How to and What to Track on Social Media: Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

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How to and what to track on Social Media – on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is really about reaching the right people at the right time – and engage them successfully. Many social media marketers are confused about what to track – and why, and how. Follower counts really do not matter. They're good for the ego, but they really mean very little.

In a report done by Forrester, we learn that businesses have an engagement rate of less than 0.2%. Instagram was the only exception to that statistic. Imagine, if you have 100,000 followers. This means, that actually only 200 people have some sort of interaction with your post. I would rather have just 10,000 followers and 2%. Same 200!

Your first step is to do a complete audit of your social media. What works? Which posts deliver better engagement? Which ones fall flat? Are you talking to the right people? Do you know your target audience? Your customers? Your social media is really about delivering to them, engaging them.
Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing.

Facebook Metrics that matter

Facebook offers some really useful insights on performance. Log in as a manager of the page and look for the Insights tab.

Facebook provides a very useful dashboard of the key metrics you need to track. The two critical ones are Post Engagements – the number of times people have liked, commented on, and shared your posts; and Actions on Page – how many times have people clicked on your Call toAction. Of course, you can check out Page Views, Page Likes and Reach,  but if you've got no engagement, these mean nothing.

Your most important KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is to push towards increasing post engagement. A quick way is to go through all your posts and identify the ones that did well on Engagement. Try and replicate what you did there. Facebook actually shows engagement metrics by category – Video, Photo, Status or Link posts. Here, it also tells you, that may be your video posts are doing really well, and your Link posts are not.

It's also important to have benchmarks. Check out how your competitors are doing. Facebook provides engagement performance for any other pages you choose to watch. This should also help you set some goals. You'll also see which posts perform for them – giving you ideas for your content and format.

A way to track conversion from Facebook is to track Actions on Page. The report shows you who clicked on links on your page – to your website, for example. You can track by device, location, gender and age. If you look at Page Views and then hold that against Actions, you'll get a conversion rate.

Track what's key on Instagram

Previously, we depended on third party analytics platforms to track Instagram performance. For deep dives, we still do. But Instagram now have some built in analytics available. First off, Instagram will always have better engagement rates than your other social platforms. But it's important to engage on a continuum – meaning you need people to come back to you, regularly. You need to have a Business Profile on Instagram to gain access to Instagram Insights. (Here's How to convert to Business Profile)

Engagement on Instagram is measured in Likes and Comments. Links within posts are not allowed. Actually, you can have a link, say to your website, but it has to be in the bio. A neat way to track 'Instagram conversions' is to have a custom landing page on your website – only for Instagram traffic. As well, it's best to use a custom trackable link like (I swear by this), or Google's Campaign URL Builder.

So, what do you track on Instagram? 

1. A simple one is average Engagement Per Post. Add up your Likes and Comments and divide the sum by the number of posts. Track this over short periods – like a week or month to keep this metric current.

2. Track Engagement as a percentage of your total population of followers. Take your total engagement (Likes + Comments) and divide by your total followers. Does your growth rate reflect how often you post? What about the types of photos you posted over the last period you measure?

3. Some people are keen on follower growth. It is important to track Follower Growth rate only to see if you doing things right on the platform

4. Track traffic from the URL in your bio. This literally tracks conversion.

Follower locations is important – it tells you where your key markets are, and helps you time your posts. You should also see when your followers are active and which posts are working with your audience. This way you can optimize what and when you do on Instagram.

Twitter Analytics that count

Twitter provides some interesting metrics in the Analytics dashboard. On the Home tab, you can track performance numbers for the last 28 days, as well as your top tweets. You can track how well you are able to engage your audience with your tweets –  there's a list of your recent tweets with numbers on impressions, engagements, and engagement rates.

Impressions – really don't matter, because it counts the number of people who have seen your tweet – but that doesn't mean they haven't just scrolled past them.

Enagement is the key metric. Engagement is when when people actually click on, favorite, retweet, or reply to your tweets. A 28-day average compared to the best performers help you find out what went right. You need to try and increase your engagement rates. That's a great KPI for twitter. Check which tweets did well, and replicate what went right. Also check engagement against time of day or day of week. Build a post schedule based on this insight.

Audiences matter. You can go to the Audiences tab to know more about your followers. You can see a breakdown by interests, buying style, household income, and net worth. The interest data, for example, helps you define where you should focus on for your topics. Afterall, reaching the right people is key.

