Month: June 2014

K.I.S.S. This Marketing Automation Strategy


Why is marketing automation a trend that businesses can’t afford to ignore? See the results for your own business. It starts with a marketing automation strategy that addresses the basics—audience, goals, and activities.

Marketing automation is “so hot right now.” According to VentureBeat, “the adoption of marketing automation tools has increased by 50% year over year since 2010, and is expected to keep rising at that same rate at least until 2015.”

For businesses, it has the potential to improve productivity, personalize communications, nurture contacts, close the conversion loop, and more. Take these industry stats as examples of its promise:

  • CMOs indicate increased revenue (79%) and higher quality leads (76%) as their most compelling reasons to implement marketing automation (Gleanster, 2013)
  • B2B marketers who implement marketing automation see a 10% increase in sales-pipeline contribution (Forrester Research, via Eloqua, 2014)
  • Organizations using marketing automation see 53% higher marketing qualified lead (MQL) conversion rates and 3.1% greater annualized revenue growth rate than non-users (Arberdeen Group, 2012)
  • Marketing automation high performers (those who rank marketing automation as an asset), have an average lead-to-sale conversion rate 1.6 times higher and a cost of customer acquisition (COCA) 1.4 times stronger than their counterparts (PR 20/20, 2013)
  • Organizations using marketing automation indicated better reporting, specifically insight into multi-channel attribution (36%), compared to companies with no automation (11%) (The Lenskold and Pedowitz Groups, 2013)
  • Marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead (Nucleus Research, 2012)

Yet, to be successful (and to not make a mess of multiple personas receiving automatic workflows, social updates, and emails), marketers must work an airtight marketing automation strategy. Sound daunting? Take a breath. The key is to start simple. 

Marketing Automation: Keep It Simple and Strategic

By its nature, marketing automation involves many moving pieces—contact forms, downloadable content, lead scoring, CRM integration, and more. It’s easy to get caught up in the minutia, to say the least. Managing multiple campaigns demands a firm grasp on overarching goals, audiences, and activities.

Related Class: Marketing Automation Best Practices

Marketing Automation Goals

Keep end goals in mind when designing automated campaigns—what do you want to achieve and how will you measure success?

In doing so, tie automation strategy to key performance indicators (KPIs). Consider the following to get started:

  • Contact volume. Automation ideally helps marketers manage greater lead and customer volume. Therefore, keep a continual pulse on how many contacts, leads, prospects, and customers are at different points in the sales cycle.
  • Conversions. If your goal is to better move contacts through the customer journey, track progress to identify accelerators and bumps in the road. Consider how campaigns impact MQLs, sales qualified leads (SQLs), and VIPs. Are campaigns better qualifying leads, improving the marketing to sales handoff, or helping nurture top customers, leads, and partners?
  • Engagement. Track engagement (i.e., opens, clicks, shares) to identify the messages and content that resonate best with your audiences, and to identify active contacts with the potential to be brand advocates.

Automate for Audiences and Individuals

Next, using your goals as a guide, determine your most important audiences when it comes to marketing automation. Also, ask honestly, do you know enough about contacts to do a good job personalizing communications?

Automate for personas, and eventually individuals, using the following tips:

  • Define an ideal customer journey and end goal for each persona.
  • Think about the customer experience—per persona and individual. Determine whether contacts can be enrolled in multiple automated campaigns simultaneously, and if so, ensure it's a seamless experience. You don’t want them receiving duplicate content if participating in more than one campaign.

Buddy Up to Automated Activities

If asked to describe the standard workflow for a new contact, could you explain touch-points, timing, offers, and goals? You have to own this, and know what’s going on.

In tho Online Marketing Institute class, "Building a Digital Persona to Drive Strategy",  you will learn how to be the company that you yourself would buy from. It is essential to stay active in educating and empowering your target audience. Enroll today to learn the necessary tools for marketing automation success.




Ad Creative vs. Digital Analytics…Yes We Cannes!


A Cannes Lions perspective of what is unfolding this week and what is at the heart of the digital struggle for all brands and agencies.

