Social Media Measurements that Matter

“Doing” social media is not enough. We need to know what we want to achieve and whether we are getting there. That’s where social media measurement comes into play. Be sure your marketing strategy includes social media measurements that matter.

Know Your Social Media Marketing Goal

First, you need to know your business goal. If you’re not working towards achieving a specific outcome, you’re not marketing. You’re just using up resources of time, and often, money.

The very first step in getting business value from social media marketing is understanding exactly what you want to achieve. More website traffic? Generate leads? Brand awareness? Etc.

Measurement begins with setting a specific goal.

Pay Attention to the Data

Every social platform and most social media tools give you data. You need to take time to look at the information against your goals. Aggregating data isn’t enough. You need to analyze and extract insight from that data.

Understand Value Beyond Direct Purchases

Be sure you are setting realistic expectations from social media. Not every post will lead to a direct purchase or a phone call, and that’s okay.

Data shows that people are more positively inclined to brands that they follow on social media. You are building a relationship. That connection has long term value.

Not only are consumers more likely to buy from brands they follow, they statistically spend more too. Perceptions are enhanced when people they know interact with your content.

Measure by Listening, Too

When it comes to a social media content strategy, many brands are quick to think about what they want to tell people. Too often, they ignore what people have to say about the brand.

Listening online means paying attention to the conversations that are relevant to you, even if you did not start or directly engage in the content. There is valuable measurement in understanding sentiment and interests, even if the conversations are not on your channels.

With measurement in mind, here are more tips for effective social media marketing.

Should You Verify Your Instagram Account?

Instagram verified badges help people more easily find the public figures, celebrities and brands they want to follow. Because we all want to look our best online, I often get questions about getting a verified badge.

A verified badge is a blue seal with a little checkmark that appears next to your username. So, having that checkmark means Instagram has confirmed that an account is the authentic presence of the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents.

You can apply for Instagram verification with either a personal account or a business account.

Requesting Instagram Verified Badges

To request an Instagram verified badge, you must be a public figure, celebrity or brand and meet account and eligibility requirements.
  • Log in to your account
  • Go to Settings > Account > Request Verification
  • Enter your full name
  • Provide the required form of identification (example: government-issued photo ID).

Submitting a request doesn’t guarantee that your account will be verified. Once your request is submitted, Instagram looks at a number of factors to determine if you qualify for a badge.

Verification criteria includes:

  • Authentic: Your account must represent a real person, registered business or entity.
  • Unique: Your account must be the unique presence of the person or business it represents. Only one account per person or business may be verified, with exceptions for language-specific accounts.
  • Complete: Your account must be public and have a bio, profile photo and at least one post. Your profile can’t contain “add me” links to other social media services.
  • Notable: Your account must represent a well-known, highly searched for person, brand or entity. Instagram reviews accounts that are featured in multiple news sources, and doesn’t consider paid or promotional content as sources for review.

Once your request for a verified badge is reviewed, you will receive a notification letting you know if your account has been verified or not. If your request is denied, you can submit a new request after 30 days. Caution, Instagram will never request payment for verification or reach out to ask you to confirm your verification.

Currently, only Instagram accounts that have a high likelihood of being impersonated have verified badges.

Increase the Chances – Work on your Digital Presence

Being featured in multiple media outlets increases the chance of getting Instagram verification.  Services like PRNEWS.IO can help you get mentions that help with the Instagram verification process.

Don’t forget to mention your publications and save them in Highlights to make Instagram moderators easier to find them.

No Instagram Badge? No Problem.

If your account doesn’t have a verified badge, there are other ways to let people know you’re authentic.

Link from other official sources

Link to your Instagram account from other official sources, like your website, Facebook Page, YouTube and/or or Twitter. However, don’t link to your other social channels from your Instagram bio. (Instagram does not like that.)

Use your Instagram bio effectively

Have a complete and effective bio that offers a great description to show that your account is authentic and credible.

Go behind the scenes with Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories give you the chance to show the people behind your brand and to give followers a chance to see what’s happening with your brand.

Get followers involved

Encourage customers to tag your business in their posts. Getting shares from real people boosts the credibility of your posts.

