Deep Dive: 2018 Social media trends to save you time and improve your ROI

Transcript for Deep Dive: 2018 Social media trends to save you time and improve your ROI

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00:00:00 Know our Edgar community. My awesome colleague Kristina is actually gonna be in there chatting with you all today too. So if you have any questions throughout this at all, whether it’s about me, Edgar, or social media strategies, she is going to be a rockstar resource for this. So like I said, please make sure you’re going on in there and chatting with us, letting us know where you’re from, and letting us know what questions and goals as we do start to go throughout this webinar. Like I said, we’ll get started here in the next couple of minutes, and let us know if you have any questions in the meantime. All right, guys. Hey, hey. See a few more of you trickling on in. Like I said, go ahead and let us know where you’re from, what you guys are planning on learning in this webinar. Let us make sure that we’re focusing on things you guys are really interested to make sure that we’re getting all of these great social media marketing resources out to you in a way that you’re excited about.

00:01:21 I’m gonna go ahead and jump on in. Like I said, my colleague Kristina is gonna be managing the chat here today, so pop on in and ask questions throughout the webinar. Keep the discussion going, and make sure that you’re letting us know if you do have anything you wanna learn in future webinars. Make sure you’re subscribing to our YouTube channel here so that you don’t miss any of the videos we’re putting out. As well as again making sure that you’re emailing support@meetedgar.com with any feedback on future webinars that you’d like to see, or feedback on past webinars that we’ve done. We love to learn and improve right along with our community. So thanks so much for joining our webinar today about social media trends to improve the return on investment on your marketing strategies. So if you do follow along with our webinar series here, you know that we chat a ton about experimenting on social media, and the best way to stay ahead of your social media curve is to really start to get to know what posts your followers like to stay ahead of your competition.

00:02:19 As well as making sure you’re offering value to keep your followers around. But we know you don’t wanna waste time and money on something that’s fleeting and that’s not gonna stick, so today we’re gonna look at some things that in 2018 we are sure are gonna be proven strategies to make sure the money and time and investment you’re putting into all of your marketing is going towards an awesome place. So this really is a dear subject to us here at Edgar, especially me, because I think all too often as small business owners, as solopreneurs, as small marketing teams, there’s a common thought that you’re alone in this struggle of not knowing what to post. But really remember, social media marketing challenges everyone, not just you. So as we’re going throughout this today, make sure that you’re really letting us know what goals you’re working on. Big companies, small companies. We are all in this together, making sure our brand story is getting out there and we’re getting the most return for the effort we’re putting into our social strategy.

00:03:13 So hopefully we’ll arm you with some great tactics after this webinar. Get out your pen and paper to get ideas jotted down so you can put them into use right when we end. So the real goal with any sort of marketing strategy whether it’s on social media or not is really making sure you’re delivering the right message to the right people at the right time. And if you’re marketing a product or service to anyone, this really involves making sure it resonates with your audience, and everyone is gonna be on a different buying journey. Some people on social media are gonna be there ready to buy, and those are what marketers know as these buzz words, as you’re hot leads. And then there are gonna be some people who are just in that consideration phase, and maybe need a little bit more nurturing and time.

00:03:57 Social media is such a cool place that you’re able to speak to both to these user segments, but that also produces some challenges in making sure that you’re getting that content out there and you’re competing for a portion of the market share where you’re able to get people’s attention in all of these segments. Gaining their interest, making sure the time they’re spending following you has a lot of value for them as well. So it can really help to make sure that we understand what return on investment is so we can talk to all of these user segments, and at the right time delivering your message, each time ensuring that it is talking right to them. So let’s start really quickly with a definition of what ROI is. Simply put, you’re putting something in as the investment, and you’re getting something out which is the return.

00:04:46 The goal of the return is that it should be higher than the investment. This can mean a lot of different things for different people. ROI for a lot of marketers is a measure not necessarily in monetary value. Rather, it’s looked at whether the investment in your social media’s paying off in relation to the time you’re spending on these posts. So let’s say you’re spending of your time managing your communities and creating this content for your sites, then maybe half of your salary or half of your budget could be considered as an investment into your social media efforts. Or in money terms, this can be thought of the amount gained here can be seen as you run the campaign, and say it generates 10 sales. That’s gonna be the amount gained, so that’s gonna be the revenue from your sales. The amount spent is gonna be the total investment you put into that campaign, so the planning, the copy, the graphics. All of that stuff is the investment.

00:05:41 Then we’re gonna be able to track that a lot better to know what types of posts you should be really investing in with your community. Again, every single person is on a different buying journey, and it’s really said that it takes about seven touch points with a brand in order to establish to brand loyalty, and in order to really get someone to know, like, and trust you. So as you’re going throughout this too, think of the different funnels you can create with all of your value added content. You never really know where someone is gonna be in their buying journey on social media. So make sure every update and promotion that you’re sending out is leading to different pages. You can see this flow here might be for someone who is a warm lead, someone who is there and ready to buy. They’re aware of your brand, they know it’s gonna solve your pain point, you’ve done a great job letting them know you are the best choice in your industry.

00:06:31 But this flow could be changed, and you can still relate it back to the return on investment, even if it’s not gonna be related to a direct sale. So we’ll look at some strategies going throughout that, but I really wanted to just put this up here today so that you guys can really start to think about the fact that it’s not always gonna be converting to a sale when it comes to return on investment in social media. So let’s start a little bit about creating some community here as well. Simply Measured is an awesome site that does a lot of statistics around social media, and they found that 68% of companies surveyed actually have social media teams that are only one or two people. So that means if you’re a big company or a small company, oftentimes your social media teams are gonna be about the same size.

00:07:16 And this is really what I want you guys to focus on in getting motivated to get these stats going is that we’re all struggling to find the right stats to track for our own social media campaigns, so this webinar really is for everyone. It really is for big or small brands. We are all struggling in this together. You can see from this graph here a lot of people, 40% of us don’t really know the ROI of our social media assessments. So stick around and make sure that you’re getting these tips and tricks, asking questions throughout this, and we’ll go ahead and dive into some more stats here. So first and foremost, if you do follow along with our webinar series, you know that we do chat about goals at the beginning of most of them, and goals are really what is gonna help establish everything that goes, moving forward, motivating you to stay right on course. And know when you need to know the course or double-down on something working well.

