Almost everyone has caught on to the idea that you need to have an online presence if you’re going to have any presence at all. It’s easy enough to put together a basic website, but to ensure that your website pops up on the first page of a Google search, things gets a little more complicated. You really have to figure out how to make yourself seen and heard in the jungle that is the online sphere. One way to get noticed: social media.
Everyone is using social media now; it’s no longer the domain of teenagers and inner city hipsters with a political agenda. Everyone, from 12 year old tweens to 80 year old retirees, is not only logging onto some form of social media, they’re spending a considerable amount of time on it. As such, using social media effectively is akin to having a billboard or an advertisement following your potential customer around all day.
The benefits and possibilities extend far beyond simple advertising opportunities. Social media also gives you unparalleled access to your customers. You can interact with them, and vice-versa, in ways that aren’t possible outside of the social media context. You can constantly update them on new products and answer any queries they may have straight away. You can float ideas for products on social media and gauge customer response. And you can even provide a forum for feedback that feels far more personal than sending out customer satisfaction surveys.
The key to social media marketing success is knowing where to find your market. If you own a hotel or a restaurant, there’s no point sending out five tweets a day if your customers are using Instagram. Similarly, why post pics religiously on Instagram if your customers are only logging on to LinkedIn.
To help you work out where your target market is spending it’s social media time, we thought we’d take a look at the statistics for social media usage that have appeared over the past year.
Facebook: the beast keeps getting bigger, but…
Despite an influx of competition, Facebook continues to grow steadily each year. It now has 14,000,000 (yep, that is 14 million) Australian users, a figure which has jumped up from 13,200,000 at the same time last year. Despite this continuous growth, some experts contend that Facebook has started to lose its sex appeal, particularly in the younger demographics. With parents and grandparents now picking up on the Facebook trend, their children (the current tween and teenage market) are less likely to jump onboard. Who wants to ‘friend’ their father after all?
Despite this, there are still a number of advantages when it comes to Facebook. It is fully integrated with Instagram, so you can still target a younger, hipper audience and keep the majority happy. And, with 14 million users, it is almost a necessity to have Facebook as part of your social media marketing armoury (depending on your demographic of course). It’s also worth remembering though that the size of Facebook also presents difficult marketing problems. You really have to work to stand out in a crowd of 14,000,000.
So, if Facebook’s not cool, what is?
Instagram is definitely the next big thing— the numbers prove it. Instagram has gone from having 1,600,000 active users in May 2014 to 5,000,000 at the same time this year. Far and away, it experienced more growth than any other social media platform. This says a lot about the type of social media content that people prefer to consume—images are more important than ever. And, Instagram is the best platform for sharing images, particularly given its mobile friendly nature.
Snapchat is the next closest rival when it comes to image-based social media. It’s numbers remained steady at 1,070,000 active users per month, but if you are targeting a young audience that platform is still well worth considering, given the demographic of its users. Other image sharing networks, such as Flickr (which has 660,000 average monthly users in Australia) and Pinterest (with just 330,000 average monthly users in Australia), only command a tiny share of the social media audience in comparison.
What About Videos?
Video based social media marketing carries almost as many opportunities as imaged based platforms. YouTube’s active user numbers jumped up another million in the past year to reach 13.7 million active users per month, making it the second most popular social media platform by a long way—the next closest is WordPress with 5.8 million users, which is a drop on 2014 when WordPress enjoyed 6.2 million users.
And Let’s Not Forget About LinkedIn and Google+
LinkedIn is still the winner for the more corporate, business orientated audience. It’s numbers remained steady over the last 12 months, at 3.5 million active users per month. You still can’t beat it’s ability to build networks and reputation, across a large international reach. Google+ seems to be going backwards these days, having lost 5,000 active users in the past year, so that just 60,000 per month remain.
So what does all this mean?
Facebook is still the king, but there are some challengers. The numbers prove that any social media marketing campaign (particularly those aimed a younger audience) should make images and Instagram a priority. Instagram user numbers are likely to continue to rise, and you don’t want to miss out on that share of the market. Video based marketing also presents exciting opportunities for more dynamic and interactive marketing campaigns and Snapchat is a particularly interesting example of ways you can reach out to a younger audience. It’s all about knowing your audience and finding out where to reach them through social media.
This event brings together a panel of digital thought leaders with years of experience in Facebook marketing to help build your understanding of Facebook marketing ROI. Most companies are now finding it critically important to invest in marketing through Facebook, but very little know and understand if their efforts are successful as it’s hard to measure the effects of social media marketing directly, this event will help attendees understand how to create and see their ROI through Facebook marketing.
Recently we took you through How to Know What Type of Facebook Advert to Use, along with a whole raft of general Facebook advert tips and tricks. But, what we didn’t cover was Facebook adverts demographic targeting. So, that’s what we’ll explore today.
If used accurately, you can create highly targeted Facebook adverts, so that you reach the right people to generate more website traffic and (hopefully) more sales or subscriptions or followers. In fact, according to the boffins over at Facebook, by targeting your adverts at particular audiences, it can help you:
Find and target the right customers for your brand across specific devices, including mobile, tablet, and desktop devices
Deliver relevant messages to the right people at the right time
Ensure that you get the most value, and the highest possible return on investment, from your adverting budget by reaching the people that matter most to your company
Navigate to the Adverts Manager section of your account
Click on the green ‘Create Advert’ button in top right-hand corner
Select the objective of your advertising campaign
Set up your creative, including images and copy
Once all your advert basics are set up, it’s time to set up your demographics targeting. All of your targeting options can be found in the same section, aptly entitled ‘Who do you want your adverts to reach?’.
Within this section, there are a number of different categories, each of which I’ll explain in detail now.
The first category is fairly self-explanatory: Location. You can target people that live in specific locations, from country, state and city, right down to postcode.