Many marketers track a lot more information using tools and dashboards, and then combine them to track overall social performance. The above are the absolutely critical ones you track – without having to spend a lot of money on paid-for analytics. By the way, I also recommend tweetreach which is pretty cool  for analyzing twitter performance.

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Now read these related posts on Social Media:

6 Critical Steps to a Winning Social Media Strategy

8 Ways to boost customer loyalty using Social Media

6 Types of Social Media Posts to Engage your Audience

7 ways your brand can increase Facebook organic reach

Top Technology Trends in Marketing for 2017

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2017 will see advances in tech we’ve seen in 2016 go on overdrive. A lot of these revolve around developments in AI and machine learning. They’re all in some ways connected. To each other. And to us as people.

Cognitive Devices

This is a step beyond ‘smart’ devices. Products that have self learning built in to become aware of context – and that are capable of complex thinking that mimic human capabilities. See Sentient IOT below. Cognitive devices will allow for predictive marketing and product delivery – taking loyalty based decisions to levels of automation which are actually quite scary.

AI and Personal Assistants

Technologies around Artificial Intelligence such as natural-language processing and deep learning, will naturally evolve in to systems that understand, learn, predict, adapt – and are able to almost clone human behavior. Rather than simply execute predefined code, these systems will be able to ‘think’ on the fly and react. Every day tasks are going to be easier, with Personal Assistants becoming better twins of human behavior and logical progression of thought will be built into apps. In marketing, this means brands will be able to learn from past market data, immediate context, individual customer behavior pattern and predict an experience and create an offer – in the moment. Autonomously. Intelligently.

Smart Homes and Connected Lives

The smart home will be an ecosystem rather than just a bunch of connected devices. This is where we should see brand collaboration and the dissolution of competition – particularly in different verticals. We’ll see connected lives of consumers demand collaboration between brands and products they use – freely, and geared towards their experience and convenience rather than company bottom line. Expect a sushi delivery via a drone taxi company, and a fridge collaborating with a grocery chain.

IOT but Sentient

Almost in the same genre as AI equipped apps and tools, and homes – the Internet of Things will see adoption of sentient tools. ‘Sentient’ tools are aware of their context and social interactions – they can feel and perceive – and reason. Cloud-based AI, centrally connected robots, and advanced machine-learning algorithms will converge, and we’ll start to see the true benefits of IOT in manufacturing, marketing and just every day living. Every day things around will us will provide solutions rather than pose problems.

More AR, better AR and with VR

Expect AR and VR to expand beyond visual immersion to include all human senses. Like Pokemon GO for Business. By late 2017 we expect that AR layered VR will transform the way individuals interact with each other and with software/hardware to create immersive, interactive environments. Better AR and VR will be used for training scenarios and remote experiences. The blending of real world with projected images might just change our experiences at resorts, movies, sports events and classrooms.

DAAS and DoD

Data as a Service (DaaS) and Data on Demand. Businesses will no longer need to work through the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety, Velocity, Veracity) at huge costs of time and money. A new breed of data brokers will emerge to provide DaaS and let brands access data when they need it, and simply have that analysed based on immediate need. We’ll see advancements to humanize big data, making it more qualitative and useful and add layers of empathy –projecting it in a more visualized, accessible way.

Improved CRO technologies

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) will creep into a lot more than just websites or landing pages. CRO will be the new UX. Conversion rate optimization helps you track user behavior on your site and identify elements that produce the highest number of conversions. Marketers will find new ways of to use CRO to channel their existing traffic into sales. And CRO will be used in apps, on payment interfaces, last miles of interactions, and retail – actually anywhere where a yes no decision is involved.

Noise, filters and clutter-cutting content

Content that cuts through the immense white noise out there will have to be precise and dense. Every word in a post will have to be ‘optimized’ to resonate. Every frame in a video meaningful. Every sound a vibe. Content will become a highly specialized skill, with highly informed and inspired writers and creators who will understand and develop clutter-cutting content. Also, expect apps and assistants that will filter content you don’t want, even before you didn’t want it!

Video gone mad

Yes, video is going to go mad in 2017. Social media? Video. Ads on mobile? Video. Most consumed content platforms? Video. Surgery via video. Wedding invits via video. Resumé on video. College lectures on video. Everything and everybody will see some sort of use for video. And of course good quality, unforeseen, high resolution video. AR/VR and video. Guidance systems, SatNav and maps will use video. Live video. Facebook and video. Search and video. Chatbots and video. Oh, and maybe even, Vodka and Video. And, on that high note. Here’s to 2017…

Now read these posts around this topic...

