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10 best social analytics tools for 2018 0

Posted on January 08, 2018 by Rob Petersen

social analytics

Social analytics refers to the collection, analysis and interpretation of online data to show how users interact  with an organization, company or brand. Over the last decade, social analytics has become a primary form of business intelligence, used to identify, predict, and respond to consumer behavior.

Any organization interested in social analytics is going to need a good social analytics tools. There is so much content and so may social sites to account for.

Most social analytics tools work by crawling sites continuously and indexing them. Once they sites are indexed, they can then be searched. Most tools use queries, or search strings, that the user writes to find mentions of specific words and phrases on those pages.

What are the best ones? Why?

Here is our list of the top 10 social analytics tools for 2018.

Social Analytics - Brandwatch

BRANDWATCH: Has an interface designed to let the data gathering and analysis shine through. The tool’s coverage includes news sites, forums, blogs, and social networks like Twitter and Facebook. You can then search social media data for terms they are researching, before using categorization, sentiment analysis, charting, and other analytic features that will give you further insight. It also allow users to engage with target communities, responding to, assigning workflow, as well as handling social media mentions.

Social Analytics - Buzzlogic

BUZZLOGIX: Is very intuitive and renders a user interface that is simple and quick to set up and use. The ability to monitor various streams from a number of social media platforms all in one place, with accompanying statistics presented in a clear, visual format is great, and makes analyzing campaign results easy. Buzzlogix allows customization and is always improving features. The founding team pays attention to any feedback on Twitter and Facebook. Buzzlogix is a smart and simple, all-in-one social media management, monitoring and engagement platform.

Social Analytics - Visible Intelligence

CISION/VISIBLE INTELLIGENCE: Cision operates Visible Intelligence, a social media platform designed to deliver marketing ROI and smarter customer insights. Cision is in it to win in social analytics. In 2014, Cision, acquired Visible Technologies, a worldwide market leader in social media listening and analytics, In the same year, Cision and Vocus merged. In 2015, Cision acquired Viralheat, a top social media engagement platform. And, in 2016, Csion acquired PR Newswire. While ii might Cision is a company on a mission to buy as many social analytics companies  as they can, they are focused on developing the best social analytics software so it is “best in class” whether it is used for analysis, marketing or PR. Their history also shows how big and far reaching the social analytics business is and will be in the future.

Social Analytics - Digimind

DIGIMIND: Is a social media intelligence software platform for brands and agencies to facilitate insight-driven digital transformation. Key features include social media monitoring, keyword monitoring, reputation management and reporting and analysis. The Digimind platform tracks both earned and owned media. Digimind has managed to create a product that is incredibly powerful and at the same time incredibly simple to use.

Social Analytics - Keyhole

KEYHOLE: Tracks real-time social media and historical data. What is different about Keyhole is they break their data by URLs, hashtags, keywords, Klout scores and @usernames on Twitter and Instagram. Because hashtags and usernames have a unique importance in social media, Keyhole is a particularly effective social analytics tools for quickly getting to hot topics and influencers. Keyhole is the only social analytics tool in our list that offers a free service, without a trial sign up, to give people the opportunity to sample how they work. We hope they stay that way.

Social Analytics - Meltwater

MELTWATER: Has historically been known as a journalist database (aka Influencers) that makes it quick and easy to find and send content to relevant writers that may be interested in your material. You can search for journalists by topics they’ve written about and easily add them into categorized lists. You can personalize and send a message in a matter of minutes. The user interface is also clean and intuitive. Meltwater has recently expanded the scope and scale of their social universe and is making a decided effort to take on bigger players, particularly Cision. We look forward to seeing how this plays out.

Social Analytics -Nuvi

NUVI: Is able to track hashtags, influencers, and key words across various social networks. NUVI can also compare monitors side by side, which is helpful when comparing brands and topics. To execute comparisons, NUVI graphs out all activity during any time frame you select, which allows you to see trends and peak activity. The social stream is very unique and in real-time. So as mentions occur, you can see them pop up immediately. Many users of this service believe the customer support from their reps has been exemplary.