This is particularly handy if you operate a business with a storefront. You can target only people that are likely to visit your store, by selecting postcodes or suburbs immediately surrounding your store. Alternatively, if you operate a primarily e-commerce focused business, then you can target the whole of Australia, and even the whole of the world, if you so desire.
You can also opt for Exclusion Targeting. So, if you want to target all of Australia, except for Townsville and Rockhampton (for instance), you can use this nifty little feature. It can be much quicker than individually adding all the towns, cities and suburbs that you do want to target!
Now we get into the hard-core, more traditional demographics. Some of them are fairly self-explanatory:
Age: you can select any age range that you like, from 13 to 65+.
Gender: you can select either male or female (no surprise there), or both.
Languages: you can select any number of languages that you like.
We really start to get into the nitty gritty in the ‘More Demographics’ section. Your options here include:
Relationship: select from who your target audience might be interested in (men, women, or men and women), and their current relationship status (single, married, engaged, divorced, in a relationship, and so on).
Education: there is a myriad of options here. You can select from education level (at high school, at university, university graduate, doctorate, and so on), fields of study (which is an open field), schools or universities attended (another open field), and even the years during which undergraduate school was attended.
Work: you can target people that have had specific employers, or specific job titles, or who have worked in specific industries (from administration to veterans).
Ethnic Affinity (US only): this category is more relevant for American Facebook users, with options like African American and Hispanic.
Generation: select from the three main generations likely to be using Facebook these days, Baby Boomers, Generation X or Millennials
Parents: you can even target people based on their parental status, from expectant parents, right through to parents of children aged between 16 and 19.
Politics (US only): again, this category is more relevant for American Facebook users, with options like Conservative and Liberal.
Life Events: Facebook can even help you target people based on what’s happening in their day-to-day lives, from the newly engaged and newlyweds, to people with birthdays and anniversaries in the near future.
Facebook even gives you the opportunity to target people based on their interests and hobbies. These are determined based on the interests that they may have listed themselves, activities, education, and job titles, as well as the Pages they have liked or the Groups to which they belong. Interests include all sorts of things: Business and Industry, Entertainment, Food and Drink, even Shopping and Fashion. And each of these categories has sub-categories, and then some even have sub-sub-categories.
This option allows you to target people based on their purchasing behaviour, device usage and a number of other activities. You can set:
Digital Activities: this includes options like browser used, email domain used, online spenders, small business owners, operating system used, photo uploaders, early technology adopters, and so many more.
Expats: you can choose to target expats, either collectively as a whole, or expats from specific countries.
Mobile Device User: target mobile device users, right down to what sort of mobile device is being used (Apple, Nokia, HTC, Blackberry).
Seasonal and Events: this category changes, based on (you guessed it!) seasonal needs. At the time of writing, the options were very American-centric, focused on Autumn American Football.
Travel: there are numerous travel options, from people who are planning to travel, those currently travelling, and those that have just returned.
Finally, we come to Connections. You can use this section to reach people who have a specific kind of connection to your Page, app or event. This will narrow your audience to include only people with that specific connection who also meet the other targeting categories that you’ve selected. You can choose to:
Include people who are connected to your page, app or event
Exclude people who are connected to your page, app or event
Include people whose friends are connected to your page, app or event
And that’s it! That is all of the demographic targeting options currently available. The great thing is, that as you add different categories, you can see exactly how large the potential audience is that your Facebook advert might reach, by using the little odometer on the right hand side of your screen. I’ve quickly entered a few different demographics, in the hope to target parents (particularly mothers), to generate interest in a local craft market. Here are the results so far:
As you can see, by selecting a few choice demographics, the audience for my advert becomes much for targeted and specific. It’s always a good idea to keep the needle on the odometer in the ‘green’ section, and as close to the middle as possible. That way, you know that your audience is neither too narrow, nor too broad.
There you have it; demographic targeting in Facebook adverts. As long as you know who your ideal customer is, Facebook offers enough demographic categories for you to be able to accurately target just about anyone.
Facebook is huge. There is simply no denying it. As of September 2014, there are, on average:
864 million daily active users
703 million mobile daily active users
1.35 billion monthly active users
1.12 billion mobile monthly active users
With such an enormous potential audience, advertising might (remember there are no guarantees with any type of advertising) just be your ticket to success, particularly if you are running a Facebook business page. The thing is, there are so many options and features available when it comes to Facebook advertising. There are multiple advert types, and all sorts of built-in demographic targeting features. If you haven’t used Facebook for advertising before, it can all seem a little on the side of daunting. But, with our beginners guide on how to know what type of Facebook advert to use, at least you’ll be off to a great start.
A Beginners Guide to Facebook Advertisement Types
Let’s start at the beginning. If you’ve never advertised using Facebook before, there’s a good chance that you might not have noticed how to access the Adverts Manager.
Start on your Facebook account homepage. See your cute little profile picture in the top left-hand corner? Look just below that. The first option underneath your picture should be ‘News Feed’, followed immediate by ‘Adverts Manager’. Click on that option.
You will then be redirected to your own personal Adverts Manager page. This is like a dashboard for all your advertising options. Once you start running adverts regularly, you will be greeted with a list of all your campaigns. From there you can view and export reports and invoices, as well as edit existing adverts and even pause and recommence old adverts. You can see below what my Adverts Manager page looks like. As I’ve run a number of campaigns, and boosted a number of posts, in the past, these are all displayed in my dashboard. So, once you’re on this page, you need to look for the green button in the top right-hand corner that says ‘Create Advert’ (it’s inside the red box in the image below).
