Creating More Opportunities for Engagement in 2015

Many things have happened in the social media world in 2014. However despite those changes and the advances of technology, human beings are still the ones who decide to engage with your brand or buy your products. They are the ones who ultimately affect your bottom line.

With 2015 right around the corner, it’s time to put the finishing touches to your strategy for the next 12 months. This week’s roundup is all about helping you steer your efforts in the right direction.

Social Metrics Are Not Enough

Do you know that more than half of what you hear on social media comes from 8% of your audience?

This number is taken from Vision Critical’s latest study. The Canadian cloud-based customer intelligence platform partnered with three of its major clients to understand what social media analytics can and cannot tells brands about consumer behavior.

What Social Media Analytics Can’t Tell You About Your Customers” reveals that there are three groups of social media users; each exhibits different behaviors.

Lurkers, whose majority can be found in the 55+ age group (40%), rarely post anything on Facebook. Almost a third of them (26%) are reluctant shoppers; they also do not rely on social media to find discounts and coupons (17%). And they enjoy following funny / human interest content (34%), watching documentaries (76%) and food shows (65%), and play online games (38%). 

Dabblers post between two and four times a week. Found predominantly in the 18-34 and 25-54 age groups (38 and 35% respectively), 89% of them check Facebook daily. Almost a majority (42%) uses mobile devices to compare products while shopping. Their interests are varied, with funny content, games, and food at the top of the list.

Enthusiasts are made up of more than 60% of women. The group (30% of all users) is a very active part of any brand’s audience (85% of updates)! They check Facebook multiple times a day and post there at least five times a week. More than 1/3 of the members in the group have made social-inspired purchases and half have used a mobile device to compare products while shopping. Enthusiasts also have the highest average number of Facebook friends and are influenced by them.

Eight percent of enthusiasts are “super-enthusiasts” — the ones we told you about at the beginning of this article.

The conclusion? “Listening to enthusiasts gives you a unrepresentative picture of your customers as a whole for three reasons: analytics tools don’t reflect what happens in social media, social media users don’t reflect your customers and enthusiasts don’t reflect your entire social media audience,” says the report.

So, what should brands and marketers do? Stop solely focusing on numbers and start contextualizing what they hear on social media.

Understanding the quieter segments of your audience will allow you to interact in a way that entices them to respond. It will also allow you to improve customer care in general.

You can access the entire report below: 

Pitching the Media: Some Advice

Ready to launch a new product in 2015? You need to get the attention of a big publication or two.

Here is a report that will be of interest to you.

Fractl, a marketing agency, asked 20 questions to 500 writers and editors from top digital publications to understand what they expect from content creators and PR specialists. The white paper reveals all sorts of useful insights.

There was a time, not long ago, when writing a press release was the de-facto publicity tool.  Now, only 5% of publishers want them. And if your pitch feel like a mass message, you will get the silent treatment too.

Instead of submitting already published content, focus on novelty. Almost 40% of respondents mentioned exclusive research and 27% breaking news.

Flexible pitches also gain favors. 70% of publishers prefer collaborating on ideas. Why? They want options and to feel a sense of ownership over the content they write.

Now, let’s talk about the kind of content publishers like. Articles still matter, of course. However, the balance is tilting more and more in favor of visuals. More than 35% of respondents are interested in things like infographics, mixed-media pieces, or high-resolution photos.

“When choosing ideas, you want to focus on concepts that will be data-driven, allowing you to present your research in a visually appealing way,” says the report.

So, what else should a marketer or brand consider doing? Here’s a short list of tips:

  • Prior interactions matter – 64% of respondents mentioned that establishing a personal connection on social networks or their blogs mattered.
  • Emails prevail – 81% of publishers want pitches in their Inboxes.
  • Conciness is of the essence – The ideal pitch is 200 words and has a short, but descriptive title.
  • Proofreading is a must – More than 8 in 10 publishers will delete your pitch based on your grammar and spelling. The quality of your content is irrelevant.

The report is available for free here.

Twitter Engagement Factors Revealed

Looking to make Twitter work for you next year? Stone Temple Consulting has some answers. The company recently released Twitter Engagement Unmasked: A Study of More than 4 Million Tweets, which looks at the major driving factors (e.g., time of day, character count, images, hashtags…) behind engagement on the social network.

The results presented are only for original Tweets in Western languages. They also take into account social authority. Why? “The rules of the game are quite different for those that have everyone’s eyes on them already,” says Stone Temple Consulting’s CEO Eric Enge.

The study offers great insights into what makes Twitter users tick. For example, do you know that including a picture in a Tweet increases the likelihood of RTs and favorites by 68 and 74% respectively? And you don’t need influencers to achieve that.

“At lower authority levels including an image will get you 5 to 9 times as many Retweets and 4 to 12 times as many favorites than you will if your tweets don’t include an image.”

Hashtags, hashtag length, links, and character count also play a part in triggering engagement. However, they do not work as well as visual content does. And actually, if you have many followers in the lower social authority segment, including links may negatively impact your results!

What about mentions, then? While they remain efficient, they limit the potential for multiple retweets. The reason could be that mentions feel like an invitation for targeted conversations. So, a limited number of people would want to respond.

Finally, let us put a myth to rest. There is no best time to Tweet. Your chances of being retweeted are the same.

So, what is the takeaway from this study? That the results are aggregated data. Context  matters more than anything else.

To increase engagement on your Tweets, include pictures, hashtags, and/or links that make sense and are relevant to the content and your audience.

See all the charts from the study below:

twitter-study-infographic

Infographic courtesy of www.stonetemple.com.

For more information on the study, click here.

Speaking of Twitter, we have something very special in the making. So, stay tuned for our upcoming announcement!

In the meantime, the entire Paper.li team wishes you a wonderful Christmas. “See” you next Monday for the last roundup of 2014!  

Cendrine Marrouat
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Paper.li Blog Staff Writer, Cendrine Marrouat is a French-born social media coach, curator, and author. She is the founder of Social Media Slant and the #smslantchat Twitter chat. Her latest e-book release, "The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It and Win", is a comprehensive guide focusing on the four pillars of audience building. Follow her on Google+.

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