BarnRaisers


7 surefire steps to measure and manage social media success 0

Posted on March 27, 2017 by Rob Petersen

social media success

Social media success is elusive for most companies. 88% of companies use social media for marketing according to eMarketer, but most can’t prove whether it’s working.

  • 43% have a good qualitative sense of the impact but haven’t seen the quantitative sense
  • 42% haven’t been able to show the impact
  • 15% have proven the impact quantitatively (Source: CMO Survey/Business2Community)

What is the way to social media success proof-positive?

Here are 7 surefire steps to measure and manage social media success.

1. START WITH A REAL BUSINESS GOAL

social media success - step 1

More Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers are reasonable expectations if you’re putting resources into social media and creating relevant content. But it’s not a business goal. Because Likes and Followers are commonly referred to as vanity metrics. Improving customer service or getting more qualified leads or increasing sales, these are real business goals. They are also reasonable expectations for social media success. For example, JetBlue uses Twitter to improve customer service. Which makes sense because when consumers are flying, they want quick responses. JetBlue has been ranked highest in customer satisfaction for low-cost air carriers by J.D. Powers for 12 years in a row. They also provide an average 10 minute response time to every tweet. JetBlue has proven social media plays an important role in their business goal of building customer loyalty.

2. IDENTIFY WHO YOU WANT TO ATTRACT

social media success - step 2

With so many social media platforms, it does not make sense to go into every platform in hopes of striking the right audience. Define your target audience, find where they like to interact and influencers who talk about your industry. A good practice is to compile keywords that captures your expertise. Search on social networks for the audience that is also using those keywords or talking about topics your company covers. Remember to keep on top of answering questions and responding to followers with thoughtful responses instead of generic answers.

3. KNOW HOW THEY FIND YOU

social media success - step 3

People like to do business with people they know and, on the internet, that often leads them from social networks to your website. Google Analytics measures Traffic Sources to tell you about visitors from social networks. For example, how many, what social networks they come from and how they compare to other visitors. Every social networks gives you the opportunity to drill down further. Facebook Insights gives a good amount of information on who is looking at and engaging with your page. Yon can see demographic information like the percentage of male and female fans you have and what city they live in. LinkedIn tells you who is reading your articles and viewing your profile. You should determine the social networks that provide the most value and measure regularly to see changes.

4. DETERMINE WHAT CREATES BUSINESS VALUE

social media success - step 4

How do you determine if your efforts in social media are generating business value? Avinash Khausik, Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google, created some interactivity categories: Conversation, Amplification and Applause. Conversation is the number of audience replies or comments. From blog to Instagram, this rate can easily be obtained for virtually every post shared via social media. Amplification is the number of Re-Tweets or Shares per post. This rate is an important measurement because it quantifies the reach of your network. Applause measures your audience’s perception of post quality. While the number of Likes your post receives may not translate into new customers. The applause rate is still an important tool for taking your audience’s pulse. These categories are not mutually exclusive either. A business can do all three but probably does better in some than others.

5. DEFINE ACTIONS YOU WANT THEM TO TAKES

social media success - slide 5

What gets your audience to the desired goal? Do they first subscribe to a newsletter? Register for an event. Request a demo? Take advantage of a trial offer? Or are they ready to buy? Or not? And when? There is likely to be some sequence of events, it’s best to define a number of actions so you can get a better understanding of the customer journey and navigate desired behaviors. It’s is worthwhile for every company to their customer journey.

6. CREATE AN ACTIONABLE SCORECARD

social media success - step 6

 

A framework for social media success is now in place because you’ve established: What is the business goal; who to attract; how they find you; how social media creates business value and what actions you want them to take. It’s time to pick the metrics that matter. They are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). They are your actionable scorecard for social media success. They are likely to come from a variety of source. For example, if your business goal is to improve customer service, one metric from your customer service team could be number of customer complaints which should decrease as a result of social media efforts. Some metrics might come from your website such as visits from social networks and conversions of desired acti0ns. Of course, some will come from social networks and the progress is building an audience and creating business value.

7. LISTEN TO YOUR DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM

social media success - slide 7

A key component to understand and improve upon social media success is to listen to your digital ecosystem. An ecosystem is a community of interacting living organisms with their environment. This is what you’ve created with your social media efforts. So you need to listen to your audience’s needs. One way is a Sentiment Analysis to understand how your audience feels about your brand and the topics you cover. Another is reviews. Others are to test with different massages and efforts like A/B Testing. Of course, there is no substitute to check your social networks pages regularly for updates in real time and ideas.

