5 New Twitter Stats For Your Geeky Armoury

The Buffer Blog is one of the best around, and their post from yesterday is packed full of some very interesting Twitter-based stats. Read on for some golden nuggets…

Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends 

We know that social media users tend to be most active at the weekends, but 17% is a figure not the be balked at! Be sure to bear this in mind when planning Twitter activity.

Tweet Interactions on Weekend Are High

Image – http://danzarrella.com/

Twitter’s fastest growing demographic is 55–64 year-olds

‘Bah, social media is for kids’. Think again grumpy pants!

66% of user-generated tweets that mention brands come from mobile users

Twitter would be nothing without mobile. You better make sure your overall experience is juiced up for mobile too!

Your tweets have a 12x higher chance of being retweeted if you ask for it, and 23x higher if you actually spell out the word ‘retweet’

Yeah, but don’t overdo it people!

Tweets with less than 100 characters get 17% more engagement

Short and sweet is the way forward! Want to know how to write effective tweets? Read this.

There are five more stats over on the original post on the Buffer blog. The data is courtesy of Dan Zarella.


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Facebook Reach Vs. Relevance. What’s in It for Me?

It always bothers me when people ask, “how do I get a thousand fans on Facebook?” People are always freaking out about increasing their number of fans on Facebook. It drives me mad because the number is not what is most important. If you do the right things like create engaging content and follow the right strategy, fans will inevitably come. You will never reach all your potential fans, if you do not focus on the things that matter most.

Cat reaching out

Image used under CC from RBerteig on Flickr

Reach

Facebook reach is a measure of how many of your fans see your posts. It does not measure how many have read or engaged with your post, it simply measures how many people scrolled over it in their news feeds. Reach measurement is not a metric of how valuable your content is either. I know many marketers who do not focus much on measuring reach. However, reach is still a factor in your social media metrics. Many people complain that their posts are only seen by 10% or less and that Facebook wants them to pay in order to make sure all their fans see their posts.

Think about this for a second: if only 50% of your fans get on Facebook on a given day and the average user is only on for 30-60 minutes and your post only has an average lifetime value of two and a half hour, having an average reach of 10-15% is actually very decent. Of course, it could be even better, but more on that later.

Relevance

Relevance is a measure of authority and trust. It tracks how information on your subject matter is spread on Facebook through your friends and fans. It measures sharing content that your audience wants to see, engage with, and even share with their friends. And that is where reach comes back in to play.

When targeting your audience, relevance can save money on your advertising expenses as you will target only your relevant audience with engaging content and target customers who are more inclined to buy your product or service. Why target everyone, when you can target people who are ready to buy?

Which would you prefer, reach or relevance? I’m going to offer you both.

Engage. Reach Will Follow

If you are looking to reach more people, then write engaging relevant content for your fans. If you know anything about Facebook Edgerank, then you know that the more your fans engage with your posts (commenting, liking or especially sharing), the greater reach and visibility your posts will attain.

Do you have the right strategy?

If you have a poor reach, you desperately need to look at your strategy. Are you posting at the optimal time when most people are online? What type of content are you posting? What days are you posting? What tone do you use?

Facebook Insights

Facebook offers free analytics for every page with over 30 likes. This free tool will help you gage what content does well and what days are best to post. It can also give you information about the demographics of your audience. Use this tool to help you plan your content strategy.

Final Thoughts

Simply increasing your number of likes should not be a key goal in your social media marketing plan. The plan should be to engage users with relevant content that your fans love to share. If you do, reach will increase naturally. Analyze your strategy: do more of the good stuff and change what is ineffective. Use the free tools that Facebook gives you to create an amazing content management plan.

Is getting a certain amount of likes a part of your social media strategy? Do you prefer reach or relevance? What are your concerns with Facebook pages?

Steven


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Social Media Isn’t Free, But It’s Worth It

Don Power is the Managing Editor of Sprout Insights, a blog by the company Sprout Social, which also offers social media management software. He writes content and edits articles produced by other contributors. Don is also a Social Media Consultant and Professional Speaker. Connect with Don on Twitter: @donpower.

In response to questions about the ROI (Return on Investment) of social media, entrepreneur and social media juggernaut, Gary Vaynerchuk, is famous for his reply: “What’s the ROI of your mother?”

According to Vaynerchuk, it’s just understood that one’s mother (like social media) has an intrinsic value and trying to measure that value is unnecessary. When it comes to social media, Vaynerchuk’s advice is simply to stop measuring and start doing.

