Your Social Media Strategy Doesn’t Work Anymore

facebook reach declining new algorithm changeBy Craig Sherman

This is a must-read if you or someone you are paying is spending more than an hour per week on your social media efforts

Let’s face it, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are making it increasingly difficult for social media marketers to reach an audience with their content. Even your own fans & followers are only exposed to a small fraction of the posts you labor over in hopes of tapping into what you were promised when social media became a billion-person party. As paid advertising is rolled out across social networks, we can expect this trend to continue. Does that mean the era of earning a return on your time and money in social is dead? Not by a long shot. You just need to tweak your strategy a bit. Read on for your new road map.

OLD METHOD. (Does this sound familiar?)
Most social media marketers (agencies and brand marketers alike) fall into this category and most are struggling to see results as they fight the current. These marketers have pinned the majority of their hopes and efforts on direct community engagement, which looks like this:

brand to prospect social media marketing doesn't work

The idea is, figure out the most compelling content your prospects are searching for and push it out to them at a time when they are most interested in consuming it. This content frequently comes in the form of a blog post followed by a series of tweets and status updates driving traffic to the blog post.

To accomplish this, these marketers have amassed an arsenal of tools, like Hootsuite, Buffer, Bitly, Google Analytics, and a host of others.

 THE PROBLEM WITH THIS STRATEGY

  • Facebook reach has declined significantly following a recent algorithm change
  • Twitter & LinkedIn are rolling out new paid channels that make it more difficult for your organic messages to cut through the clutter and hit the mark.
  • It takes a significant amount of time to create fresh content, juggle all these tools and keep track of what is or isn’t working

THE NEW WAY TO OBTAIN BUSINESS RESULTS WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

Here’s an import thing to realize if you want to recapture your Facebook mojo: Facebook reach didn’t go away with the new algorithm update, it just shifted away from brands and into the hands of the friends of your target audience. Facebook decided that people want to see comments from friends instead of status updates from brands that they have ‘liked’. As a marketer, your job is to figure out how to capitalize on this shift. One way to do this is to make it easy for your existing customer base and prospects to share your brand’s information and recommendations with their friends, family and colleagues via social media. Your strategy will now looks like this:

customer to prospect social media marketing
You are going to need a new set of tools to accomplish this, or get yourself a social suite to keep everything neat and tidy under one login. Here are some innovative tactics brands are using to generate peer-to-peer sharing results:

  1. Use your social suite to integrate sharing applications throughout your website and all customer touch points that incorporate an incentive for your customer and their friends:
    a. Replace all your share buttons with custom share buttons that add a special offer to the share, like a coupon or white paper link.
    b. Add short URLs or QR codes to the bottom of all your white papers, sales collateral & business cards prompting a social share along with a coupon or white paper link.
    c. Add video and text testimonial widgets to key pages of your website and your fan page that allows customers to share their recommendation on all social networks along with a coupon or white paper link
    d. Run mobile optimized photo contests on your fan page that award something to the photos with the most votes to encourage sharing. Add a coupon or white paper link to all the shares
    e. Be sure your social suites add users of ALL of the above activities to a social CRM database so top influencers can be identified and cultivated into brand advocates
  2. Continue to publish to Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn, but integrate customer generated content into your scheduled posts.
    a. Link your testimonial campaigns from step 1 to all of your social media accounts, so when you approve the video or text testimonials, they are automatically posted to your social accounts and YouTube channel in addition to your customer’s social accounts
    b. Link your contest from step 1 to all your social media accounts, so when you approve a photo submission, it is automatically posted to your social accounts in addition to your customer’s social accounts
    c. Make your brand posts more engaging through the use of video content. Use your social suite to record a ‘talking head’ video to break that hot news story versus the same text post all your competitors are pushing out. Your social suite should be able to upload the video to your YouTube channel automatically so you are adding to your SEO machine with every post
    d. Publish to all of your social accounts in one step, but add calls to action that are appropriate for each network. Your social suite should allow you to add a different call to action to the end of your Facebook and LinkedIn posts as well as customizing your tweet with hashtags and @mentions
    e. Schedule your posts based on your objective. Your social suite should be able to schedule your post based on the optimal time for clickthroughs, purchases or white paper downloads

CONCLUSION

The Facebook algorithm isn’t the end of organic social media marketing. It just provided an opportunity for you to get your brand into the news feed of your target audience while your competition works twice as hard and barely keeps their nose above water.

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Craig Sherman is the founder and CEO of Sociamonials based in Elk Grove, California.

