I’ve written a short introduction on social media analytics, specifically talking about what numbers are available to you, and programs that will assist you with measuring your social media efforts, but what analytics should you keep track of to move your social media strategy?
I think it’s important to know where your competitors stand in comparison to your accounts. For me, I keep this surface level, mostly looking at number of likes, followers and the subscribers. At least this way, I can have a benchmark to see where my accounts measure up against those competitors.
The second word in the title of my blog, and my social media mantra, is engage. Good content will cause people to react, whether it’s a retweet, a like or a comment. This is one of the most important things you can measure in my opinion. Measuring engagement informs your social strategy, and without it, you won’t be able to adjust to ensure you’re accomplishing your goals.
Unlikes, unfollows, hides, you know, all the negatives. It’s important to keep track of these, because it is the exact opposite of engagement. If your audience is taking the time and effort to perform a negative engagement action, that should be a red flag if it is happening early and often! By monitoring these numbers, you can keep ahead of the outflow of people, by changing your content types or topics.
There are lots of different things to measure and keep track of, what other analytics do you pay special attention to?
The world is currently head over heels in love with the Olympics, and who can blame them? Sports most people don’t see except for every four years, high stakes, and rooting for your country! And NBC has their social media team going full force on the NBC Olympics social media channels, with lots of good tips and ideas for the rest of us!
Photos Win Facebook
There is not a post on NBC Olympics’ Facebook page that doesn’t have a photo. According to this Fast Company article, 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook have photos. Not only does NBC use photos, but they also brand every last one of them with their blue border and Sochi logo, making sure that when it’s shared, the branding is still just as evident.
NBC Olympics has done a great job of taking advantage of situations as they arise. Obviously, the nature of the Olympics means they are waiting for the perfect moments, from announcing a Gold Medal to featuring athletes as they prepare to start competing, so they are set up already to use the random things that they aren’t anticipating.
It’s an easy tactic, but no doubt it’s effective. Asking for your audience to participate in the fun by answering a question, submitting a photo or filling in a blank is a great way to encourage engagement. Also, you can’t go wrong with using the unsolicited content, that’s the stuff social media dreams are made out of!
Normally, I hate when I see this. Most of the time, I just don’t think it’s a great fit for the brand or the content they have used. Now, I know this isn’t technically a meme, but it has a meme-like feel by using big, to-the-point words, and showing one subject in the photo. However, since NBC didn’t try to make their content fit into an already existing meme, I actually really like it!
NBC obviously understands that Instagram is a little bit artsier than Facebook and Twitter, and their content on the channel has been just that.
One of the most noticeable things when I was looking through NBC’s Olympics social media channels is how very different the content is on each channel.
Twitter is very centered around news-like content, such as events starting soon announcements, medal counts and winners and feature stories. But just because it’s more news focused, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a personality!
Facebook is probably the most fun content they have. While all the other channels they are utilizing defintiely have a feeling of fun and excitement, their Facebook content takes it to the next level. They are posting things that are easy to share and the most exciting or stunning moments of the Olympics.
Instagram, as I already pointed out, is much more artsy. Because of this, it makes you think you’re getting an inside look at the Olympics: how the courses look before an event and practice runs.
What is your favorite part of Olympics social media coverage so far?
So let’s evaluate. How did this tactic do for J.C. Penney?
J.C. Penney has been making a shift in brand over the last couple of years (technically a couple of different shifts), and I think has definitely been trying to move to a more hip feel, attracting a younger clientele, and making it more than “just another department store.” Unfortunately, I’m not sure faking drunk tweeting or a hacked account is the right way to accomplish this brand image. As a consumer, this doesn’t give me the confidence in the brand that I would expect to have. Especially among all the hacking going on with credit card data recently, I’d like the reassurance that the store can keep it’s Twitter account from being hack at the minimum.
On the other hand, if you read through J.C. Penney’s tweets, this type of humor does fit in with what they post. So they are not completely off the mark, but I now definitely feel a difference between their social media personality, and what I know J.C. Penney as.
