Category: Business Tools

The Not-So Secret Weapon Behind Your Social Media Metrics

What is the one thing that every business has in common? The answer is data. They are all tracking, recording and analyzing data in one way or another. 

Now, what is the one thing that every successful business has in common? They have learned how to take the same old data and make it stronger. 

Their not-so secret weapon is social listening. This term is not new, but it has become increasingly more advanced with improvements in technology. 

In this day and age, consumers want brand authenticity and transparency, which requires businesses to do more than just analyze data; they must listen closely, respond quickly, and adjust their strategy based on these conversations. Social listening is not only crucial for maintaining your brand’s longevity, but it also dramatically enhances the social media metrics that define your success. 

What is social listening and how is it different from monitoring social media metrics? 

Simply put, social media monitoring is the process of searching and collecting data, while social listening involves tracking online conversations, analyzing the data, and taking action. 

“Where social media monitoring looks at metrics like engagement rate and number of mentions, social listening looks beyond the numbers to consider the mood behind the data.”

With access to billions of online conversations, social listening has made it easier to gain accurate insights based on our data and improve business strategies. The benefits include social media crises prevention, reputation management, enhanced communication, client relationship building, in-depth social media metrics analysis, honest feedback, and real-time monitoring capabilities.

5 Benefits of Social Listening combined with Social Media Monitoring

How to implement social listening into social media monitoring? 

First, you have to know who you are doing it for.

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Social listening tools such as mentions and keyword tracking will help you in every layer of your marketing campaign. Begin by using these tools to conduct audience research. With the most basic research, you can find out simple demographic data such as age, location, gender, occupation, and languages. Social listening tools allow you to dive even deeper and discover the consumers’ likes and dislikes, motivations, how and where they interact with content, and which influencers they trust, a term referred to as influencer analysis. 

To fully understand your target audience’s interests, you must research the opinion leaders they find popular. Search for highly followed accounts within your audience. Use your social listening tools to spot them with keywords, track conversations, and put together a list of top social media influencers. Finally, take the opportunity to reach out and collaborate with these influencers to gain brand awareness. 

Knowing your target audience is only half of the picture. You must also know your competition and your brand’s reputation. 

Set up listeners on your:

  • Brand name
  • Website 
  • Industry terms 
  • Branded hashtags 
  • Competitors 

This is where social media metrics meet social listening.

Your Every Day Social Media Metrics Explained Through the Lens of Social Listening

1) Engagement:

Engagement is exactly what it sounds like; the measurement of how engaged your audience is with your content. This umbrella term encompasses interactions such as likes, shares, comments, follows, and direct messages. 

In an effort to gain insights, many brands conduct surveys, polls, and Q&A’s. Although these types of tactics are valuable, keep in mind that they could result in response bias; due to the format of the questions, people may not always respond in a natural way. 

For a more trustworthy way of understanding your engagement numbers, use a social listening tool that monitors mentions and what people are saying about your brand in real-time. If you see a spike in engagement during a campaign, you can dig deeper to understand why. 

2) Response Rate & Time:

Remember, engagement goes both ways. While you’re monitoring this metric, make sure you’re interacting with your audience, a term known as consumer engagement. 

You can gain trust, build relationships, and manage your reputation by simply monitoring the conversation around your brand. For example, if someone writes a negative review, you need tools that catch this so you can put out the fire before it starts. Most consumers go to a brand’s social media page for support, so you need to be prepared to respond quickly. 

How do you know your social media managers are doing their jobs?

You can use tools in your tracking software to monitor how quickly your employees are responding to customers. One example is the Team Report function in Sprout Social.  

According to Sprout Social, “ 45% of consumers will post about a positive interaction if a brand responds well to their complaints on social media. And 37% will share their story with their friends online.”

