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search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an excellent tool to bring traffic to your website … if you’re doing it right.

Automating your social media can be useful for developing a content plan, so you’re always prepared. As a Hubspot partner, we use their unique automation software to optimize our content and schedule it out weeks in advance — so all you have to do is watch the engagement roll in.

These social media tools are meant to free up your time so you can engage and personally interact with your followers, have authentic conversations, and strategize about what you post and when. So, now that we know more about social media automation, let’s go over how you can use these tools to automate your posts.

1. Look at social listening tools.

Many social media automation tools can be used for social listening. Essentially, social listening is the process of monitoring what people are saying about your brand or industry online.

With automation tools, you can see brand mentions across all platforms in one place. Additionally, you can follow certain keywords, topics, or hashtags to see what’s going on in your industry. Moreover, social media automation tools can be used to follow your competitors. What’s the latest news? What are people talking about?

Ultimately, social listening tools can help you come up with ideas for social media posts or even product ideas.

2. Use chatbots.

Another way to use social media automation tools is to create chatbots. Chatbots can be used with sites like Facebook Messenger to streamline your marketing, provide customer support, and improve the customer experience.

For example, you can create automated replies or suggested replies to customer questions or comments. When a customer asks for your hours, for instance, your chatbot can automatically respond. Additionally, you can use a chatbot to let customers know that you’ll get back to them in a certain amount of time and provide resources.

Ultimately, a social media chatbot should help customers with small issues, but escalate larger issues to a human.

3. Gain valuable insights across several networks.

Most social media automation tools provide analytics that can be helpful to your social media strategy.

For example, after using and connecting these tools to your social platforms, you can use the analytics to determine the best time to post. You can answer questions like, “When does my audience interact more?” and “What’s my engagement rate?”

A large benefit to automation tools is that you can get analytics such as impressions, reach, and engagement on all your social media platforms in one place. These reports make it easier to compare the success of a campaign across different platforms.

4. Produce content curation ideas.

While not all automation tools provide content curation, some of them do. This means that you can choose industries or topics that you think your audience is interested in. Then, the software will curate content that you can share and post on your social media platforms.

Some automation tools might draft a social media post for you, however, those should just be used as a starting point. You should write all your own social media posts. Additionally, using the tactics mentioned above should help you get to know your audience better, facilitating more content ideas.

5. Engage with your audience.

One of the most important benefits of social media automation tools is that they can help you engage with your audience across several platforms in one place.

With this type of software, you can monitor brand mentions, replies, and messages. With all of these gathered in one place, it makes it easier to connect with your audience and helps your team respond in a timely manner.

6. Achieve consistent scheduling.

Consistency is one of the best ways to earn your follower’s trust and improve your online presence. With social media automation tools, you can keep a steady queue of posts. This can help you plan ahead and spend more time on creativity and less time on the tedious posting tasks.

Additionally, you can use this software to schedule posts in bulk. Many automation software can be used to input a spreadsheet of posts and schedule them.

These are just some of the top ways to use social media automation tools. However, a human should still be interacting with the community, and planning creative, exciting content. At Digital Storyteller, we have partnered with Hubspot to schedule, manage, and optimize the content we create in-house. Contact us today to learn what we can do to improve the way you tell your story online.

The world of social media metrics is evolving at a rapid pace, making it nearly impossible to understand without at least a little bit of background information. Whether you’re trying to get new followers or increase engagement, there are a few key metrics for social media performance that are more important to watch than others.

In this guide, we’ll go over what social media metrics are, why they’re important, how to find them, and which ones you should be paying closest attention to. Consider these basic KPIs to be the foundation of your digital marketing strategy — there is more to know, but mastering these will help you quickly make improvements across the board.   

As a general rule, seek out rates and more nuanced metrics, avoid overemphasizing simple counts and totals. Here, we highlight five of the most important social media metrics you should be tracking – and they’re not just the usual suspects.

Why Do We Need to Measure Success?

Numbers are the universal language, especially for marketers. Every effort and activity we do has to be translated into tangible numbers. There is no way for marketers to measure the effectiveness of various campaigns unless the measurement of important metrics is in place.