How Successful Brands will Connect with Consumers in 2017: A new game

7 Important Questions to Ask when planning a digital campaign in 2017

How Data will really drive Marketing in 2017

6 Must Know tips to Succeed with Content Marketing in 2017

6 Must Know tips to Succeed with Content Marketing in 2017

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2017 will see content marketing to grow – nothing out of the ordinary, but grow in ways that will deliver more results, better ROI, and get better consumer attention. Here are a few tips for content marketers for 2017...

1. More Content Marketing from More Brands. Fight the clutter.

There's going to be an abundance of content. Content from more brands, ore influencers, more media companies and publishers, and more just plain folks. Users will generate more content. Which all adds up to a whole lot of content clutter. Point being, that the brand content you generate will really need to fight the clutter. The content you generate will need to be above and beyond the ordinary, and one that will in several unique ways stand out from the rest.

Brands will actually pump in more budgets into content, you'll see better teams, bigger teams producing content. In all aspects of marketing, where, over the last couple of years, content kind of had it's own ground, now content, going mainstream almost, there'll be territory issues. So, again, content will have to be stand out, not just to win the overall marketing game, but eyeballs and attention.

2. Deliver excellent Visual Content

Web 3.0, Web whatever.0, visual content will really rule the roost. Look at Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Facebook... content that works immediately and with gusto seems to be visual content. So get set with your teams and be ready to have your content go ape on visual.

Visual content isn't easy. You need beautiful, smart, well crafted, well photographed, and well titled images to make them work. You'll need a library of images for your brand or product. Live, on-going, casual images are fine on iPhone or other smartphone shot ways, but it's best to hire a professional to develop a nice little library of your products, people, company, products in use etc. You'll also need some design work on a online platform like Canva or Stencil, or for basic design help, like a Design Pickle.

3. Move it with Video

Video content is images. Images that move. And speak. And sing. And dance to the tune of your audience. So make 2017 the year of video content as much as possible. Explore Live Video (see post: How to use Facebook Live video like a pro. The essentials of getting it right.). YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook are all going to amplify video in 2017 like never before. And, we do know, that most consumer internet traffic is video, anyways.

Create rich content. Make quality count.

Make sure you create great engaging video content for your audience. Make sure that the video content actually resonates. As in any social media, Customer or Consumer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing with any content you create for your audience on Facebook. You can have the best video content, but is it relevant to your audience?

Focus on quality from the first frame – Since videos auto-play silently in Feed, you should lead with imagery that will catch a person’s eye from the very beginning.

Premiere exclusive video content – Post exclusive video content to your Page to reward them with something that they can’t get anywhere else,

Provide context – Set context by pulling out a key quote or moment from the video as the text component of your post. This will help set expectations for the experience ahead.

4. Mobile will drive content. Are you there?

2017 isn't the year of mobile. 2016 was. 2015 was. as was 2014. 2017 will be mobile, period. So get your content mobile ready, not just mobile friendly. Get ready for vertical videos. Get ready for Live video shot on mobile, consumed on mobile. Only.

Audit your current content. Does it work on mobile? Or does your customer need high powered reading glasses to view your content. Speaking of which, is your website (your main content, actually), at least responsive?

And be prepared for the explosion in app delivered content. Increasingly, brands are taking to apps to contextually deliver meaningful, in the moment content. Get working on apps.

5. User generated content. Use it.

Because content marketing is essentially based on trust and meaningfulness, and usefulness, UGC or User Generated Content will be another key element in 2017. We know that 85% of people trust content made by others more than they trust brand content. So, you really have to grab this opportunity this year. You user is your every day influencer. UGC comes in all shapes and sizes – reviews, unboxings, comments, shares, YouTube videos. Develop a unique platform for your users to contribute to your content efforts.

Read this: 5 ways to get fans to create social media content for brands

6. Personalized and custom content

2017 will be the year of custom content. The time has come for not all-for-one content, but for one-to-one content.

Read this tip:  • Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing

We know a lot more about our customers and our target audiences than before. How come were not using it to  create micro-buckets of content that resonates with them on a personal level? You will need to look at perosnalized content – where the user can view and consumer based on their specific need, their specific thrill.

