Tuesday, 27 November 2012

It's Viral: John Lewis/Jagger Lewis

Real Radio Wales

Just thought I'd dash off a quick blog post to share with you a nice piece of work that's been produced by Real Radio Wales to share online.

It's a nifty little response to the latest John Lewis Christmas advert, based around our breakfast show presenters, Jagger and Woody.

Just a bit of fun to lighten your day, hope you enjoy it!

Here's the original in case you haven't seen it too:

Which do you prefer?

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

What are the best social management & measurement tools?

Social Media Measurement
Attribution Some rights reserved by chefranden

It’s always difficult when you start out to get a handle on how to measure your social media efforts.

When you are posting to your wall, and not seeing a response, why are you not seeing a response? Which posts were the most popular and why? What should I be doing less of? What time is the optimum time to post?

All those questions, and the worst thing is that a simple Google search brings up a multitude of answers.

The way a greengrocer sells a cabbage is different to how Nike sells it’s new football boots, but the actual measurement metrics that you use can be the same. And therein lies the rub.

You’ve defined your online and offline strategy, but how do you manage that strategy digitally? How do you know that you are being successful?

The answer to these questions and more reside within your business. It’s the seeds you sell. It’s the cars you build. You want to sell more of those? Then you need to talk to people about them. And that’s where social comes in.

But how can you measure the success of those conversations? Pick a target - any target.

You want more people in your shop? Measure footfall over a two week period.

You want more people to buy tickets to your latest show? Be a pal and make it easy for them to find it, and then track the conversions (amount of people who bought a ticket) in Google Analytics. People aren’t converting? Either your product needs to be improved, or the way you are positioning it does.

How many people are talking about you on social platforms? With Twitter that’s pretty easy to measure - a lot of the information shared on there is public, and you can measure a great deal of it with tools such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Topsy and Sprout Social.

Track mentions of your product, and track mentions of products related to yours. Anybody in your area fancy a bagel? Well, why don’t they come and have a try of one of yours! Find them, because they are talking about you. And you can be granular.

With Facebook, it’s a little trickier. Whilst a lot of information is available publicly, the way that it is measured is down to the privacy settings of the users, and the quality of the insight-scraping is scrappy at best.

In the coming weeks I'm going to share with you the social measurement and management tools that I use on a regular basis, and give each a fair, unvarnished review. I hope it'll help.

I'll be back with a handy review of Sprout Social next Tuesday - hope you can join me!

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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Social Media Reporting: What you should be measuring

Social Media Measurement

How do you measure your social media goals?

Do you measure them at all? 

You should be, because your competitors probably are. It's important because if you ever want to become a market leader in your given field - whether it's a B2B crane business, or a radio station, you need to know if you are growing, and being successful at what you do.

But first things first. You cannot become a market leader IN social media. So stop chasing the big numbers because they are sexy. Stop coveting the followings of Nike, Lady Gaga and Barack Obama - the realistic numbers may be much, much smaller for you, but they can be as effective in terms of scale. I could show you a page or account with sixty or seventy members which has a better engagement rate (fans vs % of fans talking about that brand) than any of the giant brands mentioned above.

But those small numbers aren't very sexy, are they? Well, there's a reason for that: numbers aren't sexy, silly. Stop focusing on the numbers, and focus on how social can help you achieve your business goals.

These are the questions that you should be asking yourself when it comes to finding out what to measure on a social platform. I've dropped a few handy prompts in to get you thinking. A full-blown social strategy will take time and effort - and probably a whole book to explain the nuances of. But I hope these questions will start to get you thinking about what to measure and benchmark to enable you to grow.

Social measurement questions: 

  1. What would you classify as a successful business in your field?
  2. What are your business goals?
  3. How can social media help you achieve those goals?

    REMEMBER: Social media is first and foremost a communication platform. One that you use to communicate with friends, family and people that you share interests with on a daily basis. You're going to want to talk to your customers, aren't you? Well, here's your opportunity!

    Conversations exist for a number of reasons, but never forget that there is a transactional action inherent in all of them. But to increase the likelihood of the transaction that you want to take place happening, you must first build your influence with that person. Think of it like this: if a stranger asked me to empty their dishwasher, I'd tell them to do one. On the other hand, if my girlfriend, mum, dad or nan asked me to, I'd do it in a shot - because I have a connection with them. As a brand, you are never going to have that sort of affinity with your audience - but it still doesn't stop you from having a positive connection with them. Work towards that.

