The background for and importance of auditing your social media, with a concrete example comparing the Facebook presence of two hotels.
[01:16] Social Media Audits
[01:45] Creating Baseline Numbers
[02:29] Create a Role Model
[02:52] The Notion of Audit
[04:00] Is It A Good Ideal to Compare Yourself with the Competition?
[04:32] Notion of Social Proof
[04:46] Where the Role of Audit Comes In
[06:01] Looking at the Organic Growth Rate
[08:01] Number of Like Is Meaningless
[08:30] Getting A Sense of the Engagement
[10:56] 2 Easy Things You Can Do to Audit
- So part of this feeds into the fact that you have to have a plan, you have to have a social media strategy, you have to be measuring, you have to be optimizing, that's a no brainer. But part of that social media strategy is creating baseline numbers of how others in your industry are doing.
- But if there's a new platform that you're not familiar with, your company is just engaging and if you think it may be important for your social media strategy, how are you going to get started, create a role model, right?
- Look at other companies in your industry, or similar industries that have seemingly done well, it's always hard to know if a company is doing well or not in social media. Because the number of likes the number of views is meaningless. It comes down to are they meeting their business objectives, and that information is not for public consumption, obviously.
- And the audit actually helps you create your social media strategy. It helps you create baseline metrics.
- But you know, number of likes in itself is not the only metric. I don't even know how meaningful of a metric it is. But once again, with social proof, I guess there is some value to it.
- Now, number of likes is meaningless. We're not going to buy likes, obviously, we're going to target our target audience.
- We want to keep our brands fresh in the minds of our fans.
- So I'm hoping that this gets you thinking about your own brand, or the brand that you represent, or sell to, or service or what have you. And that it gets you into a habit of doesn't have to be all the time, maybe monthly basis, maybe quarterly basis. Look around and see what your competition is doing. Create some of these baseline metrics for the few of the platforms.
Welcome to another edition of social business unplugged, practical advice on how to best leverage social media for your business. Now, the host of social business unplugged, author of the forthcoming book, maximize your social published by Wiley and founder of maximize social business. Neal Schaffer. Greetings, everybody this is Neal Schaffer, welcome to a another exciting episode of social business unplugged. Hope you're all having a great day, wherever you are. I am at home here in Orange County, California, really building out for the launch of maximize your social my new book coming out on September 3 is how a lot of cool things that I'll be able to talk about on future podcast. But I wanted to bring up one topic that I discuss in my book. And it's something that I discussed with one of my social media strategy consulting clients yesterday, so I thought it was very, very appropriate to share with all of you as well, it's also topic you're going to hear me talk more about, in fact, I was just talking to the folks that Social Media Examiner, and you're the first to know that I'm confirmed to speak at Social Media Marketing World, in San Diego, California, March of 2014. So you'll definitely want to open up your calendars, it's gonna be a great event for March 26, to 28th. But this isn't a promotion for these events, I want to talk about social media audits. So here's the thing. And when I first presented on social media strategy at Social Media Marketing World in 2013, earlier this year, I was talking to all the social media marketers in the room of people that represent brands, work at agencies, social media consultants, what have you, and how do you know how well you're doing in social media? Where are areas where you can maximize your social. So part of this feeds into the fact that you have to have a plan, you have to have a social media strategy, you have to be measuring, you have to be optimizing, that's a no brainer. But part of that social media strategy is creating baseline numbers of how others in your industry are doing. When I do webinars, when I do my class at Rutgers University on social media platforms, especially when it comes to Twitter, or if there's a platform that you don't understand very well maximize social business, just had our first blog post on Reddit, today by Jesse Aaron, you should definitely check that out if you're interested. But if there's a new platform that you're not familiar with, your company is just engaging and let's say vine, right? Maybe you're a little late to vine, I don't know if it's possible to be late to vine. But anyway, if you think it may be important for your social media strategy, how are you going to get started, create a role model, right? Look at other companies in your industry, or similar industries that have seemingly done well, it's always hard to know if a company is doing well or not in social media. Because the number of likes the number of views is meaningless. It comes down to are they meeting their business objectives, and that information is not for public consumption, obviously. But if you find a role model, then you get into the notion of an audit. And the audit actually helps you create your social media strategy. It helps you create baseline metrics. And when you read, maximize your social see that I've created three different sets of metrics, and one of those sets of metrics, I would call comparative metrics. So it sets the baseline, and it's one indication of how well you're doing in social media. Are you keeping up with the