Data, Customer insight and content

Last year, we talked a lot about influencers – this year, I didn't mention it as a key tip, because we all know that influencers do wield a lot of power.

Just in case, you were hiding under a rock...
10 Essential Steps to Influencer Marketing Success for your Brand

Overall, be prepared for how technologies, new platforms, advancements in VR and AI, consumer habit shifts are going to influence content marketing. Remember, content is king. And context is God.

Now read these posts on content to help you...

Content Marketing Strategy: What kind of content should you create?

8 Must Have Steps to Unleash the Power of Content Marketing for your Brand

Win with Content for your Brand: Give away value and usefulness

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How Successful Brands will Connect with Consumers in 2017: A new game

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2017 is ushering in a new game, a new era for brands who want to truly connect with their audiences – their customers and consumers. Increasingly, brands have to do a lot more than just sell. They have to build on-going relationships and as a fantastic study published by Wunderman called "wantedness" – they'll have to continually prove that they want you as a customer. The study was conducted in the US and UK markets, but I think it has significance that resonates for marketers globally.

Consumers want brands that adapt to their needs 

– not the other way around. Around 75% of consumers will only consider brands that understand and care for their needs. "Traditionally, advertising has been about changing perceptions and behaviors in order to make people want to buy a product or service." That is now upside down. "Today, consumers expect businesses to adapt to their needs and our findings are consistent across all generations, geographies and genders,".

Consumers are empowered to choose

and around 90% of them believe that mobile enables them to make better purchasing decisions. Which means, that today, Intent is the new black in digital marketing. In-the-moment marketing is what's hot. Today, we are empowered in the moment, and regardless of age, gender or geography, we, not brands have control. And brands ned to deliver on what we want, as and when we want it. So, as one of the most important tips for brand marketers: Get your mobile game right.

Operate in the culture – not the category.

Today, consumers are measuring brands not just against their competitors, but against the best in the world. The yardsticks are global bests – brands like Amazon, Starbucks and Netflix. So, don't just set your goals based on your category or industry. You need to go above and beyond and set new standards. To demonstrate a brand wanting to connect with the consumer , it needs to go beyond the basic expected every day. The concept of "Wantedness" tells us "Be the best at that one thing and bend over backwards to demonstrate that you truly want a consumer’s business."

The Consumer is Always Right.

Brands need to honestly, wholeheartedly treat consumers better – and work hard at it. Not just as one offs but every single time. Setting a higher level of customer service, connecting with consumers with true insight is key. Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing.

Marketing today is not about your brand or product – it's about the customer. Digital marketing is built around the customer, the audience you want to talk to, and getting proper insights about your customer, the consumer, their needs is what should be your first and fundamental step.

Unlike advertising as we know it, today's digital marketing is way beyond the sell-sell. It's about engaging the consumer, and moving them down the funnel from awareness to action with meaningful, relevant interactions. The first thing you need is a Customer Insight Strategy. Listening is key.

Demonstrate true understanding of the customer at every step of the journey

Brands need to demonstrate that they have a deep understanding of the customer's needs, their priorities and preferences. This understanding, derived out of data, needs to be then put into every day context. And, naturally, the creative message needs to reflect this. What needs to be shared with the consumer is a message that is crafted towards and delivers on experiences they need, right when they need them.

It's all about individuality.

The true death of mass marketing. The end of one to many. Purchases reflect what the individual stands for, not their demographic or their category. So, it's really about sharing individual values, and building towards endearing the consumer one at a time. Not easy.

Convenience becomes critical

More than 60% of consumers polled agree that the best brands make their lives easier. Sometimes, this can be about the power of the here and now, and not just with mobile, but increasingly with wearables, convenience marketing in 2017 will be key. Transform your digital marketing by Being 'Right There, Right Then'

 Use the Power of Here and Now: Convenience Marketing with Wearables. Today consumers want simplicity and convenience, and wearable devices give them what they might want with fewer obstacles to disrupt their journeys.

Brands need to make things easier for the consumer at each point in the purchase process. Sixty-two percent of U.S. respondents noted that the best brands out there, the ones that they are most dedicated to, are ones that make life easier for them.

Exceed expectations

Brands need to exceed expectations across the customer journey. Th best brands don't just make great products. They provide a deeper understanding of the consumer and connects with that understanding. Brands need to push boundaries and do something new.

