Determining Your True Social Competitors

When we talk about conducting a competitive analysis on your various social channels, you’d be surprised how often we get this question: But who are my competitors on social media?

Your brand might know who it’s competing with when it comes to local brick-and-mortar sales, but it’s harder to tell on the open terrain of social media – unless you’re being diligent about discovering how people are searching for content, products, and services in your field, and who they’re finding.

The good news is, it’s simpler than you think. The bad news is, you’ll kick yourself that you’re just getting started now.

Step 1 – Search Engine Research.
First, let’s do a little search engine work. Open an incognito browser window – one that’s not trained to come up with search results that you personally are likely to click on.

One by one, search for the top 5 search terms you want people to associate with your brand. For instance, for Simply Measured, I might choose “Best social media measurement tool.”

Record all the brands mentioned on the first page of the Google search for each word/term. Be sure to include sites/brands mentioned in news articles and blog posts that come up on that first page, too.

Step 2 – Share Of Voice Analysis.
Keep the brands you’ve found nested under the search terms by which you found them – so, around five categories in all.

Then, compare the brands from each category to find out who’s seeing the highest relative volume of mentions across all social channels for each category.
Relative Volume By Term
Now you’ll have a good idea of where your competitors stand in each category.

Step 3 – Competitive Analysis.
Take the top brand from each category and run a competitive report between all those brands for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Now is the time when you get to choose which competitive stats you’re most interested in.

Is it follower count?

Twitter Comparison - Total Followers

Is it engagement on brand posts?

Fan Page Comparison

Do you want to take everything in at once?

Competitor Leaderboard

Add your own brand into the mix for the competitive report, since it’ll be nice to see where you stack up next to your competitors. The results are often surprising.

Now you know where you stand!

As a wise man once said, “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.” Get your trunks and bikinis on and know exactly what lies in wait for you on the ocean floor with social measurement that works, works quick, and works easy. Knowing who your competitors are allows for better business decisions and, more specifically, better decisions on social. What else can social measurement show you about your competitors? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Lucy Hitz, Simply Measured


5 Tips for Improving Your Social Media ROI

Almost 90% of marketers want to know how to measure social media ROI, and yet calculating the social ROI still remains elusive to many companies. It’s true that it’s difficult to put a number on a “like” or “comment” or this thing we call engagement. And yet, engagement is the name of the game for social media. If you’re not engaging with the people following you, then really you should just delete your account now.

However as more of the buying cycle falls into the laps of marketers, we are increasingly being asked to prove the ROI of our efforts. So just how do we measure what we’re doing on social? Unfortunately the fact is that not everything related to social media is quantifiable. However, when you start to track what you’re doing on social, you’re able to get a much clearer picture of your ROI.

Here are a few tips to follow when developing a strategy to calculate the ROI of your social media efforts:

  1. Align with the goals of your business. Are you a new start-up and trying to build brand awareness and/or establish yourselves as thought leaders? Do you need to field a lot of customer service questions and complaints? Are you trying to establish a community through a social network? Do you want to use social to capture new leads? Simply put, don’t create a Facebook page just to say you’re on Facebook, but go where your audience is.
  2. Define relevant metrics. Once you’ve decided which business metrics matter most to your organization, you then need to figure out which metrics are viable and reportable. For thought leadership, maybe it’s reach and impressions across the web. For customer service, maybe it’s response time, and sentiment.
  3. Align again! Now that you have your goals and metrics, it’s time to establish a publishing schedule based on your content calendar. See what campaigns are coming down the pipeline. Sync with your PR team to see what announcements are being made and what publications they are working with. Talk with your events teams so you know what webinars and conferences you have coming up that you can drive people to.
  4. Social + Marketing automation = ROI! Track all your URLs. Create unique links within your system platform to be able to see which social networks are bringing in traffic and downloads. Connecting these systems helps your tools work a whole lot smarter so that you aren’t necessarily working harder.
  5. Nurture and build. Once you’ve captured data on the people you’ve brought in from social in your Marketing automation system, you can then put them into a nurture campaign and track what other interactions you’re having with them. From there you can score that lead and potentially pass it on to your sales team.

Social media is really about building relationships, and it’s important that among all the tools and processes you put in place, to always have a human touch.


