Social marketers might once have been satisfied harvesting “likes” and retweets. But as social channels mature, those same marketers are realizing they need to figure out exactly how to spend all that digital currency. Such is the basis behind Salesforce.com’s announcement today that it has added 20 social analytics providers into its Social Insights ecosystem for Marketing Cloud, as well as launched a new business model around the piloting and purchasing process.
Fan growth, posts from you, your fans interactions, your users’ wall posts, and the speed of your response determine your social success. Since all of the above metrics are public, you can and more importantly shoud analyze these metrics for your competitors as well. Social media conversations take place in an open environment, and learning form successes of your direct or indirect competition, is something that just works to improve your engagement and fine-tune your social marketing tactics! Additionally, there are metrics that are strictly platforms based, like Facebook Insights, which for example include “reach” or “talking fans”
Earlier this year, ComScore released “The Power of Like 2,” which illustrates how companies should focus on engaging fans and sharing content for social marketing success.
The 21-page report shows how in many cases, a company’s Facebook page is starting to replace its official website as the go-to destination for consumers and fans.
One example it gives is Skittles. The official website of the fruity candy drew 23,000 unique United States visitors in May 2012. Skittles’ Facebook page? 320,000 visitors in that same time span. ComScore notes that because the Facebook page is becoming so popular, it’s important for companies to use it properly, engaging with fans and sharing content.
ComScore champions the work done by Starbucks. The coffee mogul not only accumulates millions of likes on its Facebook page, but it effectively uses social marketing to get more people to purchase java.
ComScore points out that these findings are significant to companies looking to expand their influence on Facebook, as it shows that social marketing done correctly and as a vehicle for branding can lead to an increase in sales.
Facebook’s Like button is often confused as an “Opt In” by marketers. All too frequently people who have clicked the Like button are thought of as a captive community where customers have opted in to marketing and engagement. Likes do not represent the actual size of a community, yet many organizations confuse the overall number with actual audience size. The difference between Like and other direct response triggers is that the Like is an act of fleeting value that must be earned over and over again. Often, it’s an “in the moment” action that expresses affinity, interest, alignment, and sometimes endorsement. And as an expression, Likes are a form of social currency and their value goes up and down with each engagement.
If you spend all your time on the social Web directly promoting your products and services, people will stop listening. You must add value to the conversation. Focus less on conversions and more on creating amazing content and developing relationships with online influencers. In time, those people will become a powerful catalyst for word-of-mouth marketing for your business.