I feel like these kinds of Tweets don’t fit well with who J.C. Penney is talking to. I’ll be honest, I could be wrong on this, but I think J.C. Penney’s audience is diverse across many age groups, and that this may not resonate with that audience. Even if it was a joke, I’m not sure everyone got it, and I’m just not sure it didn’t leave a bad taste in customer’s mouths.
If you look at the retweets and favorites of the three tweets above, the first misspelled tweet received 19,874 retweets and 8,724 favorites, the second had 23,188 retweets and 10,365 favorites (at time of posting). The tweet with the brand message and contained the punchline received 3,838 retweets and 2,139 favorites. There is a huge difference between these! Way more people saw that J.C. Penney made mistakes on their Twitter account than saw that it was a joke. I know that there will always be more engagement on the “mistakes” than the punchline, simply because people would much rather see a train wreck, than a social media stunt, but that is a risk you take with this kind of posting. In this case, I think the difference is huge, and I wonder how many people still don’t know that J.C. Penney was just #TweetingWithMittens.
J.C. Penney has been pushing these Go USA mittens for a little while now to support Team USA in the Sochi Olympics. But, they tweeted this joke during the Super Bowl. Both teams belong to the USA, so it didn’t quite make sense to me. They could have attempted the same joke during the Opening Ceremony or another big Olympic event, and I think the content would have resonated much better. Instead, personally I was confused. Maybe it was J.C. Penney’s way of not rooting for a specific team, but if that’s the case, they didn’t do a good job of staying impartial, since they “said” “Go Seahawks” in one of their tweets.
J.C. Penney’s #TweetingWithMittens did have a very evident positive, 8,824 new followers. They have definitely been acquiring new followers over time, with a recent large spike in addition to the Super Bowl spike. Time will tell if this spike of followers were worth it, when we can see if those followers remained, or unfollowed after the joke was up.
Winner or Loser?
Personally, I give kudos to J.C. Penney for taking a risk during a huge Twitter traffic time. Part of social media is finding out what your audience will react to, and you have some go tos that you know will accomplish what you need to, but you always have to be trying to find the next thing, and attract new audiences. The only way to do that is with a little trial and error. Unfortunately, I’m not sure this risk paid off.
What do you think? Did J.C. Penney make the right move?
Students (and plenty of professors) love snow days. But when they can’t get what they want, is that any reason for a blizzard of hate on Twitter? That is among the questions raised by the reaction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign when Phyllis M. Wise, the chancellor, opted to keep classes as scheduled Monday, despite extremely cold weather. That some students would take to Twitter to gripe is not shocking. But a flurry of comments focused either on Wise’s status as a woman, as an Asian-American or both. The hashtag of choice: #fuckphyllis. [Read More]
Wondering what works and what doesn’t for your Facebook page? Or are you overwhelmed with all of the Facebook tactics you read about? No matter how long you’ve had a Facebook page, it’s good to review some of the basics for creating a page for your business. [Read More]
Twitter has become the social platform for communicating and discovering what’s happening in the moment. Many think that this what fast-tracked its surge to prominence and a successful initial public stock offering. Meanwhile, Facebook, once the darling of the Internet, is now chasing Twitter by introducing new features to grab a share of the real-time marketing budget pie. [Read More]
From the decline of Facebook use among teens to Twitter’s IPO, if there is one thing we know for sure about social media, it’s that few trends hold on for long — so marketers need to stay on their toes. [Read More]
Are you frustrated with Facebook’s frequent changes to the news feed algorithm? Do you feel like you’re being forced to buy ads to reach your audience? While Facebook change is the rule rather than the exception, this article gives you 18 ways you can improve your Facebook news feed performance—and gain the upper hand. [Read More]
Are you using the Google+ video hangout feature? Are you looking for some creative ideas to use hangouts? Keep reading to discover how your business can connect in a personal way with your customers using this face-to-face video conferencing tool. [Read More]
Popular chain Morton’s Steakhouse found itself on the losing side of the power of social reviewing this week, when a situation at their Nashville branch was described in a Yelp review that later went viral and caused big headaches for the chain. [Read More]
