Social Selling: The Internal Pitch

CMOGuess where I have been lately? I have been talking to some of our senior leadership about building a stronger social selling practice at AT&T. While this may seem natural enough to some of you, others who have tried to have these conversations realize how difficult it is to get the ear of the corner office. Seminars and entire workshops have been devoted to demystifying how to get traction in the corner offices around Social. Here are three things that I did that seemed to work.

1. Use the power of social to get their ear
Instead of sending an email to the CEO or beseeching their admin to give you a few minutes on the calendar, try a Social approach. I connected with my executives via LinkedIn and then reached out to them via that medium. A sure way to get an affirmative to your connection request is to pay attention to your profile. Make sure it screams success and professionalism.
Once I connected, I made sure I posted blogs and postings around my ideas that they might see. I then sent a direct message asking if they wanted to see some of the posts around successes I was having using Social to sell. In a college logic class I learned the word “Tautology”. It refers to something that is true in every case because it is just, well…true! By exciting my own executives using a Social plan, I was showing them exactly how I excited our customers about our products and services using the same approach.

2. Don’t say social
Once I had my foot cracked into the large oak doors, I was careful to speak about my successes in terms of what I did to succeed, not what Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube did for me. I think we often make the mistake of trying to arouse interest around Social channels based on the size of their viewership instead of concentrating on what novel ways we can position our messages with real customers using those channels. Every executive has heard of Social Media. Every executive likely has an actionable plan around it even if that plan is moving at glacial speed and is not addressing the issues. One sure way to have your plan dismissed is by having it compete with an existing plan. I couched my ideas as a new way to reach customers that happened to take advantage of Social channels.

3. Prove your case and make a direct ask
My final point is some “Executive 101” that a mentor of mine helped me with before I went in front of my executive with the big ask. There must be some empirical evidence that makes you think your plan will succeed. Bring that out first. Tell the story and fill in the details on what happened and how the success happened. Use that success to make a big ask. Do you need budget? Resources? Support? The ear of another executive? Get to that request in the first 5 minutes and directly ask for it. This is what I did and the answer was a simple, ‘yes.’

Social media is a brave new world that is on the mind of corporate executives everywhere. By demonstrating the power of Social, couching your ideas for what they are and not as simply adoption of Social channels for their own sake, and getting to your point quickly, there is a high probability you will being hearing ‘yes’ too.

Unleashing the Power of Marketing + Sales with Social Media

Recently, I was working on an innovative social media idea that our sales team thought could really drive new sales. I was directed to get in touch with our Marketing contacts to collaborate and coordinate a speedy implementation. I have to admit, marketing is light-years ahead of Sales when it comes to using social, so I was excited to talk to the marketing team to get their input. But I got confused as I began to navigate the various ways we were marketing to customers: print, digital and paid SEO.  More worrying was the fact that some of the marketing initiatives I was totally unaware of as a sales person. Furthermore, some of the campaign pieces missed what I thought the main drivers were with my customers for the services we sold.

For me this underlined a gap and the need for sales and marketing to get in better synch with one another.

To date I have posted about what the sales teams need to do to come up to speed on social and the potential advantages with clients. Instead, in this post, I would like to explore how marketing teams might bridge the gap with their sales partners.

1. Seek sales input

While marketing directives should rightly come from the strategy teams, it is important to ask the sales channels how to best reach their business clients. Sales can provide insights on which channels their customers are using to find information and thought-leadership. Also, by asking for input from sales a willing partner is made. Sales will be much more like to assist in the success of the campaign if they are included in the project development phase.

2. Make sales ambassadors of the message

Exceptional social marketing campaigns cannot escape the eyes of anyone. Unfortunately, they come along infrequently. More often, thousands of dollars are spent developing a content that sales does not use or leverage with customers. Sales teams are not avoiding using tha content, they are often just unaware. I recommend considering the sales force a key target market for any marketing message. Consider how to use social media and traditional methods to put the campaign message in front of the sales teams. By helping them internalize the message, they will help to spread it. Email blasts to the sales force are rarely successful and nothing takes the place of engaging content. Sales people are extremely prone to learning and retelling stories. If marketing helps the sales team to learn the story they want told, word of mouth will move that message to clients and prospects.

