Thursday, January 31, 2013

Social Media Measurement, Actionable vs Vanity Metrics

Many companies use the wrong metrics to measure their performance, especially when it comes to social media. I've done many training on Engagement and ROI, and often companies like to focus on what many call, "Vanity Metrics". Pageviews, unique visitors, registered members, conversion rates, email-newsletter open rates, number of Twitter followers, or Facebook likes -- Do you think they are important? Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, does not think so.

Vanity Metrics look good, and is easy for a fan to see how popular you are, but there is a question that is hardly asked, "So What?"

These are 4 "Actionable Metrics" to focus on.
  • Relevant revenue. Note the word "relevant," which refers to recurring sales in your core business. Don't count revenue from one-time or stagnant sources.
  • Sales volume. This can be a number like units sold or active subscriptions, something that shows whether or not enough people want to buy what you're selling.
  • Customer retention. Metrics like "new customers" can hide the fact that although you may attract 1,000 new users a month, you're losing 900, which means you're not going to scale.
  • Relevant growth. Too often, companies compound the stupidity of their choice of metrics by creating a metric tracking the growth of vanity metrics. You should be looking for a traceable pattern in which the actions of your existing customers create new customers. That's what Ries calls an "engine of growth."
 These metrics are valuable because they measure success at your core business. To measure the value of your social-media activities, you have to look at the results the company is getting overall and track how social media was involved in moving the needle.

Social media is a big-picture, interdisciplinary concept that covers an evolving set of digital methods through which stakeholders interact. These methods can become major marketing channels, customer-service delivery channels, and new ways of gathering intelligence. Internally, your team can use social technologies to share information, build relationships, and get work done. Much of this is profoundly important, yet intangible. Intangibles are the enemy of actionable metrics.

To use Social Media effectively,  a company has to discover its actionable metrics and act on them instead of the vanity metrics.

-- Robin Low

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tips to pitch a story

As a small business or an entrepreneur, it is important to learn how to pitch an interesting story or ideas to the media (influential bloggers or mainstream media)

Here are some tips to make you pitch like a pro. Always consider your audience.

Newsworthiness (CITPPM)
(List is from Carol Howard, On Deadline — a good book about media relations.)

Come up with newsworthy ideas to pitch, based on CITPPM —

C - Consequence - Is the story of any consequence to your readers?

I - Interest -  Is the story interesting to your readers?

T - Timeliness - Did the event just happen or is it going to happen?

P - Proximity - Is the story a local or national story?

P - Prominence - Prominence of the coverage?

M - Magnitude - Does the story have magnitude?

After getting a good newsworthy story, think about your pitch.

What constitutes a good pitch email? 

Visual. Many people read the news online because there is a catchy picture. If you have a nice shot of your product, (screenshot for software), include a few good ones for the editor to pick (make sure they are not too big) and the pics you send catches their attention too.

Concise. Make sure you are concise enough to sell your company in one or two sentences in the email copy and title. It's like pitching to an investor, really.

Detailed. Include as many information about the company and the founders in your attachments. It makes our lives 10 times easier.

Good luck with your pitches!

-- Robin Low

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shift in Engagement.

Many businesses in Mexico are now shifting their engagement, from Brian Solis's blog, "Touch points open and close whether a customer stands on the stage of awareness, consideration, purchase, or post purchase. It is in those moments that engagement, regardless of source or shape, affects the next steps and impressions of customers."

With customers owning multiple screens, laptops, tablets, TV, smart phones, engaging customers in the journey of decision making process does help a lot as each stage has different needs.

The customer journey management (CJM) is now getting common, and Hotels, Restaurants, Art Galleries, Artists are now not only interested in the social side of engagement, many of them are also thinking of ways of making the decision making process of a product or service more hollistic.

You get to meet, socialize and know more about the businesses you visit, and they are also interested in going further to engage with you online, and sharing information across the different mediums and screens you use.

With such a competitive world, you have to get in the engagement or be obsolete!

-- Robin Low