Do these steps help you to measure and manage social media success? Does your company need help getting there?

 

8 surprisingly simple steps to calculate ROI 0

Posted on March 20, 2017 by Rob Petersen

roi

ROI (Return on Investment) is the basis from which informed investment decisions are made.

The ROI formula only requires two numbers; the cost of your venture and the return made from that venture. But there are inputs that go into each. For many, this is where the simple gets complicated. But it doesn’t have to be?

Here are 8 surprisingly simple steps to calculate ROI.

STEP #1: START WITH A BASELINE

roi baseline

Return from a new venture has to first take into account what occurred before. So you have to establish a baseline. In our experience, there are only three baseline scenarios. In Scenario #1,  the venture is just beginning so there is no baseline. There is a clean slate. In Scenario #2, the new venture is trying to change just one area of a company’s operations (e.g. digital, call center, human resources). The baseline in this case is the return in this area from prior period. In scenario #3, the venture involves a change or transformation in the company that likely to impact a number of areas. For example, a business generates revenue through a sales force, call center and website. They are investing in digital operations by upgrading the website, building a mobile app and improving the online selling infrastructure so they can spend less in other areas. In this instance, the baseline is the amount the website generates currently based on a total percent of the company’s operations.

STEP #2: DECIDE IF RETURN IS REVENUE OR PROFITS

roi profit or revenue

Be clear at the outset how you will measure the return in dollars. Is it revenue (sales) or profits? The latter in many cases is the most desirable measure. But it is harder to understand and control. For example, a company produces a food product. Profits requires a knowledge of the cost of goods, shipping and retail allowances. These are often hard to know now and harder to predict in the future. Because revenue has more factor within a company’s control, it is generally easier to forecast. While some insist profits is the way to go, in our experience, revenue is also is a good indication of success and basis for decision making.

STEP #3: DETERMINE THE TIME FRAME

ROI time frame

Before you can determine the return, you have to know how long it is going to take. In most cases, the time frame for ROI is between one and two years. This is due to: 1) Functional activities like the time it takes to create and build new assets (e.g. website, data center and buying infrastructure) and 2) customer uptake for awareness, consideration, trial and repeat purchases. To help understand customer uptake, it helps to know the buying frequency and Annual Customer Value (ACV).

STEP #4: DECIDE INPUTS FOR THE RETURN

roi return

The return is a prediction or forecast of what will occur by the end of the time frame. Use real company data, not norms or averages, unless you want normative or average results. Basics that are usually included in returns are how many new vs repeat customers are expected? What is their Annual Customer Value? If there is a digital component, what are visits and conversions rates to the website? If a company transformation is expected, operating costs in other areas that will decline as new capability are built can be a factor. There can be a few to many input. Confidence in the data means reliability in the return.

STEP #5: IDENTIFY THE INVESTMENTS

roi investments

In some cases, this is self-evident. But not always. Let’s say a major investment in infrastructure is occurring that will take a couple of years but the ROI time frame is one year. The investment is based on cash flow and what is spent in that year.

STEP #6: CALCULATE THE ROI

roi calculation

The ROI formula is: Return – Investment/Investment X 100%. The ROI is expressed as a percent. That’s it. Here is the formula and a sample calculation.

STEP #7: GUIDE WITH KPIs

roi & kpis

An ROI is a forecast of a result to occur in the future, a scorecard of key metrics is developed to keep ROI on track. These are Key Performance Indicators or KPIs.  A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs at multiple levels to evaluate their success at reaching targets. To keep the ROI on track, KPIs are an actionable scorecard. Variables that figure into the return like returning customers, new customers, annual customer value and conversion rate might also be KPIs. Here is what a KPI scorecard looks like for a new digital marketing venture.

STEP #8: ALIGN WITH DESIRED GOALS

roi & goals

ROI is key to evaluating how realistic is the business objective and financial goals for a company. In the ROI calculation above of 238%, the company is expecting a return of $2.38 for every dollar invested. The company has to decide how if realistic this is. It is if the company has the commitment and deliver on their plan and measure success. It probably isn’t if they don’t. But now they have a basis for evaluation. Otherwise, the company is just guessing.

Do these steps to calculate ROI sound simple and sensible to you? Do you need help figuring out ROI at your company?