3. Work with social savvy sales partners

Every organization is going to have a few social savvy sales people. Seek them out and build a team to help push messages through their social networks. We have developed this at my company. Each week the marketing team sends out a note with examples of messages and content that is pre-packaged and easily sharable. While it may be hard to quantify the impact of doing this, the cost and time required is minimal and it drives sales teams to engage with marketing messages. Furthermore, it keeps dialog and communications open between the teams which can drive future collaboration and understanding.

Have you seen this dynamic between sales and marketing at your company? What is your marketing team doing to stay aligned with sales channels in the B2B space?

Acquiring Customers Using Branded Content

The great news is that we’re seeing many more hilarious and effective videos as marketers are looking to branded content to generate awareness (and possibly sales) for their new products and services.  While there is no guaranteed formula to reach your target audience, it’s often a combination of tone, timing and luck.  The most effective examples of acquiring customers using branded content are short and sweet videos that achieve the right balance of light tone, edgy humor and product information.

Here are two of Savvy Marketing’s favorites and one sort of, well, see for yourself.

Ship My Pants

This video from Kmart generated 13 million views since launching on You Tube.  Thanks and hat tip to the always informed ViralBlog.com for highlighting this 30 second spot as part of ViralFriday.

Dollar Shave Club Video

This classic 1:30 minute spot, created by CEO and Upright Citizen’s Brigade alum Mike Dubin, generated 10 million views and 12,000 orders within 48 hours.

Dove Real Beauty

Dove’s focus on real beauty is authentic and amazing, so I want to love everything that they produce.  However, in this video, women describe themselves to FBI-trained forensic artist, who then creates composite sketches.  It’s pretty long at around 3 minutes and feels forced and heavy, especially compared to some of Dove’s past campaigns.   That said, it’s certainly popular; this video has already gotten 27 million views in 10 days.

B2B Social Selling as easy as 1,2,3

twitter logo map 09

Is your Brand on Twitter? (Photo credit: The Next Web)

When I tell sales teams about the multi-million dollar deal I closed thanks to social selling it gets their attention. Up to that point, I get a lot of disinterested looks when I discuss engaging personally with clients and companies through social platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter.  Yes, I even get some eyeball rolling.  However, salespeople are capable of intently listening when money is at stake.  But just in case, I keep it easy for them by telling them the method for engagement is as easy as 1,2,3.

Step One: Build Persona

Many salespeople have larger than life personas to begin with, but when you look at them through the lens of their social sites they often don’t stand out as someone you would want to engage with. This is because they don’t rely on social media to communicate with their audience. Of all the business functions, salespeople rely on their in-person skills the most.  They enjoy one-on-one time with people.  Talking on the phone and conversing in writing are a distant second and third for salespeople.

So, I coach our sales teams to spruce up their on-line image as a first step. In doing so I tell them to be real, be credible and be alive. The first order of business is getting a good head-shot loaded onto Linked, Twitter, etc. It may cost money to get a decent picture, but a shot of you and Mickey Mouse from last year’s Disney vacation with the kids does not help at all.

Secondly, in addition to work experience,  I tell them to make sure to share something personal in their bio section that gives people a hint that they are flesh and blood. Telling people about your love of birding or old movies brings you to life in a way that no amount of documented awards and recognition can. Finally, I tell the teams they need to be ready to be consistently active on these social sites, but more on that in step 3.