The three takeaways

The "wantedness" study says it's anew concept for marketers – in an era of increasing transparency and decreasing trust. Yet, it is in many ways, a great curation of great marketing simplicities. It's an underlining of the fundamentals – made fresh for 2017. And the three big takeways?

1. Get to know me
2. Deliver for me
3. Keep winning me

Now read these posts on digital marketing strategy:

• How Data will really drive Marketing in 2017

• 7 Essential Pillars for your Digital Marketing Strategy

•  10 Critical Elements you must get right for Mobile Marketing Success

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6 Critical Steps to a Winning Social Media Strategy

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Here are the six steps towards building a robust Social Media strategy for your brand. Whether you are embarking on a new direction and adopting social for the first time, or already are on social, these are the points you need to consider.

1. Know your business goals and set clear Marketing Objectives

Before you can think of your brand's social media strategy, you need to address two points. First, what are you really doing this for? What are the end goals for your business? Are you a new brand and need to establish credentials? Are you expanding territories? Launching new lines? You eant o increase brand awareness? You want to use social for customer service which wil improve the perception of your rand?

Next identify and set clear marketing objectives. These need to be specific, measurable metric driven KPI's. If you want to increase sales using social, how will you measure that? Once you know your business goals overall, you'll need specific objectives in order to attain those goals. These should be achievable, relevant to the success of your brand, and ideally, be time bound. Aiming too high is not what you want, because you want to achieve your objectives – within the time frame you set. Keep them simple and attainable.

2. Know your audience. Who do you really want to connect with?

As in any aspect of marketing, and specifically digital marketing, knowing every nuace about your target audience and your customer is key.

Read this tip:  • Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing

Marketing today is not about your brand or product – it's about the customer. Digital marketing is built around the customer, the audience you want to talk to, and getting proper insights about your customer, the consumer, their needs is what should be your first and fundamental step.

Unlike advertising as we know it, today's digital marketing is way beyond the sell-sell. It's about engaging the consumer, and moving them down the funnel from awareness to action with meaningful, relevant interactions. The first thing you need is a Customer Insight Strategy.

What you want here is to identify your key audience. Who do you most or really want to talk to? Do you have a grasp of their persona? What are their interests? Their problems (which you want to resolve), their motivations, their habits? List these. This will help you define your key target audience.

3. Find out what's going on around you – the competition, the industry, the best practices

Research what brands are doing around you? Take a deep look at your immediate competition? Look at what the industry is doing on social. You'll need to find out which social platforms are being used, and which ones are working for them. What is their content strategy? 

Use tools to look at how much engagement they are getting on which channels – and how and why. You really can't get deep metrics of other brands, but you'll have a fair idea on which posts work, which don't. Look at overall engagement (likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc). Also look at social media best practices – not just in your market, but across industries and geographies. Learn from these. Note down what you think will work you.

4. Identify your channels and your channel objectives

Who makes the decision on which social media channel your brand or business should be on? Should you just jump on every new platform that comes your way? Is your brand really relevant across all the channels you are on?

It's not just about resources, it is about how your brand aligns with each channel. It is about how your brand fits in to the ecosystem of the channel or platform, and then ensuring that your content resonates well within those parameters. You cannot be everything for everybody. You'll need some kind of audience segmentation strategy in place.

What are specific objectives per channel. You can't do on Facebook what you can, say, on Twitter. You'll need to identify these ahead of time.

Read more: Choosing the right social media channels for your brand

5. Develop a Content strategy

It's not advertising, social media is about having a conversation and engaging the audience consistently. Instead of using social as a one-way platform, the best way forward is to create content that encourages conversation, while maintaining its brand values and personality.

Your content strategy should be beyond just topic. Depending on channel, your context will differ. And so will type of content – text, images, video, links, live content etc.

A consistent posting schedule and consistent social-friendly tone of voice is crucial when it comes to keeping an audience engaged. Remember, it's all about relevant, value adding content.
Read this useful post:  Win with Content for your Brand: Give away value and usefulness

6. Identify and allocate Budgets, Tools and Resources

A lot of brands jump on to social media without considering budgets, tools and resources. This is a list but not least important step. Once you know your channels, your objectives, you should identify what tools you will need to keep at the game – not just for your social posting, but consider community management, monitoring, reporting etc.