A Lesson in SEO

This past week we’ve gotten a crash course on vital SEO-lingo, learned the power of online video viral marketing, and rode Facebook’s IPO hype-wave as it came crashing back down.

SEO 101

A lot of businesses know they should be optimizing their websites as part of their comprehensive marketing strategy; however, some might not be familiar with how terms like “anchor text” or “meta keywords” play a part in the overall web-marketing big picture. Fortunately, SEO (search engine optimization) is not as scary as it seems and being able to recognize basic SEO lingo will not only help your company’s web-marketing strategy in the long run, but also help you impress your boss at the next team meeting:

SEO Lingo Defined via Search Engine Journal

Going Viral

The folks over at Mashable posted a online video viral marketing piece this week about a California political campaign’s satirical video against Big Tobacco. With over 200,000 views and 300 “likes”, the video highlights just how far viral marketing campaigns on social media sites like Youtube and Facebook can go in getting your organization’s message out. Every hit your video gets equals traffic and possible revenue for your site, as well as tons of free publicity. Check out the video below:

California Supports Big Tobacco [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

IPO Woes

Dominating the tech-social media sphere these past weeks has been, of course, Facebook’s much hyped IPO, which debuted on the(?) NASDAQ last week. After a week-long teeter-totter ride, shares are under $30 as of Tuesday this week – and claims against the social media giant have already mounted as high as $100 million.

CNBC: Facebook Social Offering IPO Losses

Find out more about current trends and techniques in online marketing, SEO and online video marketing for your business or organization, by connecting with Fulcrum Marketing Group in Washington DC today.

Creating Social Media Policies and Guidelines for Your Organization

Networks like Twitter and Facebook bring up many issues for organizations related to confidentiality, privacy policies, reduced productivity and the blur between personal and professional usage. This is why creating Social Media Policies and Guidelines for your organization is so important.

Your social media strategy should be a “line item” in your overall marketing strategy. Think of it as an additional marketing and communications channel. But, don’t dive into until you figure out how it fits into your corporate strategy and corporate culture. One key component of this – as with all of your other marketing activities – is to create policies and guidelines to support its growth and adoption.

When preparing this blog post, I did some additional research to see what others in the industry are doing from a Social Media Policy perspective. I found this incredibly informative video in which the SAS Social Media Manager, Dave Thomas discusses his company’s journey.

In this video, Thomas discusses:

  • How to get started?
  • Why to have a social media policy?
  • Who should write the policy?
  • What makes a robust social media policy?

Creating Social Media Policies and Guidelines

We’ve been asked by several clients to help them develop an overall social media strategy and also guidance on social media policies. Over the next couple of weeks we will delve more into this topic.

I think this video is a great primer on why it is so important and where to begin. SAS is ranked among Forbes Top 50 Companies to Work For and is also a Fortune 100 company … taking a page out of their playbook is a strategic move for organizations of any size.

Knowing Your Customer is so Important

Knowing your customer is so important … that sounds like a no-brainer right? Well, I have run into so many businesses that just don’t take this to heart – both large and small companies! While you may have thousands of names and contact information to keep track of, your clients only has one – YOURS!

Just today I received a “Pull-Ups News” email from leading manufacturer Kimberly-Clark Corporation. I have to tell you that my kids haven’t been in Huggies Diapers or Pull-Ups for at least ten years. I have actually unsubscribed from this eNewsletter several times over the past ten years too. And, to no-avail … they keep sending me that eNewsletter.

I do recall filling out an online registration form when my first child was born – so I could earn Huggies Points. The Huggies Points promotion was great, but before baby number two was into Pull-Ups, the promotion was all over. Between that time, Kimberly Clark had collected enough information about me to know how many children I had, their ages, their sexes and where they were in the potty-training cycle. You’d think they would know when to stop sending me “Pull-Ups News.”

We have to leverage every customer we have in order to keep our business going and growing. Meeting your customer’s needs is important, but knowing them and what they need is essential. You need to know your customer and what their needs are pertaining to your business as well as they do. People find comfort in buying a product from someone they know and trust … and who knows them!

If Kimberly Clark knew their database, their eNewsletters wouldn’t be landing in my inbox and reminding me of what bad marketers they are!