Now that you have set goals for your social media marketing strategy, it’s time to think further — measure the performance. Don’t be misguided: Likes and shares aren’t the main numbers to monitor. There are more important metrics that you should rely on to assess the effectiveness and success of your social media activities.

These five metrics will focus on the first two layers of the marketing funnel. We will follow up with a post entirely dedicated to conversion metrics later. Here’s a look at awareness and engagement as they related to marketing:

  • Awareness reflects the metrics that connect your audience (potential customers) with your brand
  • Engagement reflects the numbers on how your audiences interact with your content

Awareness Metrics to Measure Success

Awareness is the first stage of our marketing funnel. our main focus at this stage is to get attention from our audience and make them aware of our product or brand.

1. Brand awareness

This is the general attention on and understanding of your brand that you get from your audience. Measuring brand awareness may be challenging, especially if you’re just starting your social media game.

Our advice for startups is to create a social media posting schedule and stick to it. Try to gather some information before actually measuring it. Once you have a functioning social media space, you will be able to measure your brand awareness.

For us, one of the best indicators for measuring brand awareness is mentions of your brand name. You should aim to track the who, why, and when of mentions of your brand on social space. Sometimes, if you aren’t directly tagged in a post, it may be hard to track. I use “Mention” to get our daily updates on who mentioned our brand, on which platforms, and what they said. Give it a shot!

Also, you should monitor trends. This means to try and see what people are in fact searching for. A great tool for this is Google Trends.

2. Post reach

Post reach is a number of people who have seen your post since it was published. It’s an important metric as it will give you insights into your targetting — whether your target is too narrow or too broad.

If your reach seems low, try adjusting your audience settings. If you are using Instagram, try adding more diverse hashtags; if you’re using Facebook ads, try to adjust your audience settings.

You can easily calculate your post reach. Take any post, divide the number of people who have seen it by the total number of followers, and multiply by 100. For example, the number of people who’ve seen your post is 1,567 and you have 5,689 followers. This will translate into a 27.5% reach. We always try to have our content hit at least the 40% mark.

3. Audience growth

In simple terms, this metric measures how fast you’re gaining new followers during a certain period of time. You may set your own goals and develop campaigns to achieve the desired numbers.

To keep our team motivated and accountable to our social media work, we try to measure this weekly (every Monday). We simply compare this Monday’s numbers with the stats from last Monday.

Believe it or not, this is one of the most important metrics for any marketer as it’s easy to neglect the growth in followers. Seeing how many new followers you’ve gained in seven days will motivate you to do better next week.

You can calculate your growth rate by dividing the number of new followers by the number of total followers and multiplying it by 100. For example, if since last Monday, we have gotten 267 new followers, and our total number of followers now is 4,567, this means that our weekly growth rate is 5.8%.

You should set your own targets and decide how fast you want to grow.

Engagement Metrics to Measure Success

Engagement metrics are among the most interesting ones to analyze because they will give you an insight into how and with what kind of content your audience interacts the most. This is mainly about comments, shares, likes, reposts, etc.

4. Average engagement rate

Average engagement rate is a percentage of people who interact with your content. The higher the rate, the more engaged people are with your content, which is great as it should be your main objective.

It’s calculated by taking all engagement (usually likes, shares, and comments) within a period of time, dividing it by the total number of followers, and multiplying by 100. For example, someone gets 356 likes/shares/comments on their content this week. They currently have 1,098 followers. This translates into a 32% engagement rate.

The good news about measuring the engagement rate is that LinkedIn and Facebook have it automatically calculated for you. As for Instagram, you may rely on your own calculation or use Tanke to calculate for you.

(Off-topic: Tanke is a great tool to analyze the basic information for Instagram accounts and to spy on your competitors.)

5. Instagram saves

Likes and comments are dropping on Instagram. However, there is a new hot metric that you can start relying on to measure engagement. It’s how many people saved your post.

Tracking Key Metrics For Social Media Performance Is Crucial For Success

Tracking social media figures has never been easier as most of the platforms offer automated calculations. All you need to do is actually pay attention to these figures and make sense of them.

Tracking and analyzing should be a big part of your social media game. Knowing how your posts perform, you will be able to better adjust your campaigns, strategize, and eventually achieve better results.