Social Analytics - Salesforce Social Studio

SALESFORCE SOCIAL STUDIO: Is a product under the Salesforce Marketing Cloud that deals with offering effective social media marketing solutions. Social Studio enables global collaboration, letting you organize teams quickly and easily around campaigns, events, and regions on the right social platforms. Social Studio offers a module called Analyze which provides pre-built reporting and dashboard templates for social listening use cases. Other key features include: global collaboration, ROI tracking, analytics module, content calendar, and quick workflow management.

Social Analytics - Simply Measured

SIMPLY MEASURED: Is able to consolidate metrics into a single, easy-to-use reporting dashboard. The aesthetics behind the reporting also make things easier to digest when sharing metrics across the organization. Results are presented in a easy to understand way and look nice enough to present directly to clients without reformatting. Simply Measure was acquired by Sprout Social in 2017.

Social Analytics - Synthesio

SYNTHESIO: When it comes to complete social content analysis and reporting from one centralized management hub, large enterprises with the money to spend can’t do better than Synthesio. It is a high-end tool that cleans data with the help of humans. It is aimed at organizations that are looking for structured data in a clean manner and in a way that the data is useful to them. It also offers a customized dashboard and helps businesses in keeping track of things according to their needs. Synthesio sets up its software as per your requirements and human monitoring is done at the backhand. Synthesio acquired Social Karma in 2017.

A good social analytics tool is going to require an investments, training on use and on-going customer support. We can tell from out experiences.

Do one of these social analytics seem right for your business?

 

 

 

23 ecommerce facts about this holiday season 0

Posted on December 25, 2017 by Rob Petersen

ecommerce facts

Ecommerce facts about this holiday indicate 2017 is going to be the greatest year ever for e-commerce gift giving and in some very important ways.

Because more than just the big numbers, ecommerce facts about this holiday season indicate more people now believe the benefits of shopping online are better than offline. They are proving it with their spending. And this is a trend likely to change holiday buying behaviors for many more years to come.

Here are 23 ecommerce facts about this holiday season.

  1. $107.4 billion is expected from ecommerce sales this holiday season (+14% vs year ago) (Forbes)
  2. $6.6 billion from Cyber Monday (+17% vs year ago) (Forbes)
  3. 3 hours on Cyber Monday (from 8 PM to 11 PM) account for more sales than the entire rest of the day (Forbes)
  4. For the 1st time, Cyber Monday sales are greater online than offline (Forbes)
  5. $5.0 billion from Black Friday (+16% vs year ago) (Forbes)
  6. 88% of people plan to spend money on Facebook marketing this season (Paradox Labs)
  7. 82% of people prefer delivery through shipping during the holiday (Ecommerce Nation)
  8. 81% of respondents reported free shipping as a primary motivator for doing more of their shopping online (Walker Sands)
  9. 80% of all transaction to occur from the 100 largest U.S. web retailers (Adobe)
  10. 78% of online shoppers want more images from ecommerce sites (Big Commerce)
  11. 75% for retailers in the probability of converting a desktop or laptop shopper during the holiday season (Deloitte)
  12. 66% of frequent online shoppers have used Amazon Prime in the past year (Walker Sands)
  13. 60% of all online sales are from Amazon this holiday season compared to 50% last year (Cuker)
  14. 59% of converting a smartphone shopper to purchaser for a retailer (Deloitte)
  15. 55% of ecommerce transactions on Thanksgiving and Black Friday were captured by Amazon (Bloomberg)
  16. 54% of visits to ecommerce sites from mobile this holiday (smartphone + tablets). This is the 1st holiday season where more ecommerce sales have come from mobile rather than desktop  (Forbes)
  17. 51% of holiday budgets are planned to spent online, compared with 42% in-store (Deloitte)
  18. 51% of Americans think shopping online is the best way to shop, with 49% preferring shopping in-store (Big Commerce)
  19. 51% of Millennials would be likely to make a purchase over social media; 36% of Gen Xers would be likely to make a purchase over social media; 14% of Baby Boomers would be likely to make a purchase over social media  and 3% of seniors would be likely to make a purchase over social media (Big Commerce)
  20. 48% of online shoppers have bought or spent more than planned when shopping online (Big Commerce)
  21. 40% anticipate using a retailer’s app on their smartphone (Deloitte)
  22. At 28% (-3% vs. last year), department stores placed a distant third behind the Internet and mass merchants as a shopping destination (Deloitte)
  23. 23% are influenced by social media recommendations (Big Commerce)