This is where things can get tricky, particularly if you’ve never run an advert on Facebook before. Once you’ve clicked on ‘Create Advert’, you will be greeted with the following page:
This is where you can select the objective for your campaign. The objective of your campaign will determine the type of advert that you run. The objectives include:
Send people to your website
Increase conversions on your website
Boost your posts
Promote your page
Get installs of your app
Increase engagement in your app
Raise attendance at your event
Get people to claim your offer
Get video views
Let’s run through each of these, one by one.
Send People to Your Website
If you opt for this objective, then it should result in increased traffic to your website. This type of Facebook advert allows you to include an optional, obvious ‘call to action button’. It also offers more space for copy than some of the other advert types, and the image that you use will also be hyperlinked directly to the webpage of your choosing. Tips
Headline: 25 characters
Text: 90 characters
Call to Action Options:
Newsfeed Link Description: 200 characters
Image Size: 1,200 pixels x 628 pixels
Increase Conversions on Your Website
This type of Facebook advert is perfect if you want users to take a specific course of action once they reach your website. If you want people to buy a specific product, or to sign up to your newsletter, then this is the advert type for you. If you really want to take full advantage of the power of this type of ad, then you really need to install the Facebook Conversion Pixel. The FCP allows you to optimise your ad, and tell it exactly what you want your visitors to do. While this is getting into slightly more advanced territory, don’t be scared. Facebook has quite a good video tutorial on their Conversion Pixel.
Headline: 25 characters
Text: 90 characters
Call to Action Options:
Newsfeed Link Description: 200 characters
Image Size: 1,200 pixels x 628 pixels
Boost Your Posts
By opting to boost your post, you can access a much larger audience, and increase post engagement, including post likes, shares and comments. You can boost any type of post that you like – a simple status update, a photo, a website link, even a video. Keep in mind that you need to create the post first, before you can boost it. You can also add the Facebook Conversion Pixel to a boosted post (see Increasing Conversions on Your Website for more information on this).
Text: 90 characters (anything longer will be truncated)
Image Size: 1,200 pixels x 1,200 pixels
Promote Your Page
The whole idea of promoting your Facebook page is to garner more page likes. This type of advert helps you grow your followers. This can be beneficial in a number of ways. It helps you establish a strong reputation within the Facebook community (the more likes, the more credibility you and your brand will have). It is also beneficial long-term; once someone likes your page, they will receive your updates in their News Feed free of charge (most of the time).
Text: 90 characters
Image Size: 1,200 pixels x 444 pixels
Get Installs of Your App
If you have designed, or recently released, an app, then look no further. This is the Facebook advert type designed with you in mind. The whole point of this type of advert is to encourage your Facebook fans to install your app. Fairly self-explanatory this one. Keep in mind that Facebook will automatically pull in your app’s star rating from whatever platform it is available for download from. So, before you set up this type of advert, it’s a good idea to make sure that your star rating is positive. You can also register your app with Facebook, so that you only pay when people install your app from your Facebook advert. Again, this is getting slightly more technical, but Facebook has a great user guide on how to register your app with Facebook.
Text: 90 characters
Call to Action Options:
Headline: 25 characters
App Name: 25 characters
Image Size: 1,200 pixels x 628 pixels
Increase Engagement in Your App
This type of advert is slightly different to the last. Where the last advert type was all about getting people to install your app, this one is all about getting people to use your app. All of the other details mentioned above apply, and all the specifications are the same.
Raise Attendance at Your Event
If you are running an event, and looking to increase the number of attendees, then this type of Facebook advert is perfect! I’ve recently used this type of advert for a local community market and the response was phenomenal. Not only did people RSVP to our public event, they also ended up liking our Facebook page as an added (unexpected) benefit. It was kind of like a two-for-the-price-of-one. This particular type of advert can also be quite powerful when teamed with specific demographic targeting (more on that another day). Before you can set up this type of advert, you need to have already set up a public event page – the date and time will be automatically pulled from your event page.
Title: 25 characters
Text: 90 characters
Image Size: 1,200 pixels x 444 pixels
Get People to Claim Your Offer
If you have a super duper special, or discount offer that you can run via an online platform, then use this type of Facebook advert to promote it to a much wider audience. After all, who doesn’t like free stuff?! Again, this type of advert can sometimes lead to unexpected, added benefits, such as page likes. Again, this type of advert can be really effective if you use location targeting to push the offer out to people located near your business (if you have a physical, street address). There is also the option to include an expiry date, which can be handy if you are prone to a set-and-forget style of operation.
Title: 25 characters
Text: 90 characters
Image Size: 1,200 pixels x 628 pixels
Terms and Conditions: 900 characters
Get Video Views
Last, but by no means least, we come to the video views advert. As one might imagine, with this type of Facebook advert you can tell a story using a video. You might want to give people an insight into how your company was established, how your products are made, who your employees are. The sky is the limit when it comes to video.
Text: 90 characters
Call to Action Options:
File size: up to 1 GB
Format: .MOV files
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Image Size: 1,200 pixels x 675 pixels (this is shown when your video is not playing)
And that’s it! That is all the different types of Facebook adverts that are currently available. In closing, we thought we’ run through a few general Facebook advert tips and tricks. Tune in for our next instalment, when we take a look at how to set up targeting and demographics, and how to run reports.
General Facebook Advert Tips and Tricks
Apart from boosted posts, you can load up to six different images for each of your adverts. If you haven’t run advertising before, or you are advertising something different to usual, trialling and testing different images can be really insightful. You can see which types of images work best, and gain traction most effectively for your particular audience.
Your image may not include more than 20% text. If it does, it won’t be approved, and your advert won’t run. But don’t despair, Facebook has a nifty little text checking tool. You simply upload an image, and it will confirm what percentage the text overlay represents. Access Facebook’s Text Checking Tool.
