Archiv für den Monat: Dezember 2020

Five strategies to promote your business using LinkedIn Stories

LinkedIn Stories example

30-second summary:

  • LinkedIn Stories feature allows you to create a video that runs no longer than 20 seconds and host it on your profile.
  • The format will help kickstart conversations and nurture the relationships that are core to everything that happens on LinkedIn.
  • These are a good way for brands to share a behind-the-scenes peek into their business‘ professional moments.
  • The feature is expected to promote business content in an area whose netizens are purely composed of professionals, thus helping users build relationships with followers.
  • The feature has been rolled out in select countries, with plans to introduce it to a new country every week or so.

Did you know that more than 500 million people watch an Instagram Story every day, and over one-third of those videos are business-related? In a fresh respite for professionals and businesses who would until now take recourse to Instagram to publicize their business, LinkedIn stories have arrived to help professionals share their on-the-fly moments. Much like Instagram Stories, the LinkedIn Stories feature allows you to create a video that runs no longer than 20 seconds and host it on your profile. Once the “story” has been uploaded, it will be accessible by people for an entire day before it goes away.

According to LinkedIn, the feature was a long time coming. Pete Davies, the head of Consumer Products at LinkedIn, was quoted remarking about the usefulness of the feature as “…stories spread for a good reason: they offer a lightweight, fun way to share an update without it having to be perfect or attached to your profile forever.”

But, first things first. Should you even use Instagram stories? More importantly, what are they, and are they any different than the mainstream story feature from other popular social networking platforms?

In a word, yes. Through LinkedIn Stories, you will have a great opportunity to demonstrate your brand from a different angle and interact with your audience in a way they’re familiar with.

What are LinkedIn Stories?

The LinkedIn Stories feature is a format that allows you to display and share specific content with your audience through an image slideshow or 20-second that is available for 24 hours before it is automatically gone. The video or the image slideshow disappears after a full day since it was posted.

This feature is, in essence, the same as the ones that exist on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, and has more or less the same functions. Users can add stickers, ask questions (AMA), place text overlays, use @mention to credit, or introduce other LinkedIn accounts.

Thus far, the LinkedIn Stories feature has been rolled out in select members and pages in the countries of the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, and Australia. Although, if you are itching to have a go at LinkedIn Stories, sit tight. According to LinkedIn, the feature will be rolled out to one new country every few weeks.

However, the talking point here really is LinkedIn’s shift stories and how emblematic it is of social media’s evolution since the inception of a certain Facebook called centralized news feed in 2006. Today, stories have become the norm, and profile users opt to share their “in the moment” experience rather than devoting themselves to a binding feed post.

stat on Instagram stories


This aligns with the fad observed with Instagram over the course of the last few years, with an increasing number of people posting more stories and fewer feeds. This was confirmed by a recent study by Later, where influencers were found to now post 33% fewer feeds than they used to in 2016.

So, what meaning does this hold for businesses?

Put simply, this feature will offer a novel, temporary way to share information with your professionally-associated followers (LinkedIn connects). And while it might feel challenging to carve a name for your brand in a bustling online space, there are a host of elements you can peruse to morph a seemingly daunting prospect into a creative new opportunity to further your business objectives.

Benefits of LinkedIn Stories

We already know that, while belonging to different channels, the stories feature is essentially the same as the last one’s. What distinguishes LinkedIn stories the primary difference (and draw) of LinkedIn Stories is the business context.

Now, rather than using the feature to share lifestyle tips with relatives and friends, brands and marketers may share their stories with peers and future prospects. This material may be highly promotional.

Studies show that stories are gradually turning into the new favorite and preferred way to access material on social media channels. However, that is not to suggest that stories will fully replace the LinkedIn feed post. But, providing the stories features offers users the ability to broaden the scope of their LinkedIn content and reach a wider target audience.

This highly offbeat style of material promotion also enables LinkedIn users to provide a deeper insight into the people behind the business. This is especially helpful for company owners, entrepreneurs, and businessmen who want to capitalize on that trust factor with prospective customers and future clients.