Finally, you just can't do everything yourself. Even with a smaller, first time effort, you need to allocate roles. Identifying who will do what, and who's ultimately responsible increases how effective and efficient you can be –  and avoids confusion and overlaps.

Once you've gone through these critical steps, you'll need to address the on-going strategy. This is now about execution.

Read this:  6 Key Essential Focus Areas in Social Media Strategy (your on-going What To Do's)

Now read these posts on Social Media strategy:

•  Setting Social Media Goals and Tracking Success Made Simple

•  3 Simple ways to measure Social Media marketing success

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How to Build a Powerful Facebook Community for your Brand

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Brands often find that their Facebook Page reach is declining. Building a powerful, engaging community for your Facebook fans is a far more consistent and friendly approach to connect with your fans and your target audiences.

Your first step is to find out a lot more about your audience. This is what's going to empower how well you build your community.

Read this tip:  • Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing

Building a proper community means you need to really put aside your "selling" hat. A community is about participation, a sense of belonging, and ultimately a benefit to the end user.  Being consistent with what you provide for your community is key. And the big key here is content. Not about your product or service – but useful content that will resonate with your audience.

Regular Facebook Live Broadcasts give a great sense of community

Facebook Live let's you connect with your audience with streaming video that's delivered live – there and then – making the moment special and endearing. The great thing about Facebook Live is that it is truly a dialog, a shared experience rather than a one way broadcast. Your fans can ask you questions live, as you are streaming, and you can anser those live as well. It brings a really cool sense of intimacy and participation, if you do it right.

Remember to make your Facebook Live cast friendly and ask for participation. As of now, you can stream Facebook Live from your Facebook Page or from a Fcebook Group (read more on Group below). To begin a Facebook Live broadcast from your mobile device, go to the status update box on your page or in your group. Among the options at the bottom, click Go Live (the one with the little red camera next to it). You are on!

Plan every Live session carefully. Have a clear topic that will work with your audience – one that will genuinely interest them. Let your audience know that you will be going Live. Announce the date and time slot ahead. Post these on your regular page several times before the session.

During the sesion, do ask for participation. When you respond to fan questoins while you are live gives a great sense of here and now, it's a dialog, a conversation. There's no better way to create a sense of trust between you (as a brand) and the audience. Prepare for questions ahead – you do want to look the part of authority.

Remember that after the actual live broadcast, the video will be available on the page or group for good. There may be post-session questoins as well, and don't ignore those. Also, tell them when you'll be going Live again... This continuity, and consistency is what builds a sense of community.

Essential Reading: How to use Facebook Live video like a pro. The essentials of getting it right.

A Facebook Group is a great community builder

Many top brands are increasigly building Facebook Groups – because content shared with a group almost instantly resonates with the audience – it serves up to what the audience is really interested in, and it is far more engaging than your regular brand page. Groups are collections of like-minded people who share a common interest or goal.

And, while a Group ideally should not be just about your brand product, you can certainly build a lot of interest around your product without overwhelming the audience. Your Group should be a place –yes, a community, where your audience can feel comfortable and have a sense of belonging.
Facebook doesn’t limit who can see what. Members of a group can see all of the posts in it.

When you create a Facebook Group, you need to have good insight on what your audience would really be interested in.  remember, our first step towards building a community was to gather customer and audience insights.

How to create a Facebook Group

To create a Facebook group, go to the Groups section in the left-hand sidebar and click Create Group on the top right side. Facebook will ask you to choose the purpose of your group, click Connect and Share. That's the best option for a brand.

Name your group – carefully choosing a name that every one will understand, and know what they'll get out of it. The name should be easy to find in Facebook Search. Start by inviting a few people to join.

Add a cover image and a useful description. The cover image should be inviting and relevant to the purpose of the group you are creating. Remember, that you can create more than one group, although, if you haven't done one before for your brand, I'd recommend a bit of practice with just one to start with.

Then, click "Add a Description" in the right-hand sidebar. In the description, let members know about your business, link to a business landing page or your homepage, and state what they can expect from joining your community. This is very important.

Of course, you'll need to promote your Facebook group so members will join. Announce your Group wherever possible. Let your customers know via email. On social media, you can pin a tweet, boost Facebook posts, and or even share an Instagram pic about your group.

How to build a community feeling around your Goup

You need to focus on engaging your audience within the Group. Start with posts that will trigger action. Your posts should get the conversation rolling so members can discuss the topic you posted amongst themselves – and even with you as a brand. Try asking people to share their favorite ways to use your product. Their favorite hacks. Their memorable moments.