The recommended image width is 1,200 pixels
The recommended image ratio for advertisements appearing in the News Feed is 4:3
The recommended image ratio for advertisements appearing in the right column is 1.91:1
Recommended image width: 1,200 pixels
With your text options being so limited (25 characters for your titles, and 90 characters for your body text in most instances), it is vital that your text is concise and compelling. Regardless of what type of advert you opt for, you need to explain why people should click on your ad, like your page, download your app. You need to tell them immediately. Give them a reason to engage with you advert. Otherwise, the whole exercise is simply a waste of time and money.
If I had to take a guess, I would assume that these types of impressive statistics wow and bamboozle some small business owners and non-marketing professionals. I would also assume that the reaction of most small business owners and non-marketing professionals would be to set up a Facebook business account immediately and then proceed to plough hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars into Facebook advertising.
There is no denying the popularity of Facebook. Over one billion people use Facebook. According to Social Media News, in Australia, there were over 13.2 million Facebook users in June 2014. Facebook has been downloaded on three out of every four smartphone devices, and more than 50% of Facebook users check Facebook every day. People engage on, and with, Facebook.
Regardless of how popular Facebook might be, unless social media platforms are used selectively and efficiently, the likelihood of boosting customers and sales, and achieving all your business goals is (in my humble opinion) fairly unlikely. So, to help you achieve the best possible outcome from your Facebook advertising spend, here are a few handy hints.
1. Establish your goal
Before you commit even one cent to a Facebook advertising campaign, establish your goals. Do you want more website clicks or conversions? More page likes? Increased post engagement? Event responses? Even app installations or engagement? Every one of these metrics is very different, so be sure that you know what your end goal is before you get started. Once you know what your goal is, you will be able to select a Facebook advertisement to match; depending on your goal, Facebook offers (and is intuitive enough to recommend) eight different advertisement formats.
If you’re new to Facebook (and your only fans are your Mum and your best mate), I’d suggest opting for the ‘Pages Like’ goal. Use this goal, and associated advertisement type, to build your audience and encourage more people to like your page. More likes makes you look popular, which encourages more people to like you (on Facebook that is!). After all, there isn’t much point send out updates and special offers if you have no one to send them out to!
2. The creative is important
A compelling advertisement creative can be the difference between success and failure when it comes to Facebook advertising. So, a few pointers. You have the option to upload multiple images for the same campaign. So, for the first few campaigns, take advantage of this feature. See which images get clicked on, and which don’t. Then, for future campaigns, opt for images that have a higher success rate. In addition, make sure that you customise the headline for your advertisement. By default, the setting will be to display a headline this is the same as the name of your Facebook page. Instead of leaving it as is, include a more compelling, enticing headline; a headline that people actually want to click on.
3. Use Facebook advertising to increase mailing list subscriptions
Facebook has an advertisement type called ‘Offer Claims’. This little tool allows you to promote a special offer or deal to Facebook users. You can use it to give away a free e-book in exchange for providing an email address to subscribe to your mailing list. It is often useful to target just your Facebook fans in the first instance. If your promotion proves popular with your fans, then push it out to a wider audience.
4. Use Facebook to promote special deals
See above. Except, instead of offering a free e-book, give your fans a coupon for a special offer that can be redeemed at your bricks and mortar (or online) store. You might offer a two-for-the-price-of-one special, or a 25% off coupon.
5. You don’t need a Facebook page
Just in case you didn’t already know, you don’t have to have a Facebook page to create a Facebook advertisement. If your objective is simply to increase website traffic and website conversions (rather than increasing page likes or fan engagement), then you can run an advertisement without a Facebook page. Just keep in mind that if you don’t have a Facebook page, your advertisement will only appear in the right hand column, and never in the news feed.
6. Sponsored stories can be effective
When a person interacts with your Facebook page, event, or offer, a post (otherwise known as a story) is generated. These posts naturally appear in the news feed, and can be seen by all the friends of the person interacting with your Facebook page. If you opt to make a post ‘sponsored’, this increases the likelihood of people seeing your post.
7. Control your costs
Don’t adopt a ‘set and forget’ attitude to your Facebook advertising. If you do, next time you log in, you might be slugged with a hefty bill! First of all, select a bidding option. You can choose to bid for clicks, impressions, or something more closely linked with your over-arching goal (like page likes). Facebook’s settings are automatically configured so that your bidding option aligns with your goal. So, if in doubt, just leave the setting as they are.
Also, be sure to set either a daily or a lifetime budget for your campaign. As the names suggest, a daily budget caps total daily expenditure, removing your advertisement from news streams as soon as your daily cap has been reached. If you choose a lifetime budget instead, your campaign will run until your budget is reached.
Keep in mind that you can alter your Facebook advertisement campaign at any time. You can extend or shorten the campaign end date or budget at any time.
8. Target a Specific Audience
Facebook has a range of demographic targeting mechanisms built right into it. It allows you to target audiences based on age, location, gender, work, interests, relationship status, and even education. So, make sure you use these options. This might mean that you first need to do some research into your ideal demographic. If you have a bricks and mortar store, focus on people in your local area to increase foot traffic. If your business sells cosmetics and women’s clothing, narrow down your audience to females between the ages of 21 and 50.
9. Post frequently and consistently
Once you have a burgeoning Facebook fan base, be sure to post regular updates. Updates that provide useful, engaging, relevant content. Content that informs, educates or entertains. It is estimated that only 16% of your audience will actually view your updates, so the more regular, the better.
10. Use Facebook Insights
As with any type of advertising campaign, it is important to measure your success and implement changes to improve your next campaign. So, be sure to use Facebook Insights, monitoring which posts have been most successful, generated the most clicks, the most page likes, the most sales.
Still need help?
Facebook itself offers a program called ‘Start to Success’, designed specifically for new advertiser. The program itself is free. Although, you need to spend a minimum of $50 per day, for four weeks, on Facebook advertising in order to qualify. So, if you’re happy to invest $1,400 in Facebook advertising, you will receive access to a dedicated account manager who will help you develop a customised advertising strategy, create targeted advertisements, and track and optimise campaign performance.