As I attend the sessions here at the Cannes Lions festival, it strikes me that the debate of data analytic-driven process, platforms, and marketing strategy is still competing for attention and budget with the likes of creative in the digital arena. Performance vs. creative. Awareness vs. targeting. Programmatic vs. the tent pole. And on it goes. I am tempted to call it a passé debate and move on. But, because of its effect on the livelihood of every single person in the marketing and advertising industry, we must work to close the debate and find the honest and real answer.

My simple answer is both. We must have great teams doing both creative and analytics. A great creative idea without the right platform, targeting, or media buying mix will be the tree falling in the woods with no one to hear it. The great retargeting and programmatic buying strategy becomes a massive suck on budget without amazing creative ads that evoke emotion and action. In short, digital advertising just got a lot harder, as we need great teams and execution on both ends. Here are five things (and one final answer) to look for in the news coming out of Cannes that will make or break your budgets for Q3 2014 and 2015.

5) Awards for rewards in ROI.

Look for the campaigns winning awards based on ingenious creativity that drove results, such as shares, likes, viral views, and so on. These campaigns achieved real results beyond just the reaction of “Wow, that was cool.” To see a great example, check out the winner of the Creative Effectiveness Lion. It is basically where amazing ideas converge with amazing UX to drive amazing results (where we all strive to be). The interviews with Jony Ive and Bono are also great fodder to learn from.

4) Video is emperor, where content is king.

Can’t go over it, can’t go under it. And trying to around it is simply not an option when it comes to video. Sixty-nine percent of Internet time is spent watching video (that is more time than is spent on Facebook). So, watch for some of the great ideas and conversations coming from sessions like Google’s “Digital Future” and YouTube’s “Art of Storytelling.” Every Tom, Dick, and Harry inadvertising (and marketing in general) needs to get their video A-game in gear. My favorite question that comes from such conversations about video is why spend so much on the networks when YouTube has much greater effectiveness?

3) Programmatic becomes creative’s best friend.

Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg (both ex-Googlers) will be on stage and their whole futures ride on the concept of making advertising scalable, targeted, and useful. This is at the heart of technology driving real-time bidding (RTB), programmatic buying, and even things like dark posts. The cool thing you will see on the agenda is that now we need 100 derivations of that one ad campaign we created. For those who say technology is killing creative, I say we need 100 more creatives to write and conceptualize our new massive inventory expansion. Keep an ear to the ground about the conversations around this. It is like Performics (a performance agency) and JWT (a brand agency) agreeing that creative and performance are the basis for the perfect ad symphony.

2) Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are the new newspaper.

The dust has settled and the newspapers have lost the war. Google won and the social networks of Facebook and Twitter (LinkedIn pulling up third) are in an all-out race to own the mindshare of the world and, of course, the precious ad dollars that come with it. Google (GDN) owns the roost on the search side of this equation, so when thinking of your advertising, you will need to think of daily habits. These used to include reading the newspaper in the morning, but now, it is scanning Facebook from your phone while still in bed. Watch how the big brands that are measuring lift and attribution drive us into the 21st century on this front.

1) All about the people…brand and data show the way.

In scanning the list of attendees, I noted how diverse the set of folks attending the scene had become. Yes, you have your art directors, global creative leads, and the normal set of agency folk. But I also saw a plethora of CEO titles, talent officers (love this title), marketing directors, and social media, digital marketing, and analytics titles to boot. What this tells me is that these worlds have already converged, with creative being a part of the conversation at every level. And the digital data analytics side of the house is finally recognizing that landing page optimization, big data,  and programmatic ad operations are not the end game. They are just the facilitator for the great creative work that comes from great creative minds at great creative agencies and brands.

So, creative or data, who owns the conversation? Both!

Anyone who is attending Cannes Lions and would like to continue the debate on the Croisette, feel free to drop me a note on LinkedIn or Facebook. Or maybe #CreativeVData.


Do Agencies Have the Right Digital Talent? Cannes Says Yes, New Study Says Not Yet


A new study finds that many large advertising and creative agencies are missing the mark when it comes to digital talent.

With a glass of champagne in hand on the eve of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the industry begins to celebrate its amazing creative talents along the Croisette. Yet, there is a bit of hangover already sinking in amongst executives coming in from all over the globe.

How do we translate this talent into amazing digital programs for our clients? It's the slightly growing headache that has been accelerating toward a migraine each precipitous year.