10 inspiring digital transformation case studies 0

Posted on March 13, 2017 by Rob Petersen

digital transformation case studies

Digital transformation is “the realignment or new investment in technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle” according to Brian Solis.”

  • 87% of companies think that digital transformation is a competitive advantage (Capgemini Consulting)
  • 85% say they have a digital transformation time frame of two years or they will suffer financially and fall behind their competitors (Business2Community)
  • 67% of the CEOs of Global 2000 enterprises will have digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy by 2018 (Forbes)
  • 62% say their organization is in denial about the need to transform digitally (Progress)
  • Only 27% of companies say that their executives possess the skills necessary for digital transformation (Verndale)

Last week, I gave a webinar on digital transformation case studies. Digital transformation case studies examined include Amazon, Burberry, General Motors, McDonald’s, P&G and Starbucks.

Here are the stories for these companies in 10 inspiring case studies of digital transformation.

Do this case studies help you understand digital transformation? Are you looking to accomplish a digital transformation at your company?

15 fascinating studies on the science of mindfulness 0

Posted on March 06, 2017 by Rob Petersen

mindfulness

Mindfulness is paying attention in the present without judgement. Because the present is the most powerful resource we have.

For thousands of years, people have used mindfulness practices—techniques to develop awareness of present experience with acceptance—to deal effectively with a wide range of life challenges. A large and fascinating body of scientific research now validates the benefits of mindfulness and its value in the workplace.

Mindfulness is showing up to be your best self. But that takes practice.

Over the weekend, we attended a Mindfulness Workshop at Grace Farms conducted in collaboration with the Copper Beach Institute. It was taught by Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Brandon Nappi.

Here are 15 fascinating studies on the science of mindfulness.

  1. 1,000,000,000 heartbeats is the lifespan of every living creature. The idea is to make the most and appreciate every one. (Copper Beach Institute)
  2. 2,000,000 American practice mindfulness. (American Mindfulness Research Association)
  3. 70,000 events is how many, on average, every human brain experiences every day. (Aware)
  4. 15,000 employees at Aetna have participated in at least one mindfulness meditation class. Those who have report, on average, a 28% reduction in their stress levels, a 20% improvement in sleep quality and a 19% reduction in pain. They also have become more effective on the job, gaining an average of 62 minutes per week of productivity each. Aetna estimates it’s worth $3,000 per employee per year. (NY Times)
  5. 4,000 scientific papers were combed through by researchers to write “Contemplating Mindfulness at Work,” which was published in the Journal of Management. Their main conclusion? Mindfulness is linked to better workplace function because it heightens the ability to concentrate,  pay attention, and listen. It also positively impacts work relationships and the ability to work in teams. (Omega)
  6. 500 employees at General Mills attend a Mindful Leadership program, created by General Mills’ deputy general counsel, Janice Marturano. According to the company’s self-report data: “After one of Marturano’s seven-week courses, 83% of participants said they were ‘taking time each day to optimize my personal productivity’ – up from 23% before the course. 82% said they now make time to eliminate tasks with limited productivity value – up from 32% before the course. And among senior executives who took the course, 80 percent reported a positive change in their ability to make better decisions, while 89% said they became better listeners.” (Financial Times)
  7. 342 people, in a study, aged 20 to 70 published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that participants using Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) had greater improvement in function and back pain compared to the group that remained in standard care.  (Omega)
  8. 200 employees Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), a global law firm with around 5,000 employees, have gone through the 6-week HSF mindfulness program in the last 14 months. They saw “a 12% increase in employee focus; a 10% increase in employee performance; a 10% increase in employee efficiency; a 17% increase in employee work/life balance; an 11% increase in employee communication skills; a 14% decrease in employee multitasking.” (L&D Professional)
  9. 120 pieces of information is how much our mind can process every second (Psychology Today)
  10. 89 participants from the Dow Chemical Company were selected and randomly assigned to an online mindfulness intervention (n = 44) or wait-list control (n = 45). The results of the intervention found “the group had significant decreases in perceived stress as well as increased resiliency, and vigor. This online mindfulness intervention seems to be both practical and effective in decreasing employee stress, while improving resiliency, vigor, and work engagement, thereby enhancing overall employee well-being.” (Association for Talent Development)
  11. 50% of the time we are distracted (Copper Beach Institute)
  12. 20 fold increase in mindfulness research since the millennium began. (Psychology Today)
  13. After an 8-week course of mindfulness practice, the brain’s “fight or flight” center, the amygdala, started to shrink. This primal region of the brain, associated with fear and emotion, is involved in the initiation of the body’s response to stress. (Scientific American)
  14. 3-4 seconds is how long average present moments last now before our minds drift to other thoughts (Psychology Today)
  15. A 2-point decrease (on a 10-point scale) at Intel in stress, 3 point increase in overall happiness and well being, and a 2-point increase in having new ideas and insights, mental clarity, creativity, the ability to focus, the quality of relationships at work and the level of engagement in meetings, projects and collaboration efforts is report among 1,500 employees at Intel who have taken part in a mindfulness program (The Guardian)
  16. When two groups were compared– those who practiced regular mindfulness relaxation techniques, and those who didn’t– they found the people who engaged in meditative mindfulness practices had more active genes that protected them from things like infertility, high blood pressure, arthritis, pain, inflammation and even cancer. (Harvard Medical School).

