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A Publication by Blurbi

B2C Social Media Marketing Guide

Business to Customer

VERSION 2.0, August 2013

Table of Contents
I. Letter from the author
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II. Your community a. Competitors & Organizational symbiots

b. Popular cultural objects c. Influencers

III. Robust inbound content channels

a. Twitter b. RSS c. Facebook d. Others e. Tools

IV. Brand content guidelines a. Voice

b. No-Nos c. Range of content g. Post frequency h. Training i. Negative situations j. Notes on set-up

V. Engaging content a. Facebook

i. Facebooks EdgeRank algorithm ii. When to post iii. In the post

Table of Contents
v. Buying direction vi. Other information b. Twitter i. When to Tweet ii. In the Tweet
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VI. Paid Media

a. Facebook i. Basic Marketplace Ads ii. Sponsored Stories iii. Methodology b. Twitter

VII. Participatory culture VIII. Return on Investment (ROI)

a. Traffic b. Reach c. Engagement d. Action f. Demand g. Influence

I. Letter from the author

Social media is ubiquitious for most. Its as if the entire modern world is on Facebook. In fact, if it were a country it would be the third largest in the world, with over 1 Billion monthly users. I have yet to see a company who didnt have atleast 90% of their customers on Facebook. Theres a reason why it generates the most Inbound Marketing leads.

More than half of Facebook users follow 25 brands, one-fifth follow 510 brands, and one-eighth follow 10 or more. - Brian Carter
Twitter may not have as many users as Facebook, but its 140 Million active users still manage to produce around 340 Million Tweets per day. Research done by Buddy Media and Booz and Co. reveal that 77% of marketers list Twitter as one of their top three inbound marketing tactics.

So what is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing is a fully integrated strategy that involves attracting visitors, converting them, and then having them help - intentionally or not - publicize and endorse you. It is achieved through sharing relevant and valuable content online and taking part in a broader participatory culture with potential customers - or fans. The result is a journey with customers through every stage of the sales funnel. The same definition holds true for the terms Online Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing, which fall under the umbrella of Inbound Marketing.

New Standards
With this new attention driven ecosystem comes new best standards. Fading away are the traditional advertising methods as they make way for more social, less pushy, and customer focused methods. Before going any further, its important to lay out these standards so that they can be kept in mind while reading this guide. I. Mutually benefit your customers a. You have to give customers added value aside from just your products. Value comes in the form of great content, friendly conversation, and exclusive offers. II. A friends recommendation is now even stronger online than any advertisement. a. Attention is sacred, thus entertaining customers is integral to success. b. Consumers are 71% more likely to purchase something based off of a referral on social media.1

Hubspot, (2013 State of Inbound Marketing)

III. To inspire leads, you must first inspire trust. a. You must know who you are and what you stand for if you want others to be loyal to your brand. b. For example, 82% of people are more trusting towards a brand whose CEO convers es on social media.1 IV. Focus on the long game a. With social media marketing brands are curating long term friendships with fans. b. Retaining customers is 5-10 times cheaper than attaining new ones.2

V. Stay positive at all times! a. There is no dislike button on Facebook for a reason. The technology breeds posi tivity because fans are only able to like things. Staying positive ensures you achieve more likes. VI. Most of all, portray yourself as a mature human presence. a. Take responsibility for any mistakes and be transparent and honest about every thing, else you run the risk of exposing yourself to the Barbra Streissand Effect. Brands that dont follow these new standards of inbound marketing are the ones who dont perceive it as effective. Its common for us to speak with brands who have put lowly interns in charge of Facebook and Twitter, or CEOs who futily attempt it themselves. Just because we all use social media doesnt mean we understand how to market with it. Thats like judging the value of a chef on his ability to place food in the oven. As we will show in this guide, there are plenty of data-revealed best practices in B2C marketing channels that will lead to huge returns on investment. Keep in mind that although the focus of this guide is only Facebook and Twitter, many of the principles behind social media strategy for these channels apply to others as well, be it Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, or LinkedIn. Alas, it is our aim in this guide to walk you through every step of the Inbound Marketing process, from building a following to fan endorsement. Below is a graphic defining our Inbound Marketing Sales Funnel. The chapters, as you can see, are based loosely off of this funnel.