00:08:11 If you need some ideas on goals when it comes to social media marketing and ROI, take it from these kind of primary uses that a lot of companies have said they use. The three biggest ones are gonna be brand awareness, lead generation, and thought leadership. And that’s gonna account for about 75% of what most social media brands are focusing on in 2018. Again, if this is something that we’re seeing a lot of brands focus on, it’s probably a trend you want to pay attention to. Think about how a lot of your posts are gonna lead from thought leadership and brand awareness and lead generation when you’re thinking about all of this. And this can really translate to asking questions about your company. Clarifying the goals with your entire team. Say you’re a new startup company trying to build brand awareness or establish yourself as thought leaders is gonna be a really great goal in order to get that great trust amongst your followers who might not know you that well already.

00:09:09 Or say you’re an already established brand, and you need to have a lot of customer service questions answered on social media. That’s gonna produce a little bit different of a strategy for you, so having your goals set out here is gonna be your number one place to start. Whatever your goals are, make sure you do note the existing levels and metrics as we’re going throughout this, too. For instance, if you set a goal to have 10,000 monthly visitors to your company webpage, by the end of the month you need to know where you’re starting. So hop into your Google Analytics, write down these numbers, and get your bench points marketing going so that we can see the efforts that you’re putting into your social media strategy, and where they’re taking you. On social media, you always want to keep the social in social media. Your updates really should focus around sparking conversations, answering questions, and creating a community as well. Customers who are there to love your product and love your business are gonna become a part of your marketing team if you’re doing this right.

00:10:10 So let’s dive in a little bit more here as we’re talking about ROI on some of the post examples that are coming up. I also want you to remember that of course we need to relate it back to your business’s revenue. That is the top thing that we need to make sure you guys are focusing on, but sometimes on social media you can also remember that value is all relative. Knowing how your goals fit into your overall marketing plan can really help you to start building your brand awareness, building that trust, and fostering those long-term connections with your audience. As you’re setting these goals and benchmarks that I was just chatting about, think about different things that you can track besides just money sometimes. Say you’re a blogger. You can set up goals to measure how many people have subscribed to your newsletter, or how many people take an action to read another blog post once they get through the first one. If you’re a software company, you can measure the sign-ups for a trial as you are starting to send more people to your features page.

00:11:09 Blog comments can even be something that’s a huge way to see hey, this is a really engaging blog post I shared on social media, and it compelled a discussion not only on my social media page, but also on the comments section of my blog. So again, there are so many different things you can track when it comes to the return on your investment. It’s not always about the money, so don’t get discouraged if maybe you’re not coming up with the right numbers. Think about other creative ways that you can really start to say, “Huh. This is an awesome, awesome way that I’m showing my followers value here.” So think again, clicks to links on your updates, online purchases, filled out your contact form, signed up for your newsletter, downloaded a PDF on your site, even. These are all great lead indicators that you are doing the right thing with your social media posts. Cool. Tracking engagement can be a lot more useful than tracking revenue as we were just chatting about.

00:12:05 Once you do start tracking these goals, we wanna make sure that you’re also always going back and aligning back with your entire marketing team, and making sure that your team and your strategy is right on point. This especially helps to establish a publishing schedule based on your content calendar. See what campaigns your entire team has coming up, or see what holidays and kind of promotions your store has coming up to make sure you’re syncing all of these things with your social media strategy. So talk with people, sync with people making sure that you’re really getting up to date with everyone. I also wanted to mention ROI and time-saving techniques is going to be really amplified when you do things like use a social media scheduler like MeetEdgar. So whether you use Edgar or whether you just have a content calendar right now, automating your posts and scheduling them out is really gonna be the best way you can save some time.

00:12:59 And really make sure that investment piece is getting a little bit smaller and that return piece is getting a little bit higher with every status update you’re putting out there. So we want you to schedule and plan your posts in advance, and this is gonna be so, so helpful that makes sure that if something disrupts your day, if your team is interrupted, you aren’t scrambling to write and upload posts. You know that you have them all there. MeetEdgar’s taken care of it. Plus you get your posts out on time when your followers are online, and not when you are online. Edgar also allows you to get the most out of your content by recycling it, so you get more return for each post you’re putting out there. So social media automation and recycling your evergreen content is going to make sure that you get the most out of the hard work you’re putting into those posts by re-sharing them, and making sure the majority of your followers get those great content tips you’re putting out there.

00:13:54 It’s also gonna help you free up time to do human tasks that can really help improve the return on any social media posts, and that’s gonna be engaging with your followers. Commenting on them when they ask you questions, thanking them if they retweet you. Stuff like that is gonna add huge amount of benefits for you, and if you have a scheduler like Edgar doing all of the posting for you, it frees up your time to go in and engage a little bit more which is really gonna boost your post awareness. A really cool thing about Edgar right now too, to make it really easy and quick for you, is we just released our Auto-Variations feature. So Auto- Variations in Edgar is gonna allow you to go ahead and stick one blog link into our composer, and Edgar here is gonna automatically generate some new headlines for that link allowing you to test out different subscriptions, allowing you to really make sure that you’re getting your posts and languages to the top notch AB testing networks so well on social media.

00:14:51 If you haven’t checked it out yet, MeetEdgar’s Auto-Variations is a huge time saver to cut back on that time investment piece when it does come to return on investment stuff. So now that we covered some of the goal setting and some of the motivation that we are all in this together, let us get into some example posts for how you’re actually gonna measure your social media ROI. Here we’re gonna focus on four main things. First of all, we’re gonna focus on audience reach and follower account. Next, engagement, then click-through rate and conversion rate. Let’s dive in here to audience reach and follower account. This is gonna go hand in hand with building your brand awareness. If your main focus in your business right now really is building your brand awareness, your audience reach is a great place to start. Some of the best content to post for getting your audience reach a little bit higher is what I like to refer to as the three P’s. You want your content to be focused around professional, personality, and passion-driven content.

