Power to the (Facebook) Pixel

The latest part of my current Highbrow course was about using Facebook Insights to track website traffic – essentially non-Facebook stuff, which was definitely something I wanted to write a bit more on.
I’ve used Facebook Pixels before to track return on investment for Facebook ads, but I hadn’t thought seriously about it’s use in tracking the demographics on standard website traffic and leads – I was sort of aware that this worked, but hadn’t considered the possibilities before.

While Google Analytics (the usual go-to for web stats) can give you a great deal of knowledge about your visitors, it has nothing on Facebook Insights, because Facebook was designed from the ground up to gather everything about an individual person. Plus, for those people it doesn’t have specific info on, it can extrapolate and profile based on the data it does have. (Basically, all those people who tell me ‘Oh, Facebook doesn’t know anything about me, I never told it my age/birthday/gender!’ And think they’ve been very clever – nope, I’m sorry, Facebook knows who you are.)

Once you’ve hit 1000 website views, Facebook Insights can start giving you way more info on the demographic of your website users than you’d likely be able to get otherwise. 

Studying Here and There

I started out just wanting to write a quick update, but this definitely turned into something more! Well, that’s what blogging is all about, I guess.


On the learning front, I’ve been working through Future Learn’s Social Business course. It’s been really informative in how to build a potential business, and also how to measure business success in ways other than financial gain, by measuring social impact.

This allows businesses to balance between the customers who provide more social impact but less money, and more commercial products/services/customers who provide the money that keeps the business ticking over. Their method of Social Return on Investment is to give activities and services an monetary unit, (m.u.) that it didn’t already have, using customer/client surveys to produce the relevant data.

Elsewhere, I’m still keeping up with Duolingo French. The further on trying to learn a language goes, the less it feels like I’m keeping up, but Duolingo is set up to send encouraging emails when I’m falling behind on my daily practice, which definitely gives me the push to keep it up. (Future Learn does this too, once you’ve not logged in for a set amount of time.) According to the site, I’ve progressed from 17% fluency to 43%, so whatever that means, I feel confident putting French on my LinkedIn profile at least!

Today I signed up for new Highbrow course, this time on ‘How to generate more leads through your website‘. It doesn’t come through until tomorrow lunchtime – specified times on Highbrow are now a premium feature, along with certain courses, which is how I thought they might monetise the site. I’ll get some notes and thoughts together on that course once I’ve had a few days on it.

Finally, I’ve been exploring another new way to get bite-sized marketing learning into my day with the Marketing School | Digital Marketing podcast, which is exactly long enough to fit into my walk from the railway station to my work.

 

Marketing Essentials Notes Part 3

I ended up writing two very short, but very different posts today, rather than one longer topic. The first one is here.

I’ve been making a few more short notes from the marketing textbook Marketing Essentials as I work through it – here’s part one and part two.

In this section, I was looking at Consumer Buyer behaviour.

Marketing Essentials outlines four different types of buyer: Routine Response Buyer, Limited Decision Maker, Extensive Decision Maker and Impulse Buyer.

Often, this has less to with with the buyers themselves than with the product. For example, you are more likely to put more thought, time and research into buying a new car (Extensive Decision Making) than into buying a pint of milk. Milk would be a Routine Response purchase, as you are likely to go to the same place (the supermarket) to buy your usual product, and if that wasn’t available (perhaps it’s not your usual brand, or there’s only semi-skimmed, not skimmed) then you would buy the next available similar product without really thinking about it.

Limited Decision Making covers both products that the consumer only buys occasionally, as well as when they need to research an unfamiliar product or brand.

Impulse buying, however, involves little or no research at all. Impulse buying is encouraged both in physical stores and online through more elaborate POS (point of sale) displays. Research has suggested that this is becoming more and more common as a form of buying behaviour, and as a result companies are much likely to use add-on items or prominent displays at check-outs etc. However, over time this can backfire somewhat for the company, because people are much more likely to regret their purchases and don’t develop loyalty to a company and brand. It generates better short-term income, but may not create repeat sales behaviour.

 

 

Social Media Metrics – Comments

I’ve just finished reading this article:

Ask SMT: Are there too many social media metrics? Which do you find most valuable?

This was definitely an interesting read for me, because a lot of the baseline metrics that I I’ve looked at when reporting on social media just didn’t seem relevant, especially when reporting to senior staff.

