Last year, Hootsuite published its Digital 2021 Global Digital Overview — a comprehensive report providing a range of insights about digital engagement: how people use the internet, mobile devices, social media, and e-commerce websites. At the time, there were almost 3.5 billion active social media users worldwide—amounting to about 45% of the world’s population—and still, the number is climbing.
What is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness is a metric that includes every individual who has any recognition at all of a particular brand. Everyone with any inkling of the company’s identity, ranging from those who think they’ve maybe heard of the brand to the brand’s most devoted fans are all calculated into the metric.
Of all the businesses vying for public attention, Coca-Cola has achieved the highest degree of brand awareness globally: close to 7.1 billion people on the planet have some familiarity with the Coca-Cola logo. That amounts to approximately 94% of the global population—an astounding figure since research indicates that only 50% of the people in the world know the cross as a symbol of Christianity.
Building organic reach on social media
Building a community and achieving organic reach with social media posts on the biggest social platforms—LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, among others—have become harder to accomplish every year. In fact, only a few years ago, in 2013, Facebook explicitly told marketers that their organic reach would drop off quickly with its new algorithm. Facebook’s intent was to keep its users online as much and as long as possible by pushing the most relevant content to the top of their feeds. And they were right: organic reach did drop off dramatically. In 2019, the average organic reach of a post is only around 6.4% of the page’s total Likes.
But, there’s no reason to lose hope. It’s still possible to achieve a lucrative organic reach and engagement with a good content strategy.
Facebook: King of the Hill
Video is king
Whether it’s Facebook Live videos, interviews, behind-the-scenes shots, web series, or whatever—you need to include video in your brand content strategy. The average engagement rate for Facebook video posts is 6.13% according to Hootsuite.
The auto-play feature makes videos very easy for your audience to consume, making it a great way to catch their attention without the click-barrier we all used to have.
This might sound counterintuitive, but decreasing the frequency of your publications can help get more attention to your brand. It’s more effective to focus on the quality of your content rather than the frequency of your posts.
Repurpose your best performing content
You published a blog article or a video and it got a great response from your audience? Awesome! Now, re-use it with new, fun, original messaging. You can still get more bang from that buck.
Start a real conversation with your fans
Why do you think brands like Netflix do so well on social media? Ok, they sell entertainment—that helps. They also take great care of Facebook comment moderation. Moreover, they entice their fans to react to their posts, and they reply to their comments… And always with humor!
Twitter: Small Windows of Opportunity
In the first quarter of 2019, Twitter counted 330 million monthly active users mostly based in the United States and Japan.
So, how can your brand stand out from the crowd and reach people organically on Twitter?
Here are a few tips from the leading Social Media Management platform, HootSuite:
With twitter, frequency is back. It’s a numbers game: the tweets you post, the more your market has an opportunity to see and engage with your brand. Further, when someone frequently engages, Twitter’s algorithm is more likely to share future content with them later.
Tweet at the right time
It’s critical to identify your audience’s peak engagement hours to get any real traction, but special events and hot news also give you more opportunities to post content that people will find and engage with.
Take advantage of national and international events such as Super Bowls, Olympic Games, World Cups, Emmy Awards, and others to boost your organic impressions with original or fun content that conveys your brand.
You can also react to local news and post original, related content. Don’t underestimate the power of proximity. People will pay more attention to events that occurred in their hometown, in the street, they walk by every day, in the small convenient store they always go to… Stay community-aware.
Add hashtags purposely
Stay on top of trending topics and react quickly to make your content stand out from the crowd. You can also create viral campaigns based on a hashtag to quickly broaden your audience reach.
Pandora Music’s #SoundsLike campaign was a clever way to spark conversation and engagement. The company asked Twitter users to tweet an emoji with the hashtag, and @pandoramusic tweeted back what it thought the emoji would sound like. It went viral. Why? Because the concept was simple and fun, and it was easy for followers to do. It generated a lot of new content that the brand and its followers could easily share, increasing the organic reach of the initial tweet.
Try a Twitter poll
Polls offer a fun way to engage with Twitter users, and they have the added benefit of providing feedback.
Repackage top content
Again, there’s just a small window of opportunity for your tweets to get noticed. Even with great quality content, you just might not get the attention you’d expect. But, there is recourse. You can repurpose the content that has performed well with a new and creative copy to sparkle engagement.
Reply to followers
It’s absolutely essential to reply to your followers when they mention your brand or send you direct messages. It demonstrates your brand’s responsiveness and dedication to maintaining a good relationship with your community. Engaging further with those engaged will improve your brand image and will encourage them to come back to your profile and engage with your content more in the future.
LinkedIn: the BtoB Marketing Hub
600 million. That’s the number of LinkedIn users in 2019. [DE1] Statistics from 99Firms confirm that LinkedIn is a potent channel to deliver content to a broad and qualified audience. Even though the accumulated time spent on LinkedIn per month is outpaced by Facebook and Twitter, the chance to convert your followers into leads is much higher on LinkedIn.
As a marketer in a B2B software company, I focus on LinkedIn to promote our content, events, and product news. The reason is pretty obvious: our targets are business managers and data professionals looking for a BI solution to improve their data management and reporting across their organization. They’d most likely prefer to click on a link to a blog article explaining the benefits of having a built-in data warehouse on a BI platform in their LinkedIn feed during their working hours rather than do so on Facebook when they’re looking for DIY or funny baby videos…
Another consideration is that your posts live longer on LinkedIn than on other social platforms. Last month, one of our followers and users left a comment on a video that we had published two months before! I hadn’t republished the video, I hadn’t pinned it to our company page—but somehow, she found it and commented on it!
