Hits. Likes. Followers. Every digital marketer wants to have a lot of these. But simply growing this number doesn’t always lead to increased sales. Let us walk you through what’s important when looking at these numbers, and how to avoid the pitfalls of simply trying to grow your reach without focusing enough on turning that into sales.
What are vanity metrics?
Vanity metrics are simple data that show basic information about your company’s digital marketing but that don't directly measure what's really impacting a company's revenue. They are called vanity metrics because they are numbers that people can use to easily show off, as in,“Look at how many website hits/Facebook likes/Twitter followers/Snapchatters(and so on), we have!”
When vanity metrics can be useful
Basic Metrics: Vanity metrics can be useful in the very basic sense of measuring how many people your brand is reaching. The bigger the numbers, the more potential customers are hearing your message. It is generally good for these numbers to be big and growing.
Happy Boss: Your boss may be impressed by these numbers. If he or she is, pat yourself on the back…briefly. Then take a deep breath and explain that these numbers actually only reflect the beginning of your sales funnel, and that from these, a portion of people will become more aware of your product, some of those will start to trust it, and finally (hopefully!) some of those will buy something.
When vanity metrics aren’t useful
Look Beyond Number Growth: Don’t get stuck focusing on growing these numbers. It’s easy to start swapping ‘likes’ with random people, having your granny sign up for your ‘tweets’, and so on, but if these people are just padding your numbers and are never going to be real customers, they can just cloud your analysis. It’s even worse if they are bought from a list that has nothing to do with your business; then your numbers might be huge, but your sales will still be stagnant. It’s better to have a smaller number of quality people counted who might one day become real customers.
Grouchy Boss: Your boss may look at these numbers and say, ‘So what does this mean for our sales?’ or ‘Why do we have so many likes, and no paying customers from this channel?’ The vanity metrics numbers, however big, won’t justify their own existence. At the end of the day, sales revenue is what’s going to matter.
How to use these numbers smartly
Context: Look at the data in the context of what it is showing about your marketing efforts in relation to your sales pipeline and KPIs. Are you:
1) Attracting brand new people to your sites? You can easily see this in the basic vanity metrics; see if the numbers are growing. It’s also good if you can track turnover (seeing how many people disengaged from you- unlike, stopped following, unsubscribed, etc). It’s possible that your numbers have stayed the same, but existing people have signed off, and new people have signed on. You can then see if you have a problem keeping users signed up.
2) Keeping people engaged long enough to want to try a product? This will show in your bounce rate, and page views per visitor. Maybe you need more engaging content, or to be more clear about what solutions your product provides, or more easily deliver what it is that people came to find at your website or page.
3) Making actual sales? Compare your sales figures to your marketing efforts. See if a new initiative has seemed to increase your sales. Surveying buyers will also help link which marketing activities led them to you.
Not sure what any of your metrics are? Check your up-to-the-minute data in a Heardable Report. You can make one in less than five minutes. www.heardable.com
Sometimes people ask us, “What is the purpose of your ‘Measurable’ report section? I already know what analytics software I use.” Indeed you do. But here are some key points as to why we think this section is important (and you should too):
· You can find out what analytics software you aren’t using. By looking at the square graph,you can see which ones you use, and which ones you don’t. Some of those might be useful to sign up for,so that you can have a more complete picture of your online marketing efforts.
· You can see which ones your competitors use. Maybe they are measuring their mobile ad use and you are not.
· You can stay on top of which systems are out there to use. Maybe there’s one that’s showing greater details than the ones you currently use. Or something new and cool. Our reports will always show what we think are the important analytics options available today, so that you can rest assured that you’re using everything that you should.
· You can see which software is the most chosen option across the websites for which we collect data.
· Having at least 2 analytics solutions running at the same time will help to give you redundancy in case one of them changes their algorithm, which could then change your score. By having something else running too, you can see if the impact on your score change came from the software change (in which case, only that software’s results will change) or something that you’ve done (in which case, all of your measuring software should show the change).
· Not all software is good at everything. You’ll want at least one that has great real-time results tracking, and another that’s got great deep historical data recorded.