One theme here is that level of interaction is important, and I think it’s more important than reach, even though reach numbers can look much more impressive. Rather than  the number of people that might have potentially looked at your content, it’s the number of people that read/watched stuff, shared it, talked about it, talked to you about it, that really count.

A number of the interviewed commenters in this had the point of metrics needing to be relevant to your specific goals and your organisation – this is a helpful comment in that you shouldn’t be exactly following other people’s plan, however there are some baselines that need to be followed – Return on Investment for paid media was one, and real bascis like number of followers is absolutely another.

Blog Reading Nostalgia

Over the last few days, I’ve been making a massive effort to read other blogs on WordPress. I went through my long-neglected reading list and ended up removing most of my follows from blogs that hadn’t been updated in years, then went searching for some new ones. 
Searching the Social Media and Digital culture tags, I noticed pretty much right away that the majority of the posts were from blogs created for school/university courses on social media, covering and discussing the exact same kind of content that I did back in the first year of this blog. 

It was surprisingly nostalgic to read through these posts, seeing people discovering (for the first time) the academic topics and issues that I studied and wrote about at length. 

It’s interesting that many of the same books, papers and researchers were referenced as when I was at university, despite the massive changes in social media over the last few years. It seems like it’s still quite a niche subject in research circles. Still, it’s prompted me to start looking at some of the ideas referenced in a new light, and perhaps to go back and do some reading up. 

Notes from the #Oiconf Feed

So the Online Influencers Conference was going on in Bristol a few days ago. Sadly, I wasn’t there, but fortunately it was being attended by a crowd of people who are sharing good stuff to the Twitter hashtag #OiConf, and the OiConf account itself was full of roundups etc.

I immediately made some phone notes with the best top tweets and made a few notes of my own, so I’m finally getting around to throwing them up here.

I’ve noticed this too, it’s why Facebook videos now only count views of 3 seconds or longer, any less than that and the ‘view’ wasn’t really a view at all.

Definitely one to bear of mind when working with brands – there’s a ‘day of’ for pretty much every day of the year now, (this post from Hootsuite is a good resource, but there’s no point in celebrating the

Influencers and ‘authenticity’ is such as fascinating topic. The internet is full of content creators who are making a living off balancing a carefully cultivated brand and being ‘real’ to their fans, especially when working with sponsored content (I wrote about this years ago in a blog post that barely scratches the surface, it might be time for some follow-up work.)

I’m a bit scared by this last one – but it’s something I’ve since been reading up more up. After all, with the rise of AI in retail, customer service etc., this starts to sound a bit less like hyperbole and actually pretty plausible. In fact, it’s been recently suggested that AI in customer service frontline could be quite beneficial in preventing burn-out in the workforce. On the other hand, if not handled it will remove a lot of lower-income jobs with no alternatives.

Hootsuite: Notes from the A to Z of Social Media Strategy

These notes are from this free course provided by Hootsuite, which I mentioned that I would be starting to work through in this previous post.

Companies are rushing to catch up on digital output, which means that digital and non-digital often aren’t in sync with each other as far as goals are concerned.

  • You need a unified and sound social media strategy.
  • A unified strategy will help a company achieve it’s goals better (see this post for notes on marketing goals.)

It needs to clarify and provide guidance, as well as adherence to best practice.

Personal Note: This has applied to all of the social media accounts that I have managed over the past few years:

  • To ensure that company staff changes over time won’t affect the social media platforms
  • To lay out roles and responsibilities
  • To outline policies and appropriate uses.
  • Also particular tone and style – not doing this can confuse followers and may make it obvious to the public when different people post.

Components of the Strategy

  • Do an audit of your accounts
  • Outline your objectives
  • Figure out your brand and voice – a style guide for social media is something that I’ve seen before, and may be a good idea
  • Also need to set up measurements and goals, and figure out what does and doesn’t work.

The analysis of your existing social media is the first thing. Your social platform engagement should be logged frequently to see clear growth/decline/changes over time.

  • Look closely at your competition!
  • What strategies work for them and how can you incorporate them into your own?

Important point – Be Honest! – or you won’t have the best answers to move forward.

That last point would be bolded more if I could, since it can be too easy to put a positive spin on your figures, especially if presenting them to senior colleagues or clients. But it’s important to remember, if they aren’t as social media savvy as you, they’re relying on you to provide them with clear guidance for their long-term ideas. And if they are, they’re likely to know what they’re looking at… even if it’s not the answers that they wanted, this is the first step to social media improvement, which is the most important point.