Basis for funnel influenced by Hubspot

1 2

Brandfog (2012 CEO Social Media and Leadership Survey) The Like Economy, 2011

II. Your community

Communities exist everywhere online. As a company in a highly socialized era, it is your job to be extra friendly. Just as moving to a new city would require you to actively seek out new friends, so to does a company diving into Social Media need to make friends. A staple of social maturity is knowing the type of people you will instantly get along with - we call this social intuition. These are the people who share your interests, your values, your way of looking at the world. A company first needs to know who these friends will be. This is your target audience.

a. Competitors & Organizational symbiots

The easiest friends to find are your competitors. Friending them on social media, subscribing to their newsletters, and reading their FAQ will help you understand how theyre interacting with the same community you want to join. Plus, its very easy to follow their followers on Twitter or look at their FB followers, mine the data for similarities, and target highly specified ads at them, which we will get into later. First try to define your typical target. Write down their traits and descriptions as specifically as possible. How old are they? Are they male or female? Married? Engaged? Single? What are their interests? Where do they live? What are their job titles? Who is their daddy? And what does he do?

Beyond this there are other companies who arent competitors, but organizational symbiots. These are the companies who target the same communities as you, who share similar values to you, whose products/services are often associated with or used alongside yours by the same communities - think Oreas and milk. Associating yourselves with these companies on social media will help you reach the customers you want. Theyve already done some of the work for you. Keep an eye open for trending hashtags that are relevant to your community. To find new incoming content you can browse the hashtag in any Social Media Management Platform and add those who you think will be of benefit to your incoming content channel.

b. Popular cultural objects

Browse through followers of competitors and symbiots to find the topics your community talks about. Make a list of the cultural references you often see. Make a note of how they Create a list of 10 phrases people may use that speak as well. Do they use profanity? could identify them as a potential customer. You Are they often humourous? More can search on Twitter and FB for these phrases. business-like? You can also use Facebook Graph search to find the interests of competitors followers. For example, one of Blurbis competitors is Scripted. We can type into our graph search favourite interests of people who like Scripted and get a very informative set of results. In fact, graph search is great for many other aspects of understanding your audience. Social Media Examiner did a wonderful list of potential uses.

c. Influencers
Its also important to make a note of the top influencers in the community. Who do your competitors and your newfound followers follow? Do these influencers have plenty of followers? Does their content have plenty of engagement? Create a list of these influencers so that you can reach out to them in the future. If you can get them on board with your brand message, their endorsement can build trust and drive plenty of traffic.

III. Robust inbound content channels

No matter if youre a B2C or B2B company, building a robust incoming content channel is an important step in becoming part of a community on social media. The goal here is to eventually have influence in communities that are related to your brand so that you can gain market share, drive leads, and hopefully support your bottom line with increased sales. To have influence you must first learn from your community and then re-share and create content based off of what you learned. As mentioned in Section 2, you need to know what your community likes, what they talk about, and how they talk. You want to be their friend. In this section we outline the channels you can use to curate your incoming content.

a. Twitter
Twitter is probably the best way to keep up with B2B industry news, but its also great for certain B2C communities (think anything technology). Theres an unwritten rule that when you follow someone they should follow back. As long as you share interests, seem trustworthy, and share interesting content its likely that by building your incoming content channel on Twitter you will also add plenty of followers. However, keep in mind that Twitter imposes a following limit. Try to keep your followers and following stats relatively balanced. This wont be a problem until you follow around 2000 people.

b. RSS
The best way to keep up with blogs is to subscribe via RSS. Since Google Reader has - much to everyones chagrin - been discontinued, here are some alternatives: NewsBlur: Has a nice layout across all platforms, but costs a small amount of money for full features. The Old Reader: Looks like Google Reader circa 2011, but has no mobile platform. Feedly: Definitely the prettiest RSS reader (and our favourite). Its the best all around for both browser and mobile.

Flipboard: The best mobile only reader. Emphasis is placed on visuals so its not great for skimming. Hootsuite: Great for aggregating pre-existing RSS feeds into a fully fledged social media content management platform.

c. Facebook
With their Timeline update, Facebook has become a go-to content consumption platform. It differs greatly than Twitter in that you cant just follow most people in your community to build a customer profile. Instead, you will Like pages of competitors, symbiots, and top influencers to view their posts. Keep in mind that the more you interact with the pages you follow, the more you will see them in your Timeline. You have to actively participate by liking and commenting to continue to see items in your feed.

d. Others

Tumblr: Although you can find nearly anything on Tumblr, its best used for finding photo/

Pinterest: Is great for exactly the same reasons as Tumblr.

art content. If your company is focused in an industry that is highly visual, say landscaping or clothing, then Tumblr is a great place to not only find relevant imagery to re-share, but also to share owned content. Its also a great place to find funny content. Keep in mind that the age-range of Tumblr is quite young. At the moment its audience is highly female focused. If your target audience is women, and your product/service is visual, you can find and share great content.