Step Two: Get Connected

A beautiful profile on social media means very little if  you do not have an audience.   My tactics are simple and genuine to build a network full of real and like-minded people who you actually enjoy interacting with.  In LinkedIn I recommend first researching people of interest at your customer, in your industry and at  your employer. Then (and here comes the shocker!) DON’T ask to connect!  Instead, see what groups they belong to and join those groups.  Now you are not only unobtrusively attached to the people you want to converse with, but also with potentially thousands of their friends and associates.   Twitter is a bit more sublime, but the general idea is the same.  I suggest following people of interest and paying close attention to their activity.  My other tip is to grow slowly in Twitter.  Sure,  you can buy thousands of followers on Twitter, but what is the point? Again, the purpose of a network is to interact with each other and share ideas. Buying a group of friends has never worked and never will.

Step Three: Take Action

Now that you have a great profile and are connected to a receptive audience it is time to mingle.  Starting out with ‘likes’ on LinkedIn group content and ‘retweets’ in Twitter is a good baby step. The next step is replying and adding to the posts with your own ideas. The final step is posting your own content or finding interesting content for the group and post it. Note, this does not mean posting headlines from the Wall Street Journal! Everyone has seen that, try posting an article from a smaller journal or an article that puts a new spin on the front page news. The best kind of content is helpful insight that praises existing works or calls the reader to action to change how they are doing things today. This idea resonates well with sales people, because these are typical starting points for sales discussions.  Once you have been part of the dialog in a group or conversed with someone on Twitter, it is ok to ask for more from the relationship.  If the sales person takes her time and proves herself to be a thought-leader, clients are much more receptive to taking a meeting or giving an introduction to the proper budget owner.

Let me know what you think?  It may seem simplistic, but do you agree that many in B2B sales are missing these steps?  Would some training in going social help your sales team modernize and become more productive?  Reach out to the great staff at Savvy with more questions and ideas.

Social Media in a Time of Crisis

In times of crisis, increasing amounts of people worldwide utilize social media as an outlet. Social media gives millions of users real-time access to information, helps them communicate with loved ones, and keeps them as informed as possible.  However, it can also evoke widespread fear.  With such quick access to information, media outlets have less time to confirm critical facts and consider the consequences of widespread distribution.  In this blog post, I highlight social media sentiment in response to the Boston Marathon massacre, in which it played a critical role.

News breaks. Authorities and first responders used Twitter to relay real-time updates. The Boston police department confirmed the explosion in a tweet at 3:39 p.m. ET and continued to send information via tweets throughout the day. People in the area reported losing mobile service after the explosions. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency sent a tweet telling people to try to use text messaging instead. Twitter users retweet AP, Boston Globe, CNN and other trusted sources. News quickly became viral.

Next, details start to leak. Runners post bloody, graphic images of Boston Marathon injuries. Similarly, runners also post video on Vine to show action shots of the blast. At this point, do a simple hash tag search of #Boston and you can find all of the information you need, in real time, on Twitter.

In response to the horrific images and video capturing the event, people around the world expressed their emotions. Most sentiment included shock and sorrow, sending prayers and love to everyone at the marathon. Others shared information on how to help and donate blood.

runkeeper tweeted nortonben affleckmarky mark tweetred cross bloodGinion Tweet first responders

On the flip side, people also used Facebook and Twitter as a way to vent feelings of anger. Runners expressed horror and fear. Others shamed news outlets for posting such gruesome photos of the event.

britt pocono runduti tweet runenrsdennis carey saudi tweetfeej gory photos

After emotional reactions were expressed, people began to ask: “who is responsible?” We want justice. We want closure.

obama tweets

But it’s not enough. A Saudi national was brought in for questioning. The New York Post reported that the man’s apartment was searched. However, it’s unclear as to what, if anything was found. Was this to calm the public? Some called bullshit and accused authorities of racial profiling. Today, the Saudi national was cleared of suspicion, according to Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper.