3) Brand Awareness & Reach:

Discovering the degree to which consumers are able to recognize a brand has always been one of the hardest things to measure, but social listening makes it easier with these tools:

  • Search volume data tells you the number of times a specific search query has been entered into a search engine. You can use Google Adwords, Keyword Planner and Google Trends to track the volume of searches for your brand’s name over time.
  • Monitor your brand mentions with tools such as Brandwatch, BrandMentions or Sprout Social. These tools give you the ability to listen and track organic conversations about your brand across both social and the web. 
  • Share of Voice tells you how much of the online domain your brand is taking part in compared to competitors and helps determine customer satisfaction. Tracking SOV will likely be an ongoing task since you’ll always want to gauge how consumers perceive your brand. Within this category are two social listening performance metrics that further assess awareness. 
  • Volume– The number of mentions about your brand. A high volume of mentions can indicate brand popularity.
  • Sentiment– Along with tracking volume of mentions, you must also determine whether the tone of voice was positive or negative. Sentiment tells you how people feel about your brand by analyzing the emotion behind the text. 

Social listening tools use natural language processing (NLP) to identify whether a social post is negative, positive, or neutral. Discover how people are talking about your brand compared to your competitors. 

 4) ROI- Conversions and Referrals:

These metrics may be more relevant to business owners with websites or eCommerce platforms.

Conversions refer to when a purchase is made and referrals refer to how a user landed on your site.

  • Lead tracking is a social listening tool that looks for potential leads based on specific keywords or conversations. Finding them early gives you the opportunity to engage and possibly turn that lead into a conversion.

Social media monitoring relies on your ability to listen; Without social listening tools, you are at a competitive disadvantage. Your data will be as flat as the numbers on your screen.  One general goal of every brand should be to create an environment that embodies transparency and fosters consumer trust. The obvious plan of action is not only to listen to the conversation, but take part in it.

You can create a brand your consumers will loyally support by combining your social media metrics with your social listening tools. Use this information to better understand your audience, engage with them directly, keep up-to-date with the latest trends in order to improve, monitor your competition, and respond quickly and efficiently to any negative feedback. 

“Real insights come from seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. You will only ever get that by truly engaging with customers and listening to their stories,” Graham Kenny of the Harvard Business Review. 

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Key Takeaways:

  •  Social listening is not only crucial for maintaining your brand’s longevity, but it also dramatically enhances the metrics that define your success. 
  • Social media monitoring is the process of searching and collecting data, while social listening involves monitoring online conversations, analyzing the data, and taking action. 
  • Knowing your target audience is only half of the picture. You must also know your competition and your brand’s reputation.
  • Understand social media metrics through the lens of social listening to capitalize on data you are already collecting.
  • The obvious plan of action is not only to listen to the conversation, but take part in it.

Want to ensure you are taking competitive advantage of your social media metrics? Contact the DCG team for a free consultation and social media assessment.

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DCG Team DCG Team April 21, 2021 0 Comments

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Shopping

Every month, a staggering 130 million people explore Instagram’s shoppable posts to discover and purchase products that brands are selling on the platform (Source: Later.com). Many businesses have implemented the shoppable feature on their accounts, and they’re reaping the benefits as we speak. In November of 2020, Instagram introduced a momentous update to the app, making the shopping feature a central aspect of the platform’s layout and overall experience. It is now more crucial than ever for businesses to embrace the new app landscape and make their accounts shoppable. 

For business owners who are not familiar with the Instagram shopping feature, it’s simply a tool that uses product tagging to give users the ability to tap a photo of your product(s) and view the price(s). If a user clicks on the price tag, they will be given the option to either view the product on your website or to add the product to their bag directly through Instagram. 

An additional update expands this access to Instagram purchases, with product tagging not limited solely to posts, but including Stories, Reels, and promoted ads as well. This fosters a smooth buying experience, increasing Instagram’s “shopability” from the moment someone discovers your product, to when they decide to purchase it. And if that wasn’t news enough, the new Google-like search experience for the Explore Feed now includes the ability to search for keywords (in addition to the hashtags, usernames, and location options that were available before), giving users and businesses even more ways to find each other. This plays incredibly well with product tagging, making shopping on the app as accessible as possible. Adopting these new features has essentially made Instagram a second landing page for your business. 