With the latest release of the Online Marketing Institute's Digital Talent Gap Agency Study noting that 93 percent of agency executives acknowledge major digital knowledge gaps and 78 percent of agency clients are concerned that their agency doesn't have what it takes on the digital front, we all have some true introspective assessments to do. And decisions to

And it's coming down to this. Sip the bloody mary of a cool YouTube video or mimosa of a great Facebook Page design to make you and your client feel a bit better, but at your own risk. The hangover just gets delayed and worse. Soon, you'll have to bite the bullet and hydrate with good digital strategies, sweat it out with great digital talent, and get on the wagon by instituting digital education programs that are pervasive and sustain a continuous culture of learning and digital innovation.

Or, simply just call it a day and keep the traditional creative booze flowing and let the street corner (or Wall Street) be the judge.

For those ready to sweat, hydrate, and hop on the true digital knowledge building wagon, here are three big learnings I found from the Agency Digital Talent Gap Study that we all can apply before the hangover kicks in tomorrow. Download the executive summary here.

1) Assess Your Team's Digital Skills.

It's critical to get a baseline and understand how your team compares to both industry averages and down to the individual level. Then, you can focus in on problem areas and also have a tool to benchmark success thereafter. There are a few "self assessments" out there, but to get a true understanding for knowledge, you'll have to test. Digital IQ would be an example of that.

2) Flip It Kahn Style.

Salaman Kahn, education pioneer, made famous the concept of "flipping the classroom" for substantially improved quality of education. And it works - universities use it, high schools are using it, and professional education (what we need for us agencies) is the perfect use case. Flipping the classroom means being able to watch the lecture video online, and on-demand on your own time. Being able to see the lecturer on the screen supplements the educational learning and gives opportunity for interactivity and Q&A. Here, the best of the best instructors can now teach everyone and the in-person trainers can be the facilitators. It scales, it improves quality, and it works. So think online or e-learning first.

3) Think Pilot First.

Think easy, digestible, not straining on budget or the organization's, and time THEN think about building a global program. I've personally seen programs roll out to more than 10,000 where a three-month pilot and the tweaks, feedback, and simple learnings on how best to communicate to staff led to immeasurable gains on the engagement at initial global rollout and instilled a deep sense of confidence for the stakeholder to throw their full weight behind the program. And of course, you'll have to build consensus with HR, learning and development, and digital head(s) to agree that one program can provide a way for everyone to learn. This will set a precedent at all levels of its importance and not just be a one-off fight by one department to get engagement.

And yes, I'll be on the Croisette this week with a glass of rosé in hand, as I too celebrate the breathtaking creativity our industry rightfully covets. So, come find me and let's toast to the bright sunrise of brining creativity and digital together in a meaningful way. Or tweet, Facebook, LinkedIn with me if not in the South of France.


93 Percent of Agencies Acknowledge Digital Talent Gaps, Study Finds


Online Marketing Institute’s “State of Agency Digital Marketing Talent” Examines Digital Competence Within Agencies 

Cannes, June 12, 2014 — Online Marketing Institute today revealed the findings of its new State of Agency Digital Marketing Talent study, which investigated digital skill sets among existing agency teams. The study can be downloaded here. In the study, 93 percent of agency executives acknowledged major digital marketing knowledge gaps within their workforce. In parallel, 78 percent of agency clients reported being concerned about their agency of choice’s digital expertise.

The study, conducted by Online Marketing Institute along with ClickZ & Kelly Services, suggests that a large number of marketing agencies operate at a competitive disadvantage by not investing in their existing digital marketing talent pool. The survey, originally fielded in Q4 2013, was updated with recent survey data from Q2 2014. Results were collected among 1012 total respondents, including 128 decision-makers, working at agencies or consultancies.

Study highlights include: Compounding the revealing admittance of gaps in agency team’s digital skills, the State of Agency Digital Marketing Talent study found most 93% agencies lacking comprehensive internal training mechanisms to develop skill sets within their existing talent pools. Moreover, agencies were found to neglect implementation of concrete measurements to provide definitive direction for improvement. The findings confirm the necessity of agency-wide training, as is the case with WPP’s JWT Digital Essentials Initiative and handful of similar firms investing in end-to-end Global eLearning programs.