Furthermore, the demand for instant gratification and by-the-second updated news on Twitter is creating an unsettling margin of error in reporting. Since the time of the incident, many unconfirmed reports are being treated as gospel. What’s worse? Confusion abounds this afternoon around the Boston Marathon bombing case after multiple news outlets reported that a suspect was identified and either taken into custody or arrested.

According to New York Magazine: The Associated Press said a person was “in custody, expected in federal court,” while CNN and Fox News reported that an arrest was made, based on video images of the bombing site. NBC and CBS both reported that no arrest has been made, and CNN has since softened its once-definitive reporting. “Despite reports to the contrary there has not been an arrest in the Marathon attack,” the Boston Police Department said.

Reporting on breaking tragedies is about much more than simply informing the world what’s going on. It’s about helping people in dire need. That’s where Google’s Person Finder comes in, a project that lets people search for or provide information on those involved in a tragedy. Hence, it proved to be a remarkable tool in helping runners find loved ones.

Similarly, The Boston Globe created a Google form where Boston residents could offer their home to people from out of town who need a place to stay. Runkeeper and TIME helped Bostonians find places to donate blood.

Tell us: Do you think social media has been a savior in a time of crisis? Or are there too many inconsistencies in Tweets coming from the worlds most trusted news sources? Your opinions on this matter are highly valued. We highly encourage your comments below. 

3 Perspectives on Paywalls

English: A speech in The New York Times newsro...

Writers creating content worthy of a paywall.

The good news is that paywalls are actually working well for publications with considerable scale like the Wall Street Journal, The Economist and The New York Times (NYT).  At the NYT, digital subscriptions will generate $91 million for the paper in 2012 according to Douglas Arthur, an analyst with Evercore Partners. The paywall, by his estimate, will account for 12 percent of total subscription sales, which will top $768.3 million in 2013. Even more encouraging is that digital subscriptions generated $52.8 million more than advertising.

The growth in digital subscriptions represents a new version of the NYT’s business model that evolved from the traditional 80-20 ratio between ads and circulation.  Further, the business model is still growing; subscription sales are increasing faster than ad dollars are declining. During the 12 months after the paywall was implemented, the Times and the International Herald Tribune increased circulation dollars 7.1 percent compared with the previous 12-month period, while advertising fell 3.7 percent. Subscription sales more than compensated for the ad losses, surpassing them by $19.2 million in the first year they started charging readers online.

The Guardian is taking a more nuanced approach, according to Andrew Miller, CEO of the Guardian Media Group:

In some news organisations where growth in readership may not be so important and in particular where there is a strong existing print subscriber base to build on, a pure paywall may make excellent business sense. The Economist and perhaps the Times spring to mind here. It also makes sense in other publications which feature business-critical information – for example, the Financial Times and, in the Australian context, the AFR.

At the Guardian we will continue to look at, monitor and offer a blend of options, including paywalls, depending on the product we are offering. But at the same time we have to recognise that digital advertising is not yet able to fill the substantial gap between any paywall revenues and the cost of the operation — not least because advertising agencies have not yet fully aligned their spend with changing patterns in media consumption.

But how to get from where we are today to where we need to be?  The main thrust of our strategy is to invest in our digital audience and revenue growth, while optimising the newspaper’s contribution in terms of both format and pricing and, crucially, managing our cost base to a level that is sustainable in the long term

My guess is that the Guardian’s audience will pay a premium for clips from The Premier League, which could put the whole publication in the black.

While this is great for large, global publications with scale, the question remains how to apply paywalls to smaller niche publications like The New Republic.    The New Republic’s marketing combines an eager softsell with some sticky features: the website has a strong call to actions, with reminders in bright red and the option to signup versus subscribe.

After signing up, you get a charming note from EIC and Publisher Chris Hughes:

Dear friend of The New Republic,

At The New Republic we believe that our democracy needs thriving and serious journalism about politics, culture, and ideas to function well. Tailored for curious, socially aware people like you, The New Republic embodies these journalistic ideals by going deeper than the headlines in a timely, unbiased fashion.