 

If your brand would like to start encouraging customers to shop directly from your business’s Instagram account, there are a few prerequisites that your account must meet before you can start selling on the platform:

  • Keep in mind that your account doesn’t need to have 10k followers in order to create shoppable posts.
  • Instagram requires that your business is located in one of these 46 countries in order for you to apply the feature.
  • Your account should be dedicated to a business that predominantly sells physical goods, and your account needs to be set up specifically as a business profile. Check out Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policy to make sure you understand and are in compliance with all requirements.
  • The Facebook Business Page that is connected to your Instagram account can’t have country or age restrictions.
  • You will need to upload your products to a catalog that can then be connected to your Instagram account. You have 2 options for cataloging in which you can either create one yourself using Facebook’s Catalog Manager or you can use a Facebook partner like Shopify or BigCommerce to link an existing catalog of your products.
  • Once you’ve met all requirements, your request to make your account shoppable will be reviewed by Instagram!

Here are the guidelines to set up shopping on your IG account:

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When your account is eligible for the shopping feature, how do you actually set up your IG account to be “shoppable?”

  1. Go to your profile and select the three bars in the top right corner.

*insert screenshot of account w/bars circled or just the bars by themselves*

  1. Tap Settings.

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  1. Tap the fourth item down, it will say either Business or Creator depending on what type of profile you have.

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  1. Tap Set Up Instagram Shopping.

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  1. Tap Get Started.
  2. If your business’s Facebook is not currently connected to your IG account, you will be prompted to connect it at this step.
  3. Follow the steps to connect a catalog to your account. There are two ways in which you can do this: either by connecting to a new or existing catalog, or by using a Facebook partner such as Shopify or WooCommerce.
  4. Follow the remaining prompts to ensure that you have selected the appropriate catalog and submit your account for review.
  5. The review process usually takes a couple of days. Once you’ve been approved, you will receive notifications from Instagram to complete the setup in Settings so you can start tagging products in your posts and stories. 
  6. Start posting!

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  1. Tap Done.

Now your company can utilize posts and stories in a more “boutique” setting like this: 

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The process itself isn’t complicated, but there are quite a few details to pay attention to. Instagram has great resources to help you become shoppable, and once you’ve been approved there are some key aspects to keep in mind as users begin discovering your products:

  • For any shoppable posts on your feed, you can tag up to 5 products per image, and up to 20 products in a carousel post.
  • It’s important to have a good balance between shoppable posts and regular photos on your feed. You don’t want to inundate your audience with price tags, but you also want to make sure they know that the purchase potential is there.
  • Create a highlight that is dedicated to your products and shoppable posts. Give your followers an easy way to view everything that you have to offer!
  • The Instagram explore page has a shopping tab that displays accounts with shoppable posts, so your products could very well end up on the screens of millions of users at once. With that in mind, make sure your shoppable posts feature high-quality images with a strong caption and description of the product(s).
  • Use relevant hashtags to increase the likelihood of reaching greater numbers of shoppers.
  • Make sure your shoppable posts align with your brand and Instagram aesthetic.
  • Always make sure that your shopping tags are linked to the correct products.
  • Use the “view insights” feature on your account to track the performance of specific posts.
  • If you discontinue a product or change the price, don’t forget to update your catalog and feed accordingly.

 

If you are interested in learning more or aren’t sure if your business would benefit from the shopping feature, reach out to us and we can help you determine what’s best for your business!

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DCG Team DCG Team March 20, 2021 0 Comments

4 Reasons Why Good SEO is Worth Your Attention

It’s no secret that search engine optimization (SEO) has become an essential part of doing business in the digital age. While a fair amount of guesswork was necessary for businesses in previous decades to fine-tune the best way to reach their target audience, the sheer amount of data that can be leveraged with SEO has given today’s advertisers a far deeper understanding of their place in the market. This isn’t to say that utilizing SEO means businesses will never have to resort to “trial and error” from time to time, but it does empower them to create a more data-driven approach to marketing. Surprisingly enough, despite how significant the rewards of using good SEO can be, it’s also one of the most cost-effective things you can do to drive sales in the long term (as long as you’re willing to flex your patience while the work is being done).