On the other hand, Mark Schaefer, social media advisor and author of “The Tao of Twitter” says: “As marketers we should measure EVERYTHING. And generally, we can. It’s imperative that businesses evaluate the resources spent on social media to determine whether those resources are producing positive results. If you’re in business, chances are you are trying your best to make a profit. If you’re using social media as part of your marketing strategy, then you need to know if that strategy is paying off.

Image credit - wildfireperformancemarketing.com

So, is the investment in social media worth it? Does it provide a positive return on investment? Whether it’s in terms of person-hours spent engaging on social media, money paid for social media management tools or additional staff, there is growing evidence to suggest that the answer is “Yes!” Here’s why.

The Myth of Free Social Media

Although participation in social media is technically free, there are still costs associated with this activity. Perhaps chief among these is the physical time it takes to engage meaningfully with your target audience.

If you haven’t assigned a dollar value to the time that you and your staff are spending on social media, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey from Awareness Inc., 57 percent of marketers said that they “have not allocated budgets to social marketing, but rely on people resources”. Yet these marketers must be realizing a positive return on investment, since in the same survey 78 percent of respondents said that “expanding social reach” will be a major marketing initiative for them in 2012. Like any form of business marketing, you have to allocate an appropriate time frame before you can expect to see results; an investment in social media is no different.

Social Media Marketing Vs. Traditional Advertising

Some business owners may still be inclined to scoff at social media and the time investment it takes to produce results. They may prefer to forego the effort of social media marketing in favor of traditional advertising instead. Not Jonathan Kervin. Since investing his time into social media marketing for his inbound marketing agency, Jonathan has seen traffic to his website increase by ten fold.

“Before social media, I would have spent upwards of $1000 a month on advertising to produce that kind of traffic,” says Kervin. When asked if he’s come out on top of the ROI equation, “Definitely!” he says.

Kervin also takes issue with those who say traditional, or even online-advertising doesn’t take the same effort or committment as social media. He says, “What about the time it takes to research and fine-tune your ads, what about split-testing different versions? This all takes time and money.” No matter what type of advertising you’re doing for your business, you have to make strategic investments to produce positive returns. Now, says Kervin, “instead of money, I invest my time.”

What many business people also tend to overlook when it comes to investing in social media is that you can create reusable social content like videos, podcasts, blog articles and so on. These marketing tools continue to promote your business long after you’ve invested the initial time to produce the content. “I’ve gotten better at social media”, says Kervin, “now that I have the learning curve out of the way.” The bonus, he says, is that “now I have all this content and it’s producing traffic for me even while I’m sleeping!”

It would seem that if you compare the time commitment of social media vs. the money committment of traditional advertising, social media has its advantages particularly if your business is on a tight budget. Factor in the hands-on marketing training and reusable advertising content you produce while investing your time in social media, and the relative dollar value of social media marketing is something a business person can no longer afford to ignore.

Facebook Fans Worth $50 Million

You may have seen the chatter on the Internet asking: “What’s a Facebook fan worth?” Well, according to beer company, New Belgium, the answer is 50 million dollars. More precisely, when the company surveyed its Facebook fan base, it calculated that each member spent an average of $260 on its products. Collectively that amounts to approximately $50.7 million in annual revenue. For an initial social media investment of $235,000 “mostly dedicated to Facebook,” that equates to a very positive endorsement of social media ROI.

Of course, not every business has the social media budget of New Belgium brewery. In fact, the Awareness Inc. survey (mentioned earlier) found that only eight percent of businesses spent over $50,000 on their social media budgets in 2011. Still, as we’ve seen in the above examples, you don’t need to break the bank to get positive results from social media.

Even if you don’t generate immediate sales from social media, there is immense business value in using these social platforms. Whether it’s increasing awareness of your business to a global audience, providing transparent customer service, or establishing relationships with future customers, the results of your social media activities are tangible, measurable, and definitely worthwhile.

[Sources: watermill3, B2C, Awareness Inc., Usa Today; Image credit: D. Sharon Pruitt]

There Are Still Too Many Social Media Phantoms Out There

My views on people (and agencies) posing as social media ‘experts’ are well known. I’m not about to go on another rant about ‘gurus’ I promise. Bear with me on this one.

