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. 

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.

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.

The impersonality of Twitter Moments

Twitter moments are impersonal.
I discovered that this weekend when my tweet of a political event was included in twitter’s news coverage. After a short while the number of notifications, while nowhere beat viral levels, was starting to annoy me, so I turned them off until this morning. When I finally turned them back on, I had a shed load of likes and retweets, but also a couple of replies. I braced myself for the likely rude comments. 
Instead, while the comments were people opposed to the event, they weren’t addressing those comments to me, just generally commenting. It struck me that while my account etc is still visible in the scrolling newsfeed, Twitter moments make it seem less like it’s coming from a personal account (unless it’s someone extremely famous) and people are more inclined to treat it that way. Some food for thought when using Twitter moments as a tool.

Quick Blog: Learning Updates

I haven’t done any Future Learn courses for a while, but I’ve decided to try and kick start some learning in other areas.

I’ve continued to work on my French via Duolingo, and it’s a slow process but I’m able to make it part of my morning commute. The XP system in Duolingo is a great example of Gamification, as I’ve got a daily goal to hit and I’m mostly managing it.

After originally not getting into Highbrow, I’ve decided to give it another try, and I’ve realised that the problem last time was probably the course content. I’ve started something very different – a email course that sends you and explains a short new business case study every day. The case studies come from University courses, and while they’re too short for it to feel worthwhile writing a blog on it right now, I definitely feel that I’m picking up ideas from them. Once I’ve done the whole course, I might write a post reflecting on it.

So the next thing I’m looking at is Hootsuite Academy. These seem like much more involved courses, but they’ll probably be much more valuable to me career-wise in the long run. It seems like there are online quizzes/exams at the end of each course, but unlike FutureLearn, they can be started and finished at any time, so while I’ll be making sure to put sure time aside for it on the regular basis, I can also take my time to really get in depth with the course materials. I’m printing out the first pdf. of questions as I write, and I’ll see how this goes.

A Few Things I do – Social Media Management

So I’ve been managing various social media accounts for over two years, and I wanted to make a few notes on things that I’ve learned. (A lot of this is probably super-obvious, but I just thought it would be good to write it all out, even just as reference for myself later.)

Use more than one platform for Twitter

Twitter is the medium that the organisation I work for is most active on, unsurprisingly since the lifecycle of a tweet is that much shorter than that of Facebook. I can’t now find the article to quote from (my life :S) but I definitely read something that the average lifecycle of a tweet is less than a few minutes, whereas a Facebook post gets about an hour and a half.

However, the native Twitter web platform seems to have regular bugs. particularly sometimes not showing replies which is a huge problem if you’re a public-facing service! But personally, I’ve found that Hootsuite can be slow to update and show retweets and likes (you are less spammed with notifications of course, but if it’s a quiet period it’s sometimes good to see those in real time, especially if you’re trying to see when engagement is happening). Therefore I tend to keep both open, that way I can ensure that I don’t miss anything.

Have a list to curate from

In my current position we’ve not sharing a lot of other people’s content except through pre-arrangement or when it’s directly relevant to us, but in previous roles it was important for engagement to show lots of other third-party content that followers would find interesting. To keep from having to spend a long time looking up content, you need an easily accessible list of places to look. It needs to be relevant, but from big enough range of sources that your content doesn’t get stale.

There’s some tool that Hootchat has recommended me (#Hootchat is a twitter convo from Hootsuite that’s really good to follow if you work in this field) that I’m planning to try them but even just keeping a list of bookmarks is a good idea. There’s also plenty of sites and apps that can helps with this such as Diigo or Bitly.

Have people to engage with

It’s a great idea to try and make connections via DM with other similar accounts, or if you’re at networking events, try to link up with their marketing/social media manager and see if there’s ways that you can help each other out and promote each other. Reciprocal marketing is something that I deal with a lot, even if it’s just ‘you tweet about this and I’ll tweet about that’ because it’s a great way to get your content/product/whatever out to a new audience.

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