00:15:56 This in 2018 is something you do not want to miss out on. It’s a place that you wanna make sure that your followers are getting to know that you’re an expert in your industry with the professional content you’re putting out there. That personality content, giving them that behind the scenes, who you are content. Humanizing your brand. Always remembering that people buy from people on social media is gonna really help to make your brand shine. And then passions. People want to really support your passions and be a part of what you’re excited about too. So make sure you’re not afraid to throw in your personality and passions in there to really increase people’s trust. Going a little bit further on setting your benchmarks when it comes to audience reach, some simple ones to start out with are just tracking your current followers and your current reach. Facebook Insights makes this incredibly easy to do. Twitter Analytics as well, so go ahead and mark those numbers down and create some goals month over month on how many new followers you wanna go ahead and attract to your sites.

00:16:55 Some great tracking can be done with Edgar’s history page as well. We do track the amount of followers and give you nice weekly reports on the changes there, too. If you’re not sure where to find that if you’re an Edgar user, go ahead and email supper@meetedgar.com, and we can guide you through that. As you’re starting out creating these three P contents that we were just talking about, I wanted to throw in some questions if you’re struggling to come up with the type of content and the types of status updates that are work well here. These are three questions that we really ask ourselves when we’re writing our status updates, and when we’re thinking about new content to create. What this really also helps us do is diversify our content. Here at Edgar, we are a social media automation tool, and we write a lot about social media trends and we write a lot about social media in general. However, we’re also a remote company, and we’re also a company who writes a lot on business practices.

00:17:49 This tangential content is gonna be something that opens up our brand a little bit more to people who might not necessarily be looking for social media automation tools, but are looking to get these business practices in. If you’re trying to think of tangential content and diversifying your content to reach new audience segments, these three questions will help you kind of think about what other things your brands can talk about on social media to increase your audience reach. So ask yourself, do you have a topic that you’re an expert in? And see if, will this topic be an interest to your audience? Audience personas are gonna be huge for knowing the answer to that. We’ve got a great blog post on that if you’re not sure how to create audience personas, go ahead and email us and we can get that to you. Do you have a unique perspective on a piece of content? This one is huge, guys. There’s so much noise out there on social media and the Internet, and you are the only person with your unique thoughts and your unique perspective on things.

00:18:45 So make sure you’re throwing in any sort of commentary or thought leadership that you have around that subject to make sure it stands out and adds something to your industry. Last but not least, make sure you’re coming off as an expert in this topic. So talking about things from a position of authority, making sure people when they think about anything in your industry, you are the voice that pops into their head. Let’s take a realtor here for example, and get into some nitty gritty posts and look at some actual examples. For a realtor, getting brand awareness out there, we’re looking at focusing on the long-term relationship. Think a little bit about the fact that if you’re a realtor and you’re just posting over and over again about actual brands and actual things about your posts and lists and stuff like that, you’re activity reports aren’t gonna be really speaking to people who aren’t ready to buy a house right away.

00:19:40 In 2018, the trend to do with any of your content whether you’re a realtor or whether you’re a different brand is really gonna make sure you’re diversifying your content. Making sure your marketing and your activity reports are done around diversifying and getting different content out there. Let’s look at an example here. I love this example of These 28 Terrible Real Estate Photos That Prove That Selling A House Is More Challenging Than You Think. This is not something that they are directly asking for a sale. It is something that is gonna work well on social media first and foremost, ’cause it is really centered around photos. Social media is such a photo-related topic there. It’s gonna really make sure that people are going in and saying, “Oh, great. Something visual to look at. I am so excited now.” If they’re sharing something really visual here which is a really great way to get people interested in your posts.

00:20:34 But he’s also playing the long game and saying, “You know what? I’m not asking you to buy anything, but look at these really funny photos,” and it produces this emotional connection where people are laughing about something you posted. And when they think of your brand, that really awesome emotion of laughter and happiness will be associated with you. So playing this long game, not doing a one-off sale is a great strategy to go to here. Next, going along with this long game, I love this post here. Getting 49 tips to make your organization a lot easier. One of the reasons I really like this is that you’re thinking of selling a lifestyle more than anything, and the way that you can really solve people’s pain points and speak convincingly to your followers is much more appealing than thinking about hey, this process of organizing, this is what you do. Rather sharing this lifestyle and what they get after they use your product, or after they use your tips here.

00:21:28 So think about how ways your business or how your service can really shine through with posts oriented at thinking about the after effects, and what they’re gonna get from all of the awesome tips you’re giving them. This last one about realtors here is one of my favorites. I just love it. It makes you laugh, it makes you smile, it doesn’t have anything to do with a direct traffic or sale. But the ability to get reactions and the ability to garner shareability with this post is incredible. So what I love especially here is that this company created a custom graphic along with their logo. They probably did this with

00:22:00 -created a custom graphic, along with their logo. They probably did this with a free content creator like Canva. So don’t worry, you don’t have to have a in-house graphic designer to do this. But they’ve attached their logo, very small, very tastefully, in the bottom right-hand corner here. This way, when someone maybe shares this with their friend who’s really obsessed with outer space, or just thinks this is really funny, their logo is going to travel along with it, increasing their brand awareness, increasing that generation there. So think of ways that if you are posting clever softer updates like this, that you can still increase your brand awareness when people share it and when people see it by having your logo and website attached to something like this. And that return on investment can be really awesome.

00:22:42 Going a bit further here, I wanted to talk a little bit about making sure that you’re cross posting and making sure you’re letting people find your brand and discover your brand where they want to. This post from Home Depot is great for that. You can see in their status update, they say, “Already thinking about the holidays? So are we. Catch a sneak peek of our holiday line by following the conversation on Twitter.” So this is a post they went ahead and posted on Facebook. However, they’ve already known that, hey, maybe I’m trying to build up my Twitter following. My goal right now is to get more people to follow me on Twitter. I have a great following on Facebook, let’s tell them that there’s this great discussion going on on Twitter that has some behind the scenes content, which is always really compelling for people on social media. So it’s going ahead and directing people there to content they know they want to see, and they’re really making sure that you’re knowing it’s a sneak peek, it’s something exclusive that you can see if you follow them on Twitter, so giving them a little bit of that brand and sort of mentality that they are getting something that others aren’t, and it’s a really great way to compel people to follow you on a different network.