Do these ecommerce facts give you a good idea of people’s buying behaviors this holiday season. Is your business ready to take advantage of the opportunities in ecommerce for next year.

6 examples of executive dashboards that wow the “C” suite 0

Posted on October 16, 2017 by Rob Petersen

executive dashboards

Executive dashboards can be powerful business tools.

They are visual representations that summarize complex information in an easily digestible way. Effective executive dashboards present a clear picture and tell a story that makes a compelling case for action,

The person or team that creates an effective executive dashboard are seen as strong analysts and great manager of a business.

If being perceived in this light is important to you, here are 6 examples of executive dashboards that wow the “C” suite and why.

#1. KPIs:

executive dashboards - kpis

The most important consideration of executive dashboards is they show the right measurements, the metrics that matter to the “C” suite. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are measurable values that demonstrate how effectively a company is in achieving its key business objectives. In most cases, KPIs for an executive dashboard begin by showing fiscal performance – sales, profits or revenue. Then, they might feature key customer metrics (e.g. visits, leads, cost per acquisition (CPA), conversion rate, customer lifetime value (CLV));and then factors effecting these measures (e.g number of customer complaints, performance by region, marketing).

#2. CLEAR ORGANIZATION executive dashboards - clear organization

Executive Dashboards are particularly effective when all key information is placed on one page. The organization of the charts, information and key takeaways has to clearly lead people Most people read left to right and top to bottom. So, consider the best chart to present specific measurement and how you organize them. The chart above clearly shows at a glance sales by product, sales progress, global sales and ratios of over and under achievers.

#3. CHART TYPES

executive dashboard - chart types

 

Software and data visualization tools have gotten pretty sophisticated for executive dashboard. Charts types found most often on executive dashboards are:

  • Line Charts – A Line Chart is an effective graph formed from a series of data points connected by the eponymous line. They are often used to show developments over time and identify trends.
  • Bar Charts – Perhaps the most common misconception about charts and dashboards is that more is better. Bar Charts are a simple and effective way to look at different values and segments (like sales by region) and provide clear and compelling analyses and comparisons.
  • Pie Charts – These charts are often the subject of controversy. Data visualization guru Edward Tufte writes, “pie charts are bad and that the only thing worse than one pie chart is lots of them.” No matter how you feel about pie charts, the only time you should use them is when you need a graph representing proportions of a whole, when the total of your numbers is 100%.
  • Tables – Tables are great for detailed information with different units of measure, which may be difficult to represent easily in a graph or chart.
  • Gauges – This type of graphic typically displays one or more values using indicators and appropriate metrics. They are often used in dashboards to highlight a specific KPI that needs attention.
  • Area Charts – Area charts are awesome for multiple data series with part to whole relationships, or for individual series representing a physically countable set.
  • Maps – Maps are effective for regional differences or a highlighting a key metro area or city

#4. DRILL DOWNS

executive dashboards - drill downs

Executive dashboards for the “C” suite are meant to show a high level view. But you never know how deep into a particular area some one might one to go. Charts on executive dashboards show either the ability to be created so additional information can be added to the high level view to get deeper into a particular areas or time.

#5. TEXT BOXES

executive dashboards - text boxes

Don’t expect everyone will walk away from a chart with the same conclusion as you. The chart above from Avinash Khausik, Digital Evangelist at Google, shows how text boxes should be used. Don’t be afraid to use text boxes to make your point, provide insights and give actions. People appreciate when the path and the plan are presented for them.