“Clients rely on agencies for strategic guidance and strong execution in the fast-paced world of digital. Simultaneously, agencies universally acknowledge the importance for employees to possess these digital skills, yet demonstrably lack clear strategies to address the challenge,” said Aaron Kahlow, CEO & Founder of Online Marketing Institute. “Our findings reveal the need for agencies to institute pervasive digital education programs in order to sustain a continuous culture of learning and digital innovation. The agency is at the heart and soul of the industry as a whole. For the industry’s continued growth in digital, we all most push for less thoughtless execution and more structure around learning and skill-building.”


  • Agencies are not achieving the desired output from their digital marketing teams. 74 percent of agencies reported that it was important or very important for their team to possess mobile marketing skills, yet just 31 percent assessed their team as stronger or much stronger in mobile marketing when compared with the competition, a gap of 43 percentage points. Agency respondents reported similarly wide gaps in the areas of social media, analytics, email marketing and content marketing.
  • The majority of agencies have no formal or informal assessment of current digital skills. HR and team leads were revealed to be in the dark with regards to the proficiency of digital skills among employees’ level of knowledge in all areas of digital marketing.  Less than nine percent of study respondents reported having undertaken any level of testing or assessment of such skills.
  • Most agencies lack an onboarding program, a key technique in minimizing employee turnover. While onboarding programs are common among large enterprises, fewer than half of agency respondents (46 percent) report having such a program in place.
  • Agencies indicate strong interest in eLearning over traditional in-person trainings. 76 percent of agency respondents stated that access to an on-demand video eLearning would be of value. 72 percent said the same about customized eLearning programs and 65 percent reported currently evaluating in-person training.

About OMI

OMI’s mission is simple: to educate the world by providing the most useful, affordable and enjoyable experience to learn digital marketing.  Founded in 2007, the Online Marketing Institute (OMI) set out to educate marketers on the known truths and best practices of digital marketing. Starting with Digital IQ Assessment and creating the industry’s first leading certification programs with then Wharton, to teach, validate and enable digital marketing excellence through the industry’s most credible and widely known educators, OMI has become the de facto standard for digital marketing credentials and the only eLearning platform for Digital Marketing period.

Today, OMI has educated more individuals on digital marketing than any other organization, including tens of thousands of students worldwide as well as team learning programs for industry-leading agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and hundreds of smaller organizations.

For more information on the Online Marketing Institute or to request a copy of the study, please email:


6 Facebook Page Statistics You Need to Know, Part 2


Last week, we shared with you the first part of our blog installment, 6 Facebook Page Statistics You Need to Know, based on our conversation with Emeric Ernoult, CEO of Agorapulse. See a full recap here and the continued list below.

Facebook metric #4: Storytellers

What is it?

The “Storytellers”, called “People Talking About This” in the old insights, represents the people who have liked, commented or shared a post. The engaged users are all the users who have clicked anywhere on your post, the storytellers is the portion of these users who have clicked on like, comment or share.

As opposed to just clicking on a link, a picture or a video, liking, commenting or sharing a post will generate a story that will be published on Facebook for our friends to see.

What makes the “Storytellers” different than the mere engagement metric is that engagement in this case potentially generated a publication by that user showing his engagement to his friends.

Where can I find it?

Here again, go to your insight interface at the same place where you spotted the organic reach and the engagement and look at the “Engagement” column after having selected “likes / comments / shares” in the drop down menu. Easy.

Why it matters?

This is the “viral” metric. Going back to the roots of your motivation for investing in a Facebook page was probably the dream that you could connect with the friends of your existing fans for free! That metric is the best one to measure how many people are willing to spread the word about you to their friends.

In plain English, if a user likes, comments or share a post on your page, Facebook may publish to his friends that this user (their friend) liked, commented or shared a piece or content from your page. I emphasize the “may” because Facebook is limiting the reach of these stories very seriously. That is probably why if you used to see in your newsfeed that such and such friends had liked, commented or shared a piece of content from a page, you probably see less and less of that today.

So, even f you still need to follow that metric, don’t expect too much from it. Facebook is still the best place to leverage virality, but it’s not the eldorado it used to be.

Facebook metric #5: Clickthrough rate (or “consumption”)

What is it?