Want more? I recently posted some great ideas for using Instagram for your brand.

Avoid These SEO Mistakes

Search Engine Optimization is nuanced, with best practices being influenced by your industry and your target customers. However, there are best practices every brand should follow. Common SEO mistakes that I see: slow site speed, content not optimized for keywords, lack of meta data, and no attention to the mobile experience.

Fast Sites Win

Search engines give the best rankings to fast websites. Why? Because people expect fast websites. Slow sites don’t meet expectations, no matter how great the content may be.

The faster your site, the better. Google has a free tool to check your site speed: Google PageSpeed Insights. This tool gives you a speed rating as well as suggestions on how to boost your speed.

A common recommendation is to optimize your images. Large images take a lot of time to load. Resizing your images can speed up the loading time. If you have a WordPress site, you can do this easily by installing a plugin that does that for you.

Speaking of WordPress, the activated plugins can also impact speed. Less is more. The fewer plugins that are activated, the faster your WordPress website will be.

Incorporate Keywords in Content

Put simply, keywords are the words and phrases that your target customer is using when looking for a business like yours. Use those words! If you aren’t using the words that people actually use when searching, you aren’t going to be found.

Make your keywords as specific as possible. For small businesses, you need to look beyond your business area (such as real estate, plumbing, recruiting, etc) and find more specific phrases that reflect your business. Otherwise, you’re competing with all like businesses all over the world, which is impossible to do!

The longer and more specific the keywords are, the higher your chances of ranking. Search volume will be less, but since the keyword is accurate for your site, click through rate will likely be high. Your site will eventually gain more traffic for your keywords, than it ever would if you optimized for one broad keyword.

Provide Content People Need

Your website needs to provide the content people need. Your website is actually not about what you want to say, it is about what your target audience needs and wants.

Every page of your site that you want searchers to find needs at least 300 words. Google won’t rank a page highly for a topic unless there is sufficient content about that topic.

Write for your visitors and not for Google. Google seeks to provide the best answers possible to every search query. Therefore, writing quality content for your audience will lead to good search rank.

Provide Useful Meta Data

Meta data is still important for search rank. When the meta keyword field was abused and set aside as a ranking factor, many people mistakenly assumed that no meta data mattered. The meta page title and meta description are important search rank factors.

The page title is still one of the most important ranking factors for Google, so you have to make sure it’s optimized correctly for every page. This means adding the relevant keyword to each particular page and making sure that your page title isn’t too long. If your page title is too long it will get cut off in Google. You don’t want potential visitors to be unable to read the full title in the search results.

The meta description is not a ranking factor, but it does play an important part in your click through rate (CTR). Meta descriptions that are optimized with clear and attractive extracts on what potential visitors will find on your page, increases the likelihood they will click your result. If searchers think your site will provide an answer to their search query, the more traffic your page will get.

Tell Visitors What to Do Next

Once visitors are on your site, you want to keep them on your site. The best way to encourage  visitors to click further into your site is to create call-to-actions (CTA). These are usually presented as a button. “Read more,” “Buy now,” and “Visit xxx” are common CTAs.

Make sure that every page has one call-to-action. If you have multiple buttons, you lose the focus of the page and your visitors won’t get where you want them to go. Know the goal of every page, and include a call to action that achieves that goal.

Make sure that the CTA stands out from your design and is clearly visible. If the button blends into the design of your page too much, it will get fewer clicks.

Pay Attention to Mobile

Google looks at the mobile version of your site to decide how high you should rank. So if the desktop version of your site is awesome, but your mobile site is jumbled or spans off the side of the screen you won’t rank well at all.

Google offers a mobile test to give you an indication if your site is fit for displaying on mobile devices. Also, be sure  to visit your site on your mobile phone and have otheers with different devices do the same.

Next Steps

Many SEO best practices are easy to implement once you know what they are. However, sometimes site structures are outdated as compared with the expectations of search engine crawlers. And, there are often specific requirements based on the type and scope of a business. If your SEO efforts aren’t getting the results you want, it may be time to get some professional SEO support.