This post was adapted from Taddy Hall’s AdAge.com 10 Essential Rules for Brands in Social Media. Read the entire article for more strategies on developing effective, realistic social media metrics.
These days everyone seems to have advice about how to run your social media marketing program. There are so many tips floating around, it’s hard to know what truly essential strategies you should follow to effectively use social media to build your business.
Taddy Hall believes in letting the data speak.
Hall’s process was to query data from hundreds of our brand clients to see what testable truths emerged. From his data, and from what I’ve experienced with our retail clients, here’s what we found to hold up across each category, every time.
1. Build Relationships with Influences – The Top 1% of Content Curators
In category after category, our data show that a small fraction of site visitors are responsible for a substantial portion of total site traffic. On average, the percentage of influential users on a given site is 0.6% and rarely above 4%. However, these influencers regularly generate 20%-50% of total site traffic and an even higher share of conversion. To make social media marketing effective, marketers have to identify and engage — and better recognize and reward — these super-influentials.
2. A Little Martha Stewart Etiquette Goes A Long Way – Throw Your Own Party!
Don’t just cater to someone else! If you base your social campaigns in venues you don’t control — such as Facebook or YouTube — you may get great “attendance,” but data show it’s hard to convert and retain these party-goers. If your goals are anything beyond building brand awareness, it’s better to have a house of your own where friends can find you — such as your own branded social site, contest site, or customer forum.
3. The Power of “Weak Links” – A Friend of a Friend Matters!
Influentials generally do have many direct “friends” and “followers,” but what makes them truly valuable is the number and relevance of their extended or indirect connections. As Albert-Laszlo Barabasi illustrated in “Linked,” you are far more likely to find your next job through a friend-of-a-friend than through an intimate contact. These “weak links” matter in the “real world,” and they matter even more online. A critical implication for marketers is the need to track the extended social graphs of their content if they are going to be able to understand and activate the dynamics of influence.
4. The Feed the Fire Rule; Build Links and Relationships
Consumers love to share relevant, engaging, useful, and entertaining content with their friends. Make it easy for them to find your content and make it easy for them to share your content. Ninety percent of internet pages have fewer than 10 links pointing to them — making them effectively unfindable. It means actively syndicating and curating your content and distributing it not only through your brand’s social graph, but through the graphs of your most influential advocates and fans. Easy ways to do this include following/friending your influentials’ followers/friends and retweeting/posting content even if it’s not yours.
5. The 2-4X Rule; Establishing Fashion Metrics is Always In Vogue
When it comes to conversion, visitors driven to a site by influencers are to to four times more likely to convert compared to visitors from other sources, such as display advertisements or paid search. That means your landing pages for people coming from shared links and social sites should reflect these visitors’ interests and offer enticing deals that will encourage them not only to convert but to share the deals with others.
Photo Credit: Social Prism Courtesy of Brian Solis and Jess3.