Here comes a metric that you are used to! CTR, or Click Through Rate has been around for years on the web and is used to measure the effectiveness of email marketing, banner advertising, search engine ads such as adwords campaigns or landing page quality.

The good news is that it means the same thing within Facebook. This will tell you the number of people who have clicked on a link in your content, watched your video or viewed a larger version of your photo.

Where can I find it?

Go to your page insight interface, click on the “posts” menu and you’ll find the number of users who have clicked on your content.


Why it matters?

It is nice to know how many people have potentially seen your content (the reach metric), even nicer to know how many of them were interested enough to act on it (engaged users), but the bottom line is really to know how many people were actually interested enough to pay real attention to your content. And that means watching your video, looking at your photo or checking out your link.

That is the bottom of your “content quality” funnel. Keep an eye on it.

Facebook metric #6: Negative Feedback

What is it?

Negative feedback is a “negative” action taken by a fan on your piece of content. It can be hiding that specific post, hiding all future posts from your page, unliking your page or worse, reporting it as spam. Simply put, it counts the number of users who really did not like your content or the fact that it appeared in their newsfeed.

Where can I find it?

Go to your page insight interface, click on the posts menu and look at the “Engagement” column after having selected “Post Hides, Hides of All Posts, Reports of Spam, Unlikes of Page” in the drop down menu.

Why it matters?

Since September 2012, Facebook has given much more weight to the negative feedback metric. In other words, posts with a high negative feedback will have much less exposure through edgerank and, pages with an average negative feedback that remains high will have less and less reach over time.

Needless to say that if you want to stay in the game of Facebook marketing, you need to keep that number as low as possible.

Conclusion: Measuring your Facebook page performance may seem like a daunting task if you have to do it manually from the Facebook insight interface or the Excel download, but it is good to start doing it that way to really have a feeling of where the data come from and what they mean.

Once you start being familiar with them, you can use third party tools that will help you save time and get right to the point. One free tool Emeric recommends l is the Facebook page barometer, but for more detailed metrics, you can also try the Facebook page management suite at

What metric are you paying attention to and why? Do you do that on Facebook directly or do you use a tool?

Like what you see here and interested in learning more? Join OMI and Agorapulse for a free webinar, “Facebook Metrics: Measuring Your Content’s Performance”, tomorrow  Thursday, June 12th at 11:00 am ET.


Why Your Small Business Needs Inbound and Outbound Marketing


Every small business is constantly marketing itself – whether that means reaching out to new customers, asking existing customers for repeat business, or attracting new customers via word of mouth and online marketing. Unfortunately, some small business owners fall into a trap of relying too heavily on only one type of marketing and ignoring the rest.

Direct Mail

If you are spending too much time on outbound marketing (such as sending direct mail postcards, making cold calls, or sending e-mails), you might be missing big opportunities from online marketing and other “inbound marketing” tactics like SEO and social media. If you’re spending all of your time with Facebook marketing, you’re missing lots of customers who might prefer to hear from you via phone and other “old fashioned” techniques.

Here are a few reasons why your small business needs a diversified portfolio of inbound and outbound marketing tactics:

  • Different customers respond to different methods. Even with as much hype as social media marketing has gotten in the past few years, the majority of Americans still do not use Twitter. Depending on your business, social media might not be right for you.   If you are a product brand, Facebook certainly is where you can reach your decision makers, but if you are targeting CFO’s in large institutions, chances are, you aren’t going to reach them on social media. According to CMO, LinkedIn is the only platform the majority (62 percent) of B2B marketers consider to be effective. Depending on the demographics of your customer base, you might be better off exhibiting at a trade show or buying a mailing list or calling customers directly on the phone. Social media marketing is amazing if your customers are on social media – but if not, don’t be afraid to keep using “old-fashioned” marketing methods for as long as they still work for your business.
  • Inbound and outbound marketing can support each other. It is not a zero-sum game of deciding to “only” invest in inbound marketing (SEO, social media marketing, etc.) or outbound marketing (direct mail, phone calls, etc.) You can do both. And your various marketing campaigns can feed into each other. For example, you could make an offer via a direct mailing that can be redeemed on Facebook – “Like us on Facebook and get a 10% discount on your next purchase.”

