Focus On Internal Metrics to Measure Social Media Marketing ROI

There is no denying marketers, businesses and brands are sold on social media marketing, the same cannot be said of executive management still looking for hard figures on the effectiveness and the impact on the bottom line.  The big contention point remaining: how do you measure social media marketing ROI

Nearly nine in 10 US marketers are using social media marketing. It is clear they consider it a necessity for doing business. But there is still a sense of unease about what works and doesn’t work as well as how best to manage the effort, according to a new eMarketer report, “Social Marketing Update: Eight Trends to Help Prepare for 2015.”

For as long as social media marketing has been around, marketers have struggled with how to determine return on investment (ROI). Despite a multitude of available metrics, the question still tops the list of challenges marketers face with social media.

In a June 2014 study of marketers’ usage and attitudes toward digital marketing conducted by Gigaom and Extole, more marketers said they would increase spending on social media marketing than on any other type of marketing. At the same time, 52% said it was difficult to prove ROI. That led the researchers to conclude that “marketers may be buying on faith with social.”

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4 Reasons Industrial Marketers Should Adopt Social Media

industrial marketersEven if studies have shown that, so far, industrial professionals have been a relatively passive social media audience, their presence and social media usage is far from negligible.

In a recent study, “2014 Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector,”  IHS GlobalSpec found that 44% of technical professionals spend more than an hour per week on social media for work-related activities.

The study indicates that technical professionals maintain social media profiles on LinkedIn (74%), Facebook (61%) and Twitter (17%).

In addition, 47% of them spend time on LinkedIn reading product or industry news while 26% research suppliers.

69% of technical professionals with a Facebook profile follow businesses or groups within their industry and 38% research or read work-related content.

These statistics are far from negligible and show that industrial marketers need to take a serious look and consider integrating social media in their marketing mix.

The return may not be immediate and as high as their other more traditional marketing initiative but the potential is there for those who get early on on the bandwagon.

  1. At a time when traditional marketing vectors are crowded and customers/prospects are bombarded with messages and ads, social media is still a relatively virgin territory in industrial markets
  2. Social media allows them to find, identify, reach influencers like industry analysts, consultants and other industry thought-leaders
  3. Through social media they can connect and build relationships with influencers
  4. Social media is the medium of choice of the new generations, reaching them is key to future growth

Six Ways To Detect Fake LinkedIn Profiles

How_to_detect_a_fake_LinkedIn_profileBefore we look at the six ways to detect fake LinkedIn profiles, it’s important to understand the driving force behind these profiles and the main reason is spamming.

Spamming has been around for a long time, first via email and as blogs started proliferating, spammers started polluting blogs, it was only a question of time before they  started polluting social media platforms

Coming back to LinkedIn, two of the best way to get maximum exposure on LinkedIn are growing your network or participating in large, active discussion groups.  Both imply creating a profile and since spammers learn early on that to effectively spam, they needed many identities, in case they were filtered out.

Over the past few years, we have seen a rapid increase in the number of fake profiles created by spammers either joining discussion groups or asking to join users networks, they usually target large active discussion groups and/or users with large networks, especially LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers) who are not too selective in growing their network and allow spammers to develop their network based on first and second degree connections.

Of course, there are a number of ways to stop them, the first one is to be selective in who you accept in your network, the second is for group owners to be more proactive in monitoring who joins their groups and to not fall into the temptation to grow the size of their group at the expense of the quality of the discussion. Continue reading

How To Report Fake or Misleading LinkedIn Profiles

How to report fake or misleading LinkedIn profiles has become an increasingly difficult endeavor.

How To Report Fake or Misleading LinkedIn ProfilesIn a previous post, I wrote about how pervasive fake profiles are on LinkedIn and how difficult LinkedIn makes it to report them, for good reasons, they stopped caring a long time ago about the quality of user experience to focus on growing user numbers ( regardless of legitimacy) prior to their IPO

Another issue, when you created and think you “own” a business or brand page, is controlling who shows up as an employee on your page and that can have implications when it comes to your brand and/or reputation.  It turns out you do not control that information.

In any case, finding a way to contact what LinkedIn calls “customer service” has become a feat in itself, but the response is probably as frustrating as trying to contact them.

There is however an easier way to report a fake profile, if you look in the right place but you have to dig into the user’s profile in places you would not think about right off the bat, here are the steps Continue reading

FDA Social Media Guidance Controversy

FDAUnder the new FDA social media guidance, manufacturers would be responsible for monitoring their social media platforms for comments considered inaccurate, misleading or related to non approved or off label use.

They would also be liable when third party websites they have collaborated with publishes or do not filter articles, posts, ads or comments considered inaccurate, misleading or related to non approved or off label use.

All three major industry trade associations – the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) warn FDA of significant flaws in the agency’s proposed regulations on the use of social media.

Their contention being that information and comments published online by third party comes under the first amendment and they should not have to monitor, correct or remove them even if they are misleading

The first amendment argument has been widely used to justify misleading information in non regulated industries but in the healthcare industry, misleading information, even by third party can have wide ranging consequences on the health of patients, raise false hope and create undue pressure by ill patients on doctors. Continue reading

Facebook Venturing into Healthcare

Facebook venturing into healthcareFacebook venturing into healthcare was predictable.  Apple, Google are doing it and there is a plethora of niche platform doing it.

Facebook already knows us in more intimate ways than we sometimes know.  They know what we like, who our friends are, they know what we share, they certainly have been following and recording when we share our medical conditions, health concerns and health initiative.

They also follow anything happening on their platform and there is no doubt they have noticed that patients have created a number of communities (private and public support groups based on health conditions, they are also keenly aware that studies have shown that these support communities in and out of Facebook are very active and engaged, in spite of Facebook dubious reputation when it comes to privacy

As Facebook mentioned, most Instagram users do not know Instagram is owned by Facebook and they are hoping their health care ventures will follow a similar path with patients ignoring or being unaware of the link between Facebook and the community.

How do you feel about sharing intimate health information in communities run by Facebook or on a Facebook owned platform?

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Facebook Cut Posts Reach Now What?

Facebook Cut Posts Reach Now What?

In the past few year we have seen Facebook cut post reach several time.  We can expect other companies to follow suit and artificially cut the organic reach of the posts brands and businesses publish on their page.

A couple of years ago Facebook announced that posts only reached 16% of a page followers, last October the average reach dropped to around 8% and it is predicted that before long, 2 to 3% reach will be the norm… Unless brands and businesses start to pay up.

You spent a lot of time, energy and invested a lot of money building a big fan base on you social media pages and now you find out that your fans are not yours but the social media company’s, they have been cutting the organic reach of your posts and now they want you to pay to reach them. It’s called “Pay for Play”.

That’s a tough awakening but not surprising, in time, most of them will become digital advertising platforms and less and less social.  The writing has been on the wall for sometime now.

These platform were not purely social, they were tools to collect information and what do you do with information, you leverage it to generate revenue and now that they are publicly traded, they are pressured to generate revenue and profit.  It’s business

Facebook has probably been the most obvious but make no mistake, it’s only the beginning, the others will follow

So what do you do? 

You don’t put all your eggs in the same basket and when I say basket, I mean social media.  As a rule, and that applies to blogs as well, you don’t build a presence focusing on a platform you do not own or control. Continue reading