Do not arbitrarily jump into the social marketing space without first setting measurable kpis (Key Performance Indicators). Define how you will measure success by selecting one primary and one secondary kpi. According to Jim Sterne in ‘Social Media Metrics’: ‘Social media kpis are, by necessity, a little fuzzier’. But even if you first have to work with a ‘best of breed’ home recipe of mainly free, publicly available and often imperfect sources, it is definitely worth the effort in the long run. Sterne continues: ‘You can’t control the conversation but you can guide the conversation. You can influence the conversation. You can have an impact on the conversation. That’s the whole reason for tracking and measuring it.’
For your reference: Deloitte takes it up a notch by connecting social media efforts to known business KPIs like NPS, PR Value, ARPU, Media Reach/Impact, Media Spend, CPA and Churn. Click to enlarge.
Custom fan page designers Pagemodo conducted a survey among small business owners who were using Facebook as a marketing and revenue generation channel. The results show that, while only half of respondents use Facebook, a significant number of users report increased revenue as a result.
Highlights from the survey:
- 47% of SME owners said their Facebook pages are pushing a significant amount of traffic to their websites.
- 48% reported that a portion of the traffic converts into customers.
Businesses that use Facebook for business engage in the following activities:
From Study Gives Insight Into Content Discovery Trends Across the Web’s Leading Publishers @ blog.outbrain.com:
Currently, search methods [...] send the largest slice of referral traffic to content. Links from publisher sites make up 31% of referral traffic to content pages [...], portal homepages (AOL.com, Yahoo.com, MSN.com) account for 17% of traffic, and finally, social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Fark.com, reddit, Digg) send 11% of traffic to content pages.
What kind of content do people share online?
Download a high-res PDF of the report: Content Discovery and Engagement Report, Q1 2011 (.pdf)
From the (excellent) Social Media ProBook:
The "buying" process begins long before a sales person contacts a prospect. The fuel that drives a prospect from latent interest to active demand is created, curated or procured by a brand, distributed over social channels and measured against business objectives.
Their list of KPIs is particularly interesting:
- traffic / page views / time onsite
- content downloads
- inbound links / page rank
- fans / followers
- mentions / comments / shares
- open / click-through rates
- inquiries / database growth
- form submission rate
- funnel conversion (stage change)
- qualified / accepted leads
- meeting with sales
- active pipeline / pipeline value
- closed deals
In The Conversity Model I don't really recommend a Facebook Page if your only objective is to drive traffic to your website. Things change, however, if you use Like Buttons and other Social Plugins on your website.
A recent study by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism investigated several traffic drivers online for news sites. Pew’s report also states that finding news is no longer important in this digital age - sharing the news is: “Google and Facebook are increasingly set up as competitors (for) sorting through the material on the Web."
A few other highlights from the report:
- 30% traffic originates from Google organic search
- 3% traffic come from Facebook through Like Buttons and links posted by users
- In comparison to Facebook, Twitter seems to make little or no effect
- 77% percent of the referral traffic comes in the form of casual users , who visit these sites not more than twice a month
- Facebook An Important Source Of Traffic For News Sites: Pew Internet @ watblog.com
- Where people Go, How They Get There and What Lures Them Away @ journalism.org
I have met social media consultants who claim to be able to ‘sell’ you Facebook fans for as little as 50 eurocents per fan. This must mean that after ‘click farms’ (to click on your advertising), ‘content farms’ (to write your blog posts), there are now also ‘fan farms’ (to give you the illusion that your fan page is popular).
According to digital marketer Shiv Singh, the going rate for fan acquisition is roughly $0.60 to $1.00 per fan:
If I wanted to create the largest brand page on Facebook, I could do that quickly by just spending. I could use a large percentage of a digital media budget to buy those fans. It'll take probably two weeks but I would have the largest Facebook brand page in no time. Does it mean that I have the most popular brand online or that I'm the most social media savvy marketer out there? Of course not. It just means that I have a very large budget.
In the end, these non-organic "fans" will barely interact with the messages on your Page. And that's a shame, since Facebook's advertising solutions, if used well, can quickly scale up your fan count too.
- Will you tie bonuses to Facebook fan counts? @ goingsocialnow.com
Marketing professionals will invest more in social media this year than ever before, yet this is a scene that constantly shifts and changes. Here to help you better leverage these major social media sites is CMO.com's 2nd annual guide to the social landscape - updated and revised for 2011. The four objectives are still the same:
- Customer communication (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr)
- Brand exposure (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Digg, Tumblr)
- Traffic to your site (Digg, StumbleUpon)
- SEO (Flickr, YouTube, Digg, StumbleUpon, Tumblr)
- What are possible objectives for social media efforts?
- How do you measure success?
- What tools can you use to measure?
Afterwards I was interviewed by Best Of Publishing. The two questions are:
- How do you measure social media?
- What are the two biggest digital trends to watch in 2011?
“Listening” isn’t enough. Tracking the number of Twitter mentions tells you nothing. The bigger question is: What are we trying to build or accomplish, and how will we digest and use this data?
- YouTube Beats Yahoo — Video Will Convert
- The Full Resurrection of E-mail: e-mail addresses are a safer long-term investment than social media features
- Large Companies Will Waste Money on Vanity Metrics: impressions, page views, and undefined terms like “engagement” are at best gameable and at worst meaningless.
- Ads & Conversation Will Impact Different Conversion Rates. One good test of whether your advertising can become a conversation: Would people notice if your ads stopped running? Clickthrough rate is not going to answer that question.