Related Class: Top of the Funnel Tactics for Inbound Marketing

  • Different marketing methods can fit better into your budget. With traditional “outbound marketing” like direct mail or advertising, there is usually a fixed upfront cost to placing an ad or buying a mailing list or printing a mailing. With inbound marketing, the cost can often vary depending on the amount of time that the business owner spends implementing the marketing tactic and doing the work. There is a value to your time, so if you’re spending time on Facebook marketing you’ll want to know that you’re getting some return on the investment. The advantage of inbound marketing, ideally, is that once you invest some upfront time and money to set up a website, create a social media presence, and establish an online audience, you will have a long-term foundation of “owned media” that will keep bringing customers to you.

Finding the right balance of inbound and outbound marketing is a constant challenge, but there are more exciting, innovative and measurable ways to reach your customers than ever before. Just remember that just like with your investments, you should take a “diversified” approach to your marketing methods. That’s the best strategy for long-term success.

To create marketing messages to connect with your customers, you have to take the time to understand what they need and give it to them when they need it. The Online Marketing Institute class, Four Way Customers Can Be Consumer Centric, will teach you how to create consistent marketing messages across a variety of channel that connect with your audience.


5 Tips for Content Marketing + Social Media Success


Friday can be the perfect day to take time to reflect on the past week and make some plans for the next. But, since we know this time isn't always readily available, we've compiled the top 5 actionable tips you can take from one of the Online Marketing Institute's latest featured classes,  "The Content Marketing Approach for Successful Social Media Success"  by content marketing expert, Donna Papacosta, Principal of Trafalgar Communications.

Content Marketing Approach

Whether you're a recent college graduate, a small business owner, a start-up entrepreneur, or a digital marketer, there is a takeaway here for everyone. Read on to learn 5 quick and easy tips to enhance your content marketing approach and ultimately, achieve social media success.

1.) You work for your content, so make your content work for you. 

You spend long hours creating quality content. But, before you sit back and watch your engagement numbers reach their peak, you must take the time to amplify your content on your social media channels - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+. Your blog can be the hub of your social media efforts and all other channels should point back to your blog.

2.) Get over yourself. "No one cares about your mission statement but you."

Sad but true, Papacosta reminds us that "No one cares about your mission statement but you" and writing only about yourself/brand can be a huge turnoff in the content marketing world. Papacosta references expert, Todd Defren of SHIFT's advice that "70% of your content should be curated and 30% should be branded". Connecting on Social Media is about the conversation so treat it like one and always keep the customer in mind. Next time you tweet or write a Facebook post, say it out loud and ask yourself, would you really say that? If the answer is no, change up your approach to reflect your brand personality.

3. ) Think like a publisher.

Donna makes a great reference in her class to all the iPhone 5 users out there. When you have an iPhone 5,  you all of a sudden start thinking like a photographer and about all the great pictures you can take and where you can share them. She encourages marketers to do the same with content and think more like a publisher. Ask yourself, what is important to your customers? What would they want to read and why would they come to you to read it? And make it interesting - industry news, opinions, case studies, infographics, videos, how-to guides, to name a few examples.

4.) Be Easy & Get Buzz.

Make your content easy to share! Sharable blog links, tweets, Facebook posts, images, and video - all can lead to significant buzz if you allow it to be.

5.) Write for humans, but think of SEO.

We're all human, so we naturally connect with content that speaks to us - it has a personality and a voice and we feel like we are talking with someone not something. Keep in mind the true objective of your post and remember to incorporate the SEO guidelines that will take your post up the search rankings - what problem am I solving for my reader, what would they search to get here, what is the topic really?

In just 30 minutes, you can learn more about how Content Marketing + Social Media = Success . Will you make the time?






6 Facebook Page Statistics You Need to Know, Part 1


You’ve created quality Facebook content, but now what? How do you measure the performance of your Facebook Page? With so many metrics to track, it can be hard to break through the clutter. To determine the metrics that really matter, why, and what they can teach you, we spoke with Emeric Ernoult, CEO of Facebook marketing firm, AgoraPulse, for his insight on the subject.