Joneses? Right? And are there other things you can be doing? Because part of being successful in social media is never ending experimentation? You know, those companies that are already very active on Vine? Those are the experimenters, right? What are they doing that we're not doing? Is it valuable? Are there fans that we're not reaching? Like Reddit? Are there potential fans that can help amplify our message perhaps, or passionate people that are talking about us that we haven't reached? Because we've only focused on one or two platforms? For instance, right? So the audit, and this is very, very simple came out of my client who is a hotel, and they have competition with other hotels in the area near a famous tourist attraction. So part of the question was, do you think it's a good idea that we compare ourselves to the competition? And what are the best ways to compare yourself with the competition? So number one, yes, it is absolutely an essential idea, especially if you're in an industry where you have a lot of these experimenters are innovators, to constantly comparing yourself with your competition as one set of metrics, it's not the entire thing, because that doesn't tie in your business objectives. But you're gonna get ideas and you're gonna get baseline metrics, you're going to be able to get some aha moments from it. And there's also this notion that, you know, numbers, especially number of likes, what have you there is a notion of social proof attached to it that we cannot deny those of us that work in the social media profession. Yeah, that company probably bought likes or what have you. But to most people, if you're comparing a company or a hotel that has 100 likes versus 10,000 likes, chances are that one with 10,000 likes you're going to try to glean more insight as to why they may have that many likes or what are they Do we know what have you. So that's where this role of the audit can come in place. Now, there are tools that are out there that can help you with the audit, because in essence, there's a lot of publicly available information, but you need to data crunch it. And in maximize your social, I go through the steps and what sort of data is available, what I would recommend for various platforms, but we spoke specifically, last night on Facebook and with Facebook, maybe a lot of people don't know this, I don't know, there is publicly available information, obviously, the number of likes, and the people talking about this people talking about this, obviously, are people that created stories, right, likes, comments, shares, things that go out into the news feeds to their friends that hopefully get some viral spread within the Facebook community, which then adds two more likes to your page more likes to the post and what have you. Those are the basics. But you know, number of likes in itself is not the only metric. I don't even know how meaningful of a metric it is. But once again, with social proof, I guess there is some value to it. And at least for not necessarily the number of likes, I like to look at the organic growth rate. If we're doing well, or we think we're doing well on social media, we may start out at a different number of likes, but at least is our organic growth rate similar to our competitors, if not higher. So organic growth rate alikes, you literally have to track the number of new likes every day. And some people may not know this, and my client did not know it. But if you actually click through, you know, you have those four tabs at the very top there that are visible. A lot of people or a lot of companies don't necessarily show the number of likes there, there is a Like button. But if you press that like button that shows up in those tabs, and if they're not in the first four, you'll, you'll have to press in that arrow to make it visible and to access it, you will be able to see a chart over the last 30 days have the number of people talking about this brand, this Facebook page, as well as the number of new likes that they've gotten in a I believe it's over 30 days, but it's looking at a week by week span, day to day. So it requires some number crunching, but you can easily see, okay, this company has 10,000 likes, and they're getting 10 New likes a day, there's a ratio there, how are we doing? Are we getting more organic likes, we may have less followers, or less fans, if our organic growth and number of likes is growing, someday we're gonna catch that other company, then it's a matter of if we're really competitive. And we really believe really in the social proof, especially if we're not a well known brand, we may want to try to accelerate that. And that's where you get into decision well, should we be doing more promoted posts, should we be doing more ads to try to get more likes, if this company has this many likes, and they are focusing on the same target market, we should be able to get the same number of likes over time. So using paid social, which I highly recommend you do is a great way to accelerate it. And my client decided over the next four months until the end of the year, we set a goal of number likes. And that's what we're going to head towards in terms of building out just the the potential reach Now, number of likes is meaningless. We're not going to buy likes, obviously, we're going to target our target audience. And we have very, very specific information about those demographics, and what other brands they may like where they live, what are their ages, you know, gender or what have you. So we're going to be building brand awareness while we do that as well, and brand awareness and awareness for every campaign and everything we do up into the future. Now, the other interesting one is the people talking about this, right? The people talking about this number, divided by the total number likes does give