Your Signs Off My Lawn

26 Jan

Keep Your Signs Off My Lawn

With online communities sprouting up everyday, there really isn’t time to develop rulebooks for how to behave. However, there is some unspoken etiquette when using sites like Twitter or Facebook.

One of the things that really annoys me is when people thank me for following them and then post a link to their website in my Twitter stream. To me, this is akin to coming to my house and sticking a lawn sign for your business in my yard because I visited your store one time. If I’ve followed you on Twitter it’s because I saw some value in what you were doing and wanted to know more. The quickest way to get me to unfollow you is to start spamming me with the hard sell of your business. Instead, try engaging with me in a real way. Comment on something I’ve tweeted recently or ask me a question. Do something that shows me that you’re interested in a conversation, not a one-way broadcast.

While we’re on the subject of spammy stuff – please stop with the automatic direct messages every time you get a new follower. Again, if I’ve followed you it’s because I see something of value in your content. Nothing devalues that more than a generic form letter DM (direct message) that pushes your website on me.

I know that lots of you are small business owners and you’re trying to figure out how to use digital marketing in a meaningful way. There are a lot of people setting bad examples out there and it can be tough to know which approach you should take when trying to build your social community. A good rule of them to follow is less is more. Don’t try so hard to sell. Instead, get involved in the conversation and become an active member in the community. Focus on building the relationship and the rest will fall into place.

What are some of the things on Twitter or Facebook that annoy you?

Has Engagement Shifted?

24 Jan

Has Engagement Shifted?

Over the last year or so I’ve noticed a trend throughout the blogosphere – including my own media properties. People don’t seem to be commenting on blogs with the frequency they once did. For example, my radio show American Cliche used to get anywhere from 10-25 comments per episode. Now, I’m lucky if I see 2 or 3. Why? My analytics tell me that the audience is still there, but they’re just not commenting. Have I done something differently to cause this?

It’s also occurring on this blog. I have several posts with numerous “reactions” but not a lot of comments. Take a look at the post I did about Van Halen – it was retweeted a bunch of times, but not commented on by anyone on the blog. By all accounts it is the most successful post I’ve done here to date, but what do the lack of comments mean?

My research and personal experience tells me that tools like Facebook and Twitter have moved commenting away from the blog and onto other platforms. People are venturing out less from their chosen communities and instead sharing feedback on social platforms rather than a blog.

I’m guilty of this as well in my behavior. I read between 25 and 50 blog posts a week, yet I may comment on only one or two. But, you’ll often see me sharing items I find interesting on Facebook and Twitter multiple times per day. I don’t think I’m any different than what most of you are doing. In fact, I wrote a post about the increase in linking to professional content the other day.

What does this say about engagement? Does it mean our blogs are missing the mark if there aren’t as many comments as there used to be? Does it mean our audience is less engaged or does it mean they are just engaging differently? Would you rather have a supporter that comments all the time on your site or one that shares your content with their audience via social channels?

I’m still trying to decide what this all means. I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments, or not, as the case may be.