Measuring the results of how each of your online Marketing channels is performing is the best way to know specifically which of your efforts are working, so you can put your marketing dollars and time behind what will work best.
Wondering what software you’re using vs. all the possibilities? Start by checking your Heardable Measurable Score at www.heardable.com .
We all know that when Google+ was launched, it went over like a fart in a spacesuit. But despite not having all that many people there to market to (and most of those people being reachable by other social networks anyway), there are a few interesting things to know about Google+ that can help your digital marketing efforts now.
1) Higher Search Ranking: Google search results prioritize content posted to Google+ . Even if you don’t have much of a readership there, it’s worth the SEO advantage to post your content there.
2) Hangouts: Hangouts is getting a lot of positive buzz right now, as it just launched as a stand-alone app. You can use it to video conference up to nine people for free, like Skype, but can also use it to record sessions and post them up to YouTube. From a Marketing perspective, think about having panel discussions that people can see anytime. Or creating educational seminars. It seems simple and easy to use.
3) Hangouts: Oh, we should talk about their new Stream or Photo features, (stay logged in on multiple devices, sort your photos easier, blah blah), but honestly, we’re still excited about using Hangouts. Excuse us while we sign off togo and play with it now.
Wondering how popular Google+ is vs. other social networks? See our chart in the Sociable section of your latest Heardable Report. The size of the squares and percentages show how many websites have adopted it out of all the ones we monitor. www.heardable.com
“Our company is new to digital marketing, and we’re not sure what to do or how we’ll know if we’re doing well at it. What should we be doing? How will I know if any of it is really working?”
I hear this a lot, especially from small businesses. The best thing I can tell them, is to follow these four steps: Plan, Do, Measure… Repeat.
First, your company needs to understand who its customers are and what problem it is solving for them. This is important especially with digital marketing activities because the content you create needs to match the words of the problem that people are looking to solve. Don’t just think about what you sell (fancy widgets) and shout about that (“Get your fancy widgets here!”), but think about why people will be buying them (our fancy widgets help people do XYZ). For example, people might search for terms such as ‘relaxing romantic weekend getaway’ rather than ‘ABC Bed and Breakfast’.
Once you know what problem you are solving for people, spread this message across all your digital channels. Blog about how you are an inn offering relaxing romantic weekend getaways. Tweet it. Mention it on Facebook. Put the terms ‘relaxing’, ‘romantic’, ‘weekend’, and ‘getaway’ into the keywords on your website, blog tags, and Google Ads (if you use them). Explore and use all avenues that suit your brand and resources.
Now for the fun part (at least for us data-gathering types!): Check your Heardable Report to see how much your efforts have driven traffic to your site, and increased your sales compared to before you started. You might find that some activities have been more successful than others. Maybe your target customers have responded well to particular social media content or keywords. Maybe more people on a new social media platform are finding you. Use the data to measure not just how much engagement has grown, but how fast too. You will see in the report which activities have worked where.
Use your Heardable Report results to create a plan of what you want to do next. Increase the use of channels that are working. Change what you tried with avenues that didn’t. Launch a campaign of activity on a network that looks like it’s working for your competitor.
Keep up this pattern regularly (some companies will want to check their stats daily; others, weekly), and you will soon likely find that more customers are finding you, and your sales are growing.
See your latest Heardable Report at: www.heardable.com
This question may seem premature, or even absurd. Facebook, die? Could it? But an interesting fact is that teenagers and college kids that originally made the platform popular are now migrating to lesser-known social media networks and apps to communicate with each other. You’ll find them using keek, Instagram,tumblr, snapchat. Why? A few possible reasons:
So as a Marketer,what should you do?
The good news is that there are still millions of people using Facebook every day,including teens, and despite its popularity slowing in that group, it is still the most-used social media network by them, along with YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. But if you’re looking to keep a step ahead of your competitors, and be where the market is growing, and to get in early enough while it’s still cool, look at how your brand can use the up-and-coming networks and apps. Here is a short list of cool new digital places that are currently growing in use:
Snapchat: Take a picture, send it to your friends. Have it disappear after a short while. Relax that no one’s going to use it against you in the morning.