Slideshare: Is a great place to soak up information related to your industry. Many businesses will post slideshows relating to their industry that other companies can download and learn from. It helps them gain influence and exposure in B2B commu nities.

d. Tools
Social Bro: Is our favourite tool for Twitter. Its simple and powerful. You can type in search parameters - in this case your communitys interests (and location if business is local) - and easily browse through people to follow. Commun.It: Is our favourite free tool. It shows you the top influencers in your community that you dont yet follow. You must already follow a decent amount of people to use this though, as it finds the top influencers based on who you follow. Little Bird: Is a great tool for finding top influencers. Percolate: Is a powerful platform that helps you map a brand brain, with relevant content online.

IV. Brand content guidelines

Just like any business practice that affects the bottom line, social media marketing requires a company guide to ensure consistency and avoid pitfalls. Its essential to create - at the least - a rough brand guideline for these purposes.

a. Voice
A consistent voice will help lend your brand uniqueWhy should your customers ness and cohesion. Defining the voice is especially imporlike you on social media? Write tant when two or more employees are writing content. Bedown the value you can provide cause social medias focus is engagement for the purpose for your customers and then of promotion and not promotion first and foremost, you how you can turn that into a never want to come across as corporate. In traditional short and catchy call to action. marketing, content channels were one-directional. Marketing was akin to yelling at your audience through a megaphone. Avoid megaphone corporate speak. Instead, imagine that youre conversing with friends over a group skype chat. Its all very casual. As for the other aspects of a voice, it must still adhere to existing company culture and corporate principals. Things like target age, gender, income, social standing, country/region, should all be existing knowledge for a brand. Use these to define the voice. Its also important to find or develop a strong company story, something that is quick to understand and extremely engaging to customers. If you dont yet have a strong company story its ok to embellish or make one up, as long as it doesnt come across as ridiculous. Make sure to create company Milestones on your pages Timeline with this in mind.

b. No-Nos
The potential pitfalls associated with inbound marketing stem from the new standards mentioned in Section 1. You should NEVER: Erase comments, even if theyre bad product reviews. Re-share items of no interest to your community Add fake followers (the practice of buying a few fake followers when starting a page can be of benefit, as it lends at least a small amount of legitimacy when finding your first followers) Engage in arguments with fans. Trash talk fans Trash talk competitors (though this can be done in good spirits. Just make it funny and not vagrant.) Ignore questions, important comments, or bad reviews. Make spelling errors (theres room for a small amount of internet speak but dont overdo it) Act racist, ignorant, misogynistic. Wait longer than an hour to respond to a comment. Ideally, respond as quickly as possible.

c. Range of content
You must define how broad a range of content you want to discuss on your social media channels. This will all depend on your target audience, but its usually safe to engage in any big cultural events, just as any friend of your followers would. Use the list of interests and cultural objects you created to seek out your community to help define content range.

g. Post frequency
How often should you post content? This depends on the social network. Twitter is a much faster consumption platform, where content will quickly be lost in the noise, while Facebooks Edgerank algorithm places a longer shelf-life on content, and actually penalizes a brand when it posts too often. Therefore, its ideal to post more often to Twitter and less often to Facebook (but with more engaging content). For Facebook post 1-2 times a day.1 Brands that post at this rate have a 19% higher interaction rate than those that post three or more times per day. For Twitter, Tweet anywhere from 1-4 times per day.2 Its ideal to cross-post the best content from your Facebook page onto your Twitter and then have a few more less engaging tweets on top of those. These numbers will vary for your brand and industry. When moving onto writing the content its a good idea to create an editorial calender to make sure posts are completed on schedule. Most social media management platforms offer similar calenders.

h. Training
Though youll have a dedicated social media person/team, having all of your staff trained in social media marketing is key to getting the most out of these channels. You want your employees to interact with your brand online, not only to drive engagement but also to paint a positive picture of your company, where the employees feel comfortable engaging with the brand. It builds community. Also, 25% of people say they would quit work if they werent allowed on Social Media during work hours, so you might as well take advantage of that fact!3

i. Negative situations
Every Brand at some point will experience bad reviews or unruly customers. Theres a myriad of other crisis that can emerge, so its important to develop at-the-least a rough crisis plan. First make sure to keep up to date with news and avoid using terms that might relate to negativity in the news i.e. bomb, explode, suffer. The french have a word for the outcome: malencontreux, meaning both ill-timed and unfortunate. Use Google Alerts. It will send you an e-mail when your alert words are found anywhere online. We use this to search for Blurbi in the media or Facebook change so we know when Facebook changes settings. 1 Buddy Media, 2013 2 3 Intelligent Office, 2013