LinkedIn Stories offer the most powerful opportunity for interaction. In a recent study, it was revealed that as many as 25% of Instagrammers swipe up when they come across a branded post. With LinkedIn Stories, the same feature and thought process will be replicated on a channel that is completely dedicated to business networking.

However, it’s important to note that while your stories might not directly result in a sale, you are promoting your brand and creating an air of awareness about it. What’s infinitely more exciting is that this promotion will make you come across people that you can talk to directly to open the doors to better opportunities.

Take Instagram, for instance. As many as 50% of businesses over the world make at least one story every month that promotes their brand or product. And this is where the low hanging fruit becomes apparent. Armed with the right strategy, you can make use of a fantastic opportunity in the form of LinkedIn Stories to generate a buzz around your brand.

Five strategies to promote your business through LinkedIn Stories

At first sight, the stories feature, regardless of the channel it belongs to, seems like something that is entirely dedicated to the consumer: they are informal and sate the hankering for instant gratification. But, if you were to look at it a little closer, you would see how this feature can help B2B companies connect with each other on a deeper level to build engaging relationships.

If you are already familiar with the inner workings of the stories feature on other networking platforms, you won’t find it difficult to shift base to LinkedIn Stories for business-related purposes after it has been made available to everyone. Listed below are five ways you can use it for your business when the time comes.

1. Share real-time activities

LinkedIn Stories have a limited life span, making them ideal for communicating less refined, off-the-cuff material right in real-time.

Sharing real-time event updates is also a great strategy, mostly because events are a significant source of leads for many businesses, and 85% of them consider interpersonal meetings central to their marketing plan. LinkedIn Stories let your followers view excerpts of events from a first-person perspective.

From enterprise-wide announcements to award ceremonies, sharing snippets of events in the form of live stories is a tremendously useful way to showcase the goings-on at your company.

This is also an incredible way to generate an extra buzz around your brand. Consider requesting event coordinators and speakers to share short sounds of information about a new product or feature or possibly even feature a BTS look of any extra details in store!

2. Share customer testimonial stories

Irrespective of the generation you are from, the odds are that you trust people’s advice more than any other form of content marketing. This is what makes testimonials and user reviews such a powerful tool for marketing.

With the millennial generation soon climbing up the organizational ladder and becoming decision-makers, they will be searching for goods and services that have demonstrated that they can make professional work easier. They will look for vendors that have the products with the features that they desire, so filming your satisfied customers and posting a short clip on LinkedIn in the form of a story might just be the perfect way to catch their attention.

3. Share business tips and updates

Stories are the perfect way to generate demand. Your most loyal supporters are going to see your story. If you post something about your brand, tease the new features of a product, or make something exclusively available on LinkedIn, they will share it with others. Talk about word of mouth!

4. Share trending news or announcements

If you are among the privileged few brands who have gotten to use the LinkedIn Stories feature first, the chances are that you will get a massive amount of additional airtime with your LinkedIn followers.

Keeping that in mind, it may be a sensible move to use this new forum to post all your essential brand news.

5. Host corporate Q&As

Much like Instagram Stories, the stories feature on LinkedIn is the perfect way to show what goes on behind the scenes and gives you the chance to share the more humane side of your business.

By hosting a pep talk or a Q&A session on LinkedIn stories, you can show the people that make up your brand. Not only is it another great way to share your brand story, but it is also helpful when it comes to creating brand loyalty.

In order to gain more questions for your Q&A session, you can request your followers to submit questions to you in advance. This can be done either through direct messaging or via a conventional LinkedIn feed post.

The do(s) and don’t(s) of LinkedIn Stories

Begin your story strategy with a positive growth mindset. LinkedIn Stories are not simply a means of communicating; they present a powerful tool for promoting interaction, learning about your audience, and improving the business.

Do spend time building a strategy

Consider how short bits of information better suit the brand’s wider content marketing strategy.

Which kind of subjects and press do your followers enjoy? Do you produce new content only for stories or reuse them from other platforms?

Don’t spend time behind perfecting every story

Note that stories are only available for 24 hours after you publish them. Moreover, stories that appear too organized and designed sort of miss the mark. Stories are supposed to feel random, so try to have the same mentality as you do when you post Instagram or Facebook stories.