If, like me, you’ve worked in the marketing industry for ten years or more, chance are, you’ve had a question that goes a little something like this: Where is the ROI in PR? Or, is there really any benefit to marketing? Or (my personal favourite in recent years) what can social media really do for the company anyway?
Questions that (probably unbeknownst to the naïve asker) make your blood boil, that make the red mist descend, or that make you want to curl up in a little ball and hide under the covers indefinitely.
If your chosen marketing discipline cannot be measured based on immediate sales figures, then red-mist-inducing questions can be common place. And, unfortunately, it is the thinking (or lack thereof) behind such questions that often leads to your budget being hit first when things are tight.
For marketing professionals in some of the ‘softer’ marketing disciplines, like PR, quantification of results has always been notoriously difficult. Traditionally, PR campaign reports focus on figures linked to awareness: circulation and readership figures, website hits and impressions, the equivalent cost of advertising spend. For social media marketing managers, those same reports now centre on new fans and followers, the number of post likes, and website click-through rates. All too often, reports such as these engender a raised-eyebrow response from senior executives who want to see a clear, demonstrable return on investment for every marketing dollar spent.
All these awareness results and reporting metrics are a perfectly valid marketing objective for any business. Brand awareness is essential: you have to have an audience to market to. If no one knows who you are, no one will purchase your products or services. Social media is the perfect conversation platform for increasing brand engagement (keep in mind social media is best used for ‘pull’ marketing, rather than ‘push’ style marketing).
But, senior executives will want to see a more solid return on investment than simply increased brand awareness. For social media marketing to be considered successful, and sustainable long-term, you need to demonstrate exactly how social media is contributing to the company’s bottom line. Here’s a few tips on how to do exactly that, and how to manage a successful social media program.
1. Link social media marketing to broader business objectives
As with any marketing or advertising campaign, step one should be defining your objectives. Social media marketing objectives should always be linked back to broader business objectives. For instance, if your company is expanding into new markets, or new industries, then your over-arching social media marketing objective might be to establish your company as a thought leader within that new market or industry. Then, you could break this broader objective down into smaller, measureable, actionable goals. Your social media objective should never be something as open-ended as ‘Increase Twitter followers’.
2. Use an action-based metric for your social marketing campaign
Include an action-based metric that can be counted in your social media marketing campaign. In the case of social media, an action-based metric is often a click. So, give your fans and followers something to click on. Once you have their attention, give your fans and followers a specific task. Do you want them to share your update? Click on a landing page? Purchase your product? Provide their email address? Whatever the action might be, make sure that it is linked to our broader business objective, and that you have the tools in place to count and measure audience behaviour. The counting helps to quantify social media results, and demonstrate ROI.
3. Capture and cultivate leads
Once your fans and followers are following your lead, and responding to your call to action, re-route them through to some sort of lead capture form. This step can be tricky, and must be done carefully. Oftentimes, users don’t want to re-routed away from the website (or app) that they are already using. So, where possible, use data collection mechanisms that are embedded in the social media platform itself. Facebook enables custom tabs and promotions options. So use them. Then, set up a database that manages all these new leads, and that reports on their behaviour. For instance, you might add all new leads to your e-mail marketing subscriber list. Then, use your email-marketing software to record their behaviour, and track their newsletter opens.
4. Convert leads into customers
This is where senior executives get really excited. If you can demonstrate that you are cultivating customers all the way from Twitter to the cash register, then never again will you have to answer the red-mist-inducing question ever again. Once you have your leads on-board, and stored in your e-mail marketing software, it’s time to ensure that any multi-touch attribution is attributed to your social media campaign. Make sure that senior executives know that the only reason that customer XYZ purchased products was because you engaged them to Twitter to begin with.
5. Use Google Analytics
Make sure that your website has Google analytics installed and working. Then, by using the ‘Acquisition’ reporting section, you can determine exactly how your website visitors are landing on your site. You will be able to see, quickly and easily, what percentage of website traffic is being generated by social media platforms, compared to organic searches, other website referrals, and direct links.
6. Report in a format that senior executives will appreciate
All senior executives are busy; it goes with the territory. But, at the end of the day, they still want to know, and understand, how budgets are being spent, particularly when revenue is down. So, make sure that your social media marketing report is presented in the way that is most appealing to senior executives. Ensure that it is clear and concise. Make sure that reporting is consistent: that you consistently use the same reporting cycle, and the same reporting metrics. Make sure every month you are comparing apples and apples. It never hurts to include a detailed monthly report, with a brief (updated) annual summary.
For some further reading on the hot topic of social media, check out:
Social media is a fantastic opportunity for brands to engage with their customers, and many have already begun to take advantage of this. With so many brands on social media, it can be difficult to compete, especially if your budget and resources are low. However, getting consumer’s attention doesn’t need to be expensive – simply having an interesting conversation online can be a great way to encourage engagement.
In order to get your message across effectively, you need to choose the right platform for your target audience, otherwise you risk being ignored. While Facebook tends to capture the market with its large membership, it isn’t always the right choice. If you are targeting a specific niche, for example, it may well be worth exploring different social avenues. Lifestyle, fashion and food-based businesses tend to have a lot of success on visual platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, whereas B2B business will have more success building a community on LinkedIn through groups.
If your company has the resources, spread yourself across a number of platforms where your customers are engaging within their communities. For example, many fashion bloggers have an Instagram and Facebook account to increase engagement. Instagram is where bloggers feature their ‘outfit of the day’ while Facebook or Twitter is where they tend to update their readers on their latest fashion posts. For a fashion-based client, then, it would be beneficial to have a presence on both platforms. If a blogger is wearing your brand’s clothing, they are likely to tag you in their post, bringing attention to your brand.