It’s also exciting to actually know how your posts compare with each other. You will be able to discover patterns and see what works and what doesn’t. In the end, you want to give only what works to your audiences so that they engage more and convert more readily.

Which metrics do you use to measure the ROI of your marketing efforts?

As a team that works entirely from home, the Digital Storytellers have definitely had some time to adjust to this unique way of working and living, which has left us feeling more prepared than we’d like to admit for a crisis nobody saw coming. Here are our tips for surviving quarantine without giving up on your routine:

Build a master list of chores:

Go around your house with a notepad or your phone and make note of the tasks you’ve pushed aside before the excuse of being “too busy” was ripped out from underneath us all. My master chore list looked something like this:

  • Reorganize hallway cabinets
  • Clean out closet and donate clothes
  • Clean the oven and microwave
  • Organize lonely socks
  • Clean out dress drawers

After making your list, add a section to your daily power list that includes an hour or two of chores every day. It doesn’t have to be overly organized or scheduled — just set aside the time, consult your list, and start chipping away. 

Work on creating a new habit

More time at home means more opportunities to focus our energy inward and develop ourselves in meaningful, internal ways. We also have more control over our environment when we are at home — as opposed to being at work or school — which means we can set ourselves up for success. 

If you are trying to create new healthy habits in your diet, empty your fridge and pantry of anything that might derail you. If you are trying to spend more time outdoors, replace your daily commute with a solo walk around your neighborhood. 

Make your home a sanctuary of self-love and self-development and none of this time will feel wasted, no matter the outcome. And remember — it takes 60 days to build a habit, so you’ll be able to challenge yourself to keep it up once you’ve returned to work too!

Find a yoga class or guided meditation

While the new habit you choose to start working on is entirely up to you, we would recommend that everyone incorporate either a daily yoga session or a daily meditation practice (or both!) into their daily routines. 

However, despite having access to thousands of online resources, it can still be challenging to find an instructor or guide that makes you feel grounded or eager to show up each day. This is especially important if you are just beginning to practice yoga or meditation; like with every new habit, you must set yourself up for success at the beginning! 

Here are a few of our favorite resources for online yoga and meditation practices:

Incorporate daily movement

Being trapped inside doesn’t have to mean being chained to your chair. Whether you are feeling lethargic or antsy, movement is probably the solution your body is begging you to provide. 

If working out is something new for you, start with 20 minutes of walking or stretching every day and then slowly add more time and more challenging activities each week. If you are a newly trapped gym rat, it’s time to hit Amazon. You won’t need much but here’s what we’d recommend for maintaining your fitness at home:

There are dozens of workouts that can be done with these pieces of equipment and you should be able to buy it all for less than $100 (or for free if you can come up with some creative substitutes!) The lightweight dumbbells are ideal for online barre workouts, which you can find on Youtube.

Whether you are new to working from home or have been using your spare bedroom as an office since you moved in, Quarantine can be challenging for everyone. Our final (and most important) recommendation? Stay calm and take care of yourself and the people you care about. We’re going to get through this together — and you might even have a positive new habit by the time it’s over!

Is investing in a marketing tool like HubSpot going to be worth it for your company? As digital marketers, there are many intelligent tools to navigate email marketing, website design, analytics, and more. With HubSpot, everything you need is in one place. It allows your processes to run more smoothly and provides a big picture analysis of how your company’s marketing is performing.

HubSpot is a software that combines marketing, sales, service, and analytics all in one place. Under each of those umbrellas, you are able to utilize the tools you need to be successful.  For example, in the marketing section, there is a place for web design, blogs, email marketing, live chat, web traffic analytics, and more!

As a digital marketing company, this simplifies all of our processes by creating a one-stop-shop for everything we need to know about our clients. Not only does it give us what we need to know, but it also provides the tools necessary to put that knowledge to work. In addition to making our lives a bit simpler, it streamlines processes for our clients, too.

In HubSpot, the “customer lifecycle” can be mimicked virtually. It begins with designing a site that will attract your target market. Once you attract customers, you build sales leads and turn those leads into customer relationships. After successfully connecting with your audience, you can provide excellent customer service and gather data to maximize your marketing efficiency. All of this happens in one place, so there is little room for error between steps. 