Do relate to followers

People desire real connections from businesses. Let your brand persona shine a little and share more about yourself. It’s the perfect way to strengthen your brand’s mission, vision, and values.

Don’t be too casual

It’s really easy to let go and get caught up in the moment, which could prompt you to post something regretful when you know it’s going to disappear in 24 hours. Consider creating some boundaries for your stories dedicated to your brand.


If you’re communicating job openings or are releasing a commodity, capitalizing on this latest platform to reach out to a wider audience is certainly a smart move. If Instagram Stories are anything to go by, the first adopters of this feature will put themselves ahead in the race to improved brand awareness.

Aayush Gupta is Sr. Manager, Brand & Marketing at Uplers. He likes to stay on his toes when it comes to marketing and doing things worth risk-taking. He loves traveling and exploring local cuisines. In his free time reading books with coffee is all he wants.

The post Five strategies to promote your business using LinkedIn Stories appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


What a chaotic digital media landscape means for advertisers as 2020 ends

30-second summary:

  • Between the election, a pandemic, protests against racial injustice, and an unusual holiday season, brands face no shortage of challenges communicating their messages.
  • Media buyers have been competing with a lot of noise. It has forced them to get creative and lean on the wealth of knowledge they have about consumers to create original, flashy, engaging, and attention-grabbing content that draws eyeballs.
  • Adam Ortman, director of innovation and technology at Generator Media + Analytics, offers advice for advertisers who aren’t sure how to navigate the chaos as 2020 comes to a close.

Social media companies have spent the last four years hoping and working to avoid a repeat of the 2016 election when Russian operatives used Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms to further divide an already polarized American electorate. Tech leaders like Mark Zuckerberg said their companies worked hard to prevent external actors from influencing election outcomes this year, which was welcome news in most circles. But in light of President Trump’s refusal to accept the election outcome, Zuckerberg and his peers had to use the contingency plans put in place in case users tried to use their platforms to delegitimize election results. Beyond the inherent chaos of the election, marketers in 2020 also had to be sensitive to ongoing protests against racial injustice while grappling with life — and work — during a pandemic. Oh, and then there came the holiday season. The next few months will be critical for brands trying to rebound after two consecutive quarters of stagnant consumer demand in a chaotic digital media landscape.

At least one thing is clear: The ad-buying environment is unique. How should you approach this chaotic season?

Expect obstacles

There’s always a tsunami of ad buying in the months and weeks leading up to an election, and that was certainly true this year. In almost every other respect, however, there were some significant differences at play.

There was more spending on ads in this election than any before it, and much of that spending was allocated to digital — more specifically, Facebook. However, since Twitter banned political advertising outright and Google imposed limitations on ad targeting, Facebook became the de facto digital battleground for campaign teams. Political spending has never been higher on the platform, accounting for roughly 3% of total revenue on Facebook’s Q3 balance sheet.

That said, the social media giant imposed new restrictions on ads to address public concerns about the election process. Facebook required all ads focused on social or political issues to be up and running before Oct. 27, with the intention of giving advertisers ample time to ensure the accuracy and visibility of all campaign messaging. During the last week before the election, advertisers could adjust bids, budgets, and targeting related to live campaigns — but they couldn’t launch new campaigns.

Media buyers have been competing with a lot of noise. It has forced them to get creative and lean on the wealth of knowledge they have about consumers to create original, flashy, engaging, and attention-grabbing content that draws eyeballs.

Take it slow

The chaos of the presidential election wasn’t even the only factor impacting marketers. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the media space (and life in general). As consumers have been forced to spend more time indoors and in front of their devices, advertisers have ramped up digital ad spend to reach them. Not surprisingly, increased demand for digital ad space has made it most expensive to get messaging out to target audiences.

The media landscape will continue to change rapidly in the weeks ahead, so advertisers must tread carefully — especially as social climates continue to shift. While you don’t want to rush into any massive ad buys yet, you should get your ads in early to get a head start on the approval process (any ads shown on Facebook go through a thorough review process) as the holiday season kicks in.