The way we all read and consume content changes every day. In an age of unprecedented technological change, we look to find new ways to help our readers engage with our content in print, on the web, and on mobile. We place less emphasis on generating clicks or superficial page views and more on making it as easy and pleasurable to read, engage, and interact with our content and ideas, wherever you may be.

To get the most out of your New Republic experience please:
Sign up for The New Republic Daily
Follow us on Twitter
Become a fan on Facebook

Thank you again for being a part of this.

Sincerely,

Chris Hughes
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

P.S. Subscribers get access to 20 print issues, unlimited digital access, and tablet versions of our magazine for only $34.97/year. Become a subscriber today.

Today, The New Republic boasts less than 75,000 subscribers, down from it’s peak of 102,392 in 1993 according to the Alliance for Audited Media.  The magazine stopped auditing circulation in 2005.  Unsurprisingly, the magazine’s social media presence is very compelling and should drive a fair amount of referral traffic to the site.  However, it’s unclear what type of conversion rates they’re seeing and if digital subscriptions will increase substantially.

3 Tactics for B2B Selling in the Social Media Era

The Lake Superior Whitefish made the customers smile (in 1994)

The Lake Superior Whitefish made the customers smile (in 1994)

Have you ever wondered how to use social media with your sales force in business to business selling?

While much has been written about selling to consumers using social media, far less has been said about how to sell to businesses, particularly Fortune 500’s, using social media. One of the main reasons is that Sales departments and salespeople seem to be stuck in their familiar ways. They operate much the way they did 25 years ago with only minor differences: Now we have email and PDF’s instead of letters and the US Postal Service…we are not talking huge leaps in modus operandi here!

I still remember my first business lunch at the windowless Berghoff Restaurant in downtown Chicago. My boss, told me to invite the CFO of a manufacturing client who was on the cusp of buying a new voice mail system from us. After a nice lunch of Lake Superior Whitefish, I handed him one of my firm’s brochures on phone systems. He looked at it for a minute or so before agreeing that he should also ask my company to supply a bid for replacing their antiquated phones. I thought to myself, “I love sales!” And so it went for many years and many fine meals. But I think there is a huge change taking place in B2B selling…a change that not everyone is noticing or capitalizing on.

Has your business been wrestling with how to best use social media in B2B selling? In my role at AT&T, I have been working with our sales segments to modernize how we interact with our customers. Specifically, we are discussing how to train our sales force on how to use their personal brands. Here are a few of the ideas we are working on:

1. Social sharing is the new brochure.

Sharing content with customers via a social network is rapidly taking the place of using marketing collateral and even prospect-generating presentations. No buyer has time for all the emails and meetings anymore. They are stretched very thin and time is precious. However, they still become enamoured with the firms and individuals who help them get their jobs done. Reaching these buyers via the public social media they subscribe to is an obvious answer. But just reaching them is not enough either. Sharing useful content is equally important. Here is how it works. A saleswoman who sells Cloud Solutions shares with her network an independent survey about how similar sized companies are adopting Cloud Solutions. On his lunch break, an IT director of one of her customers reads the posting and prints it to use in a meeting with the CIO that afternoon. Once a Cloud strategy is agreed upon that salesperson will be called first. Possibly she will be contacted via the social media she posted on as the buyer associates her with the informative article she placed there.

2. Create influence.

It was said on a Hootsuite/LinkedIn webinar I attended that on average 60% of the buying cycle is completed before a salesperson is even contacted. The vendors who helped form opinions and influenced the buyers were big winners. Other vendors who waited to get on the golf links with the same buyers lost out. One big reason is that buyers have become impervious to email and phone calls. Yet, these buyers still have networks they rely on to form opinions about vendors and technologies. Furthermore, in my industry, IT purchasing is becoming more decentralized. Getting introduced to new department heads who hold budget can be tricky. In both instances the strategy is the same for the sales team: post interesting and usable content and search for, follow and interact with customers on the social sites.