#6. INDICATED ACTION

A strong presentation of key data is going to impress the “C” Suite. What is going to delight them is if the actions to be taken are also included and their impact is projected. The is the primary purpose to the dashboard. The dashboard above, also from Avinash Kaushik, states actions and, because the data has been analyzed, quantifies business impact.

Do these examples show why executive dashboard can be such powerful tools? Does your organization need to get started with one?

Top 10 marketing KPIs every business needs to know 0

Posted on September 25, 2017 by Rob Petersen

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are measurable values that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs to evaluate their success at reaching targets.  KPIs are the actionable scorecard that keeps business strategy on track.

Here’s a brief, video explanation on KPIs from Erica Olsen at On Strategy.

According to Peter Drucker, marketing and innovation are the two chief functions of any business. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business. The aim of marketing is to know the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.

What are the right KPIs to evaluate marketing effectiveness. Here are 10 marketing KPIs every business needs to know.

1. REVENUE OR PROFITS: In most cases, KPIs are designed to follow the money. If your a sales driven company, booked revenue is the monetary metric that determines the business’ vitality and health. Profit is perhaps the most important monetary metric. Profit is revenue after all the expenses related to the manufacture, production and selling of products. Profits go to owners, shareholder or are reinvested in the company.  Marketing KPIs have to ladder up to either  revenue or profits to show their impact on the business and its ability to grow.

Marketing KPIs - Profits

2. CUSTOMER VALUE:Understanding customer value is by far the most important thing you can do to identify ways to grow your business. If you understand the value of your customers you can: 1) Determine which customers to invest in, 2) Identify new customers and markets to target, 3) Agree which product and service lines should be offered and 3) Change pricing and promote to extract more value. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the metric that defines customer value. It can be an intimidating calculation to some. It has a defined formula and is a marketing KPI that is definitely worth knowing.

Marketing KPIs - customer lifetime value

3. COST PER ACQUISITION (CPA): With the knowledge of the value of a customer, the next marketing KPIs is how much does it cost to acquire a customer. Cost Per Acquisition or Cost Per Action is a primary metric for any marketing initiative. It is the cost for a visitor, prospect or lead to take a desired action or conversion. It is one of the key drivers in determining the impact of marketing.

Marketing KPIs - CPA

4. NEW AND RETURNING VISITORS:  If you’ve never compared the data for your new and returning website visitors, I suggest taking a stab at it. Reviewing the statistics about the different types of visitors to your site can help you answer questions like: 1) Are my visitors engaged? 2) Do my visitors keep coming back to me (my website) for more information? The primary place where new vs. returning visitors can be found is the Google Analytics of your website. Knowing the numbers and the ratio give you the primary information you need to know about growth possibilities for your business and where they are most likely to come from.

Marketing KPIs - New vs Returning Visitors

5. TRAFFIC SOURCES:  In Web analytics, including Google Analytics, traffic sources is a report that provides an overview of the different kinds of sources that send traffic to your web site. They include:

6. MARKETING QUALIFIED LEADS (MQL); A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a prospect already in your lead-tracking system, who has expressed interest in buying your product and passes a set of lead qualifications in order to progress further down the funnel. Marketing qualified lead definitions are typically used by B2B companies to identify a stage in the buyer’s journey. For example, in order to become a marketing qualified lead a prospective customer may have to have a certain number of employees in their company, be in a certain vertical or industry, or have a certain revenue.

Marketing KPIs - Marketing Qualified Leads

7. CONVERSION RATE: The conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action. The archetypical example of conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors who buy something on the site. Conversion rate optimization is important because it allows you to lower your customer acquisition costs by getting more value from the visitors and users you already have. By optimizing your conversion rate you can increase revenue per visitor, acquire more customers, and grow your business.

Marketing KPIs - Conversion Rate

8. RESPONSE TIME: The length of time it takes for a person in the system to react to a given stimulus or event. In any service business, response time plays a significant role in retaining customers.