It is important to be as human as possible over social media; after all, you are engaging real people in a real conversation. Measure your tone against conversations that you might have with your friends – if it sounds too formal, it’s probably not suitable for social media. The tone of your conversations with customers and the message you send out can also help to really showcase your brand’s personality.
When it comes to setting your tone, you need to take an open approach and reflect your company’s values and brand image. Think about what sets you apart from the rest of your market, and the culture and ethos of your company. Setting a tone will help to humanise your brand and allow you to take part in natural conversations, making you relatable to your customers.
ASOS Global Social Media Manager, Sedge Beswick explains how the company has fun on social but also positions themselves as an authoritative figure in the fashion world:
“At ASOS we are obsessed with finding out what appeals to our ‘20 something audience’ so we can make sure our tone is truly engaging. We aim to be witty, enthusiastic and sometimes when it comes to fashion advice, authoritative, as this is what our audience responds to.”
Quality over Quantity
The customer should come first in everything you do. If you follow that rule it’s hard to go wrong. It’s easy to over-promote, so make sure that your posts are relatable and the subject of your conversation is timely. At ASOS, for example, they talked about the ten most fashionable bunnies during the Easter weekend. This was topical, encouraged conversation, and also helped to promote their fashion news section. Calls to action also help to entice conversation and get people interested in what your company does.
Mashable recently revealed that visual content tends to be more effective than written content, reporting that “in a study of the top 10 brands on Facebook, users liked photos twice as often as text updates. And they shared videos 12 times more than photo and text posts combined.” Experts are claiming that visual content will have a dominant presence in 2014, as visuals are becoming easier to create, are cost effective and people are more likely to engage with the brand.
This doesn’t mean you should completely ignore written content though. UK mobile provider Tesco Mobile and a customer had a hilarious debate which cleverly ended up involving major UK food brands such as Yorkshire Tea, Jaffa Cakes and Cadbury, see conversation here.
Many top brands are using Twitter as a customer service tool to help meet the demand of customers wanting to get an immediate reply to their problems. Indeed, Business Insider Australia found that “32% of top brands now have dedicated customer service accounts (separate from their main account) on Twitter, compared to only 23% who did so in December 2012.”
On social media everything is transparent so it is important that you address any issues your followers have. If someone is complaining about your brand, take this opportunity to change their perception. It’s also worth keeping in mind that a lot of people forget there is a human replying to them. A simple response can instantly help to diffuse a situation and create a friendlier tone within conversation.
So, the big three:
Spread yourself across the sites your audience engage with.
Create content that is interesting; don’t just self-promote.
Social Media is an essential part of the marketing mix these days. By now, everyone should be fully aware of the myriad of benefits of this relatively new communication tool. There’s the fact that it affords businesses real-time communication opportunities within minutes (not hours or days). Businesses can quickly, easily and efficiently engage directly with their clients. Social media gives you a real-time view of how you can, and should, be improving your services and product lines.
Social media enables you to engage in meaningful, two-way conversation with your target market, potential clients, employees, and other stakeholders. (Remember: you should be using social for conversational purposes, not to simply broadcast your own messages. So, pose questions, elicit interaction, ask for feedback.)
Not only that, social media is the perfect tool to increase the exposure of your business and brand recognition, increase traffic to your website (and therefore potential leads), improve your search engine ranking, and possibly increase sales.
Given all the possibilities and benefits that social media has to offer, the next question is often: on which social media channel should I focus? This question can be difficult to answer. It requires consideration of a number of factors:
What social media channel is your target market frequenting most regularly?
What sort of products or services do you have on offer?
What sort of content will you be distributing via social media?
Will you run an integrated social media campaign, across a number of social media platforms? Or will you just focus on one platform?
What is your budget (both monetary and man hours) for social media?
All of these are internally focused factors, questions about your own business and how you operate. While answering these questions is vital, it is also important to consider external influences when planning and budgeting for your social media campaign. The biggest external factor is social media traffic and user behaviour. That’s where we come in!
With the help of some excellent data from www.SocialMediaNews.com.au , we’ve undertaken an analysis of the changes in the Australian social media landscape over the last 12 months, from a statistical point of view. Here’s a handy little reference chart, based this excellent data from www.SocialMediaNews.com.au:
Please click on the image below to view a larger version
Australian Social Media Statistics Round Up
We’ve compared year-on-year Australian social media statistics for the month of March. Some of our findings were quite surprising. Others were to be expected. Here’s our roundup:
Facebook is Still Number One
Despite recent reports that the popularity of Facebook is dwindling (particularly in the tween age bracket), Australian user statistics indicate that it is still the most used social media platform, with 13.2 million unique users per month. Not only that, it is still experiencing growing user levels, with a 14% increase when figures for March 2014 are compared to the same month in 2013.
YouTube Isn’t Too Far Behind
YouTube remains the second most popular social media platform in Australia with 12.6 million users in March 2014. Its growth rate is very similar to Facebook, coming in at 14% year-on-year. YouTube and Facebook are, far and away, the most popular and most regularly used social media platforms in Australia.
WordPress.com (and Tumblr) is Making a Play for Popularity
Of all the social media platforms, WordPress.com is the fastest growing. Over the last 12 months, WordPress.com experienced 117% growth. That’s huge! Tumblr wasn’t too far behind, with a whopping 80% growth in the last 12 months. Users seem to be moving away from Blogspot (which experience a 3% dive in usage rates) and the like, towards WordPress.com and Tumblr.
Twitter Keeps on Keeping On
While Twitter only has a meagre 2.5 million active users per month in Australia (not that many when compared to the likes of Facebook, YouTube, WordPress and even LinkedIn), its usage rates do continue to grow. In fact, over the last year, Twitter usage rates increased by 15%.