3. Connect with the social media literate today.

There is still a window to very personally connect with executives and vice presidents who are embracing social media at our customers today. These opportunities will close as more and more is done via social media. Striking up an on-line conversation has become the best way to build a relationship. In fact, it is now much easier to do that than trying to create one at a lunch appointment that keeps getting postponed due to workload.

What other tactics are working for your business as you try to modernize B2B selling using social? Why do you think it is taking so long for B2B sales to embrace social media?

How to Develop a Killer Social Media Content Calendar

film script cal

Drafting a killer social media content calendar is definitely time consuming. (If you want successful results) The important part is spending time more time focusing on big picture ideas and less time on formatting. Many social media managers struggle to get started on a content calendar because they worry about how it should look off the bat.

Step 1: Brainstorming ideas

Step away from your computer and find somewhere quiet with no distractions. All you need is a pen and paper. Begin by writing down every single idea that comes to your mind so that you don’t forget anything. These ideas do not have to be in ANY order; just keep writing until your brain hits a brick wall.

Does your notepad look like a schizophrenic mess? Excellent. You’re on the right track. Now it’s time to go back to your computer. Print out a blank calendar template that you can jot down ideas into specific dates. Begin to organize your ideas. Start researching upcoming holidays (official and unofficial) and events relevant to the brand’s industry. How will you engage your community around these events? What type of content should be created to activate your audience? How will you develop viral content around an event to position brand from competition? Which social channels will you utilize?

Different brands will obviously cater to different audiences. As a result, the content calendar should be highly targeted.  See below for an example of a social media content calendar for a celebrity gossip website.

September 2012 Social Media Calendar

Step 2: Developing Themes

When I was a social media for a celebrity gossip website, I researched anything and everything that is relevant to pop culture. For example, upcoming holidays, TV and movie premieres, celebrity birthdays, fashion and beauty trends, music, etc. From there, I developed social media franchises around each campaign. Let’s use the month of March for example.  Beginning my brainstorming list of March themes, I’ve included: Spring, rainbow, colors, St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Passover, March Madness, Spring fashion, TV premieres, etc.  From there, I developed a list of topics and questions to ask around each theme.  So far, I know I will be developing Pinterest boards around Spring fashion, emerald green accessories and Easter and Passover recipes. Furthermore, for Twitter, I’ve drafted a list of questions with dedicated hash tags that will drive conversation around all of my themes. On a daily basis, I am aware of the trending topics on Twitter and make sure to utilize dedicated hash tags to categorize and extend my reach. Similarly, I am retweeting and re-pinning influencer content to develop credibility.

Step 3: Ideating Campaigns, Promotions & Giveaways

Giveaways and promotions are an excellent way to encourage user generated content, brand advocacy and expanding social communities. As such, reach out to third party agency contacts to pitch ideas for a giveaway. Why partner? Most likely, you will have little to no money for a social media budget.  After all, if you can execute a successful campaign strategy that is 100% organic, think of the results you could produce if you had a budget!  Once you’ve secured a win-win agreement and swag for my giveaway, you can start planning the promotional strategy. When the vision, copy, timing, rules and messaging are established, run the idea past legal for approval. Once approved, collaborate with the production team to develop powerful promotional images for collateral.

Live Q&As and Google + Hangouts

Two more pieces of content to consider:  A live Q&A session with an industry leader hosted on a brand’s Facebook or Twitter page is a great way to increase engagement and followers.  Furthermore, Google + Hangouts can help your brand grow by:

  • Increasing SEO
  • Driving engagement
  • Launching a new product or service
  • “How to” videos
  • Interviews
  • Internal meetings and training

Step 4: Timing and Frequency

Depending on holidays and events, some weeks will have more content than others. Likewise, it makes sense to plug a promotion or giveaway into a week that’s less busy. Similarly, if you plan to roll out a Pinterest or Instagram campaign, be mindful of how much is on your plate that week.  To avoid working around the clock, there are helpful scheduling tools. HootSuite, Bit.ly and SocialFlow are three social media analytics platforms that enable a user to schedule posts in advance on social media platforms.

