Monday, December 21, 2015

6 Tips to Optimize Social Media Marketing Campaigns for Content Marketing

Social media marketing (SMM) is a process for attracting prospects at the top of your inbound marketing funnel. It acts as a conduit to run campaigns for your content marketing strategy, and digital marketers are much more confident than ever before that social media is important for their business.

With each passing year, digital marketers are getting more confident that they are able to measure their marketing ROI from social media marketing. According to 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner, a whopping 92% of marketers said that social media was important for their businesses. Though only 42% agreed they are able to measure their social activities, but this data has also seen an upward trend. In 2014, 37% marketers indicated they could measure ROI and in 2013, it was only 26%.

So, if social media marketing is such an important channel, your efforts should be maximised to optimize your social media campaigns. Here are six simple ways to do it:

1) Build a sound content marketing strategy

Inbound Marketing Funnel
Social media can be used not only for the TOFU but also for MOFU and BOFU. You should first build your buyer persona and understand at what stage of buyers’ journey your prospects are at present. Map the stage of your buyers' journey with the objectives from your inbound marketing funnel. Basis this, do the following:
  • Identify social media channels that you should leverage
  • Build content according to the purpose, and decide on the type & format that will resonate better with your prospects at present.
  • Based on your goals and identified KPIs, decide whether you would like to build an organic campaign or a sponsored one on various social media channels that you have identified.

2) Test the headlines to increase conversion rate
I recently published a blog and shared it on social media which of course generated traffic and the social media post received engagements as well. But I was not happy with the conversion rate. (My goal-based conversion in this case was to get “link-clicks” through the social media efforts). Then I performed a simple split-test (A/B testing) on the headline. I changed it to “5 Google AdWords hacks to improve your conversion rate” from “5 Simple Steps to Optimize Your AdWords Campaign”, and it gave a 10% increase in the conversion rate!

3) Test optimal time and frequency of shares

In order to ensure that your content is giving you optimal conversions, check if the time and frequency of shares is the best that you could choose across different social media channels that you’ve identified for your campaign. Changing the time of share can improve the visibility of your tweets and posts, and therefore bring in higher engagements and conversions.

4) A/B test your snack-able content for engagement

This particular step will be helpful especially if you are running a sponsored social media campaign. Social media channels like Twitter and LinkedIn offer their own analytics dashboards which help you in gauging the performance of your individual posts. If you are not happy with the engagement rate of your posts, then you can perform an A/B test. Pause a post and create another post by changing the snack-able part of the content only and not the creative. After a week, check back if the new version of your post has increased the engagement rate. Gauge the results and repeat.

5) Ensure you are able to track URLs

When setting up a social media campaign, you must ensure that the landing pages that you are going to share are trackable on Google Analytics. For a few situations, you may want to send out a pdf link directly with your social media post or a tweet. Make sure that these pdfs are traceable. The best way to do this is to use the link shortener tools such as or These services allow you to check the number of clicks that your links receive, and where they are coming from.

6) Use Google Analytics to identify optimization opportunities
In Google Analytics, use Acquisition>Social set of reports to understand the performance of your social media campaign. Here are the reports that can help you weigh the areas that need more focus to get higher conversions.

Overview: Here you will immediately be able to see the comparison between the number and monetary value of all goal completions versus those that resulted from social referrals. If you have to report about the impact of your campaign in silo, then you must consider Last Interaction Social Conversion metrics to judge the impact.

Network referral: Check engagement metrics such as pageviews, avg. session duration, pages/session for traffic from each social network. Here you can see which social networks referred the highest quality traffic. With this data you may want to increase your efforts for the social networks that referred fewer sessions but higher quality traffic.

Landing Pages: Here too check engagement for metrics like pageviews, avg. session duration, pages/session for each URL. You can click a URL in this report to see the originating social networks for that URL.

Conversions: This report shows the total number of conversions and the monetary value of conversions that occurred as a result of referrals from each network. Under this report, click Assisted vs. Last Interaction Analysis to see how each network contributed towards conversions and revenue. Since you would want to optimize your goal-based social media campaign, it is better to concentrate on Last Click or Direct Conversions and Last Click or Direct Conversion Value.

This is the number of last click or direct sales and conversions. The higher the numbers, the more important is the social network's role in driving completion of sales and conversions.

Another metric to follow is Assisted/Last Click or Direct Conversions. This ratio summarizes the social network's overall role. A value close to 0 indicates that the social network brought primarily the last click conversions. A value close to 1 indicates that the social network functioned equally in an assist and a last click capacity. The more this value exceeds 1, the more the social network functioned in an assist capacity.

Therefore, if you are getting a value closer to 0, then you can say that your social media campaigns are bringing the desired impact.

Visitor Flow: The Social Visitors Flow shows the initial paths that users from social networks took through your site. This is a good flow chart to show you if the visitors entered your website through the pages that you have used in your campaigns or not. This chart also shows you what the users did after they entered your website – whether they went on to other pages or dropped off after initial click.

Hope this guide helps you in optimizing your social media marketing (SMM) campaigns. If you have any more nuggets, then feel free to share them in the comments section.

Have a wonderful day!