Marketing KPIs - Response Time

9. AVERAGE ORDER VALUE: Average Order Value (AOV) is an ecommerce metric that measures the average total of every order placed with a merchant over a defined period of time. AOV is one of the most important metrics for online stores to be aware of, driving key business decisions such as advertising spend, store layout, and product pricing. Even though average order value is primarily used in ecommerce, it is a KPI worth knowing for any business.

Marketing KPIs - Average Order Value

RETURN ON MARKETING INVESTMENT (ROMI): Marketing ROI is one of the terms most commonly used to describe marketing success, sometimes referred to as the holy grail of marketing KPIs. The definition of the ROI calculation must be consistent with the financial definition to maintain credibility with finance. The formula in its simplest form is below.

Does your business measure these Marketing KPIs? Does your business need help figuring them out?

 

Why 11 Facebook Business case studies showed great results 0

Posted on May 15, 2017 by Rob Petersen

facebook business case studies

Millions of businesses, big and small, use the Facebook family of ad services and apps.

  • 4 million businesses advertise on Facebook
  • 75% of all brands on Facebook promote their posts
  • 50% growth in Facebook advertisers from 2015-2016 (source: DMR)

Facts show Facebook Business is big, fast growing and easy for businesses to access.

But, in a situation like this, there are always plenty of losers and winners.

Here are 11 Facebook Business case studies that showed great business results. What makes for success is each brand clearly established a business objective for their ad investment. See for yourself.

