Articles in The 'Advanced Social Media Marketing' Tag

January 19 2011

Are You Leveraging Analytics Tools in Social Media?

by Tiffany Weimar

With the rise in use for social media for business, there is a great amount of discussion around how organizations quantify its success.  Is it through the number of followers, likes, mentions, or retweets…?  Although you may have not seen a direct correlation between user engagement and revenue in the past, social media has truly become a force to reckon with.  Companies are now adding lead generation forms to their social media company pages and are actively collecting prospects’ contact information through their regular “social media-only” promotions.

Aside from collecting actual measureable leads, analytics is very useful in understanding the value of social media. Over time, social media outlets have rolled out analytics data within their platforms to help companies start to quantify their investment in social media. Facebook for instance, has “Insights” available as their form of analytics, viewable only to administrators of the company page. Admins are able to select a date range to view the number of “likes” and “post views” within the desired timeframe.  This data, previously only collected by individuals manually, is now readily available. 

LinkedIn, now allows you to view statistics on different companies’ growth, number of employees (on LinkedIn), job function composition, etc.. In the future, I anticipate that all social media outlets will launch some sort of analytics for their users.  It will be interesting to see the additional analytics tools that are added and the value added as a result.

Although these tools will most definitely help businesses get insight on the success of their pages, I would definitely suggest accessing Google Analytics data to get a better understanding of the amount of “referring traffic” being driven to your company website.  You can also track the number of leads as a result of that traffic.

June 2 2009

The Relevance of Social Media to Drive Purchase Decisions

by Gerard Tollefsen

Do social networks have the power to influence what we buy?  Do people actually turn to social media sites for guidance on products or services?  If the answer to either of these questions is NO, should businesses ignore the social networks as a viable marketing channel?  The answer to that last question is ‘absolutely not’.

I recently read a report conducted by Knowledge Networks and found the information both interesting and ridiculous at the same time.  Here are some of the “highlights” from the report that I found interesting:

  • 83% of the Internet population (ages 13 to 54) participates in social media
  • 47% of these users participate in social media on a weekly basis
  • 16% of social media users say they are more likely to buy from companies that advertise on social sites

The report continued by indentifying how social networks are used by their loyal followers for guidance on making purchases.  Here are some of the “highlights” from the report I found ridiculous:

  • Less than 5% of social media users regularly turn to these sites for guidance on purchase decisions
  • Participation in social media is widespread among those ages 13 to 54, but when asked whether they regularly turn to these sites when trying to make a purchase decision, the highest percentages among nine categories were 4%, for travel and banks/financial services.

I won’t list the other 8 categories (all the stats were lower than the 4% for travel) but the overall message from the report was that people spend time on social networks for many reasons…the least of which is to get guidance on buying products and services.  That sounds a lot like television and radio to me.  I do not know a single person who says, “Hmmm, I need to turn on the TV so I can watch the commercials and get some help buying my next car”.  In addition, I do not know a single person who turns on their radio while driving home from work, so they can switch off the songs to find radio commercials in order to help them buy their kids next birthday present!

The premise that people do not use social networks, like Facebook or MySpace, for guidance on purchasing decisions is ridiculous…of course they don’t (well 96% or so do not).  They visit and spend time on social networks to be entertained, and that’s the same reason people turn on their TV at home or their car radio during a long drive. But TV and radio can be powerful advertising mediums because you can reach a large (and somewhat targeted) audience.  The same applies to advertising on social media sites…you can reach a large and highly targeted audience to promote your message, product, or service.  The notion that people don’t “turn to” social media sites for purchasing decisions should not stop you from marketing to this large, targeted audience…it works for TV and radio…and can work for social media networks as well.  Add Google Analytics into your marketing program and you can track how well these social network sites perform in terms of driving quality visitors to your site.  This is something TV and radio advertising cannot provide as a measurement of success (yet I still see and hear commercials on TV and radio all the time, interesting).

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