1 Comment

  • Lesley
    Posted April 23, 2014 3:45 pm

    This was awesome. I don’t consider myself a ruthless competitor, but what the heck- I can adopt the title.

Leave a comment

Is your social media ROI worth the budget, time and effort you're spending on your e-commerce business? Are you keeping track of the metrics necessary so you can measure what's working and what's not in your social media marketing? Social ROI may not tell the whole story about how you should run your business, but it tells a big chunk of information necessary for you to find your track on how to succeed online. The Digitally Connected Consumers and Your Business Social ROI The digital age has made the world smaller by making people globally who share common interest connected through online social circles. Whether you like it or not, today's consumers are more inquiring, information-seeking and always looking for consumer proofs such as product reviews, before finally deciding to purchase. They like sharing their opinions and experiences on various products and e-commerce sites regardless it's positive or negative. Through all this social sharing happening online, there's a big information that e-commerce businesses can tap on, and use to guide them for success. If we want our online businesses to grow, it should be the online entrepreneur's reality to be able to relate social media efforts into actual customer sales and conversion. You need to be able to point out which social shares finally end up in purchase and which don't. When you do so, you'll be able to bring a huge amount of savings to your marketing budget and ultimately in your e-commerce business, by spending only on those areas that you know will bring you a reasonable amount of ROI. You can dump those which are not giving you the results you want, and focus all your resources to those that make your customers happy and your business grow. Would you like to have access to such smarts? What's social media ROI? Social media ROI is all about numbers. It's the proportion of whatever metric you're measuring that comes back to you, and hopefully signifies that your social marketing works. For example, if you spend $10k on a Facebook contest and it results to 100 new customers each paying $1,000 worth of your products, then you've gained 1000% ROI. Good on you! However, if your social media contest resulted in 10 new customers with a $500 purchase, then you're down to a -50% ROI! You need to find out where you fell short along the campaign. Generally speaking, we applied the formula: Profit from social contest/Amount of investment on social contest x 100 = Your Social ROI in % However, this is a very simplistic scenario, for demonstration purposes only. Running a Facebook contest involves counting a number of social signals such as likes, shares, and the traffic that brought the entrants to the contest site itself. And it could be, from social sharing across all networks. Keeping track of these metrics may appear complex, only if you perform it manually. But we now have access to the most sensible tech that will help us do the monitoring and accounting, so we have a good plain number figure of social ROI to look into. Remember, if you're keeping track of the important metrics for your business before you initiate a social campaign, you will surely succeed. Your social ROI can always point you on what's the next good move for your business to grow. What You Need to Measure: Social Metrics and Intelligence By now, you should have realized that your social media ROI explicitly states the value your e-commerce gained or lost in your social media marketing efforts. Your social media campaigns, then become measurable and, are expected to have specific outcomes. What are the social metrics and intelligence that you need to know to be able to compute your social ROI? It's not really that complicated. It usually refers to everything that you spent or costed you money whether directly, or measured in time and other resources, in exchange of a desired outcome. Outcomes, often, are sales that resulted from social media, but it can also be the number of leads generated or landing page conversion if you are doing an A/B test. It's actually up to you, as a business, to create a clearly defined goal on what ROI you want to make from social media. This process is important as it will be the basis of everything else that you will do and measure in your social marketing. And so, take time to come up with a concise goal that you want to achieve for your business using social media marketing. When you're done, you can proceed to defining the metrics that you need to track to be able to measure your social ROI. According to experts, the top metrics that relate to social media success and therefore, you need to apply in your own business are: 1. Audience reach It's the number of people who can see your social media campaigns. It could refer to the number of your Facebook fans, Twitter followers or LinkedIn group members. The higher your audience reach, the more number of people can read your content, the more opportunities you can have to increase your social ROI. 2. Audience engagement There's no one way to define what audience engagement is. Whatever definition you give, it boils down to how your audience responds to your social media campaigns. Do they engage with your content through likes, shares, retweets, comments, clicks or favorites? Do they do what you ask them to do such as visiting a website, signing-up to an opt-in form? When there's a good audience engagement, it demonstrates audience trust to your brand. It shows that your followers are actively involved in your social content. When they are, they're more candidate to become your paid customers. 3. Site traffic When the number of your e-commerce site visitors increases, as a result of your social media campaigns, it partly indicates that you're getting higher ROI from social marketing. Your social efforts are converting to a spike in your website traffic. And it's actually one good goal to aim for in social. 