Step 5: Measuring Success: Analytics Reporting

Watching the results in growth and also what is popular in content via tools such as Google Analytics will give you valuable information for future editorial ideas. In contrast, you can also measure content that was unpopular and develop a better understanding of your audience.

Step 1 in the ROI process: Calculating Acquistion Costs

The New Integration: The Traditional Funnel me...

The New Integration: The Traditional Funnel meets The Flipped Funnel (Photo credit: josephjaffe)

Dave McClure’s ‘Pirate” version of the customer life cycle: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue, is an excellent framework to use when calculating P&L contribution, payback period and ROI.  Mastering these metrics as part of the customer lifecycle enables marketers to create an optimized, easy to evolve strategy that evaluates ROIs across social media, search and direct response campaigns.

Let’s start with evaluating acquisition costs.

CPM

CPM stands for cost per 1000 impressions, which is the most common way to purchase display or banner ads.  For example, if you are purchasing ad space at a $10 CPM your ad will be shown 1000 times for $10.  To keep this simple, if your budget is $10,000 then mean your ad will be shown 1,000,000 times ($10,000 *(1000/$10)).

Total Impressions = (Total Cost or Budget) * (1000/CPM)

If you are trying to find out how much you will pay for a given number of impressions then you can use the following formula:

Total Cost = (Total Impressions * CPM)/1000)

You’re probably wondering how to translate impressions into people or how to estimate the number of clicks.  This is the right question!  However, it’s impossible to calculate this since CPM advertising is solely based on impressions.  Setting a frequency cap helps avoid the worst-case scenario of serving all the impression to one person only.

CPC

CPC stands for Cost Per Click.  In this type of advertising, you only pay for the number of clicks on your ads regardless of the number of impressions.  Google Adwords made this model popular and generally speaking, search and text advertising is sold by CPC model.

For example, if the CPC is $1.00 and your ad is shown 12,000 times but gets no clicks then you pay nothing. If you get 10 clicks on your ad then you pay $1.00X10 = $10.00.

CPC = Total Cost/Total Clicks

Total Cost = CPC * Total Clicks

Comparing CPM to CPC and vice versa

Choosing one model versus the other is really dependent on where you are in the customer life cycle.  If you are focused on driving brand awareness as a new brand or company, it makes sense to generate as many impressions as possible.  Facebook Ads is great for this: highly targeted and segmented customer base with A/B testing capabilities built in.

If you have great brand awareness already or are farther along in your customer lifecycle, CPC may make more sense.  The best approach is to compare two models to figure out where and how to spend your money effectively.  To do this, you need to convert CPM to CPC or CPC to CPM pricing.

CPM to CPC conversion

Here is a formula for doing this: CPC = ((Total Impression *CPM)/(1000 *Clicks).  Let’s take an example of a campaign that costs you $10 CPM and generates 50 clicks in 50,000 impressions.

    Formula
CPM $10 Known variable
Impressions 50,000 Known variable
Click 100 Expected or Known
Total Cost $500 Impressions * (CPM/1000)
Cost Per Click $5 Total Cost/Clicks

The above $10 CPM campaign is equivalent to a $5 CPC campaign.   The difference is that the CPC approach brings the customer to your website versus just letting them know you have one.  This means that the customer has 1) seen an ad meaning you’ve already earned revenue or 2) is one step closer to purchasing a digital subscription.  The challenge is that (click through rates) CTRs are steadily declining.

CPC to CPM conversion

Here is a formula that you can use to calculate a CPM equivalent of a CPC model:

CPM = (CPC*clicks*1000)/Total Impressions

Let’s take an example of a campaign that costs $4 per click and generates 100 clicks, resulting in a total spend of $400. Let’s say it took 50,000 impressions to generate those 100 clicks.