00:23:53 All right. So trend watch 2018, one of the biggest ones I want to stress here is video. All of the platforms and all of the social media stats are really showing a trend towards all the algorithms loving video. So if your goals are to build brand awareness and lead generation, I don’t want you to skip out on this. It’s a great way for you to build authenticity with your followers right from the start. And going along with this a little bit more is, it’s such a non-intrusive way to produce brand awareness. You’re not asking anyone to leave the site, you’re not asking anyone to purchase anything. All you’re doing is asking them to go ahead and click on your video and watch it.

00:24:34 This example here from Allstate is prime. They already hook you into their video, so they get you excited by producing a little bit of meme text there on the video that you can see that peaks your interests a little bit, and they get you excited, because you know you’re going to be entertained if a little child is talking about insurance rates. So think about ways that you can make your videos look and hook your followers right away, and posting it natively absolutely is the way to go right now. You get about a ten times higher reach than if you post YouTube videos right now, so make sure that you’re utilizing native posting on each network. You can even schedule native posts right within Edgar, we have a little video icon right underneath that text box when you click to add content. So take advantage of scheduling some of that to really get your brand awareness out there.

00:25:26 And one of the best ways to really measure the return on your investment for videos is not necessarily going to be the reach your video gets, but how much viewership it receives and how many people are watching it all the way to the end. Facebook makes this really easy by doing things like giving you unique views on the video, so pop into your Facebook insights or pop into your Twitter analytics and start kind of seeing the viewership of the video to measure that return on investment.

00:25:52 And remember, guys, you really don’t need to be a professional videographer or have a ton of content to get video as a part of your strategy. Think of it this way, we talk about evergreen content and repurposing content here on our webinars a lot, so if you write a blog post that doesn’t exactly live up to your expectations, why not try repurposing it into a quick video? Jumping in front of the camera, even just using your iPhone and going ahead and showing your face describing some of the concepts in there. If you share some tips in that video and it doesn’t find that audience really well, you can go ahead and then repurpose that video into a blog post. So thinking about creative ways you can do it, it doesn’t have to take a ton more time. Repurposing content really is going to be the way that brands can keep up the speed of social media. You know how quickly social media goes these days.

00:26:44 So using the work you’ve already done to get a head start on creating different types of content from one piece is really going to make the biggest difference on getting that return on investment. So really making sure, again, that you’re focusing on video in 2018, so you’re not missing out on any of that.

00:27:01 And livestream.com is an awesome site who went ahead and aggregated a lot of video statistics recently, and they actually found one that I wanted to share with you guys today. That’s that 87% of people that they surveyed said they would prefer to watch an advertisement online versus a traditional commercial if it had behind the scenes content in it. So make sure you’re showing off your office, make sure you’re showing off anything that gets people in that behind the scenes content if you’re doing more of a promotional video.

00:27:33 All right. [inaudible 00:27:35] here, we know we talk a lot about value, value, value as the number one thing you want to be focusing on when you’re producing social media content, but sometimes you do have to be a little bit more promotional, even when your goal here is talking about brand awareness. So we’ve been talking a lot about these softer posts here, but I wanted to jump in and do one of these last posts that has to do with brand awareness around the fact that you need to make sure your followers know your product can give them a better life. It’s really going to have the biggest return on investment when you focus on the emotional appeal here.

00:28:07 So this right here rotating on your screen was taken from Marie Forleo, and she does a great job of getting this emotional appeal through testimonials and social proofs. So your reader really needs a reason to take the plunge when you’re putting promotional posts out there. An emotional connection is going to be the biggest reason, especially here in 2018, everyone is focusing on that emotional driven sales strategy.

00:28:35 So your followers might not really even realize that their life could be better, or that your product or service exists. When you’re building brand awareness, you want to make sure that you’re telling the reader what problems you are going to fix and being really clear about it. When you show that you can identify and you can understand their problem and speak directly to them, you’re going to easily demonstrate that your product is the best fix for their pain points, and they have these desires and ambitions and that you understand them directly and you’re making that connection that your product can take them to where they want to be, and that they deserve to be there.

00:29:12 So make sure that you’re speaking and so, you know, “Hey, what’s preventing you from being there? My product can help you get there.” And that they deserve a product like yours to achieve that. So show the reader that you’re on their side and that you’re there to help, and social proof and testimonials are a great way to make sure that they understand that you care and you have been there in the past for your followers.

00:29:35 All right, discoverability, relatability, and shareability. So this right here is going to be really great for brand awareness because in 2018, consistency and making sure that you’re showing up for your followers, again, is going to be huge on each network. The unique benefit of sharing quotes, like this one here from Kim, is that they are so universally understood. People can relate to them no matter what. And they get likes, and they get shares like crazy on social media. Inspiration and optimism is really popular right now. For example, say you share this post as an inspirational quote, and you’re like, “You know what? I don’t know how to measure the return on this investment.”

00:30:14 Know that on Instagram, especially, you should be hashtagging your quotes here, because you can get more reach with this. Say someone is searching for an inspirational hashtag on Instagram and your brand comes up. It increases the likelihood that they see that quote, because they were just looking for some Monday inspiration, and they see that you do that every Monday, and that’s what they need every Monday, they’re more likely to then go in and follow you. So get creative with ways that you think can really help boost that follower count and that brand awareness when we’re looking at things to see that all-important follower count go up.

00:30:50 All right, so let’s head into the next section here, engagement. This is one of my favorite topics, because it really is taking and keeping social in social media. You’re making sure you’re not just having a monologue and broadcasting all of your posts out there, rather you’re creating chances to talk to your followers and have a dialogue and offer the benefits of them. Engagement is really what’s going to come out of this quality content that’s going to resonate with your readers, compelling them to talk, and compelling them get excited, to interact with you.

00:31:23 So remember, real people do run real businesses, so as you’re writing on social media, keeping it conversational, keeping and making sure people know about your brand. So content creation, conversational, really using numbers and asking questions to peak that curiosity behind any sort of statistics or any sort of things that you’re sharing is a great way to get people to talk back to you. Post it forward is what we like to say when you’re saying, “You know what? This post is so valuable,” or “Hey, we’re going to go ahead and donate some proceeds from this post to charity.” Things like that can really show and produce engagement that people get excited about and want to share with their friends.