Share articles and news that will resonate with the core purpose of the Group. One cool idea for a Group is to provide a solution. What solutions does your brand or product provide? You can share articles from multiple sites that help your audience in their every day lives.

• Read this tip: Win with Content for your Brand: Give away value and usefulness

Remember people join a Group because thay feel that they'll have a need resolved. Show off your expertise here. Gain a sense of trust by answering questions, providing tips and guiding your audience forward.

In conclusion, building a community is a far longer game than just a Facebook brand page. Your community will help you establish a unique platform in your industry and bring your brand a confident sense of authority as well as a tone of friendliness and conversation with a group of loyal fans. That's how you better engage than a page, because a community that works well, spreads itself.

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Now read these posts on Facebook and social marketing:

6 Easy Ways to Improve Facebook Engagement for Brands

• Take advantage of Facebook's new Vertical Video format

7 Important Questions to Ask when planning a digital campaign in 2017

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We're a couple of days into 2017. This year is going to be a bit different for us in digital marketing. Before we set out to launch our all important digital campaigns of the year, we need to set solid goals, have clear KPIs and a well defined strategy. Ask yourself these seven critical questions before you launch a digital campaign...

1. What are clearly defined goals for this campaign?

Before you can do any strategic planning, you want to know the absolute objectives of the campaign? What metrics will you measure? What are your goals? What results do you want to see at the end (or even half way through) of the campaign?

2. How do these goals align with our brand goals?

I've been in a few meetings with clients where there was no agreement between marketing teams and overall brand guardians at companies. Because their goals are different. I;m not saying their goals need unanimous agreement, I'm saying you cannot have marketing campaign goals that have no resonance with overall rand goals.

3. What are we really driving here? Brand/product awareness or sales?

Sorry, it's kind of difficult if you say you want to increase brand awareness and drive sales. Digital marketing needs to be a lot more focused. You can't have both. Your media plan, your target planning, your creative messaging will differ quite a lot when you want to one or the other. Do not have conflicting goals – because you'll have conflicting budgets. Brand awareness budgets have different sets of ROI's from budgets set aside to drive sales. Sales drives see immediate results – good or failed. Awareness drives are different.

4. What is this campaign about? A new product or service? What is the unique attribute that we want to underline?

What are you really trying to get across? Are you announcing a new product or service? What is unique about it? What is the one attribute that you want to push through that will resonate with your target audience? What are the key things that you want your audience to discover? What do you want them to know? This question, or questions will help you drive the creative brief and result in a wtare tight creative message. This will also help you decide on which marketing channels you may want to use.

5. Who are we targeting? Where? When and How? What's the intent we want to resolve?

This is 2017. Data is changing the way we make decisions (see post on how Data is driving marketing in 2017). Getting insights on your target audience, or your customer should really be a focus area for you before you embark on your campaign. Once you know who you want to target, you'll find defining an overall media strategy that highlights the Where, When and How a lot easier to develop.

Over the last few months, and definitely into 2017, we'll see 'Intent marketing' becoming huge. Meaning, targeting by demographics is not really crucial – what is important is what consumer intent are you trying to resolve? What's the solution you will provide? And how are you going to tell them about that solution. So, it's not just 20-30 year old males, but any one really, who wants the latest shiny new iPhone. Even grandmas. It's now a lot obout in-the-moment intent driven targeting. In context. Read this: Intent is the new black in digital marketing. In-the-moment marketing is what's hot.

Once you know what problem resolution you provide for your, it is important that you work out the Where, When and What. In 2017, you really ought to be on mobile. Thought that through? Are you going to use Paid Search? Content marketing? Blogs? Banner ads? What time of day? On which channel? Sure, there are specialized agencies who provide answers, but you need to ask the questions.

6. What creative messaging are we going to use that our target audience will identify with?

You know your target audience and the solution tat they are looking for. You know about the unique attributes of your product or service. So what creative message (the content, the form or design, the call to action (remember goals?) are you going to use to make sure that you achieve the results that you defined earlier? You can get all other aspects of your strategy right, but if the creative does not cut through the huge clutter that's out there, you just will not be seen or heard.