Whether you’re in the startup phase, or looking to reinvigorate growth in an existing business, here are 4 reasons why good SEO should be on your radar (if it isn’t already):

  1. Organic Search is Still the King of Website Traffic

Simply put, when it comes to driving potential customers to your business, 51% of all website traffic comes from organic search. While it’s true that Google runs on advertising funds, their search engine is still designed to answer people’s questions as quickly and easily as possible. This indicates consumers’ tendency to search for specific products or services when they’re ready to make a purchase; not choosing to buy something simply because they were prompted by an ad. Optimizing your SEO to best answer the questions being asked, therefore, is likely to be favored by search engines such as Google (who, by the way, happens to own over 75% of the search market), helping potential customers find you amongst a vast sea of competitors.

2. It Doesn’t Just Drive More Traffic, It Drives the Right Traffic

Advertising drives your product to the right people; SEO drives the right people to your product. Aside from email marketing, search traffic from Google performs 400% better than any other method. Google Ads, for example, are a powerful way to reach potential customers that you likely wouldn’t get by other means, but, even then, if they aren’t carefully targeting your audience, it’s like casting a large net into the ocean: you may catch a few good fish, but you’re also going to catch a lot of kelp. Whether you’re using it for paid advertising, or organic searches, SEO analysis makes it possible to not only identify which factors are most relevant to your business and target market, but it also helps build a more accurate picture of the people who are likely to buy from you. Since 71% of commercial buyers begin their research with Google searches, knowing your customer means you can more accurately provide what they’re looking for, and attract more people like them.

3. Your Search Ranking Increases Your Credibility

Appearing on the first page of any search is like winning the internet lottery – only better, because, as it turns out, it has little to do with luck, and a whole lot to do with proper SEO practices. Over 95% of people never make it past the first page on Google. And why would they? Thanks to Google being synonymous with “having the answer” to any given question, if your business isn’t listed on that coveted first page, you’re probably not what people are looking for. Moreover, businesses that rank at the top of Google’s search results garner the perception of trustworthiness, reliability, and credibility. This is because Google’s algorithm is designed to display content that it sees as the most relevant (and legitimate) first, and the public knows it. But how do you get there? While it’s true that clever keywords can increase your visibility and cause your click-through rates to skyrocket, it isn’t the search position alone that feeds your business. It’s the use of intelligent SEO that backs up those strong keywords and gets you in the rankings in the first place (and keeps you there in the long run). In essence, it’s not about the clever keywords, it’s about the quality of the information they’re found in.  

4. You Don’t Have to Break the Bank to Get Results

There isn’t much out there you can get for free, so we can understand your skepticism when we say that SEO doesn’t technically require any money at all. No, really. Unlike PPC (Pay Per Click advertising), SEO doesn’t necessarily have a strict, close-ended budget applied to the bookended time an ad runs for. What it does cost is the time, effort, and dedicated commitment to continuously improving the quality of the content your business provides. 

The good news is, there are tons of free SEO tools out there to help make sure you’re spending that time and effort effectively. The even better news is, as you implement SEO to improve the quality of your site (and it’s hub of digital media), you’ll be recognized for it in the form of increased traffic, higher ranking, and ultimately, a boost in overall performance where it matters most: conversion. 

Conclusion

Investing the time and redirecting in-house employees to cover this task can be scary for businesses, and, as a result, the long term benefits of proper SEO are often pushed aside in favor of short term solutions that burn bright and fast. If your business is just starting out, or needs to place its time and talent resources elsewhere, hiring a professional may be well worth it. Yes, this will cost you some, but, that cost will pay for itself as your well designed SEO actively works for you, and continuously enhances every other aspect of your business. 

Not sure where to start? Our team offers website analyses to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your website, including how well your website has been optimized. Start your website audit here

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DCG Team DCG Team January 15, 2021 0 Comments