What he’s uncovered are the 6 key metrics you need to follow to really understand how your Facebook page is doing, where to find them, and what they mean for your Facebook performance and why you should care. In Part 1 of this blog installment, we’ll cover the first 3 of the top 6 Facebook Page statistics you need to know. Like what you see here and interested in learning more? Join OMI and Agorapulse for a free webinar, “Facebook Metrics: Measuring Your Content’s Performance”, next Thursday, June 12th at 11:00 am ET.

Facebook Page Statistic #1: Fan Reach

What is it?

Fan Reach = the number of fans of your page who have seen any given post.

Where can I find it?

The Fan Reach metric is now available in the Facebook statistics interface. The “Fans reached” metric is easy to spot in your Facebook insights. In the posts menu, click on the top left arrow and select “reach: Fans / Non-Fans”. Then, hover to each graph and you’ll see the number of fans reached for the concerned post.


Why does it matter?

The Per-post-Fan-Reach is the most important metric because it is a key indicator of your content’s appeal to your audience and the quality of your audience. The higher the quality of your audience and the more interesting your content is, the greater the increase in percentage of fans reached will be — and vice versa.

Facebook Page Statistic #2: Organic Reach

What is it?

Organic Reach = the number of people, fans and non-fans, who have seen a given post.

Where can I find it?

From your Facebook Page, go to your insights, click on “posts”, scroll down and you’ll see the “reach” number for each post. Hover your mouse on the bar chart for “organic” and you’ll see the Organic reach number for that post.


Why does it matter?

Organic Reach can replace fan reach in the metrics you are interested in, but only if the average difference between organic and fan reach is not too high in your case.

Otherwise, it can help you identify ways to improve your content’s organic visibility. For example, an organic reach that is very close to a fan reach typically means that someone cannot be exposed to your content if he or she is not already a fan. If you have a website, a blog and a newsletter and no or very little difference between your organic and fan reach, it probably means that you are not attracting a new “non fan” audience to your content. If that’s the case, try to better promote your page on these other channels and you should see your organic reach going up.

Facebook Page Statistic #3: Engagement

What is it?

Engagement = the number of people who clicked anywhere in your post. That means liking, commenting and sharing, but also people who’ve viewed your videos, clicked on your links and photos, and also, clicked on a commenter’s name, liked a comment, clicked on your page name and even those who gave negative feedback by reporting your post.

Reach tells you how many people have potentially seen your content, whereas engagement is the number of people who have acted on that content.

Where can I find it?

Go to your Insights at the same place where you spotted the organic reach. The number of people who “engaged” with your content is in the “Engagement” column. To see the total engagement though, you’ll have to add the number of post clicks and the number of likes, comments and shares.


Why does it matter?

Engagement, whether it implies “acting” on your post by commenting, liking or sharing it, or is “passive” such as watching the video, zooming on a photo or clicking on a link, is probably the second most important metric to focus on if you are serious about measuring your page’s performance.

It is not enough to be viewed by a lot of people, you need to make sure that what you offer them as content will trigger some kind of interest. And engagement is the only measurable sign of interest. Stay tuned for the next installment of this series,  6 Facebook Page Statistics You Need to Know, Part 2.

Interested in learning more about the tools and techniques that can help you fine-tune your Facebook Marketing Strategy? Join the Online Marketing Institute and AgoraPulse on June 12th at 11:00am ET for a free webinar, “Facebook Metrics: Measuring Your Content’s Performance”. View the event here for more details and to register!


Know Nothing, Share Everything: The Sad but Useful State of Social Media Psychology


How to grasp the seven personas of social media sharing to improve your tweets, posts, and content marketing social strategy.

The confluence of three minor events in the past 48 hours reignited my passion to understand what drives people and why, culturally, we do what we do, especially when it comes to social. The events include: 

1)   Talking to two girls at a bar

2)   A New York Times article

3)   An online video class on social brand management

I’m going to work in reverse order and save the best for last, starting with the online class.

1) As I do most every Sunday morning, I read a little mainstream media (will get to that) and watch a class or two on my own Online Marketing Institute. In this instance, I happened to pick a short 22-minute class on “Managing Your Brand on Social Media.” It was particularly acute as I am diving back into reinvigorating our blog and driving the social shares and social proof for SEO. So getting back into the planning process of such was key.