Tumblr, like most social media platforms, has a world all its own, complete with a specific etiquette. It can be a bit confusing for users just starting out on the site, and although Tumblr has plenty of users who are willing to help, not everyone knows how to find them. [Read More]
The International Olympic Committee is confusing journalists. First, reporters scheduled to cover the 2014 Sochi Olympics were led to believe that they would lose press access if they used Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest or any social media to post photos from their phone. [Read More]
Did everyone just think to themselves, “Hell, no?” Let me convince you otherwise. At first glance, Snapchat might seem irrelevant to brands; it has a disappearing content, a reputation for dirty photos, no direct ROI, so many are thinking, why bother? One word: engagement. [Read More]
The Pew Research Center is today releasing comparative numbers looking at how U.S. adults use social networking sites to read news (a follow-on from earlier research focusing on two specific sites, Facebook and Twitter). [Read More]
Pinterest is opening its API to retailers who wish to embed pins directly on their websites, the company announced Thursday. A handful of Pinterest partners now have the option to surface their most popular pins directly on the homepage of their websites. Initial Pinterest partners include major brands like Walmart, Disney, Random House, Zappos and Mashable. [Read More]
When Sumpto launched in 2012, founder Ben Kosinski made a smart move, coining his startup as “the Klout for colleges.” At the time, the polarizing social currency company was still grabbing headlines, and the analogy made sense. Today, the analogy arguably has a little less relevance and perhaps a bit more baggage, but Sumpto continues to soldier on as a platform aimed at helping to measure the social influence of college students. [Read More]
The American Red Cross has patched up a mistake it made Monday. The organization used Twitter to share an image comparing the size of Typhoon Haiyan, a storm that killed an estimated 10,000 people in the Philippines over the weekend, to the continental United States, in which the typhoon dwarfed the nation. The tweet (embedded below) read, “A storm the size of typhoon Haiyan would cover nearly the entire continental U.S.” [Read More]
Today we’re introducing custom timelines to give you more control over how Tweets are organized and delivered on the Twitter platform. Custom timelines are an entirely new type of timeline –– one that you create. You name it, and choose the Tweets you want to add to it, either by hand or programmatically using the API (more on that below). This means that when the conversation around an event or topic takes off on Twitter, you have the opportunity to create a timeline that surfaces what you believe to be the most noteworthy, relevant Tweets. [Read More]
Starting today, we are introducing the ability to create custom timelines in TweetDeck. Custom timelines, which were just announced, are a new type of timeline that you control by selecting the Tweets you want to include. In this post, we’ll describe everything you need to know to create and share custom timelines. [Read More]
When I see brands on social media, I have expectations. I expect that if I tweet something to a brand, someone will respond. It doesn’t have to be within two minutes—I am overjoyed when it is—but I do expect a response. [Read More]
Are you struggling to generate leads on Twitter? Wondering how to display richer data in a tweet? In this article, I’ll show you four steps to getting more leads with Twitter lead generation cards. [Read More]
Twitter rocked markets this week with a spectacular initial showing. But how do Twitter ads measure up against Facebook ads? Is it worth spending your ad dollars on Twitter? When it comes to direct response marketing, AKA lead generation and/or Ecommerce, Google really takes the cake in terms of ad performance. However, if you’re set on creating a social media ad campaign, you’ll want to see how Twitter ads and Facebook ads compare. [Read More]
Most small business owners know they should be engaging customers on social media but, beyond setting up a Facebook page, are unclear how and where to focus their efforts. Perhaps surprisingly, photo site Pinterest is now the fastest-growing platform for online content sharing, according to a new report from online content distribution service ShareThis. [Read More]
Instagram has become one of the web’s most popular platforms for photo and video sharing. To help users integrate the social network even further into their daily lives, it has released a public application programming interface (API). [Read More]