Note that holiday spending was expected to start earlier this year. Be strategic about your campaign creation and timing, ensuring that your budget, campaigns, and creatives are ready and approved for when the consumers are primed and in-market.

Minimize risk

About 71% of senior marketers plan to spend more time scrutinizing the language they use in ads moving forward, according to a September survey from Phrasee – most of those same respondents say the pandemic has amplified the importance of brand messaging. Your messaging should always be crafted with your audience in mind.

Due to unprecedented circumstances in nearly all facets of life, audiences are coping with heightened uncertainty and anxiety. Be mindful of that, avoiding any content that may be construed as politically, racially, or culturally charged. What if your brand has a personality that aligns with aggressive, provocative advertising? Tread lightly, avoiding anything that might put your brand in a negative light. For everyone else, now isn’t the best time to take risks.

Media buying has only gotten more strategically important in recent years. A chaotic point in history won’t change that, but it could create new pressures. Understand the contexts of the election, the pandemic, social unrest, and the holiday season as you strategize your media buying for the immediate future to protect your interests and share your message well.

Adam Ortman is the director of innovation and technology at Generator Media + Analytics, a fully integrated media agency.

The post What a chaotic digital media landscape means for advertisers as 2020 ends appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Best of B2B Marketing: Get Inspired for 2021 with These Top 10 Content Marketing Posts

Happy business professionals jumping up in celebration image.

Happy business professionals jumping up in celebration image.

Content encompasses nearly everything we read, view, or listen to this pandemic year, and as our CEO Lee Odden said long ago, it’s also part of the reason the need for search began in the first place.

We’re especially proud of the content marketing successes our team at TopRank Marketing have achieved during this topsy-turvy 2020, for a wide-range of major B2B clients. As 2021 draws close, we wanted to share our top content marketing articles of the year — each filled with best practices, research, examples, and the latest trends.

We’re fortunate to have a wealth of talented B2B marketing professionals contributing to the TopRank B2B Marketing blog — which celebrates its 17th year this month — including Lee Odden, Joshua Nite, Elizabeth Williams, Anne Leuman, Nick Nelson, Debbie Friez, Birdie Zepeda, myself, and Alexis Hall, among others.

Collectively this compendium of our top 10 content marketing posts of the year serves as a valuable resource, filled with practical examples and relevant topics for digital marketing professionals from CMOs to copywriters. We hope that you’ll find these articles helpful well into 2021 and far beyond.

Now, join us as we move on to the top 10! These most popular content marketing posts of the year are ordered by a combination of search visibility and social engagement:

Our Most Popular Content Marketing Posts of 2020:

1. 50 Top B2B Content Marketing Influencers To Follow in 2021 #CMWorld — Lane R. Ellis

2020 CMWorld 50 Content Marketing Influencers

In our top content marketing post of the year I share our annual list of the top 50 content marketing influencers to follow and learn from, released during this year’s all-virtual Content Marketing World conference. You’ll learn new lessons from these 50 content marketing influencers throughout 2021 and into a post-pandemic industry landscape.

You can check out all of my posts here, and follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

[bctt tweet=““@TopRank has a long history with #CMWorld starting at the beginning, with 10 years of speaking and attending along with 7 years of partnering with @CMIContent to develop speaker and influencer content marketing campaigns.” @lanerellis“ username=“toprank“]

2. Where’s the Marketing in Content Marketing? 10 Essential Promotion Tactics That Drive Results — Lee Odden

content promotion tactics

Where’s the marketing in content marketing? In our second most popular content marketing post of the year, Lee shares how to overcome content creation imbalances with 10 proven content promotion tactics that have stood the test of time, to make your content promotion a priority.