The nature of Twitter makes it a very different beast to many of the other social media platforms: news often breaks on Twitter, and the hard-core social media adopters tend to be extremely active on this micro-blogging platform. If you decide not to include Twitter in your social media program, you should (at the very least) be monitoring Twitter activity related to your industry.
LinkedIn and Instagram are on the Rise (Slowly)
Snapchat and Trip Advisor Now Rate A Mention
These two social media channels weren’t even blips on the horizon in March 2013. Fast-forward a year, and each has managed to outrank some of the regular social media favourites. Snapchat has over 1.07 million active users in Australia, while Trip Advisor had over 1.4 million Australian visitors in the month of March.
Pinterest and MySpace Might be Dead
Before all you Pinterest and MySpace fans start jumping up and down, please note that we said might. They might be dead (and only in Australia). You just never know with social media – one fantabulous software update and you can be kicking goals! This year though, their statistics tell a sorry story; Pinterest dropped by 35% and MySpace plummeted by 40%.
Globally, the numbers tell a very different story. From a global perspective, Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media networks, recording an 88% growth rate in 2013 (Source: Jeff Bullas).
Aussies Aren’t Really Sure About Google+
Usage of Google+ dropped by 80% to just 65,000 unique users per month in March 2014. 65,000. For Google’s whizz-bang social media platform. That means that, in Australia, Facebook has 20,000% more users than Google+. The funny thing is, the Google+ statistics are very different when you analyse them from a global perspective. Apparently, Facebook still dominates at 70% of account ownership, but Google+ isn’t really that far behind, at 50% (Source: Jeff Bullas).
It is essential to keep in mind that Google+ is so much more than just a social media platform. It is an identity authentication service. With Google operating the leading search platform, and a variety of other popular services (like Gmail and YouTube), Google+ is one to watch.
So, what does all that mean for you? If you have a limited social media budget, focus on the social media platforms that are most popular in Australia: Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. Just keep in mind that, because they are more popular, you will be up against more noise. You might need to work a bit harder to stand out from the crowd.
Sharing on Google+ (with its identity authentication functionality and high beneficial links to the world’s most popular search engine) in addition to the four most platforms just makes sense.
Feeling a bit daunted? Not sure that you can handle all that social media activity with limited time and limited resources? Then take a look at platforms like Buffer and Hootsuite. These two platforms enable you to publish across multiple social media accounts, across multiple social media platforms. Buffer and Hootsuite streamline the social media process, making publishing easy and efficient.
Collecting ‘likes’, watching your ‘followers’ skyrocket, and rubbing your hands together with glee as your ‘views’ continue to climb is all well and good. But are you really leveraging your social media activity? Is your ground-breaking social media campaign having a real impact on your bottom-line?
If your answer is no, then it’s time to make a change. It’s time to get your fans off Facebook and onto your website, into your boardroom. You need to monetise your social media campaigns – like all the companies featured below managed to do. Perhaps our top seven most effective social media campaigns of all time (in no particular order) will be something of a catalyst, an inspiration for your next (or even existing) social media campaign.
Blendtec: Will it Blend?
Very American, the Will it Blend campaign from Blendtec uses YouTube videos very effectively. Operated by an uber-cool grandfatherly figure (who has a blend off against himself), the powerful kitchen accessory easily rips through multiple iPhones in one sitting. The YouTube videos very cleverly direct viewers to the BlendTec Facebook page (which has over 50K fans), encouraging entries in an online competition. According to Blendtec’s Marketing Director, Jeff Robe, the YouTube videos have done increased sales by 700% since November 2006 (Source: Forbes). Right there. That’s what we call effective use of social media.
Take a look for yourself:
Who knew? Take a man in a gorilla suit, cue Phil Collin’s classic hit In the Air Tonight, have gorilla-man go nuts on a drum kit. End result: chocolate sales go through the roof. Created in 2007, this 90 second video has had over 7 million views on YouTube. Most importantly though, Cadbury’s sales jumped by more than 7% following the advert’s airing (Source: Forbes). Quite a tidy profit that the gorilla-man was able to generate.
Watch gorilla-man belt it out below
Cadbury: Thanks A Million
While we’re on the subject of Cadbury, another of their more recent social media campaigns has made our list: a 2012 campaign run to celebrate their one millionth Facebook fan. Despite having so many fans, only 16% of their Facebook audience ever saw Cadbury’s Facebook posts. Cadbury implemented this campaign to increase engagement and grow their fan base. The whole campaign revolved around the construction (which was streamed live over 48 hours) of a giant Facebook ‘thumbs-up’ using more than three tonnes chocolate. Cadbury wanted to ‘like’ their fans back. As a result of the campaign, Facebook gained an extra 40,000 fans and engaged over 350,000 people (Source: eConsultancy). Today, the Cadbury Facebook page has 8.9 million fans.
You can get your thumbs-up here:
Evian: Roller Babies
This 2009 YouTube video was huge. It was a mega-hit. It featured breakdancing, back-flipping, giggling babies on roller-skates. With the tagline, let’s observe the effect of Evian on your body, it leads us to believe that, by drinking Evian, we too can hold off Father Time. With 74 million views, The Guinness Book of World Records has confirmed that this video is the most viewed online ad ever.
Giggle along with the computer generated toddlers below:
Ikea: Facebook Showroom
Back in 2009, Ikea was opening a new store in Malmo, Sweden. To promote the opening, Ikea ran a competition. The store manager posted pictures of the new showrooms on Facebook, with the first person to tag an item in the photo winning that item. The campaign was highly effective. It engaged Facebook fans, not only with the brand, but with specific products and merchandise. The campaign even won a Gold Cyber Lion at Cannes in 2010.