you a general feel as to how much engagement, I think the average Well, I saw another stat on the average been six to 8%. I think people used to say if you're over 3%, you're doing well the average is between one and 3%. And this changes over time. But this is a way if we look at this people talking about this divided by the number of likes, we get a sense of engagement. Now just as people can buy likes, or create a campaign that buy likes either fake likes or buy real likes to have in a paid social campaign on Facebook ads, it can be the same for engagement, you may see a page that has really high people talking about this divided by number of fans like 10% 15% 20% 30%. Now how much of that organic and how much of it is paid right? And almost promoting a post on a regular basis is becoming a best practice for a lot of social media marketers with last actor and with the way that this new Facebook algorithm works. We want to keep our brands fresh in the minds of our fans. And this is one way of doing it. If we do it right if we do it wrong, and we get negative feedback in our posts are promoted posts get hidden in the news feeds, that's obviously going to be negative ratings that work against us. But using promoted posts as a way to boost that engagement, even if it's only temporary. The notion is that you're going to be increasing your engagement over time as a result of that promoted posts with the fans that engage with that post. So the interesting thing was getting back to the hotel when we looked at our competitor who had I don't know, five times more fans, the people talking about this ratio over a number of fans was actually greater for my client, then with this company and had all these fans, and there was an organic like growth rate, on some days that my client that had a lot fewer fans that had more people liking their page on a given day than even the one that had a lot more fans. And it's data like this, that leads me to believe that's potentially this other hotel bought fake fans. I know there's a lot of it one of my clients as a musician, and although my musician client has never bought fans, I know it happens in the entertainment industry a lot more than people might think. And maybe there's egos involved or what have you, I don't know. But it would not be surprising. And I've heard of people that started working for brands. And, you know, the CEO says we need to get X number of likes, and we're gonna buy fans to do it, I won't go down that road and talk about why I think that's the wrong decision. But once again, comparative metrics based on publicly accessible data, Facebook audit, these are two very, very easy things that you can do. The other one is very, very easy as well look at the tabs that they're using. One of the hotels actually had a TripAdvisor tab, if you have really good ratings on TripAdvisor. Why not flaunt them and show them to people, because the people are interested in your hotel and they go to your Facebook page, they're probably gonna want to take a look at what you have on TripAdvisor, and it allows them to do it right there and Facebook, right, it's another form of social proof and getting people comfortable with your brand. This page had a few other tabs, some experimental things that we had never thought of. So it gave us some new ideas, you know, maybe we should be doing something similar to this, or other creative ideas that it sparks when you see what others are doing. So that's really all I wanted to discuss today, at Social Media Marketing World, I'm going to be probably presenting for the first time on creating social media audit and actually implementing it over various platforms using public data. And comparing how some pretty famous brands are doing social media, it's part of what I do when I teach at Rutgers is comparing two big brands, you know, 18 t vs. Verizon, or what have you, based on justice, public data. So I'm hoping that this gets you thinking about your own brand, or the brand that you represent, or sell to, or service or what have you. And that it gets you into a habit of doesn't have to be all the time, maybe monthly basis, maybe quarterly basis. Look around and see what your competition is doing. Create some of these baseline metrics for the few of the platforms. And I really do believe they're going to be valuable in generating insight and hopefully giving you confidence that you're doing better than the competition. And if not, you're going to be getting a lot of great ideas that's probably going to help you become more effective in your social media for whatever objective you may have. That's it for today. Ladies and gentlemen, I always appreciate your support of this podcast, your ratings on iTunes, anything you want me to cover. This is social business unplugged. Right. I do not have a written script for these podcasts. As you've probably figured out. This is me just speaking, based on topics that over the last week have given me ideas that I think are shareable that I think you'd want to know about. So without your input as to what else you want to know. I'm just going to keep on wrapping like I'm doing now. But if there's anything you want me to cover, feel free to reach out to me. That's it for today, folks. Have a great week ahead and we'll talk to you again very soon. Bye bye. Thanks for listening to another edition of social business unplugged. We appreciate your subscribing to our podcast, and adding your rating and comments in iTunes. If you would like to appear on this podcast or have content that you would like covered, please contact Neal Schaffer Neal at maximize social business.com for additional social media for business advice. Please make sure to check out your new social media for business resource at maximize social business.com Thanks again and make it a great day.