B2C marketing managers will probably focus their efforts and budget on Facebook, Instagram, or new social platforms like TikTok to generate more revenue. (You don’t know TikTok yet? Time to catch up, quick!) But for those companies, LinkedIn’s a great place to build their brand awareness and their employer brand.
How to increase your organic reach on LinkedIn?
Check the messaging and copy of your profile
Make sure you include the right keywords in your copy to optimize your chances to be found via the search tool.
Post rich media, especially videos
Videos are great content to catch your prospects and followers’ attention in a few seconds—and to retain it. Make sure you’re using the right video editing software to make it beautiful. Like every other social platform, LinkedIn has an auto-play feature that makes it even easier for you to deliver your message to your audience.
Leverage the power of mentions
As you write your content, you probably add external sources and quotes from influencers or experts in your niche. So take advantage of them by mentioning them when you publish your content on LinkedIn. It’s an easy way to reach people in their own networks and to broaden your posts’ reach.
Spur conversions in LinkedIn Groups
Only two percent of LinkedIn users have not joined any group, and on a 600-million-user platform, this is a ridiculously low number. Users have grouped into small niches to talk together, to educate themselves, and to discuss topics with other experts within their domain of expertise. These groups will help you stimulate in-depth conversations and position yourself as an expert in your field.
Get your employees involved
Your first line of brand ambassadors and evangelists are your team members! They are probably among the 600 million users of LinkedIn, and they all have their own network. Getting them to share your content in their feed will do a lot to boost your content visibility and increase the popularity of your company.
Boost your reach and engagement with social media
While organic reach isn’t impossible to achieve, it’s just really, really, really hard to achieve. It takes time to understand each social platform’s codes and algorithms and to identify the trends that will help you improve your game. It’s pretty much like SEO: It takes a lot of effort, research, brainstorming, and energy to build a strong strategy, but it does pay off eventually. To be fair, one way to boost your website and social media traffic is to put money into Facebook Ads. Facebook definitely puts on the pressure: I get about two notifications a day on ClicData’s Facebook page saying: “You could reach up to 56 gazillion people daily… blah blah blah,” suggesting that I pay for ads.
I mean, am I the only one who’s annoyed by these horribly repetitive notifications?
But again, Facebook encourages companies to invest in their paid service to boost our brand awareness and to reach our marketing goals. Whether it’s to build traffic on our websites or for registration to an event, they tell us that doing so helps boost post visibility.
Build Your Social Media Reporting & KPIs
The best way to measure the performance of your social media strategies and endeavors is to track all of the key performance indicators (KPIs) throughout your acquisition funnel. And the best way to do that is with a social media dashboard. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First, let’s look at how to compare organic and paid reach performance as well as what KPIs are going to be most helpful for you to monitor, measure, and optimize performance on social media.
Comparing organic vs paid reach performance
When it comes to comparing the performance of organic vs. paid outreach efforts, our Dashboard Ninjas recommend the following:
First, build an Overview dashboard that has all your social media KPIs so you can quickly glean what efforts are improving and what aren’t. Then, create a dashboard for each social platform so you can drill down into your data and get more actionable insights. Try to limit the number of indicators to between 10 and 12 per dashboard to make them easier to understand.
Here’s a list of indicators you can use to get started with your social media reporting:
Impressions vs Reach
It can be tricky to compare impressions to reach because—by definition alone—the former will always be more than the latter. Every time a user is reached, it is implied that they have experienced at least one impression—and probably many more. How many times more is the number that is valuable to you. It’s your average number of impressions per user, also known as ad frequency.
Ad Frequency = Total impressions ÷ Total reach
Audience growth rate
This metric helps you see if your actions helped you increase your fan base. You can compare your Audience Growth Rate over a period of time to identify trends or seasonality.
Audience Growth Rate = (New followers or fans ÷ Total followers or fans ) x 100
Social share of voice
This metric can bring you insights about how relevant your brand is in the market by telling you how often users mention your brand compared to how often they mention your competitors. A “mention” can either be direct (@ClicData) or indirect (ClicData).
Social Share of Voice = (Number of mentions of your brand ÷ Total mentions ) * 100
The average engagement rate
As we’ve seen, engagement plays a big role in increasing organic reach on all social media. This metric tells how your content is performing and where you need to improve.
Average Engagement Rate = ((Likes + Comments + Shares) ÷ Followers or Fans) * 100
The conversion rate
Whatever your goal is, you need to track the conversation rate. If your goal is to increase your website traffic, then the formula would be:
Traffic Conversion Rate = (# of Website Visitors sourced from the social platform ÷ Impressions generated by your ad) x 100
If your goal is to make people download your white paper:
Download Conversion Rate = (Total # of downloads ÷ # of people arriving at landing page) x 100
To track conversions on your e-commerce website:
E-commerce Conversion Rate = (Orders Total ÷ # of people who clicked on your post) x 100
The ultimate marketing KPI: ROI
In order to prove your efficiency and performance to top management and negotiate your next year’s budget, you need to show the return on investment (ROI) of your actions and expenditures for everything—including social media.
Here’s the formula:
Rate of ROI = Revenue ÷ Investment (in the campaign, people hours, etc,) x 100
Here are additional useful social media KPIs from Hootsuite that you can use in your dashboards:
Build your automated social media reporting with ClicData
ClicData integrates with all social media platforms and allows you to build automated social media dashboards for you and your team. Connect your Facebook, Facebook Ads, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube data, set your data refresh schedule once, and forget about it! You will always have access to the latest data to take the best actions for your social media strategy!