Tumblr: Take a picture. Make a picture. Share it with your friends and family more anonymously than on Facebook.
Keek: Video sharing platform, as easy as Twitter.
Instagram: Popular photo-sharing software, known for its photo editing effects abilities. Photos can be easily shared on several platforms.
Pheed: A new social media platform. Text, video,audio, broadcast. And the ability to charge for it.
Check these out and others (Vine, Whisper, Tinder) to see if using them would match your marketing strategy. It’s always better to be ahead of the trends than scrambling to keep up.
To see your own brand’s up-to-the-minute social media stats, go to www.heardable.com.
According to Heardable's massive database of over 15 million brand profiles, LivePerson is ranked as the #1 live chat technology used by brands worldwide, beating 2nd place Meebo and 3rd place Olark by a wide margin.
What's somewhat surprising is the few number of branded web properties overall that are utilizing live chat as a customer support or sales enhancement tool, given it's positive business ROI and low implementation costs.
Only a few companies have employed live chat on their web properties. For example, LivePerson, the top live chat vendor in the world, is being used on only 1% of all websites.
This is a shame because live chat can help boost a brand's:
Live chat can helps transform an ordinary website into one that is more actionable for the user. An actionable website is one that makes it easier for visitors to respond, communicate, and transact.
A lot has been written about the importance of providing your website visitors with the best possible customer experience. The better the experience, the mantra goes, the more satisfied your visitors will be. And happy visitors behave differently. Visitor delight can translate into increased sales, more frequent and more positive word of mouth, higher ratings and reviews, as well as greater brand loyalty.
Who knew that the band, Coldplay, was the top performing brand in the world on Google Plus, with 4,180,084 followers and 4,235,440 Plus Ones?
Your Tube is in the #2 slot with 3,099,973 followers and 3,394,044 Plus Ones, with FC Barcelona Barcelona in 3rd, Conan O'Brien in 4th and Hello Kitty in 5th.
Click here to see the live, real-time list of the Top 100 brands on Google+.
We've taken on one of the most vexing problems faced by marketing teams - the monthly progress report - and not only have we reduced the time needed to create this behemoth, we've increased the amount of competitive data.
We're also taking our first steps towards allowing custom competitor lists, rather than using NAICS categories to define the competitors, as we have in the past. Now, when you create your report, it's entirely up to you as to what brands you wish to include - we'll still include the NAICS/SIC ranking in your report, but the more important ranking - how you stack up against your nominated competitors - now drives all table rankings.
Best of all - our new reports can be created right from our new home page.
One final word - the entire report is now being driven by our v3.0 API. Which means we can white-label everything Heardable, and produce beautiful custom reports under your brand - or your agency's brand.
Enjoy! And please give us feedback during the launch phase.
Save 20% Off Any Heardable Report for the Month of October 2012
Heardable's brand health benchmark reports are utilized by hundreds of busy marketing executives, strategy planners and social analytic professionals to better understand the relative performance of brands in all industries.
Now you can save 20% off any Heardable report by utilizing this special discount code at checkout:
20% means you save $99 on any report you buy. Not a bad deal, eh?
To redeem this limited time offer, go to the Heardable Store and select from our full list of reports, including:
Feel free to share this offer with your friends and colleagues.
The Marketing Team @ Heardable.com
A new article by By Stuart Elliott from the New York Times and reprinted in Yahoo Finance discusses a few findings from the 13th annual Best Global Brands report issued by Interbrand, a brand consulting company owned by the Omnicom Group. The article falsely claims that Coca-Cola has more likes, 51.98 million, than any other brand.
We're not sure if Stuart got his facts twisted around or if he obtained his questionable statistics from Interbrand...but there are, in fact, two corporate brands that have more Facebook likes than Coca-Cola:
1. Facebook with 72,646,298 likes
2. YouTube with 62,957,369 likes
And there are five celebrity brands with more Facebook likes than Coca-Cola:
3. Eminem - 61,184,449
4. Rihanna - 60,427,146
5. The Simpsons - 54,825,238
6. Shakira - 54,714,348
7. Lady Gaga - 53,305,473
Coca-Cola comes in 8th place.
Facebook stats courtesy of Heardable: