The Benefits of a Social Media ROI Dashboard

Depending on what size company you are, and what your budget is, you might have all sorts of tools and dashboards you’re using, especially if you’re tracking multi-media results. But if you’re a company that is focused on social efforts, and trying to answer the age-old question “What is my social ROI?” you absolutely need a social media analytics dashboard. A lot of companies struggle to track this, and leave social ROI to metrics that don’t strictly correlate such as improvements on social pages, which a lot of C-suite members may find hard to really see that value. But if you use a dashboard tying your various metrics together, you can actually track profit/revenue/ROI. The next question is, “What should this dashboard entail?”

A social media ROI dashboard that is successful should be able to pull in data from three places: Your social networks (using the Facebook API, Pinterest API, etc), Google Analytics, and from your on-site revenue. This could be anything from DFP ad revenue if you’re an online publisher to tracking through to a sale on site if you’re in e-commerce. If you’re involved in other media, or any sort of content discovery platform like Taboola or Outbrain, it should be customized to pull those in as well, but for now let’s talk about social. Whether you’re building your dashboard in-house, or using a third-party vendor, you need to set up a tracking system with each of your posts, that allows both the API and Google Analytics to recognize what this is so the data can match up in your dashboard. The easiest way to do this is to match your Campaign and Ad names in Facebook to your UTM code in Google Analytics. Or just have a smart engineer that can set up rules in way that the dashboard can match the two together. Then the dashboard will pull in any revenue on-site from that specific link with its UTM code, and you’ll have the data you need.

social-roiNow, while you can try and put a value on X amount of followers or Y amount of engagement on social, why not actually trace your spend on social back to the true on-site profit you’re then making from those social audiences? If you pull in the data from the Big 3, as we’ll call them, you’ll be able to concretely say that those three ads you ran, or even those three organic posts, garnered a specific amount of profit. By pulling in the Big 3, the dashboard will be able to tell you how much you spend on an ad or post (so it may be $0 if organic), but then also how much you made from on-site revenue.

The dashboard will also help you make smart decisions with your ads, since you’ll have more information than just CPC. You’ll be able to like at on-site eCPM, PV/S, ROI%, and more, so you’ll more accurately see what’s causing an increase or decline in your ad’s performance. Is it due to what’s happening on Facebook? Or has there been a shift in PV/S? If it’s PV/S is this happening site-wide? Or maybe eCPMs are going down on the site? Previously you might have made decisions purely based on CPC — if CPC went up $0.02, you might shut down that ad. But now you have a dashboard telling you that despite the CPC increase, you’re actually still making a profit, because PV/S and eCPMs are also going up. So you’d be able to see the actual profit, and the reason why your ad is still doing well despite an increase in CPC. Now you have concrete evidence for social success, and support from additional ROI metrics as well.

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This dashboard can also help with those other areas of performance, because if your eCPMs are down, you can talk to the sales/advertising team to find out why, and if your PV/S are down, it may be a content issue (and of course it can worth the other way as well). So this can help with cross-team communication and productivity by having these different efforts working together. By having all of this information in one place, you can not only increase your social productivity, but your social profitability as well. And who doesn’t want that?


4 LinkedIn Tips for the Lazy User

Man yawning in the office

LinkedIn seems pretty self-explanatory, right? You pretty much add your resume, connect with a few people, and maybe at some point it’ll be useful for a job search. But what happens if you just let it sit there and do the work for you? The answer is… nothing. So you may get a few views here or there, but it won’t really work to your advantage. So without paying for that premium profile, what can you do to get seen? Even if you don’t want to put in a ton of effort, there are a few things you can do to make your LinkedIn profile work for you:

  1. The more you’re active on it, the more people will view your profile. This doesn’t even need to mean you have to post all the time (although that certainly helps). Your activity could include a tweak to your profile, adding other connections, or even just looking at other people’s profiles! If they’re like most curious people, when you show up as one of the people who has viewed their profile, they’ll want to see who exactly you are. You never know what that might result in. If you want to be a bit more ambitious, try these 5 IFTTT recipes as well.
  2. The more you connect with people, the more it seems to come back your way. DO NOT spam people, but look for people in your industry that could be strong connections down the line. While 500+ connections looks pretty good on a profile, you want to go with quality over quantity. Be strategic with your connections, and find people who are influencers in your industry, or are even at your level, in order to gain additional insights into industry trends. Most people will accept an invitation if you work in similar areas, even if you don’t know them. Leverage these connections to learn more about the industry, and even about job opportunities down the line. Still a little nervous about reaching out to people you don’t know? You can import email contacts, connect with people at your company (which, depending on its size can be A LOT of people), and even connect with friends! You never know who their connections are.
  3. SEO, SEO, SEO! I would hope you know to include keywords in your profile, and make that profile fairly scannable, but if you’re the lazy user that’s reading this, then perhaps not. Potential employers and recruiters use keyword searches to find their employee, so make sure your profile matches the terms (and potentially job titles) you want to be searched for. You don’t have to include paragraphs upon paragraphs of past work experience, just make sure the right kind of experience is listed.
  4. Including work samples (or “media“) on your profile also help someone who’s simply scanning see what you’ve accomplished. Especially if it’s something you’ve published, someone can click right through to see your work. Especially if you don’t have a separate portfolio or blog (which is also a good idea), this is a great way to highlight your greatest hits.

Try these 4 steps to get started. That shouldn’t be too much for you 😉

Millennial Marketing: Living in a Material World

its-all-about-meMillennial: That beautiful buzz word. That materialistic, entitled consumeristic generation. That parasite of the expanding digiverse: We consume everything, feeding off of media, product placements, and, of course, the notion that we deserve everything. And we are that beautiful breed that marketers can’t get enough of these days.

So what does this mean for marketers? How valuable is this “#genlike” demographic in reality? Pretty damn valuable. The millennial generation is a self-serving one, always asking “What have you done for me lately?” However, we are also quick to act as brand advocates, it just comes at a cost. We are a generation that feeds off of attention, be it Likes, Shares, RT’s, etc. That means that we will be quick to promote a product (often unknowingly) for free, but we seek confirmation in the meantime. After all, we are the Me, Me, Me Generation” which means that we want you to make it about us. We expect brands to interact with us – to have active social customer service, to engage us in conversation, to be a “voice for the people.” Static brand advertising is a thing of the past; brands need to be on 100% of the time. “I want it now” has never been so spot on as it is when marketing to the millennial, which means you have to have it all. 

While this may be daunting, it provides a lot of opportunities for brands to go beyond tradition marketing and actually reach their customers on a personal level. Brands like Progressive have done an excellent job of giving their product a voice and persona. They’ve taken a pretty mundane product and have given it life. By entertaining and relating to their audience, they have made themselves more appealing, and therefore are seeing the results. Millennials aren’t necessarily an affluent demographic, but we spend a lot of money. We are a generation that revolves around constantly comparing ourselves to our peers, made especially easy through social media, and our spending habits reflect that. This is where marketing becomes extremely important; signifying your brand’s products as a valuable commodity that will set us apart (or make our lives easier since that’s also often a priority with our generation) is essential for convincing us that our money is best spent with you.

This is where social media becomes an asset for brands, because it’s an easy and inexpensive avenue for reaching the millennial market. We are the demographic that spends the most time online, and we can be reached through so many avenues there: YouTube, ads on Hulu, Facebook advertising, Twitter accounts that we follow….the list goes on and on.
There’s so many ways to reach us  that it would be foolish not to get into the digital space. With the whole world at our fingertips, why would we as millennials go offline?

The online universe has taken the marketing world by storm as millennials migrate to the Internet for everything from TV viewing, to shopping, to social interactions, and even dating.
With millennials at the helm of it all, the shift towards marketing in the digital space is rapidly growing, as marketers scramble to find new ways to capture the attention of this easily distracted demographic. From real-time marketing to native advertising and even “memevertising” (so adeptly coined by, marketers are seeking ways to elude the obvious, and capture the millennial dollar without being overt about it. The best advertising after all is the kind where consumers don’t even realize that’s what it is.

So basically, when it comes to marketing, millennials are a necessary evil, and we are a demanding demographic. What can you do for me? Woo me. Make me feel special. Give me what I want, and more importantly, give me what I need. Most importantly, and at the most basic level, just make me believe that’s what you’re doing. After all, “we are living in a material world, and I am a material girl.”