Second, define crisis roles. How high up the company does the situation need to pass before a response is approved? Who deals with the fallout? Here are some further steps to consider when a crisis emerges: If the crisis is already public, aknowledge it publicly on all social media channels. If theres misinformation, make sure to correct it. Be as honest and transparent as possible. Place blame where blame is due (usually on the brand itself) and apologize to customers. Fix the problem immediately and respond to comments quickly. If the CEO is on social media, have them make a statement regarding the situation (if its serious enough). If the crisis deals with less than a few fans, take the matter private through e-mail and offer them a solution. Analyze how well your team handled the situation and learn from mistakes. Use the situation as a case study.

The only wiggle room is for profanity, which is a two sided coin. Controversy can spark interest and engagement, just make sure that youre not alienating your core target audience. Theres a trade-off if you can engage plenty and only offend a few.

j. Notes on set-up
Claim your Facebook page: When someone checks in to a physical location on Facebook, a Place Page is automatically created. Also, if your company was created under the local business tag then a Place Page is again automatically created for you. Add diffferent spellings of your business to the equation and you have mutliple Place Pages for your business floating around that people are checking into. Make sure you claim the place by first finding your business (filtered by Places). Next, click on any un-claimed pages you find and click the gear icon, select is this your business? and follow the directions on-screen. You may have to send Facebook some documentation. Facebook URL: When you acquire a Facebook Page it comes with an incredibly long and ugly URL. Once you reach 25 fans youre given the option of defining a custom URL. Go to http://

V. Engaging content
This is clearly the most challenging part of social media marketing, but it is also the most important. Word-of-mouth is the number one influencer of purchases, and social media is now the number one influencer of word-of-mouth. Making content word-of-mouthable can be a daunting task for many. But theres alot of information out there to help. First and foremost, being human and avoiding sounding robotic is paramount. Your fans are your friends; talk to them like they are. In other words, write naturally as you would talk. Use short sentences. Just as any good friend will continue to surprise and delight, so should you. Your fans should look forward to the engagement theyll have with you. Before devising any content keep these questions in mind: Is the topic popular right now? Is it timely? Are competitors talking about it? Will our followers be interested in talking about it? Can they understand the message in 3-5 seconds?1 How can we apply our own unique voice to it? How will we measure its success?

Also keep in mind that youre selling your fans an emotional dream. Most of your content should touch on one of these dreams: Connection Options Love Freedom Entertainment Belonging Luxury Relaxation Security Simplicity Understanding

In this section well break down the process of producing shareable/engaging content into unique sections for Facebook and Twitter. All of the stats in this section were taken from the Salesforce Marketing Cloud E-Books, which I highly suggest reading.

a. Facebook
First, we need to briefly go over how content is shown in a users News Feed. Facebook uses its EdgeRank algorithm to determine who sees what in their News Feeds. The average Facebook user has 130 friends. Imagine the potential reach if you multiply every-one of your followers by 130! This is why understanding EdgeRank is so important. It will help you optimize content so that it has the most potential to appear in fans and friends of fans News Feeds.

80% of people read headlines, but only 20% read the body. (CopyBlogger, 2012)

i. Facebooks EdgeRank algorithm


An Edge is all of the actions that occur on Facebook. Status updates, likes, comments, shares, and clicks are all examples of Edges. An Edges likelihood of appearing in a fans News Feed is dependent upon Affinity, Weight, and Time Decay.

is the value given to actions in Facebook. The most time-intensive content is given more weight. For example, photos are given more weight than comments and comments are given more weight than likes.


is the relationship between a User and an Edge. Its best understood as how close of a relationship your Brand and a Fan has. This relationship is judged by the Fans interaction with your content. Actions such as Commenting, Liking, Sharing, and Clicking influence a Users Affinity.

Time Decay

is how long a particular Edge has been alive. As time increases, the likelihood of actions on facebook (comments, photos, likes) appearing in the News Feed diminishes. This keeps content fresh.