Check out all of Lee’s 2,600+ posts here, and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

[bctt tweet=““An imbalance of content creation and promotion is not only frustrating potential marketing performance, but it’s wasting the investment made in creating great content. What good is that great content if no one sees it?” @LeeOdden“ username=“toprank“]

3. 5 Ways to Humanize B2B Content Marketing — Joshua Nite

Humanizing B2B Content Father and Son Cooking Together Image

What does it mean to „humanize“ your B2B content marketing? In our third most popular content marketing article of the year, our senior content marketing manager Joshua Nite shares five ways to help your content make a more human connection with a professional audience by:

  • Finding the Emotional Core
  • Earning Trust
  • Personalizing Efforts
  • Embracing Humility
  • Designing a Content Experience

You can check out all of Josh’s posts here, and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

[bctt tweet=““Find the emotional stories that your solution makes possible, and make them the star of your content.” — Joshua Nite @nitewrites“ username=“toprank“]

4. New Research: How B2B Content Marketers Are Impacted and Pivoting During the Pandemic — Nick Nelson

Professionals Wearing Masks and Bumping Elbows

It’s undoubtedly been a year of much change and upheaval, and in our fourth most read article of the year, our content marketing manager Nick Nelson shows how B2B content marketing practitioners are responding, and breaks down insightful research from Content Marketing Institute.

You can check out all of Nick’s posts here, and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

[bctt tweet=““It’s a bit ironic that at a time where more B2B marketers than ever have gotten their strategy down on paper, we’re being forced to crumple it up and rewrite it.” — Nick Nelson @NickNelsonMN“ username=“toprank“]

5. 5 Examples of Effective B2B Content Marketing in Times of Crisis — Anne Leuman

Woman wearing facemark image.

What is a key factor to successful marketing during a pandemic? „Being helpful,“ as our senior operations strategist Anne Leuman explores in our fifth most popular content marketing post of the year. In this insightful piece, Anne shows how B2B marketers can infuse more helpfulness in their efforts, including five examples of B2B brands doing content marketing right during the global heath crisis.

You can check out all of Anne’s posts here, and follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

[bctt tweet=““The true key to success in B2B content marketing is to always come from a place of empathy. The more you’re able to understand and empathize with your target audience, the more likely you are to surface content opportunities.” @annieleuman“ username=“toprank“]

6. 5 Steps for a More Powerful B2B Content Marketing Strategy — Lee Odden

Powerful B2B Content Marketing Strategy

How can marketers overcome content attention deficit and stand out? In our sixth most popular content marketing article of the year, Lee shares five helpful steps for building a more powerful B2B content marketing strategy, using:

  • Ideal Customer Profiles
  • Topics of Influence, Search and Social
  • Editorial Plan & Content Mapping
  • Content Promotion
  • Mining Search, Social & Influencer Analytics

This piece is filled with inspiration to begin intentionally and consistently incorporating influencers, social media and SEO in your B2B content marketing efforts, to reach more customers where they’re looking, with the kind of experiences that will inspire more effective engagement, revenue, and retention outcomes.

[bctt tweet=““Creating useful content by itself is not an effective strategy in a world of brand distrust, content attention deficit and the distractions brought by a global pandemic.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden“ username=“toprank“]

7. 7 B2B Content Marketing Tactics For Long Term Success — Anne Leuman

Man running down an infinite road into the sunset image.

What types of content can B2B marketers utilize for driving long-term success? In the seventh most read content marketing piece of the year, Anne shares seven enduring and powerful B2B content marketing tactics for long-term success, featuring the use of content including:

  • Blogs
  • Social Media
  • Influencers
  • Podcasts
  • Sponsored & Guest Works
  • Digital Advertising
  • eBooks, Infographics, and Larger Campaigns

[bctt tweet=““For content marketing to be successful, you need those flashy, attention-grabbing campaigns to meet immediate goals. But you also need reliable, consistent, thought-provoking content to compound results over time.” @annieleuman“ username=“toprank“]

8. Why Content Marketing is More Important Than Ever for B2B Brands — Nick Nelson

B2B Marketing Content

In our number eight top content content marketing post of the year, Nick explores why content marketing is more important than ever now for B2B brands, and shares three fine examples of B2B brands going beyond mere talk.

By providing ongoing value and propping up your brand values, you’ll see plenty of value in return, as Nick examines in detail here.

[bctt tweet=““The challenges our world now faces with the coronavirus pandemic and social justice movement create a unique opportunity for B2B content marketing to make an impact.” — Nick Nelson @NickNelsonMN“ username=“toprank“]

9. How Authentic Content Builds Brand Trust in Uncertain Times — Nick Nelson

Man Interacting via Virtual Meeting

Being there for your audience, and being real with them, presents a key opportunity to strengthen relationships during difficult times. In our ninth most popular content marketing post of the year, Nick shares how authentic content builds brand trust in uncertain times.