00:32:04 Be real, and don’t be afraid to be flawsome. Flawsome is a term that I just actually learned the other day that I love. It actually came out of this tweet that someone at the Red Cross accidentally accidentally posted on the Red Cross’s Twitter account thinking that it was their personal account, not realizing it. They were then able to turn the situation around so well, making a joke out of it, going ahead and admitting to their audience that everything was safe and sound at the Red Cross. So if you make a mistake on social media, go ahead and own up to it. That produced some of the biggest shares on that post that they admitted to. So don’t be afraid to admit your flaws. It gets huge engagement, and it gets that real kind of person-to-person connection on social media.

00:32:48 So tracking for engagement, easy tracking on comments, shares, likes, stuff like that. And don’t forget about engagement as a way to get a huge return on investment when it comes to things like thinking about how much money a lot of companies pay towards focus groups. Social media is a free platform where you are essentially able to ask questions and go ahead and produce polls to get to know your audience in a free way. How awesome is that? You don’t have to go ahead and pay a marketing agency to do a lot of user research for you. So engagement can also help get that return going, as you’re getting to learn a lot more about your audience.

00:33:27 Cool. So, let’s jump into some examples here. For engagement in 2018, you’re going to see a lot of brands starting to run contests and starting to run ads like this one that Edible Arrangement does. I love this here because it really gets people excited with consistency in their hashtag, #triviathursdays, and it gives followers a reason to participate. It’s going to increase your page engagement, and it’s going to get people excited to share this post with others as well, because they’re giving them something that they can win. So enticing people a little bit more there, but also really making sure that people are aware that this happens every Thursday, so that they are ready and excited to produce and engage with the community here who’s all thinking about trivia.

00:34:13 So think about these custom images that you can throw onto these fun posts, and start watching what other brands are doing to get ideas for how you guys can start to produce more engagement on your social media posts.

00:34:26 Right here, for Ford, I love this post. As you can see, there is no link here, there is nothing directly selling anything that has to do with Ford. All this content says is, “Oh, the places you’ll go. Where have you traveled with your Focus?” You might say, “Huh, that’s interesting, Ford. No one is going to get to your website or produce any sort of return on this post.”

00:34:49 But posting questions like this is going to be huge, you guys. Again, making sure that you are giving people the time and the space to tell their story. People love talking about themselves, people love connecting with each other, so giving people a space to do that with your brand will keep your follower count going and keep people engaging with you. You know, I love this post especially, because in 2018, people expect more of a personal touch with social media and advertising and branding than ever before. If you’re creating a space where people can talk to you on your post, it then gives you the opportunity to hop on in and talk back right to that one follower.

00:35:28 If your brand is not doing this right now, you’re going to be missing out on so much. If people are replying to you on social media, even if they’re not asking questions, you want to make sure you’re responding to every single follower. This one-on-one interaction is really the way that marketing and social media is going in order to stand apart.

00:35:47 So create opportunities with every post that you post to ask questions and get people talking, so that you can then go back and set aside 15 minutes at the end of your day and engage personally with each follower who does respond to posts like this.

00:36:02 All right. Next, lifestyle photos. This one here, I just love so much. This is a company, Madewell, that’s actually a clothing company. They produced this Instagram photo that got over 15,000 likes, and they are a clothing company. So think about ways that you can, again, diversify your content and really make sure that you’re investing in a way that your audience sees themselves. So Madewell obviously did a ton of research with their Twitter analytics and Facebook insights that let them know, “Okay, wow, my audience is really looking for things that have to do with this millennial clothing, this millennial kind of lifestyle going on, and avocados that are something that is so trending right now.” So it doesn’t fit with their brand, but this photo is aesthetically pleasing and it’s appealing to their target audience who loves that lifestyle. And look at the engagement it got. So get to know the interests of your followers, the age ranges, and research what those age ranges and what that kind of personality and persona is really excited about seeing.

00:37:06 Cool. 2018 is all about influencer marketing, especially on Instagram, but other networks as well. Over 90% of marketers who employ an influencer marketing strategy really do see success from it. So if you guys are really starting to get to this point where you want to experiment with some things, I would encourage you to go ahead and research some stronger influencers in your market. You know, you don’t want to just get anyone with just the hugest amount of followers. You do want to make sure that you’re going in there and asking questions, saying, “Which of their posts get a lot of reactions from their followers? Does my brand fit in with those types of posts that get a lot of reaction?” And these are the types of clues that you should be looking for, if that influencer is really going to be a great one for you.

00:37:53 For example, this is another Madewell post. They went out and found a fashion influencer here to celebrate a bag that they had an anniversary with. She is talking about how excited she is about this bag, and then they give her a special link to put in this post to direct them to their site to see how effective it is, so you can know if you want to work with this influencer again in the future. Again, thinking about the relevancy to your industry, audience product match, and looking at some of their past posts in order to see if they’re a great match for you guys. But definitely do not miss out on influencer marketing if you’re looking for new ways to promote your businesses. In 2018, it’s going to be something that most brands are going to be seeing great success from.

00:38:36 Awesome. So here’s one of my favorite posts for engagement that comes all the way back from 2011 from Coca-Cola. It says, “At this moment, billions of people are smiling. Are you one of them?” This post is so simple, short, and sweet. They’re sharing a witty, nice little statistic here, and the shareability on this post is huge. Why you want to create content that doesn’t have direct things to do with your business or any direct links that drive traffic to your site, really comes from this statistic on Facebook. When they crunched their data, they found that every person on Facebook is connected to every other person on Facebook by an average of three and a half friends. So that means if one of those three people share this post out, it’s going to be able to reach so many more people. So engagement is really going to be huge for people sharing posts.

00:39:28 Go ahead and look at brands in your industry, in your niche, and what their posts are doing that are really getting shared most often. And that’s probably a signal that it’s going to be a similar audience segment to you. So see if you can focus on getting that inspirational and entertaining audience responses out there, to make sure you’re not missing out on these great shares that social media is so good for.

