Saturday, 9 November 2013

4 Social Analytics Tips to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

Would you like to find out when your social media followers are most active?

Do you want to know which social network drives the most leads to your website?

There are many social media statistics you can track, but it’s important to track the data specific to your business’s use of social media.

Track the right metrics for your community and you’ll better understand how and when to share information, as well as what type of content drives the most traffic to your website.

In this article, you’ll learn how to track and measure four important social media metrics to help you improve your social media marketing.

#1: Determine the Best Times to Post Updates on Twitter and Facebook


Because Twitter moves at such a rapid pace, tweets get buried quickly. Knowing when your followers are online plays a crucial part in your tweet’s visibility and success.

Luckily there are some great tools to analyze the activity of your followers.

Tweriod looks at the recent tweets of your followers and provides you with analytics and data that show when your followers are the most active.

Once you connect your Twitter account to Tweriod, it runs an analysis and summarizes the best hours of each day for you to reach your followers with your tweets. The report is delivered to you by email or a DM when the results are ready.

tweroid results
Tweriod results show the optimal times for you to tweet.
Besides recommending the best hours of each day to tweet, Tweriod also gives you an overall analysis you can review to get a sense of your community’s most active days.

tweriod analytics
Tweriod analytics show your followers' daily activity.
Tweriod also gives you the ability to synchronize this data with your Buffer account to automatically update your auto-scheduling hours.

Tweriod is free for accounts with up to 1000 followers and offers a monthly subscription if you have more followers or are interested in premium features.

Use the data from Tweriod to adjust the days and times you post on Twitter.


With Story Bump, EdgeRank and the sheer volume of posts that roll through the general news feed, it’s getting difficult to make sure your fans see your page posts. To maximize the lifespan of your posts, you need to know when your fans are most likely to see them.

Facebook Insights offers a simple way to find out when your fans are most likely to be active on Facebook.

To find the best hours to share updates on your Facebook page, pull up the Insights dashboard, click on the Posts tab, and choose “When Your Fans Are Online.”

facebook fans online
The Posts tab in Insights shows when your fans are most often online.

Here, Facebook shows you easy-to-read graphs of your fans’ diversity, including the average number of fans who saw your post in any given hour.

insight graph
Insights has easily readable graphs.

That’s it. Now, you just have to post during your strong hours and highlight your most important posts during your peak exposure times.

#2: Find the Magic Number of Facebook Posts per Day

Many studies show the average brand should post about 1-2 times a day on Facebook. You need to know if that’s true for your page.

Find the magic number of posts to share on your page, and you’ll dramatically affect your engagement and community growth.

Facebook’s new Insights dashboard gives you information about your recent posts and the frequency of engagement. To view the information, click on “See All” from your page to reveal the Overview tab.

insights dashboard
Access your Insights dashboard.
Now, export the Overview data into a spreadsheet file directly from the dashboard by selecting “Data Type: Post-Level Data.”

facebook insights dashboard
A view of the Facebook Insights dashboard Overview tab.
In the spreadsheet, group the posts by day and compare the average Lifetime Post Total Impressions and Lifetime Engaged Users columns.

For each day, look for the lower engagement numbers to discover which post count is decreasing the average metrics you measure.

That is your magic number of posts to share each day.

#3: Measure the Click-through Rate

If you’re active on social media, you’re likely to share a lot of content from your blog, website, YouTube channel or other media platforms.

When you share a link to your various platforms, your goal is to have people click on your link. The click-through rate (CTR) your links receive is most likely your primary metric for measuring success.

To measure your CTR, you need a URL shortener to track clicks.

Bitly is a free URL shortener with a set of tools to create shortened links, share your links and measure the CTR on your links.

You can shorten links from within the Bitly dashboard or use an extension for Firefox or Chrome to automatically shorten and share links straight from your browser.

After you’ve shortened a link with Bitly, click on it from the library at any time to get detailed information on its CTR, click sources, geographic distribution of clicks and more.

bitly dashboard
This Bitly dashboard shows a CTR of 44 and other data on platforms and demographics.
bitly link origination
This map shows where the clicks on a Bitly link originate.

On the Bitly stats dashboard, you get both aggregated and individual statistics about the links you share from Bitly. Aggregated stats show complete global activity on a link and individual stats show activity specific to your shares of the link.

There are other tools to measure your CTR, but Bitly’s analytics give you more detail than most, for free.

click through rates
Bitly shows you click-through rates on every link you shorten.
Spend some time analyzing the data behind your Bitly links to find trends in CTRs and shares that will help you deliver content suited to the needs and interests of your community.