„Content marketing is inherently a long game, focused on building relationships first and foremost. Right now, the best way to pursue this goal is through authenticity and altruism, in the context of your business and its audience,“ Nick observed.

[bctt tweet=““There’s never been a better time to open up and share real, relatable stories. Everyone is going through something, and it can be comforting to learn how others are dealing with these unique circumstances.” — Nick Nelson @NickNelsonMN“ username=“toprank“]

10. In Search of Trust: How Authentic Content Drives Customer Experience — Lee Odden

Authentic Content Customer Experience

In today’s uncertain digital world, how can B2B marketers double down on building trust with their customers? Rounding our our list of the top content marketing article of the years is Lee’s insightful look at how authentic content drives customer experience.

To help marketers better understand how brands are winning customer hearts, minds, and trust with authentic content experiences, Lee shares 5 important steps including:

  • Accelerating Internal Credibility
  • Doubling Down on Customer Activation
  • Working with External Influencers to Grow Brand Credibility
  • Creating a Content Collaboration Ecosystem
  • Optimizing Measurement to Customer ROI

[bctt tweet=““If you want your content to be great, ask your customers to participate.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden“ username=“toprank“]

Thanks TopRank Marketing Writers & Readers

Thanks to all of our top content marketing authors for contributing these top 10 content marketing posts of 2020 — congratulations on making the list!

Additionally, we publish several marketing influencer lists every year, and we wanted to share them here as a helpful way to find and follow some of the leading digital marketing influencers:

Another helpful resource for B2B marketers to learn about crafting a successful B2B influencer marketing program is our recently-launched Inside Influence series, featuring interviews with top industry experts such as the latest episode with Tim Williams of Onalytica.

We published dozens of posts this year specifically about content marketing, and plan to bring you even more in 2021, so stay tuned for a new year of the latest helpful search industry research and insight.

Please let us know which content marketing topics and ideas you’d like to see us focus on for 2021 — we’d love to hear your suggestions. Feel free to leave those thoughts in the comments section below.

Many thanks to each of you who read our blog regularly, and to all of you who comment on and share our posts on the TopRank Marketing social media channels at Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

The post Best of B2B Marketing: Get Inspired for 2021 with These Top 10 Content Marketing Posts appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


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Social media analytics 101: The data that matters most

social media analytics 101 - demographics

30-second summary:

  • Marketing decisions should be backed by data about consumers, their behavior, and conversions.
  • Marketing and namely social media analytics provide numerous categories to analyze, so it is easy to get lost.
  • In the article, Aleh Barysevich defines major points for a social media marketer to analyze strategy success or failure.
  • Important data points for analysis: profiles, target audience, competitors, and web traffic from social media.
  • Social listening data provide even more data about the target audience.

Knowledge is power — this saying is even more relevant in our age of information. Anyone who works in marketing holds this belief to some extent. In the ideal world, every marketing decision you take is supported by knowledge, that is, the data you have about consumers, their behavior, and so on.

Of course, as marketers, we don’t always have access to this knowledge. Some of us are luckier than others, and I’d say that social media marketers are the luckiest: they probably get the most data on their customers, their own performance, and marketing possibilities. However, there’s a downside. Social media analytics is such a vast area that it’s incredibly easy to get lost.

Social networks provide you with a thousand different categories to choose from when it comes to analyzing your successes and failures. But your own social media stats are only a part of the story: your competitors and most importantly your clients are also on social media and it would be foolish to ignore all the information they can give you.

Thus, we end up in a situation when you have to prepare a monthly (quarterly/yearly/campaign) report but you are not quite sure what data you should highlight. That’s why this article exists!

We will go through the most important data points for four categories, which you should consider with social media analytics: your profiles, your target audience, your competitors, and the web traffic you get from social media. Let’s begin with the most obvious one: your own page.

Social media analytics: Your social media profiles

In most cases, your own pages and posts are the first thing you are going to track.