Last year, Starbucks managed to take e-gifts to a whole new level. You can now buy a coffee for a friend or loved one from Starbuck via Twitter. All you have to do is connect your Starbucks account to your Twitter account, tweet @tweetcoffee alongside your loved one’s Twitter handle. It really is that simple. Your loved one can then adds that coffee to their Starbucks account (or print out a voucher). The program is still fairly new, so the results aren’t huge (yet!). So far, it has generated $180,000 worth of sales and linked approximately 54,000 users’ Twitter IDs to phone numbers and Starbucks Customer IDs (Source: iMediaConnection). Not a bad little data collection process! Unfortunately, the campaign is only available in the US at the moment.
This clip explains it all below:
Burger King: Subservient Chicken
This is another American classic. Burger King created this campaign ten years ago, with the help of a man in a chicken suit, dubbed the subservient chicken. The whole objective of the campaign was to promote Burger King’s new TenderCrisp Burger. The campaign revolved around a website where users could type in a command, and then watch the chicken obey. The chicken was programmed to respond to over 300 commands, from moonwalk and shake your booty to hide behind the sofa and go to sleep. The website received over 15 million hits within five days. Unfortunately, the website is no longer active. Don’t bother trying to find it – we already tried!
Understanding Facebook statistics in Australia, and Facebook user patterns is vital. With it becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd on the popular social media platform, an in-depth understanding of Facebook statistics might give you a completive edge. Understanding Facebook statistics is a bit like using a megaphone; it will amplify your voice, and help you stand out from the crowd.
Facebook Statistics Worldwide
To kick off our crowd-pleasing, social-media-audience-engaging expose on Facebook statistics in Australia, we thought we’d first take a look at Facebook Statistics worldwide, including what lessons can be gleaned from each.
Facebook Statistic #1: Each month, there are more than 1.23 billion active Facebook users (Source: Facebook). That is equivalent to approximately one-sixth of the world’s entire population. Combined, those 1.23 billion users have over 201 billion friend connections and have clicked ‘like’ 3.4 trillion times (Source: ABC).
Lesson #1: Just in case you still weren’t entirely convinced that you should have a Facebook page for your company, these statistics should be unequivocal evidence. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Facebook is simply too big, too far-reaching and too popular to ignore. If you don’t already have a Facebook presence, jump on it. Now!
Facebook Statistic #2: According to Facebook, as of January 2014, 757 million people log on to Facebook every single day. That is a 22% increase compared to the same time last year.
Lesson #2: Facebook users are regularly active. So, you need to be regularly active as well. You need to be updating your status regularly. You need to be commenting on (or at the very least liking) questions and posts regularly.
Facebook Statistic #3: According to Facebook, as of March 2014, there are over 1 billion (that’s right, 1 billion) active mobile users every month.
Lesson #3: While Facebook itself already does the majority of the work for you, it’s still important to consider mobile responsiveness (including the mobile responsiveness of any media that you include or any websites that you link to) in everything you do on your Facebook page. Consider how every image will look on a mobile phone screen, how status updates will display, how your main banner image will appear.
Facebook Statistic #4: The peak for Facebook traffic is mid-week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), between 1pm and 3pm. Facebook traffic starts to build from about 9am, and after 4pm, traffic slows right down. Interestingly, on Thursdays and Fridays, audience engagement is 18% higher than any other days of the week (Source: Bitly Blog).
Lesson #4: The time of day that you post your status updates can affect your engagement enormously. Given the statistics above, it is best to wait until at least 11am before posting anything, and capitalise on the mid-week, 1pm to 4pm window. During these times, you will capture the greatest amount of available traffic.
Facebook Statistic #5: There were more than 7.5 million promoted posts between June 2012 and May 2013. (Source: Facebook)
Lesson #5: There is nothing wrong with partaking in a little advertising via Facebook. The Facebook statistics show that plenty of others, including your competitors, are paying for promotional opportunities. Sometimes, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to pay for the privilege.
Facebook Statistic #6: According to iStrategy Labs, the 25 to 34 year old bracket is the most common demographic for Facebook users. It is interesting to note that 3.3 million American users aged between 13 and 17 years old have left Facebook since 2011, as well as another 3.4 million 18 to 24 year olds (Source: iStrategy Labs).
Lesson #6: If the 25 to 34 age bracket is your prime demographic, and you haven’t already got a Facebook presence, get a move on!
Facebook Statistics in Australia
Unfortunately, Facebook does not release too many detailed user statistics, particularly for segmented market shares (like Australia). What Facebook has disclosed is that approximately 81% of all Facebook users are located outside America and Canada.
So, to provide more specific, targeted statistics for the Australian market, we have done a wee bit of investigative journalism, and come up with the following Facebook statistics for Australia. Do with them what you will.
Facebook Statistic #1: Over nine million Australians use Facebook every single day (Source: ABC). When extrapolated to a monthly basis, this figure increases to 12 million users.
Lesson #1: Australia only has a population of 22.8 million people. That means that 52.6% of Australians are actively using Facebook every month. As a business owner, or marketing professional, can you really afford to ignore a communication platform that regularly reaches more than half of Australia’s population?
Facebook Statistic #2: Of the nine million Australians who use Facebook every single day, 7.3 million log in via mobile (Source: ABC).
Lesson #2: The very large majority – 81% in fact – of your audience is accessing your Facebook page via their mobile phone. As mentioned in lesson #3 above, the user experience implications of this cannot be ignored. In Australia, it is even more important that you optimise all your Facebook content for mobile viewing.
Sally is the Chief Wordsmith at Wordly: a full-service copywriting, content marketing and public relations agency in Melbourne, Australia. Having worked in marketing, communications and public relations roles for over ten years, Sally is well-versed in just about every aspect of message delivery. Her professional experience includes: copywriting for web, social media and print publications; marketing and public relations campaigns that deliver growth and improve brand awareness; and internal stakeholder communication programs that improve employee engagement. For more information about Wordly’s range of services, visit: www.wordly.com.au.