Do these studies increase your interest? Are you interested in showing up to be your best self?

37 facts how online reviews impact what we buy (Infographic) 0

Posted on February 26, 2017 by Rob Petersen

online reviews

Online reviews tell us where to stay, what to eat, when to go, how to get there and who to watch.

All of you reading this post right now not make buying decisions based on online reviews and most or you have participated in the review process yourself sharing recommendations and experiences with others. That’s what research shows.

Megan Arevalo. of Websitebuilders, has created a comprehensive Infographic of the research on online reviews and how they influence our buying behavior. Websitebuilders is a group of techies who have invested time, energy and money to review all the contemporary website building platforms to make a non-programmer’s life easier.

Here is the summary, 37 facts how online reviews impact what we buy, followed by Megan’s comprehensive infographic that contains many more facts and all their sources.

  1. 133% higher conversion rate occurs for consumers who view user-generated content
  2. 127% of consumers who read an online review are more likely to do it on a smartphone than a desktop
  3. 99% of businesses are hidden when a Yelp user sorts online reviews by “Highest Rated” or “Most Reviewed”
  4. 98% of consumers found that TripAdvsior reviews accurately reflect the actual experience
  5. 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business
  6. 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews
  7. 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  8. 84% of patients use reviews to evaluate physicians
  9. 83% of job seekers place their decision to apply to a company for a job based on online reviews
  10. 81% of females would not visit a restaurant which reports cleanliness issues from a review
  11. 77% of patients use online reviews as a first step in finding a physicians
  12. 76% of travelers said they would pay more for a hotel with a higher review score
  13. 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them more likely to trust a local business
  14. 60% of job seekers would not apply to a company with a one-star rating; 33% would not apply to a company with less than a three star rating
  15. 59% of travelers say online review sites have the most influence on their booking decision
  16. 55% of consumers use Facebook to learn about brands
  17. 42% of travelers use review site when planning their holidays
  18. 37% of patients didn’t choose a doctor because of a bad rating
  19. 35% of patients choose a doctor because of a good rating
  20. 33% of travelers posted a travel-related review
  21. 31% increase in consumer spending is likely for a business with excellent reviews
  22. Up to 30% of online reviews for certain products may be fake
  23. 27% of people trust online reviews only if they believe they are authentic
  24. 22% of consumers will not buy from a company after reading a negative online review; after reading 3 negative online reviews, that number jumps to 59%
  25. 20% of online review on Yelp are fake
  26. 18% uplift in sales is produced by reviews
  27. 16% of travelers share their hotel travel experiences online
  28. 11% room rate hike can occur for hotels that achieve a one-star increase on a five-star scale
  29. 10% of travelers spend more that 1 hour reading online reviews before making their booking decisions
  30. 10% of Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) or search page entries are contributed by online reviews
  31. 5%-9% increase in revenue for every star a business gets
  32. $350,000 in total fines among 19 companies was collected by New York regulators in a crackdown of fake reviews
  33. 50 or more reviews can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates
  34. 30 customers, on average, is what a single negative review costs a business
  35. 12X more trusted are consumer reviews that descriptions that come from manufacturers
  36. 5 positive online job reviews make up for 1 negative one
  37. 3.9X more likely are consumers to choose hotels, with equal pricing, that have the higher rating

Do these facts on online reviews reflect your behavior? Here they are, and many more, organized by industry, company and media type in Megan’s comprehensive and compelling infographic.

online reviews

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