For starters, these insights are built in the functionality of social media platforms so you have them right at hand. Secondly, these insights lead to immediate action: since you manage your pages and posts, you can introduce changes to your social media strategy as soon as you notice that something is working (or isn’t working).

Facebook offers more than 150 data points, and the rest of the social networks are not far behind. How do you choose which metrics to track?

Well, every monitoring activity you do should depend on your goals. Are you trying to grow your audience? Track followers and likes. Are you doubling down on video content in order to raise conversions? Check watch time. At the same time, there are some metrics that are considered essential to monitor for any social media manager. They will give you a general understanding of how successful your social media strategy is. What are they?

1. Number of followers (subscribers, likes)

As I mentioned above, the number of followers is the telltale sign of how fast your audience is growing. Every time someone follows you it means that they want to keep an eye on your long-term. But the number of followers is not the only sign of the size of your audience.

Some platforms have several metrics to evaluate the size of your audience, for instance, Likes and Followers on Facebook. Likes, besides expressing the desire to follow your updates consistently, also show the support for your brand. Keep these differences between followers, subscribers, likes, supporters, etc. in mind when you are doing social media analytics: even though they all represent the magnitude of your audience, they can mean different things.

Typically, this metric is available right on your profile. If you want to see how it changed over time, check your Insights or Analytics.

2. Reach

Another important metric to help you evaluate the size of your audience is reach, which is conceptually close to impressions or views. Reach shows how many people were reached by your posts, and views and impressions show how many times the posts were seen, thus, the number of impressions will always be higher than reach.

If the number of followers/subscribers shows how many people want to stay up to date with your news, i.e. your loyal audience so to say, reach shows your potential audience, i.e. how many people could be interested in your brand. Since most social media algorithms work in such a way that users generally see the content they might potentially like, social media almost eliminates the possibility of reaching a completely wrong audience.

Reach and impressions are usually represented in two ways: you can see the overall reach of your content for a certain time period, and reach for each of the posts. This may differ from platform to platform, but all the major ones: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn allow you to check stats for individual posts as well for the profile in general.

3. Engagement

Engagement is represented by several metrics, most commonly, reactions (likes), comments, and shares. They all are indicative of different grades of approval from your audience.

Reactions show that people agree with your post, comments indicate the desire to start a conversation, and shares show that your post was so good that people want others to see that as well.

One more metric which you’ll see when checking your engagement stats are clicks, that is, how many people clicked on the links you shared. This is the metric that’s more relevant to traffic so we will discuss it in the respective part of the article.

If you need an outline of the most important metrics to follow, check out this template I designed to track your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram stats. The different tabs are necessary to track your metrics in relation to some basis: initial numbers or the average number. Download it, add metrics that are important for you, and start tracking your social media performance!

Social media analytics: Your target audience

Many social media managers stop at tracking their profiles‘ stats, but it’s only one part of the social media analytics. The other big part of social media analytics is analyzing social listening data. If your number of followers, engagement, and reach say more about your social media strategy, social listening data is what you analyze to find out more about your target audience.

Admittedly, tracking social listening data is a bit less accessible than tracking your own metrics. This process requires a social listening tool: however, there are a lot of social listening tools for different needs and budgets.

Depending on the social listening tools, you’ll get a lot of insights including demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data. Some social listening insights are directly tied to major business KPIs. I’ve decided to highlight the main points you need to cover.

1. Number of mentions and reach

Social listening is the process of gathering mentions of your keywords online. Those keywords may be different: traditionally brands monitor their brand names, names of their products, campaigns, their industry, and so on.

The first metric to pay attention to is the number of mentions. This is pretty straightforward —this stat shows how many times your keyword was mentioned in the selected time period. Depending on what you’re tracking, this metric can show you brand awareness, the popularity of certain products, or your target audience’s demands.

Another metric that is vital to evaluating your brand awareness is reach. In social listening, reach shows how many people saw your brand mentioned on social media. The higher the number of mentions is, the higher the reach is.

However, there’s one caveat. If your brand gets mentioned once by a popular social media user, you’ll reach more people than if it’s mentioned 10 times by someone with 20 followers. That’s why reach doesn’t always correlate with the number of mentions.