00:39:55 So this is a great segue really quickly here into social listening. Again, I was talking about that one-on-one connection being the biggest thing in 2018 that brands and audiences are looking for. This is a great way to set up what we call Google Alerts. It’s completely free, super simple to go to, google.com/alerts. And it’s a really great way that you’re then able to quickly set up e-mail notifications for the words and phrases you want to monitor. You can do this by entering them into that search bar you see there at the top. You can set the preferences and frequency on when you want to be reminded that you’re being talked about, the sources you want them to come from, even things like the region that you’d like it to come from. You can then hit that little “create alert” button, and this is a great way, again, to know when you’re being talked about, who’s talking about you, and to jump in and engage back with the followers who are talking about you.

00:40:50 So get that chatter and engagement rate up. I would definitely, it’s such a low [inaudible 00:40:55]. Google Alerts does not cost anything at all, so if you’re not doing this yet, definitely jump in there. Super simple, again, google.com/alerts.

00:41:05 Going a little bit further here, Google has an awesome website called trends.google.com, and this is a great way to start to get posts that are going to produce a lot more engagement and talk around stuff that’s going on right now. When you think about something that’s trending, or when you think about a news article or a topic that’s really popular, and a lot of people are already talking about it, it’s a great way for you to then think, “As a marketer, maybe I want to join in on this conversation, because people are already so excited about talking about it.”

00:41:34 So if the tone of what you’re talking about is really matching your brand, and it’s trending, you want to make sure that you’re not missing out on that segment to produce more engagement. So I definitely recommend going to trends.google.com, poking around in there and really making sure that if there’s something that matches your brand that’s trending, you don’t miss out to produce more engagement there.

00:41:57 Cool. So with engagement, I wanted to bring up stories on Instagram. This is mostly because it’s going to be something huge in 2018. If you haven’t used them yet, they’re really short-lived, lasting up for 24 hours before disappearing content. Instagram stories have over 250 million daily active users. So this means that brands trying to connect with their customers on Instagram really need to get on board with stories. They’re a great way to share your company culture and a lot of behind the scenes stuff as well. One of the biggest benefits of this is that they are going to be discoverable, meaning that Instagram users can see your stories even if they’re not your followers. So people who watch your stories all the way through is also going to be a really great indicator that you’re producing content people like. If they watch one section of your story and then abandon it, perhaps that first section wasn’t a good enough hook. And it allows you then to kind of strategize next time on what will help people watch all the way through.

00:43:01 I also love stories as a way to measure your followers’ engagement, because not everyone is going to click that little heart icon on every post you put on Instagram, or that like button on Facebook. But if they watch your story, Instagram’s automatically going to tell you and show you how many people and which people are watching the story, so it’s another number you can really get to track that engagement. So you can open up your story to see this number. All you have to do is swipe up. You’ll see the number as well as the usernames of people who have seen each video and how many videos from that story they went all the way through. So definitely take some time to go on in and get your Instagram stories set up in 2018 not to miss out.

00:43:42 All right, so jumping into number three, click through rate. I put this little content quote up here, “The world does not need more content, it needs more purpose,” to really remind you that click through rate is a sign that you’re producing quality content. And this is really, again, what we want you to focus on the most, is producing value. And click through rate is going to show-

00:44:00 …Focus on the most is producing value, and click through rate is gonna show you a lot of things that have to do with the quality of your content. If people are continuously clicking, it means every time they’re seeing that benefit. So for click through rate, things like blog posts obviously work really well, other people’s content, we talk a lot about the importance of curating content on social media these days. Anything that has to do with product releases, leading people to that features page, stuff like that is really important. And to get your click through rate numbers, making a lot of sense, I want you to also focus on making sure each post you’re putting on social media has one job. So one post, one job, looking at that click through rate, and it’s gonna make your deliverability on your ROI a lot easier to track.

00:44:46 So let’s go right here and start out with headers. So click through rate is really gonna be influenced by the headline of your article. You wanna make sure that you’re keeping your audience’s attention, you’re educating them, and you’re convincing them to part with their money because you’re such an expert and you have proven your value that much. So if you haven’t heard us say it before, headline generation is something that you can test on social media as well. Here at Edgar we write about ten to 20 headlines for each blog article we have, and we’ll test those as utilizing them as different status updates, as utilizing them on the blog post differently to know what’s gonna hook and what’s going to really make sure that people know what they get from a post they’re clicking on. So the first step here on increasing that click through rate and increasing the return on your investment is making sure you’re testing your headlines and not being afraid to go on in there and produce different headlines for each article you’re doing. Tracking the effectiveness right here in MeetEdgar is really awesome. As I mentioned we do have this new view report section, that you can go ahead and bump on into and pick on week on which you’d like to see those statistics from and from there, when you click that date range, you can see here we’ll go ahead and let you know the clicks as well as the follower count that you’ve received for that week. And this is gonna be a a great place, again, for you guys to set that benchmark and watch week over week if the efforts and changes you’re making in your social strategy are really producing great benefits.

00:46:16 Beyond that, in Edgar, if you haven’t set up a link shortener yet, this is gonna be the best way to track clicks. So if you’re utilizing Edgar, you can see we do connect with Rebrand.ly, Bit,ly, and Ed.gar, our own. And setting this up, you can do it in your settings, from the drop-down menu in that upper right-hand corner in your account. And this’ll help you track the amount of times someone clicks on a link that you’re sharing. Again, super simple metric to engage the return on your investment.

00:46:45 Going a little bit further, outside of Edgar, how you can track links here is gonna be in your Facebook insights. They make it incredibly easy for people to see their page’s marketing analytics. So if you log on into Facebook, you can go to your at a glance section even, and chances are you’ll be able to see some awesome updates on which posts have reached the most people as well as which have produced the most clicks. So you probably already use your page insights and your audience insights a lot to create better content, but make sure you’re popping in here every month or so to make sure you’re on track with your goals.

00:47:19 Facebook actually even allows you to download your entire Facebook history and insights here, so again you can track week over week the effectiveness, and know when you need to change things within your strategy. So from your insights, if you do ever wanna do that, it’s super simple. Insights, and then over on the overview tab, you can click a button that says export data, and just select that date range you wanna go ahead and export, there.