What I was reminded of and lost total sight of was building posts, shares, and tweets that are directed to the user persona and psychological mindset of why that person shares on social. No-brainer, I know. But we all too often forget that we are sharing to people, not sharing for the sake of sharing. So learning about the seven personas and why they share was great. Here’s the recap of the class.

Connectors: These are the folks who like to share the deal or discount; something that makes them feel like they are helping folks in a small way.

Altruists: These are the do-gooders who find content that will be useful to themselves and others, answering the question of, does it solve a problem?

Careerists: For me, this was the most relevant archetype, and leans toward folks wanting to solve a business challenge and to answer the question, could that tweet become its own whitepaper or infographic?

Bonus: For these folks, reminding or asking for input and encouraging them to share is key.

Boomerangs: This group keys in on the emotional response, or something that lights a fire. You have to be sure that you and your brand are OK with that and the excitement or anger it can cause. A good way to activate shares is asking, “what do you think?” or “what would you do?”

Selectives: The most critical of any audience, they have a high bar and are usually the most influential group. Basically, you need to make sure the post will pass the muster and be both easy to understand and content they would share as their own.

Lurkers: No sharing here. A ton of folks who are important to you are seeing this and not sharing, so don’t let the sharers drive all your social brand decisions.

Hipsters: Always a favorite topic du jour for all who are not hipsters (myself included). This group is more focused on a new trend or a new store, and want to be credited as “the first to know.” It’s important to remind them to share to maximize their engagement.

Now you have the good marketing stuff that all us social media and content marketers love. If so willing, let’s test your reading skills and move to point two.

NOTE: Feel free to drop off here after the scan of the seven personas and just share this.

2) Career advice alert on social media: stop saying you like social media if you want a job in digital marketing.

The topic of hipsters is a great transition for this, as I will use my recent conversation at a local bar here in San Francisco with two young 20-something girls (ladies, if you prefer). In essence, the conversation boiled down to a career move of “I’m not loving my job in sports marketing as an account manager. I want to do something more in social media marketing and get paid better.” So we chatted, I shared some ideas, and after a few laughs the question became, “Well, how do I differentiate from all the others out there to get my ideal job.” And after many interviews myself with interns to marketing directors, I replied instinctively, “Stop saying you like social media, and start talking about your skills, such as being a good writer (aka content marketer), a good relationship manager, etc.” Everyone under 25 years old both likes social media and thinks they are or could be good at it. Almost none are, and your hiring manager already knows that.

Tying this back to our social personas, if you are looking for a job that is in digital, social media, or content marketing, you should be able to have an intelligent conversation about basic marketing like creating the personas above, or content/journalism skills like what makes a good blog post. And yes, you should be able to prove those skills by showing initiative in classes, workshops, or even the novel idea of on-demand videos (hint, hint).

This brings me to my final point and the reason why I am writing such a long post. The art of long copy is dying and reading it is already dead.

3) A New York Times article this past Sunday talked about how everyone is an expert on nothing. Meaning they are skimming headlines, absorbing a handful of posts and tweets, but not actually reading the article, book, or even watching the movie they have an opinion on or tweet about.

For us marketers, we can key into this Hipster/Boomerangs/Connector societal trend and ensure that the tweet and post itself looks worth sharing and not post unless it connects with the needs of these audiences.

As a side note, I feel obliged to say that only fools talk about subjects they know nothing about. Only fools wastes their time on surface-level skimming void of any meaningful thought. Only fools tweet, retweet, post, or share something that everyone else does. I think there should be some sort of virtual online Facebook/Twitter cliff for all those who do, to follow straight off like the online lemurs they’ve become. How’s that for emotive?

And therein lies the opportunity for those of us who are in the know, who read, explore, and go deeper. We become the experts, the smartest guy/gal in the room, and can hold court, hell, even lecture (as I have for a decade) on the items we spend a little time on. And for my hipster friends at the bar, do this and your career trajectory will skyrocket. Because now you are not just like everyone with a hot-aired opinion; you are confidently in the know and will drive strategy and direction for your team before you know it.

This takes me back to my favorite theme, “Learn more, do less.” In this case, stop retweeting the 20 headlines you know nothing about and read just one of those articles. If you’ve made it this far, retweet: “I read the whole article @AaronKahlow. #LearnDigital”