2. Demographics: Gender, location, language

Social listening tools don’t just collect and count the mentions of your keywords, they are able to tell you who the people who use these keywords are. For example, you can find out that your brand is popular among Australian men, or that in Texas it’s much more popular among the Spanish-speaking population than among English-speaking people.

All these insights can lead you to game-changing marketing decisions so don’t ignore them.

3. Sentiment

Most social listening tools are able to analyze the sentiment of the mentions and show you the overall sentiment around your brand, products, CEO, etc. Moreover, you can see the sentiment change over time and identify potential crises right away.

social media analytics 101 - sentiment analysis

As soon as you see that there is a sudden surge in negative mentions, you can pinpoint the reason behind this surge and nip the crisis in the bud.

4. Influencers

When we talked about reach, I mentioned that popular accounts have more weight when it comes to brand awareness. That’s why it’s important to keep track of them as well!

Most social listening tools are able to recognize influential accounts that are talking about your keywords. They even rank them according to how much reach they can bring you. By identifying these accounts for each major social media network, you’re able to enrich your influencer marketing strategy.

Social listening tools allow you to skip the tedious process of designing a report since most of them already offer different types of reports to export and share with your colleagues. The tool I’m using offers three types of reports: the general report of your monitoring topic, comparison of several topics, and influencers. Each report is fully customizable, so you can choose to highlight the metrics you need and discard those that you don’t need.

Social media analytics: Competitors

Competitor analysis is a wide topic that includes a lot of aspects: business strategy, products, hiring strategy, marketing, SEO, advertising, and so on. Social media is just a part of this topic, but it doesn’t make it any less important.

Of course, you won’t be able to get as detailed information on your competitors as you have for your own social media profiles, but there are still ways to analyze their social media strategy. First of all, track their stats that are available to you: number of followers and likes. You can also write down the engagement (reactions, comments, and shares) for their posts to count average engagement — that is, of course if they don’t post too often.

Secondly, there are other ways to benchmark your own pages against theirs. For example, Facebook allows you to select several competitors and you will get their monthly growth stats in your Insights. Moreover, some social media tools let you analyze pages simply by putting in their @ — you can use them to get the basic data of your competitors‘ pages, see how fast they are growing, how often they post, and so on.

As for their target audience, this is even easier. All you need to do is create a monitoring topic for their brand just like you did for yours and then compare the two (or more) topics — that way you’ll see the difference in your brand awareness levels, what parts of the market you cover vs them and more.

As you can see, you are covering the same points for your competitors as you did for your own brand. The insights you get from competitor analysis on social media may inspire you to change and improve your social media strategy.

Social media analytics: Traffic to websites

Social media platforms are giving brands more and more ways to sell their products right on the platforms. However, most companies are still defining conversion on social media as somebody clicking the link in their post and purchasing a product or service. That’s why monitoring your social media traffic is extremely important. It’s also usually the most convincing argument for extending your budget/hiring new team members when talking to your boss.

To track social media traffic you need to gather data related to social media analytics AND website analytics.

1. Traffic from your pages (link clicks)

Remember I mentioned link clicks when we talked about engagement? Now is their time to shine.

Most social media platforms provide you with overall link clicks for the chosen period of time. Some platforms, for example, LinkedIn, even show you link clicks for each post. This is extremely useful since you can immediately see what call to action works better, what design encourages more people to click, and so on.

2. Traffic from social media

Google Analytics also shows you all the traffic you get from social media pages: this includes your posts, links in your bio, buttons on your profiles that take users to your website, and links to your website shared by other people.

To check this stat, go to Google Analytics – Sources – Social media. Here you can see which social media networks bring you traffic, where this traffic is landing, how much of the traffic leads to conversion, etc.

Closing note

And that’s it! The four pillars of social media analytics covered in one guide. Logically, nobody expects you to present all this data in your monthly reports — at least, most clients don’t. But, you need to keep an eye on these four areas to have a good understanding of your social media strategy, see what’s working and what doesn’t, and perfect it along the way.

Aleh Barysevich is Founder and CMO at SEO PowerSuite and Awario.

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