4. Number of leads generated We all know that lead generation is critical to every business, as being able to pitch or close a sale. That is true, only if the right leads are generated. Social media marketing is very effective in filtering out targeted leads. Through social content that appeals only to its target audience, social marketing enables businesses to generate the right leads. And through successful social campaigns, the number or volume of qualified leads also increases. 5. Customer sign-ups and conversions The number of sign-ups to a marketing campaign or free trial, that eventually converts to being a paid customer, is a great metric to track when it comes to finding out what social campaigns work in your audience. Being able to determine what works can lead to better social ROI's for your business, which can be scaled up for higher revenues. 6. Revenue generated Of course, it's imperative to keep a close eye on the revenue generated from your social marketing efforts. But the *ability to pinpoint exactly, which social network or engagement or social posts caused that effect, is a goldmine of information that helps *generate higher social ROI. Business revenue may refer to product sales as a result of social media campaigns, but isn't limited to it. It may also refer to any other sources that may have brought business profits. Measuring the revenue generated from specific social media strategies, can help you to quickly identify your social ROI. Social Media ROI Tools When you understand how social ROI impacts your business, you'll want to get started measuring it. Instead of timing your social posts for the highest engagement, you'd want to time it for the optimal revenue so your business can enjoy a higher ROI. This is when you begin to look for tools that will help you track your social posts, subscriber actions, influencer activities, analyze data and provide you with analytics reports. Google Analytics is a free tool that you can use to track activities that are sourced out from your social media campaigns, such as website traffic to your e-commerce site and sign-ups to your opt-in pages. But your data would be incomplete as it won't tell you which specific social activities resulted to sales and other revenue. And so, your social ROI data would be partial. There are a number of popular paid softwares that you can choose to try, to help measure your social media ROI across various social channels. However, if you're an e-commerce business or B2B, know that this would be another separate step that you need to incorporate with tracking of your other marketing campaigns such as referral marketing, incentivized sharing and social CRM. There's one robust social media marketing software that will help you all the way to not only measure social ROI, but achieve a higher one, by helping you execute your social media marketing using ROI-optimized publishing times, giving you access to revenue-generating campaigns and a powerful social CRM. You only need to use one tool, and everything about your social media marketing and social ROI are taken care of. Its revenue tracking allows you to report on ROI on your social activities. How to Measure your Social ROI When you're using the right tool for social media marketing, you're just two steps away to measuring your social ROI. These are: 1) Determine your social media goals. - Know the outcome that you would expect from your social media campaign. More followers? More sales? More site visitors? 2) Use your social media software to execute your social media campaign and track ROI. - Plan, design and create your social campaigns. Determine the metrics that you want to track for your ROI. Track your metrics. You've eliminated redundant steps that you would have done manually otherwise, such as:
  • Decide on the right social platform to use.
  • Set-up and track your campaigns on that platform using a tracking tool.
  • Check on the reporting of your tracking tool.
  • Monitor important metrics and values.
  • Evaluate your findings.
  • Go back to your social media software and modify your campaign as needed.
  • Make sure to adjust the tracking set-up all over again.
When you've done those two steps, you'll end up with a suite of analytics that you can use to evaluate your winning social campaigns, based on the metrics that you've initially determined to use. Now that you have real-time data in your hands, you have the information to decide on your next move, which is based on doing more of what worked and halting that which didn't. By using a software like Sociamonials, you'll gain access to an overview report that will help you see at a glance which networks, media types, employees, campaign types, etc. are driving KPI’s like revenue, leads, visits and engagement. You're able to do this because it's a state-of-the-art one-software-tool for all of your social programs designed to give you a complete reporting of your social media ROI. You've eliminated steps that are based on inaccurate methods of measurements, and leveraged on technology-based business tracking that uses pixel codes. You've shortened the process of data analysis and reporting, by letting the software be involved in your social marketing from creating your campaigns, scheduling, tracking, analyzing and reporting. Pro Tip: Leverage on Your Social ROI If you want to gain social intelligence to improve how you do your business, you may want to consider using a social media marketing software that’s built just for that purpose, like Sociamonials. With a focus on helping businesses gain higher roi from social media, Sociamonials is designed to help the entrepreneur run his business with ease by allowing him to focus on what matters most, the direction of the business. Let Sociamonials handle all the technicals on social metrics, conversion and areas for improvement. See how you progress and never waste a penny on your marketing budget. When you do so, the ROI you're receiving may be worth the social media marketing efforts you’re exerting. Much more, you can scale it up using the data and business IQ that you can only have access to, when you use a smart social ROI software.

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