  4. Which top level stats should I be measuring?

    Conversation and conversion. Initially conversation. Retweets, @replies, comments, likes (of your content, not simply your page) and +1's on the relevant platforms

    The amount that you talk with your audience is incredibly important when you first start out. You can hand out flyers, put a sticker up on your door or send out a mail-out pointing them towards your social site. But that all means nothing if once they get there it's just an empty space. Invest some time and energy into making your social spaces as rich as you would do your own surroundings. It can make the difference between somebody remembering your brand as one that gives a shit, or one that does.

  5. What qualifies as success?

    Remember, this is where the bottom line of your business comes in. If you run a coffee shop, are you noticing the same faces coming back in day after day to order? Are they the people who you are reaching out to with social?

    If you are an eCommerce platform or site, how many of your referrals are coming through to your site from social sources? And how long are these users spending on your site?

    I've carried out research across core brand websites in my business (Real Radio, Smooth Radio and Real Radio XS), and I found that whilst our social referrals are traditionally lower than standard direct links or SEO activity, they are of a higher value. In fact, they visit twice as many pages, and spend twice as long on the site per visit. So our social audience are some our most loyal visitors and listeners. We value them highly, as you should with your special customers.

    If you are a B2B business selling cranes - then how many trade journalists are writing about you? How many people are talking about relevant subjects to your business on your LinkedIn group? Just because you are in the construction industry doesn't mean that you don't have advocates. Be an authority, empower your advocates, because in the world of B2B more now than ever, a small hat-tip in the right direction can make all the difference.
So, to sum all of these questions up, if you would really like to know what you should start with measuring socially with your business, I would recommend the following:

1. Conversation

2. Reach

3. Referrals

4. Impact on business goals

But most importantly of all, when you are sat around having a conversation with this community you have fostered, remember that for all of the measurements that you are taking and the money you could be making, that these are the people that matter. Your advocates on social matter.

Because they are special. They are valuable. They are what is keeping the lights on where you work. And don't you forget it.

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Sunday, 4 November 2012

Edgerank has changed again? Then stop being lazy and deal with it!

Crying Child

There’s been more than a bit of coverage over the past few weeks about how Facebook, in light of their IPO a few months ago, are altering Edgerank for brands to reduce the amount of paid exposure you are getting in a user's newsfeed.

But what’s the actual motivation behind the gripes? I’ll tell you what they are from a community managers point of view - and I think you’ll find it unpalatable.

It’s because Community Managers don’t want to have to work any harder. And that’s a shitty attitude to take.

My gut feeling about the changes when I first heard of them was ‘great, now I have to go to my higher-uppers and stakeholders, and tell them that the reason they aren’t getting as much reach is because they aren’t spending enough money.’ Bit selfish? Yes. It is. I gave myself a slap.

It’s the kind of flat-earth, ‘don’t want to know’ attitude that we are supposed to be fighting.

Facebook, like Google, is entitled to monetise access to it’s core proposition - it’s massive user base. They have bills to pay and lights to keep on, and innovations to drive on their platform.

They are not a public service, they are a business built on monetising users details.

You are not entitled to completely free marketing from Facebook. And somebody following your brand isn’t going to lose any sleep if they see less of your updates in their news feed if their only interaction with them has been by getting them to click ‘Like’ on your page in exchange for some goodies.

As a user, my newsfeed is starting to resemble the floor of a trade show, rather than a place where my friends hang out when they are at work and share stuff. It bores the arse off of me. And I am a Community Manager.

There are currently too many branded messages in news feeds. But my friends are there, (and their friends, and so on) and I don’t want to move to a network where I might not be able to keep up with them.

Facebook know this, but they also know that a user’s patience is finite. They’ve learnt from Myspace’s mistakes.

And I’m glad they have. I agree with this latest move. Want to even the balance? Then it’s down to you to produce better content.

If you want an ad-free equivalent to Facebook? Try Diaspora (open source goodness) or Google+ (for now). But don’t count on many of your friends being there for the time being.

You are on Facebook. Your friends are on Facebook. Brands want to be on Facebook and reach you and your friends. And that’s why Facebook are monetising your newsfeed.