00:47:44 So beyond Facebook insights, I wanted to touch quickly here on something called Facebook IQ. This is a little bit that goes into the trends we were talking about with Google trends as well. So Facebook IQ is a site, they offer it for free, and it’s access to research by industry, holidays, events that are trending, demographic research, and people insights that include some really great global and hyper-local trends that are going on. So Facebook IQ, if you haven’t check that out yet, you can get a really great look at consumer trends and make sure that you’re getting a deeper dive into what people are talking about on Facebook and it’s really aimed at helping marketers uncover the next big thing that’s about to explode, so you can join that conversation and really start to write hyper-targeted content by digging into your audience insights, really increasing that click through rate. If those headlines, if that topic is trending and really producing a lot of excitement. So I’d check it out if you haven’t yet, again, just Facebook IQ, go ahead and Google it. Super free, go ahead and log in to make sure you’re able to join those discussions.

00:48:49 Cool, so one other thing I wanted to touch on here is building custom audiences. When you’re doing this, the reason it can really help increase your click through rate is because custom audiences will allow you to talk right to a certain age group, right to a certain demographic, or a location, or interests, even. So you can take a list of your current fans and customers, and tell Facebook to find everyone else on Facebook that match these same segments. And before you spend the time and money doing this, make sure, again, you have that audience persona, so you know who your lookalike audience here should be. We do have a really great article on how to set this up as well, so again, email support@meetedgar.com if you have questions about setting this up at all.

00:49:32 Alright, so let’s jump in here to some great examples for link shortening and click through rate tracking. So this, from JetBlue, I love, love, love. Again, it has a great visual on it. This is a Twitter post. Anything you can do to get visual content on Twitter will help your post stand out for sure. Another great tactic here is making sure you see that they have the link shortener, they do it with Google here. So they can track who clicked on this link and how this campaign is doing. And they can know the traffic from Twitter over the traffic from Facebook is producing more people to go ahead and get in on this sale. This post especially I love because they put an actual deadline here, so you have to make that decision really quickly, and it creates that great sense of urgency, but it’s also not gonna be super intrusive because they come up with a really clever, really conversational, and really cute status update with this tick tock, it’s escape o’clock part. So think again, promotional posts that are visual, promotional posts that are playful, and then tracking how well they do here.

00:50:33 Next here, I wanted to touch again on headlines, and this testing that we’ve been talking about. So a great tactic is to make sure that you’re testing different combinations in line with your headlines and status updates. It’s super easy to do with Edgar’s new auto-variation feature that we were talking about at the beginning, or if you’re doing this on your own you can see someone like Andy here, goes ahead and introduces a blog article in a lot of different ways. Tracking this in Edgar then becomes really easy because you can go ahead and see, if you go to the posts history, which link and which version was the one that produced the most clicks. And this can have to do with the time that you posted it, or the language that you posted it. So make sure you’re taking all of those things into consideration.

00:51:18 But it’s a really great place to go ahead, in Edgar, and see the amount of clicks, allowing you to see, wow, version three, not as compelling for people to click on as version four. And you can look, you know, what time did I send version four out? Oh, maybe my followers are consuming social media at night more. Or oh, my gosh, it doesn’t look like when I asked a question along with a link, it compelled people to click on it. So don’t get too overwhelmed, even testing just two different messages for this AB testing can be a huge benefit for you.

00:51:48 Alright, jumping in here, guys. Thanks so much for staying along this whole time, it’s been so fun chatting and we’ve gotten to our last one. And that is gonna be conversion rate. So conversion is really a significant metric, obviously, for all of us marketers. Making sure that the number of visitors who are going to our site are converting and actually taking the steps we want them to produce that desired action of becoming a part of our community. So conversion can have different meaning to different companies and businesses. For example, an eCommerce store or business is gonna define conversion as people making a purchase and buying something. Whereas like a website or a SAS business is gonna focus much more on lead generation, people signing up for a newsletter, that kind of fun stuff.

00:52:35 But with conversion rate, again, it’s all about telling your story in a way that’s connecting and resonating with your readers. So with your social posts, you wanna really make sure that you’re speaking right to one, getting that brand awareness out there, and keeping people’s attention to build up your trust with them.

00:52:53 Cool, so again, it’s not always gonna be that direct sale, it’s not always gonna be that direct number related to your revenue that you wanna track with conversion rate. So we’ll go in here and look a little bit at some example posts, but I wanted to start here with … This is our blog at MeetEdgar, and we share a lot of blog posts on social media because we have an awesome content team who loves to discuss social media, again, and we think leading people here is going to to not necessarily convert them into MeetEdgar users, but some of the things we can track with this are the actions they take once they finish reading the blog posts that they got from social media.

00:53:29 So here, taking a look at the stars that I’ve gone ahead and sat down and added here, you can see we’ve given them an option to comment below. That’s gonna be a really great indicator that you’ve done a great job converting someone to become a part of your community, taking the time to comment on your blog. So it’s not always just social media comments, check out those blog comments as well. Another thing you can track is the social share buttons over here on the left. If you have social share buttons up, and someone is compelled to share that article on your blog, that is another great way you can think of that you’ve converted someone to be a really great part of your community here. Obviously this newsletter signup here, right in the middle in teal, you can see this is a great thing to track as a desired behavior. Someone entering their email address, showing you know what, you’ve proven your value, I wanna learn more form you.

00:54:17 And then one more action that we track here at Edgar as a great conversion rate is seeing, once they finish this blog post, do they go ahead and click on a new one? Do they go ahead and research more about our blog? And that, again, is another great indicator that you’re converted someone to knowing that you produce valuable content.

00:54:34 So think about all these different things you can track to get a holistic view on if your posts are compelling people to convert.

00:54:42 Alright, so going a little bit further into audience targeting here. We wanna make sure that if you’re on social media that you’re speaking to each segment of your followers. And each segment is gonna be a little bit different. Here we have this graph, and this is a little bit of the behind the scenes content from MeetEdgar, which I [inaudible 00:55:01] from as seeing to share a little bit more on on these webinars. But this goes along with everything we’ve been talking about here. You have this discoverability and awareness phase. And relating it to Edgar, it’s gonna be us speaking to people who aren’t aware they even need a social media tool yet. So think about people who aren’t aware they even need your tool or product yet.