#4: Compare Lead Sources and Conversion Rates

Most brands’ social media strategies use more than one social media platform to drive traffic to their websites and generate new leads.

Although each platform has its place in your strategy, you won’t receive an equal ROI from each one. You’ll want to find out which platform generates the best ROI so you can put more effort into your marketing on that platform.

UTM Link Building and Google Analytics can help you track the leads and conversions from each social network. UTMs are tags you add to a URL that make it easy to track and monitor in Google Analytics.

Use the Google URL builder to create a measurable URL that Google Analytics can segregate into campaigns.

google url builder
Google's URL Builder.

Google’s URL Builder page has some helpful hints on how to use each of the UTM parameters:

  • Campaign Source. This helps Google Analytics identify the source of your traffic as a search engine, newsletter or other referrer.
  • Campaign Medium. This specifies whether the link is used in an email, a CPC ad or another method of sharing.
  • Campaign Name. This associates your URL with a specific product promotion or strategic campaign such as a spring sale or other promotion.

Build unique URLs for any landing page on each of the social networks used in your strategy. You’ll be able to differentiate among leads that come from your Twitter bio, your tweets or Facebook.

If this seems too complicated, you’ll want to get the help of someone with the appropriate technical skills.

To see which social network provides the most leads or conversions for a specific campaign, go to your Google Analytics dashboard and check out your campaigns.

google analytics campaign
Google Analytics Campaigns overview.

Set up your goals, then look under Traffic Sources > Campaigns to see which source and medium drives more leads to your various landing pages and the conversion rate from each of them. Eventually, you’ll see which source (social network) brings you more leads or more signups or sales (conversions).

Anytime you share an inbound link on social media, measure it with custom UTM parameters to get full ROI information on leads and conversions.


You can track many metrics on social media, but the metrics you choose to measure should reflect your business goals.

I recommend tracking these social media metrics because they give you the information you need to better market your business and products.

What do you think? What metrics do you track to measure the success of your social media efforts? Are there tools you have found to be helpful? Join the conversation below and let me hear your thoughts!

Author: Lior Degani

Sunday, 22 September 2013

8 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Engagement

Are you looking for fun ways to get your Facebook fans engaged?

Wondering how other pages are developing their posts to increase likes, shares and comments?

In this article I’ll show you eight examples of how to create Facebook posts that drive more engagement on your Facebook page.

#1: Solve Problems With Photos

Posts with a simple image and a caption that shows fans the solution to a problem or a way to improve their daily lives receive marked engagement.

Whole Foods uses this post tactic to encourage fan discussions about product-related solutions to common problems.

whole foods lifestyle tips
Whole Foods boosts engagement by sharing lifestyle tips.

Tips for posting images to Facebook:

  • Larger images tend to get more likes, shares and comments. Use the Upload Photos/Video function to publish photo files directly into your post instead of posting a link that shows a thumbnail.
  • Optimize images for the 403 x 403 pixel display in the timeline. Larger images display from the center of the image, and some of the edges may not appear in the news feed unless a user clicks through.

Find a great selection of socially recommended how-to’s on Snapguide or Reddit’s Life Pro Tips.

#2: Give a Shout-out to Your Customers

People love to see their content and their friends’ content shared by brands.

Use your fans’ content instead of your own to give your post a viral push through specific communities that are close to the content creator.

Starbucks showcased a talented customer’s drawing as their cover photo, then provided a shout-out to this dedicated customer by including a link to the artist’s Instagram profile in the image description.

starbucks customer cover photo
Starbucks uses customers' art in their cover photo.

Every few weeks, Walmart creates a new seasonal cover image with photos of real people from their fan base.

Check out a recent one below:

walmart fan photos
Walmart using fan photos for its cover photo.

Tips for customer shout-outs:

  • Cross-promote your Facebook shout-outs with Instagram and Twitter to extend your reach and impact.
  • Call attention to fans who show off your products or promote your brand.
  • Capitalize on brand-related content from clubs and teams with many members to boost your shout-out exposure.

#3: Involve Customers With a Question

Every customer wants to be heard and questions let them use their voice in the form of comments.

Ask your fans to share about consumer preferences, help you name a product or describe memories and moments associated with your brand.

When Skittles asked fans to describe the moment they opened a pack of the candy, the post received over 5,000 interactions.
skittle asks questions
Skittles asks questions to engage their Facebook fans.

London Drugs asks their fans to weigh in on either/or questions.
london drugs photo
London Drugs' "Crafty or Tacky" photo.