7. How are we going to track, optimize, and ultimately measure the success of this campaign?

Campaigns today aren't just born that way. Campaigns need optimization, they need tweaking, they need to adapt to performance. Which means tracking performance on an on-going basis is key. Make sure you (or your agency) have the right tools and the right metrics to track against the goals that you set out with. If your campaign isn't doing well in social, how are you adjusting your channel plans? If it isn't working on mobile as you anticipated, is the creative working in that limited mobile space?

These are simple, basic questions you ask. And answer. And that's the basics. That's Digital Marketing Strategies 101.

Please add your comments below, and do share it with friends. 

Now read more about digital strategy:

•  Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing

• Digital Marketing Strategy and Execution Planning made Simple

• 7 Essential Pillars for your Digital Marketing Strategy

How Data will really drive Marketing in 2017

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2017 will probably be the year that data will become the core pillar around which most marketing functions will revolve. We've seen big data creep in to all aspects of business – from corporate strategy to marketing, from sales to attribution, and across both offline and online. This year, we are going to see the real use of data. And data made human. Data for us all.

More collaborative marketing using data

Data will drive more collaborative efforts in three ways: within marketing teams, with marketing teams and other departments in an organization, and in the special case – between two different brand marketing teams who somehow have to gain when they collaborate to access the target audience and the customer.

Decisions become transparent and far more realistic when they are informed by data. But data isn't enough in itself. Marketers must learn to efficiently convert data into insights and business information that is useful. This is what makes a company, and particularly, the marketing department agile. Free flow of data, sharing of insight derived from data, and cross pollination of data.

Increased use of data for decision making

Data is really going to be core for marketing decision making in 2017. This is inevitable and marketers need to understand and adapt to this trend. This is a reality. Data, and data analytics – meaning converting data into usable information is the best way to find the 'low-hanging fruit' which improves marketing performance. However, this data has to be useful and available (see next point). The insight that we get from data needs to be actionable and human – meaning both understandable and useful in a real world. Data can be overwhelming, because every channel, every touchpoint delivers certain data. But this needs to be interpreted and shared at a common, collaborative level.

DAAS and DoD

Data as a Service (DaaS) and Data on Demand. Businesses will no longer need to work through the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety, Velocity, Veracity) at huge costs of time and money. A new breed of data brokers will emerge to provide DaaS and let brands access Data when they need it, and simply have that analysed based on immediate need. We’ll see advancements to humanize big data, making it more qualitative and useful and add layers of empathy –projecting it in a more visualized, accessible way.

Data should deliver better attribution for marketing

Once data is humanized and made simple, marketers should be better able to understand how they use data to derive clearer attribution modelling across the channels they use. Attribution should not be driven by spends – but by results derived out of precise analytics.

The number of channels being used in modern marketing itself is a challenge.. Often customers will go through a dozen or more touchpoints before converting. Tracking a customer journey across those multiple channels is not easy at all.  Attributing value to each step is complicated without understandable and meaningful data. With so many new channels coming up every day, and with much of offline data being fairly 'dark' – the data-to-real-insight conversion will be key.

Hyper personalized marketing using data

Consumers are savvy. They just don't have the time and patience for marketing messages that aren't really of relevance to them. Data is going to help marketers in 2017 make messages and conversations that brands have with customers pin point personalized and accurate. Not only just the content and tone of the messages, data will obviously also help decide which channels to use to deliver those messages. Data architecture will need to be made robust in order to hyper-personalize marketing.

Data to make online marketing a lot more accountable. Really.

We've heard that online is accountable, digital is accountable. But how often do brand marketers ask their media agencies to deliver on that accountability? Or ask how creative agencies are performing based on how the actual brand creative delivers on desired action? Online marketing data in 2017 will drill down to details – not just superficial Click Through Rates and Open Rates. Issues such as click fraud, viewability, and view-through conversions will become frequent topics of conversations between agencies and data-driven marketing teams.

Overall, 2017 will really challenge both marketing teams as well as the business intelligence units that deliver data to make data more accessible, more understandable, and more useful. Data in a real world will be core. And we need to understand that as soon as possible.

That's something fundamental to marketing today. The value and usefulness of data. And that's the basics. That's Digital Marketing Strategies 101.

Please add your comments below, and do share it with friends. 

Now read more on data and insight...

Convert Big Data into Insight to make really useful Marketing Decisions

• Data made simple: What is first, second and third party data?

• Customer Insights is your First Step in Digital Marketing