Online communities come in many shapes and sizes, and serve a wide range of needs. Not surprisingly, the performance of an online community will also vary widely. One reason some organizations do not achieve the results they would like from their online community is a mismatch between the style or focus of the community, and the type of interactions between the members and the organization. There are four styles of online communities: Marketing Megaphones, Lead Generators, Customer Hugs and the coveted but often elusive Innovation Center. [Read More]
Are you wondering what the best content marketers do differently? Do you want to take your content marketing to a new level? Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs just published their latest report, B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America. The report shows two sides of content marketing. [Read More]
Ah, contests on social media platforms… Nothing like a contest to generate some tweets, right? They are a great tool to increase engagement (the promise of a prize is a powerful motivator) without breaking the bank (only a few prizes will help engage many hopeful participants). Since the beginning of times (well, almost), contests, sweepstakes and other similar tactics have been a core promotional and marketing tactic. [Read More]
I collected a dataset of more than 400,000 randomly selected Tweets and the number of times each tweet received a “new school” (native) ReTweet. I then compared 4 of the most popular ways to send images to Twitter: Facebook image links (images hosted on Facebook’s CDN, fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net), Instagram, Twitpic and Twitter’s own, native image uploading service (shown in Tweets as pic.Twitter.com). [Read More]
Facebook ads are one interesting tool in the outreach kit, and especially useful when you have a fresh, informed angle on a hot story the media already cares about. I worked with my publisher on the infographic you see below to promote my just-released book, The Social Media Side Door: How to Bypass the Gatekeepers to Gain Greater Access and Influence. [Read More]
We’ve all seen instances of businesses repeating themselves on social networks — reposting a morning message in the evening for a new audience, perhaps. Sometimes this cross-posting can be a social win, helping more viewers see your messages, but other times it takes a nose-dive into spam territory, which is likely to drive your follower counts down. [Read More]
“Listen” is the dogma of social media. Every social media consultant since the dawn of Friendster has a slide (or 23) about listening in every presentation. It’s the axiom that power the entire social media value proposition for brands. Eavesdropping on customers conversations yields positive outcomes, period. Or does it? [Read More]
Juggling multiple social media accounts across several networks can get hectic, especially when there’s a fine line between a manageable number of browser tabs and a terrible guessing game. [Read More]
Back in February, Texas Tech celebrated its 90th anniversary! Surrounding this university milestone, we launched a small social media campaign to encourage our audience to celebrate with us. We used a variety of different channels and tactics for this, including starting a new Tumblr channel.
We created a Tumblr account for this campaign so we could house historical content, similar to Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday, but on a much larger scale. We decided to post 5 pieces of content per day, and each week was a different decade, starting in the 1920s through today. Creating this much content was a challenge, but it attracted a lot of eyeballs with more than 13,000 pageviews, so it was a success! In addition, we’ve continued the Tumblr on a smaller scale, posting Texas Tech history a couple of times a week.
Facebook and Twitter
We used Facebook and Twitter as a supplement to Tumblr since it was a brand new channel for us. We directed a lot of traffic to our Tumblr from our mainstay channels. Facebook was by far the largest referral traffic source for the campaign, with Twitter not far behind.
In addition to social media efforts, we also used some banner ads in higher education publications to show our peers Texas Tech’s success. According to the website, this ad had one of the highest CTR they’ve seen on their banner ads.
We also hosted an in-person event in our Student Union Building where we served cake to students, faculty and staff. This helped include our audiences within the celebration in a more active way, and provided us an opportunity to receive feedback.
Keys to Succeed
This was a long campaign for us, and one that took a lot of content. In hindsight, I would say be 100 percent sure that you can commit to the amount of content you decide at the beginning. A second piece of advice is to write as much content ahead of time as possible, and to schedule it if possible. Since our history wasn’t going to change, I could schedule our content far in advance, allowing us to be sure that everything went out evenly and timely.
Have you taken on a campaign similar to this? What advice do you have for others embarking on this type of project?