There are so many tools within HubSpot, that it can be difficult to navigate as you begin to use it. But if you take the time to learn the intricacies of the software, it will be a huge benefit to your company. It has made our lives simpler at Digital Storyteller as we continue to implement it with our clients.

Despite the industry’s old school tendencies, the use of social media in financial services organizations is no longer an option. According to research from Medium, at least 98% of all Fortune 500 companies use at least one form of social media.

At the advisor level, Putnam Retail Management found 84% use social media for the finance industry business. Ninety-two percent of them said social media has helped them gain new clients.

The average asset gain for financial advisors using social media was $1.4 million in the 12 months before the Putnam survey. The most effective advisors using social media in financial services increased assets under management by 10% in just a year.

Is your financial services organization using social media effectively? If not, you’re losing business to your competitors.

Of course, finding new clients is not the only benefit of social media. And at the same time, there can be plenty of challenges to using social media in a regulated industry. Here’s everything you need to know about developing a social media strategy for financial services in 2020.

1. Focus on compliance

FINRA, FCA, FFIEC, IIROC, SEC, PCI, AMF, GDPR—all the compliance requirements can make your head spin. Many advisors and agents now work remotely. It’s critical to have compliance processes and tools to guide their use of social media.

Get your compliance team involved as you develop your social media strategy. They’ll have important guidance on the steps you need to take to protect your brand.

For example, they can explain separating personal and business use of social media. They should also weigh in on what kinds of links advisors share.

It’s also important to have the right chain of approvals in place for all social media posts. For example, FINRA states: “A registered principal must review prior to use any social media site that an associated person intends to use for business.”

2. Archive everything

This falls under compliance, but it’s important enough that it’s worth calling out on its own. According to FINRA, “firms and their registered representatives must retain records of communications related to their “‘business as such.’” Those records must be kept for at least three years.

3. Conduct a social media audit

In a social media audit, you document all your company’s social channels in one place. You also note any key information relevant to each. At the same time, you will hunt down any impostor or unofficial accounts so you can have those shut down.

Start by listing all the accounts your internal team uses regularly. But remember—this is just a starting point. You’ll need to look for old or abandoned accounts and department-specific accounts.

While you’re at it, make note of the social platforms where you don’t have any social accounts. It might be time to register profiles there. Even if you’re not ready to use those tools yet, you might want to reserve your brand handles for future use.

SIX is a Swiss finance company. When they conducted a social media audit, they discovered 80 unofficial social media accounts. Among them were dozens of fake accounts on Facebook. Fake accounts create a significant risk for financial companies and can erode public trust.

4. Implement a social media policy

A social media policy is a living document. It guides social media use within your organization. That includes accounts for your advisors and agents.

Your compliance, legal, IT, information security, human resources, public relations, and marketing teams should all have input into this document. It will help you maintain a consistent brand identity while reducing compliance challenges.

It will also define team roles and approval structures so everyone understands the workflow of a social post. This clarity upfront can help reduce frustrations that social media in financial services might not move as quickly as it does in other industries.

Using social media for finance industry purposes can also come with security risks. Be sure to include a section in your social media policy that outlines security protocols for the less-sexy aspects of social media. For example, prescribe how often to change passwords and how often software should be updated.

5. Commit to doing it right

The Putnam survey found that an active presence is a critical component of a social media marketing strategy for financial service accounts. Simply creating a social profile is not enough. Zero percent of the advisors who have only a passive presence on social media gained new assets through social channels.

Compare that to the highest achievers. They brought in average new assets under management of $15.3 million. Eighty percent of those high achievers pay for a premium level of service on a social network, rather than sticking only to free tools.

Training is also an important factor. The high-achieving advisors were much more likely to have received training. They learned from colleagues or a consultant, rather than figuring out how to use social tools by themselves.

Don’t you think you need training? Consider that 61% of those Putnam surveyed identified themselves as social media experts. However, Putnam found only 15% of them really were.

And when you’re ready to take your social strategy to the next level, we have the tools to help!