Social Media Week has just wrapped up in Glasgow. It was a great week, with a really diverse range of events (massive respect to the organisers for running it so well). During the week I attended an event that focussed on ROI from social media and how you can measure it. It was held by a ‘full-service’ digital agency based in Glasgow and London. I always enjoy hearing other people’s perspective on social media as a marketing channel and the ROI debate is one that appears to have some serious mileage left in the tank.  The speaker from the agency in question took the stage and ran the audience through a typical intro to social media (cliché after cliché). After this, the topic changed to measurement and trying to prove ROI…

We were taken through a talk on some very basic metrics that can be accounted for. That was about it. No insight in to how these are used to prove value, assess effectiveness and shape the way a business uses the channel. The speaker used the old ‘social media is not about sales’ line which we all know is accurate to a certain extent, although I believe there has to be business actions coming from social media activity or serious questions will be asked. I think this speaker and the agency the speaker works for are likely hiding behind this excuse. I judge this on what I saw in front me and nothing else, to me, I think if you are given the opportunity to speak to an audience about such a well-versed topic, you need to get up there and really go for it, get people thinking and give solid advice and examples.

He is a Good Phantom. (image - www.freeonlinemovieworld.com)

After the show was over, questions were invited from the floor. There was a barrage and not in a good way. The type of question that was being asked pointed to an audience that felt severely un-enlightened by what had unfolded before them. One person asked ‘are you guys tracking clicks through to websites and the outcome of those?’ The answer – ‘no that’s not possible at this time, it’s in beta with Google’. Really? Dear lord. Oh and did you know that Brandwatch is exactly the same as socialmention.com?

I’m not attacking the speaker here. The agency should never have put the individual on the stage. At one point the boss of the agency asked the speaker two questions that the speaker really struggled to answer. It was painful. The whole thing got me thinking, how many agencies are delivering true value to the clients that decide to spend their no doubt tight budgets on their services? If an agency is happy to work on a basis that ROI is ‘very difficult to prove’ and the client is happy to pay on that basis, then good luck to them. For me, this approach just devalues the work of people and agencies that are really pushing to de-mystify the social media channel, ensuring they are on the cutting edge of the game and ultimately delivering value that not only does all the nice fluffy engagement and brand building stuff that all and sundry preach about, but also actual bottom line results.

Will the wheat eventually be separated from the chaff? Or will businesses continue to be blinded by the ‘ROI is so hard to prove’ line? Thoughts would be appreciated…

Mike

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Social Media – Are Metrics Squashing the ‘Social’ Part?

 

Return on investment. Measurement. Metrics.  No doubt you are sick of hearing about all of these. Blogs from far and near will give you sound advice on what you should be measuring in order to appease the people at the top of your business. You need to have a measurement and reporting system in place, of that there’s no doubt, but I wonder what you are actually doing with the data?

You may have a picture of the interaction levels on say, Facebook or a real sense of the growth of your followers on Twitter or even how many unique readers your blog has. Great.  Figures look nice in tables, even better in pie charts and even sexier in an ‘infographic’ but they mean zilch unless you are really learning about your audience and making positive actions based on those findings.

Don't Let Metrics Squash Social

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Social Media Metrics – Setting the Standard by Kelly Forbes

 

It feels like forever that I’ve been banging on about how important it is to measure your social media activity. In actual fact it’s only been a year but in that space of time knowledge and acceptance of social media metrics has risen astronomically. Many have even predicted that 2011 will be the year of the social media metric.

Around the summer in 2010 two separate social media measurement standards were launched; The Barcelona Principles from AMEC/IPR for PR professionals and the Social Media Measurement Framework from the IAB Social Media Council for Advertising and Marketing professionals. Both were created by representatives of their prospective industries and have set out to become the accepted standards for social media measurement.

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How ‘Socially Noisy’ is the X Factor? – James Ainsworth

[tweetmeme source="social_penguin" only_single=false http://www.thesocialpenguinblog.com]

In this guest post from James Ainsworth, we take a look at the X Factor and  how it effects the social media landscape. Love it or hate it, the ‘talent’ show dominates the headlines and the increased adoption of social media and networks has given the masses further platforms to give their views on the latest cover version or  tragic sob story. Read on for the facts and figures…

More divisive than Marmite itself, The X Factor is the centrepiece of the Autumn TV schedule. Besides the commercials within , the most interesting aspect of the show for me, is the level of conversation it generates online in any given week.

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