    Formula
CPC $4 Known variable
Clicks 100 Known variable
Total Cost $400 CPC*Clicks
Impressions 50,000 Impressions * CPM/1000
Cost per 1000 Impressions 8 Total Cost/(Total Impressions/1000)
CPM $8 Cost per 1000 Impressions

eCPM

The CPM value you get when you convert CPC into CPM is also known as eCPM (effective CPM). eCPM is also shown in Adsense reports, in that case. Total Adsense Revenue /(Impressions/1000)

How to Conduct a Social Media Audit

image for blog post

Have you ever been asked to conduct a social media audit for a client or brand? It can be tough getting started. It’s important to focus on the big picture. First, take a look at the brand’s overall web presence. Take notes on the website, campaign microsites and blogs. Also, to find the number of monthly unique visitors to the site, Compete and Quantcast are helpful measuring tools.

From there, take a look at the brand’s social presence. Which platforms is the brand utilizing or under utilizing? Does it make sense to be on all platforms? For example, while a fashion brand typically receives the majority of site referral traffic from Pinterest – that might not be the same for a pharmaceutical company.  Always put yourself in the mindset of the social platform user. For example, if I logged onto Facebook and noticed a request to “like” a tile company, I would kindly decline. Also, people log on to Twitter to be informed or entertained. As a result, blogs, news and humor handles have the largest following. Moreover, always be mindful of who the brand audience is. Similarly, take the time to understand which content is appropriate per social channel.

Content is King  & Context is Queen

Next, take a look at how many followers, likes or subscribers each social channel has. If the content is high quality, people will share it. Evaluate the brand voice. Is the brand successful in engaging each community? Furthermore, is the brand nurturing its community by addressing fan’s questions and concerns?

Key Performance Indicators

Depending on the industry of the company, there should be specific key performance indicators. Key performance indicators are vital to both reporting on investments and strategic planning in social media. Key performance can be measured in a variety of ways: referral traffic, time spent on the site, fan acquisition, engagement, content sharing, purchases, email opt-ins, downloads, etc. Once KPI’s are defined, you can then define the impact on each social goal. For example, if the goal is referral traffic, evaluate the language used in Tweets and Facebook posts. Did the brand create a call to action that would make the fan click on the link?

Additionally, if the goal of the brand is to maximize engagement on Facebook, take a look at the type of content the brand is posting. Is the brand simply sharing links – or is there a variety of content? To increase “Virality” and “People Talking About This” stats within Facebook Insights, take a look at which posts are getting the most action. You will most likely find that pictures, more than links, receive more shares and likes. Why? Because pictures play on emotions. According to Facebook, posts that include a picture generate about 120% more engagement. Other posts that drive engagement include appeals to nostalgia, humor, sex, quotes and major events. The key is to mix it up. Variety is the spice of life!

Timing, Quality and Quantity of Posts

No one ever wants to be the Facebook user who posts a million times per day. You know, the girl who thinks we all care about her dead hamster, The Bachelor finale, her bad breakup and third paper cut this week? According to EdgeRank, a post is considered dead when the growth in engagement is less than 10% of the largest growth of engagement between hourly snapshots. Furthermore, posting too frequently can be off putting. Don’t be that girl. Moral of the story: Quality > quantity. Pay attention to which times throughout the day your audience is most engaged. Every brand is different. Once you have it figured out, capitalize on it. You’ll come to notice that it’s more about “what time” than “how often.”

Conclusion

The purpose of a social media audit is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a brand’s digital presence. From there, you can address the needs and provide solutions for each social channel. With over 300 networks, it is worth focusing efforts on only the major players relevant to the brand. Finally, through analytics tools such as Google Analytics, HootSuite, Bit.ly, SocialFlow and Facebook Insights, you can measure the performance of each social campaign.

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