00:55:20 Then we’re gonna move into that consideration phase, people who are considering what tool they need, and your tool can be something that shows up there. And then this decision part, this is gonna be the conversion part. So when you’re targeting your audience here, they are the people who are gonna be most likely to really help with that conversion number.

00:55:40 So going a little bit further here, this can also really help you think of what types of content can go along with a conversion section here. So we like to really sense people to our pricing page so they can make sure that they know the features, the prices that come along with it. Make sure that we’re going ahead and sending out some coupon offers that we can track to make sure that our conversion rate is really staying on track with our social posts. And your promotional deals. And these are all really great things to track along with your conversions.

00:56:10 And when we go ahead and do this as well, it allows you to kind of get a great budget distribution so you can get a little more number oriented on this return on investment section here. So number orientation, when it comes to this, is really great to have a percentage here. And you can see, if your percentage around maybe, let’s say, brand awareness, is at 50 percent, you wanna convert about 25 percent and you wanna have posts that are going to that consideration bucket as 25 percent.

00:56:37 You can split out your budget, then, in a really meaningful way, and break it down to numbers that matter. So here, we can go ahead and see, these numbers are going ahead and producing. Say we have a 1500 budget for our ads. We can go ahead and spend 450 of it on brand awareness, 450 of it on consideration, and 600 on conversion. And knowing these numbers are adjusting them is a great way to start if you need that sort of more number ROI to report back to your team with. So think about different ways you can get these different buckets in there.

00:57:14 So let’s finish this webinar out today with a few examples on how you can track conversions here. So here, going a little bit further on this idea of speaking to the trending topics that are going on right now, is State Bicycle Company. They went ahead and did a playful little post about National Donut Day, this bike is called a donut, but as well as obviously the food here. And they’ve gone ahead and put a great discount related to social media here. And you can use this coupon code that we were just talking about to go ahead and set up a coupon code that they can use to get the discount, you can track how many coupon redemptions they were, and know if the return on this specific post was worth it or not. So coupon codes are great to add in on social media, it’s a great way to get it out to people who might not be subscribed to your newsletter or your emails, but they still wanna get in on these great, great sales.

00:58:05 This one here, I also wanna point out the shop now and link button. Don’t be afraid to make your call to action so super clear here. Sometimes followers are going through social media so quickly that they forget that they need to do something and take action to get all of the value you’re offering. So one post, one job that we were talking about before, as well as making sure they know that they should shop now by clicking that link. So really make sure that you’re going on in there, and speaking in a clear way to what this post is gonna accomplish for them.

00:58:39 Next post here, I love as a promotional storytelling post. So this here is from a Maine lobster company, and you can see, he goes ahead and shares a ton of his backstory. And it is a great way that he’s kinda pulling at people’s heartstrings about this company that he’s built up, it’s pretty relatable, and he wants to celebrate his success, and that is gonna be hugely compelling for people on social media to get excited about. This is an especially effective way, I think, to go ahead and measure a social media campaign’s success, is say that you run this ad campaign only on social media. There’s no other way that people can find out about this ad campaign. That’s a great way for you, then, to track the effectiveness of it. So think about not necessarily needing to promote posts, excuse me, to promote advertising and promotions that you’re doing on your site and in your newsletters, but ones that are really unique just to social media can be a great way for you to pop on in there and get some awesome traffic, and get some awesome numbers to see how well a campaign does. So again, alter your kind of strategy a little bit to get some social media only promos out there.

00:59:53 So this goes along with what we were talking about a little bit before, the posting it forward. People love to do good in the world, and they love to know that brands want to do good in the world as well. So this post form Arby’s, here, you can see it says every little bit counts. Visit your local Arby’s to donate $1 to the Arby’s foundation and help us fight childhood hunger. This is huge, guys, to make sure that people know the values of your company, as well as making sure that people are compelled to go in an donate. So give people a way to post it forward, and you can see a really great return on investment and sharing out these types of posts.

01:00:33 Alright, so it can be a little bit trickier, I know, for more brick and mortar stores to kind of think about the way you can track conversions when you’re not selling something online. So I love this post from Starbucks as an example here. They go ahead and give specific time frame that they’re promoting their frappuchinos being at half off. So think about maybe doing this only on social media for a specific time frame, and then you can track the amount of people who come into your store around that time frame, and know that they learned about it on social media, to kind of see the effectiveness of that and consider that as a conversion to that post. So think about creative ways, if you’re not an online store I know it can be a little bit trickier but there’s still some great ways that you can track this and adjust your posting schedule there.

01:01:18 Cool. So lastly here, again, I just wanna stress, especially for conversion metrics, that you wanna make sure you’re selling benefits way more than you’re selling features. So you can see Slack here goes ahead and talks a lot about the benefits that you can get from their tool, rather than talking about just the straight up features that they are. And again, this is really going to speak to followers an tell them, hey, this is gonna be so much easier, your life can be so much better after you start using our product. So remember that you really wanna make sure that people are interested in the features and not necessarily gonna be focused on just that kind of dry, this is what we offer. So think about ways people use it, to go ahead and make sure people are compelled to look and see that post.

01:02:07 Oh, my gosh, guys. Thank you so much for sticking with us today as we chatted and looked at some examples on how to track return on investment and some social media trends in 2018. Again, please go ahead and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss future webinars. Tweet us, go ahead and let us know how you like our webinars and what you wanna learn in the future, at MeetEdgar is our Twitter handle, we’d love to hear from you. And as well, if you’re not using Edgar yet and you wanted to go ahead and test him out or see a demo, feel free to go ahead and email support@meetedgar.com or if you wanna snag a free month, to make sure he’s the right tool for you and really increase that social media awareness, snag this great coupon, OctopusWebinar18 to get that, or again, always email support@meetedgar.com.

01:02:54 Guys, thank you so much for joining, so grateful, so much fun getting to know the Edgar community, and keep in touch. Comment on the video below with any other feedback, too, and we will see you next time. Have an awesome Tuesday.

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