Measuring and Adjustment: Critical Tiers in the “Evoking Social” Approach
As a popular and relatively inexpensive non-traditional medium, social media is not a fad, and these days, businesses cannot afford to overlook implementing this important engagement platform. With 65 percent of the world’s top companies on Facebook and 90 percent of marketers using social media channels for business (with 93 percent of these rating social tools as important), businesses are quickly learning a social media strategy is not optional. And although we see teams dedicated to social media for brands seeking growth, many businesses are still bypassing critical steps in managing social media: evaluating, measuring and adjusting.
Simply shuttling out information and hoping users will interact is like standing in the middle of a mall blurting out comments to people as they walk by hoping they stop to talk, or even remember the random mall remarks to share with friends later. It’s not going to happen, and it is the same with social media. Businesses must learn to transition from simply “using social platforms” to employing a fully integrated and optimized strategic plan to become a social business. Strategic social media plans are useful for generating leads, directing traffic to the main company website, enhancing brand recognition, improving search engine optimization, building an engaged network of followers, and, through thorough research, it allows business to reach out directly to brand advocates and potential consumers.
Research, Plan and Repeat
We all know it is essential to plan and research before attempting to grab the attention of a very busy consumer base, but what if you have already done your research and planning? Research, plan and repeat. It is an ongoing effort. It is human nature to evolve, and businesses must learn to recognize what messaging is inspiring, entertaining and/or enlightening for their targets, and if market preferences change, businesses must adapt to elevate or maintain their industry position.
In response to the growing need of brands to transform themselves into social businesses, evok created the “evoking social” strategic approach to researching, planning, executing and monitoring social media efforts. Evoking social is the centerpiece of the digital ecosystem, driven by content strategy, SMART goals and innovative thinking. Evok’s five-tier approach to evoking social includes:
1. Discovery – including comprehensive industry research, competitive analysis, goal and objective setting, and review of the brand’s past and present marketing portfolio.
2. Content development – centered on understanding how to craft entertaining, enlightening and educational content that will engage the target audience segments. This step should be constantly monitored and measured, as businesses should always be in tune with what content is most successful among users.
3. Implementation – focuses on strategic selection of social media platforms, posting schedules, consumer interaction, and social reach and connection growth tactics.
4. Evaluation – daily, weekly, monthly and yearly monitoring of analytics provides real-time consumer insights and feedback. Evoking social tracks the social media ROI value to an actual dollar amount per platform and even down to an individual Facebook post or Twitter tweet. This tier and the one following are where many businesses are lacking; only 10 percent of marketers are actively monitoring social media ROI.
5. Adjustment – focuses on the optimization and improvement of success metrics based on previous results by implementing new content, innovative ideas and ROI driven tactics focused on meeting business goals. We like to say our content strategy plans are “living, breathing documents” because we are constantly updating and changing tactics to fit information discovered through evaluation of previously used tactics.
Reporting Tools Provide Engagement Insights
The final adjustment tier is critical and the point at which the strategic process begins and ends. Many times this seems to be the most challenging task for the social media novice. The questions arise, “How do I know what to improve on? What should I change? What do my targets like? This is where knowledge of social media management and reporting tools is useful. The following are a few examples:
• HootSuite is a publishing, monitoring and reporting tool for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Google+. In addition to custom and proposal reports, HootSuite offers Facebook Insights, Owl.ly clicks summary and Google Analytics templates. HootSuite is also a valuable tool for Twitter, where individuals can send (even schedule) tweets; monitor feeds, mentions, DMs (direct messages) and favorite tweets.
• Facebook Insights is a reporting tool that measures data with a two-day lag time and can be exported as an Excel file. Insights can be used to measure total likes, people talking about the page, weekly total reach, virality and more. Furthermore, Facebook Insights gives the demographic and geographic analysis of people talking about the individual posts.
Argyle is a comprehensive publishing, engagement and reporting software relevant to Facebook and Twitter, which measures likes, clicks and interactions in real time – avoiding Facebook Insight’s two-day lag time. Argyle encompasses quantitative and qualitative metrics in addition to conversion tracking. Conversions made through social media efforts for that month can be measured in dollar values by platform and narrowed down to the particular tweet or post that prompted the conversion. With Argyle, evo¯k is able to define the ROI for the month’s social media efforts.
It is important to do research as to which management and monitoring tools are best for the platform and for each business. Surveying what other businesses in a specific industry are using may aid in the decision process, or researching which platforms provide access to the targets a company requires.
Evoking Social at Work
Evok ignited the evoking social approach for our client, the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). After implementation across all platforms, NMEDA learned they were reaching their target demos, as well as an unexpected younger audience, so the posts were adapted using image-rich and highly shared content like quotes and short updates relevant to their industry. After six months, NMEDA has enjoyed an increase in “likes” of more than 900 each month since implementation. NMEDA’s social media reach continues to grow today and has also led to more than one million unique visitors to their website.
Today, 62 percent of adults worldwide are now using social media. Forty-three percent of marketers have seen an improvement in sales due to social campaigns, 91 percent of experienced social marketers have enjoyed improved website traffic due to social media campaigns, and 79 percent are generating more quality leads, with NMEDA being a prime example. Businesses who are not utilizing social media in a strategic manner are missing insights on their consumer, opportunity to further build brand loyalty and ultimately revenues. It is essential to make the transition and commitment to being a social business.
If you need guidance, please feel free to contact evok advertising at 407.302.4416 or visit evokad.com.