Tips for asking questions on Facebook:

  • Keep your questions simple.
  • Relate questions to specific consumer lifestyles, such as where or how they use your product.
  • Monitor your customer feedback on Facebook posts and comments, Twitter mentions and emails to find question topic ideas.

#4: Let Them Fill in the Blank

Use a short sentence with one word missing to generate a significant amount of comments, likes and shares.

Pringles used a fill-in-the-blank post to connect their chips with a relaxing summer holiday. A bonus of this tactic is that Pringles got a snapshot of their fans’ product preferences by monitoring the comments.

pringles fill in the blank
Pringles markets using fill-in-the-blank posts.

Tips for fill-in-the-blank posts on Facebook:

  • Use fill-in-the-blank posts as a two-pronged engagement tactic: interact with your online community and get to know them better for future marketing campaigns.
  • Use the post tactic in conjunction with a specific event, such as a summer holiday or a family ski trip.
  • Awkward or funny situations get people to engage on a more personal level.

#5: Crowdsource Photo Captions

Photo caption posts combine the allure of photos with people’s love of interacting with brands they identify with.

Think about the emotion you want to trigger and choose an image that makes participating irresistible. Upload your image and write a short description that invites fans to provide a caption.

In keeping with their core 125-year-old brand, National Geographic posts the world’s best photos from experts and amateurs alike. They interact with their Facebook fans by asking for captions. This one post had over 250,000 interactions.

national geographic invitation
National Geographic invites us to do what we've always dreamed of—contribute to its photos.

Tips for photo captions on Facebook:

  • Use inspiring, provocative or humorous images for captioning.
  • Find photos on Reddit’s Pics, Flickr Creative Commons, Shutterstock and iStockphoto. Remember to mind copyright if you share images that aren’t in the public domain.
  • To add a boost to your photo caption engagement, offer an incentive through a photo caption contest.

#6: Share Quotes

Quotes are great for engaging people’s “Me, too!” feelings. On Facebook this is especially powerful as the Like button makes it easy for fans to express that feeling. A quote can associate your brand with good feelings and create a deeper connection with your market on Facebook.

Just like Apple used imagery of iconic 20th-century personalities in its “Think Different” campaign, you can use quotes from icons to reinforce your company’s brand.

Disney uses quotes from their feature films to inspire, relate to and create funny moments with their audience. Each quote is posted with a full image to increase engagement.

disney shares a quote
Disney shares a classic quote to connect emotionally with their audience.

Tips for quotes on Facebook:

  • Tie your brand to quotes that support your campaign goals.
  • Use visuals and memes with your quotes to increase shareability—a few good sites to create memes are Quickmeme, Imgflip and Memecrunch.
  • Find quotes on and The Quotations Page, or use a #quote hashtag search on Facebook or Twitter.

#7: Gather Votes With Like vs. Share

Ask your fans to like a post to vote for option A, or share the post to vote for option B. Because vote counts are visible, fans are motivated to participate.

Walmart frequently uses the like vs. share post with a mashup of two competing images and a small graphic overlay of a like vs. share icon. They post the full image with a brief description that tells fans how to participate.

walmart asks for likes and shares
Walmart directly asks for likes and shares by giving their fans a face-off.

Tips for like vs. share posts on Facebook:

  • Use controversial choices that evoke strong emotions within your community.
  • Integrate your product or brand in the posts.
  • Use digital image editing applications like Photoshop, Photofiltre or to create your image with a graphic overlay that shares simple participation instructions.

#8: Use Hashtags

A relatively new addition to Facebook, hashtags use categorized terms behind a # symbol to increase brand, product and campaign awareness to wider audiences.

Sephora uses the hashtag “#OneQuickQuestion” to open up engagement for a campaign beyond the reach of their current fans.

sephora uses hashtags
Sephora spreads its reach with #hashtags.

Tips for #hashtags on Facebook:

  • Use tags to create awareness and engagement for specific marketing campaigns such as contests or product sales.
  • Use common terms such as #socialmedia in your hashtags to increase post dialogue and visibility.
  • Search for hashtags being used by your customers, competitors and partners to find keywords and conversations you can participate in.

Your Turn

These are just a few examples of posts that can be adapted to help you connect with your customers and drive engagement on your Facebook page. Incorporate them to help you build long-lasting relationships, extend your post visibility and learn more about your customers’ preferences.

What do you think? How do you intentionally create interactive posts on your Facebook page? What successes have you had? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Tags: engagement, facebook, facebook engagement, facebook page, facebook post, fan content, hashtag, krista bunskoek, post engagement

author: Krista Bunskoek