  1. ADDIDAS: Wanted to showcase its latest premium athletics Z.N.E Hoodie with a captivating video while also promoting related items. To advertise the collection, adidas uploaded its video creative and product catalog. The product images in the experience were automatically pulled from the product catalog. The ads also featured 4 complementary products beneath the video, such as sweatpants, shoes and accessories. Their campaign had a 43% decrease in cost per conversion and 5.3X return on ad spend.
  2. AIRBNB: Wanted to reach people with its “Live There” campaign—which pointed to Airbnb as an alternative to mass tourism. They developed a Facebook and Instagram campaign that would reach people where they spend a majority of their time: mobile News Feed. Ad creative highlighted the magical experiences that were made possible through Airbnb. For instance, one video showed people watching a sparkling Eiffel Tower from the balcony of their vacation rental, while ad text encouraged others to “Live Here.” Within four month, Airbnb had a: 1) 4-point lift in purchase intent in the UK and India, 2) 6-point lift in purchase intent in Germany and Australia and 3) 125 million people reached.
  3. BAKED NYC: Has one location in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan. The bakery is especially proud of its Oprah-endorsed brownies. Baked NYC wanted to broaden its customer base and encourage people to sign up for its email list. Baked NYC built videos around pre-ordering pies for Thanksgiving using only a $20 tripod, a $15 clamp lamp, a phone and a variety of apps to create stop-motion videos with animated text overlays. Baked NYC targeted baking fans to generate subscriptions to its email list. To reach people most likely to pre-order a pie, Baked NYC ran those ads to those living within a one-mile radius of both its locations.
    Baked NYC’s seasonal campaign, which began on November 9, 2016 and ran until Thanksgiving. It helped reach a local audience, drive qualified people to its website and increase sales of its Thanksgiving pies. It achieved: 1) 40% increase in pie sales, 2) 68% increase in leads and 3) 30% decrease in cost per lead
  4. GENERAL MOTORS ONSTAR: OnStar is a subsidiary of General Motors that provides subscription-based services for emergency, security, guidance, connectivity and vehicle management. The OnStar team wanted to increase sales of its 4G LTE Wi-Fi data plans among owners of General Motors vehicles that are OnStar-enabled. General Motors’ data to create a Custom Audience of people with OnStar-enabled vehicles and segmented them. OnStar also used a “Call Now” call-to-action button for the first time. It received hundreds of phone calls, further proving its ads resonated with GM owners. The advertising effort generated a 2.3% overall sales lift for OnStar’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi data plans and 7.2% sales lift among people who had never used a data plan.
  5. GOPUFF: Is an on-demand delivery service launched in Philadelphia in 2013. goPuff wanted to boost awareness of its app and increase downloads so that it could encourage more people to place an order through its on-demand service. goPuff examined its Audience Insights dashboard to determine the best audience to target with this campaign. The built a series of mobile app install ads, which direct people to the app store where they can immediately download the app. GoPuff drove more app downloads and sales, delivering a 35% increase in app installs, 30% decrease in cost per install and 35% decrease in cost per purchase after download.
  6. MICHAEL KORS: Is an American luxury fashion brand, known for its handbags, ready-to-wear and watches. The company has 780 locations worldwide. The fashion brand wanted to measure the impact that its Facebook ads had on its offline sales. Using link and carousel ads, the fashion brand drove traffic to its physical stores, and then used offline conversions to measure the impact its ads had there. The 4-day September 2016 campaign revealed:1) 33% increase in attributed return on ad spend, 2) 31% increase in attributed transactions and 3) 25% increase in attributed revenue.
  7. OREO’S: Used a business milestone to generate awareness and brand vitality. To celebrate its 100th birthday, Oreo produced 100 Facebook Posts in 100 days that turned trending news stories into “visual treats.”  Oreo garnered over 231 million media impressions from over 2,600 articles. They increased their Facebook fans by over a million and increased their Facebook engagement by 195%. They also increased their share rate by 280% with each post being shared an average of 1,472 times.
  8. PIXELBERRY STUDIOS: Is a gaming studio in Mountain View, California that develops socially-minded games for young people. Pixelberry Studios wanted to increase downloads of Choices among players around the world, particularly among people most likely to pay for additional features. Pixelberry Studios developed mobile app installed ads and optimized its ads for certain app events, including installs and purchases. Optimizing for app events ensures the ad is automatically targeted to the people most likely to take that action. They had a: 1) 2.2X increase in rate of acquiring payers with app event optimization (compared to traditional mobile app install ads), 2) 27% increase in return on ad spend with international targeting (compared to traditional single-country campaigns) and 3) 30% decrease in cost per paying player with international targeting (compared to traditional single-country campaigns).
  9. SHUTTERFLY: Is the market leader in digital personalized photo products and services. To increase sales at Shutterfly.com, the company wanted to provide a high-value offer—a free personalized white ceramic mug—to reach a specific demographic: moms with kids at home. Using Facebook Offers, Shutterfly could distribute a unique, single-use offer code to each person who clicked on its ad. The new Offers feature gave the company better control over how many people redeemed the offer. The 3-day campaign successfully reached Shutterfly’s target demographic and got them excited about the unique mug offer. The campaign also achieved over 16,000 offers saved, over 8,000 purchases and 11X return on ad spend.
  10. SMARTBUYGLASSES: Provides quality designer eyewear online. As an online-only retailer, SmartBuyGlasses continuously aims to grow its revenue. For this month-long campaign, it wanted to increase sales by at least 30%. SmartBuyGlasses decided to segment its ad placements after learning that product ads tended to be more successful in desktop News Feed, and that special offer images featuring people wearing its products were more effective on mobile. The campaign achieved 30% increase in sales, 2X increase in traffic and 35% increase in conversions, year over year.
  11. TREE HUT: Is a maker of hand-made watches, known for its one-of-a-kind, nature-inspired designs with personalized engravings, each handcrafted out of real wood. Tree Hut wanted to boost awareness of its handmade wooden watches and increase online sales by using the data available on its third-party ecommerce platform. Taking advantage of Facebook’s advanced targeting and measurement tools, the company used Shopify’s Facebook pixel integration to install the pixel on its website and advanced targeting to deliver personalized dynamic ads to the right audiences, increasing sales by 4.1X.

Do these Facebook Business case studies help you see how to to use Facebook advertising effectively? Do you need a partner to help your business on Facebook?

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