In August 2013 Facebook implemented two new algorithm changes that help define what appears in the news-feed and where. Last Actor: Looks at the last 50 interactions a user has made and then gives increased news-feed space to the users who created the content interacted with the most in those last 50 interactions Storybump: Previously, older stories - no matter their popularity - would be buried under new stories as the news-feed was refreshed. Storybump gives greater weight to popular posts that would have been buried further down the timeline by bumping them up to the top when the newsfeed is refreshed..

ii. When to post

Facebook is generally used during leisure time, when followers arent at work. Therefore weekends actually have the highest engagement rate (14.5% higher than during the workweek). Likewise, content that is posted between 8PM and 7AM have 14% higher engagement rate than content posted from 7AM to 8PM. Wednesday has the lowest engagement rate out of any day of the week, while Monday and Tuesday tend to have the highest engagement of any workdays.

Plenty of brands dont take advantage of these statistics and stick to posting during busy hours on the weekday. This makes sense as social media marketers work similar hours to everyone else. To gain that upper edge in engagement, you can allow your social marketers to work from home during these times and give them extended lunches or days off during the week. There are plenty of tools out there to monitor work-time. Heres a list of some: 15Five Chartio Payroll Hero Deskaway Weekdone Gigantt Proworkflow Toggl Creativeworx

iii. In the post

Much of the abstract information about what kind of content to produce has already been covered. You should already understand what kind of information your fans will be interested in, what dreams to sell to them, and the new standards to keep in mind while doing so. This section will cover specifics of how to frame this content and the essential ingredients that will give it the greatest chance of success in relation to the EdgeRank algorithm. Photos/Videos Considering that brevity is so important, links to external sites and videos have lower engagement rates than posts only containing text or photos. Posts with photos receive a 39% higher engagement rate than those without. Its integral for photo posts that the images be high quality and highly relevant, especially when youre creating Ads, which we will cover later. You may need to purchase stock images. Here are some good stock image sites: Flikr GraphicRiver Fotalia iStockPhoto Getty Images

Emoticons Posts with emoticons receive a 59% higher engagement rate than those without. Emoticons are essential to humanizing your brand. Just as most of us use plenty of emoticons when talking to friends, so to should you use them when interacting with followers. :D and :P have the highest engagement rates out of any emoticons, with the simple :) and ;) close behind. Remember to use them sparingly, as too many emoticons comes across as try-hard. Calls to Action Posts with a Call to Action show much higher engagement rates than those without - a 48% spike. Though engagement rates are high, Calls to Action can get very annoying, very fast. So make sure to use them no more than 2-3 times per week. Asking fans to Like, caption, and share posts all score higher engagements rates than average, as do questions ending with yes or no. In fact, 79% of all fan interaction comes in the form of Likes. Conversely, asking fans to take a picture, click a link, submit something,

and check something out show lower interaction rates than average. The Like button gets more than two billion clicks per day.1 Questions Asking a question is another great way to engage your fanbase. The question can relate to anything laid out in your range of content section. Just make sure to keep it brief and place it at the end of a post, not the beginning nor middle. A good idea is to ask your fans for product/service feedback or things theyd like to see your brand do. You can even ask them what their hobbies are, what sports theyre into, etc,. Youll be surprised at how responsive your fans will be to such questions. In this case, the responses have the added benefit of providing free market research. Something we do at Blurbi is take the question cards from Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples and use them to create question templates that we then fill in with nouns relevant to the brands were writing for. Some very generic examples (insert relevant nouns): What are you proud of this week? On Facebook, brand posts What _____ do you love the most? get half of their reach within What do you like most about _____? 30 minutes of being posted. What makes your _____ the greatest? (Source:Socialbakers, 2012) How can we make _______ better? What couldnt you live without? If _____ were a super-hero what would be its special power? Whats the best ______ youve had this week? Tell us about your favourite _______? What is the biggest lesson you learned from _______? Contests Contests can be a great way to generate engagement. However, theyre often used too often and improperly. A general rule when running a contest is to only ask your fans to complete a task that qualifies them as good potential customers. For example, if i were running a contest to give away a copy of this e-book Id likely ask my fans to tell me their #1 marketing tip so that I know those who are answering are indeed marketers, and are likely to actually buy the e-book. Include words like winner, win, giveaway, entry and new, as they all have higher than average engagement rates. A promotional keyword like win combined with a call to action like comment on/like is always a safe bet for a contest post. There is plenty of room for innovative contests, dependent upon your brand and its fanbase, but here are some rather common approaches: Ask users to caption a funny image. Like most contests, you can do it all in one post or elongate it over a few stages. The same thing can be done for fill in the blank contests. Some brands have had successs by running contests to have a followers photo appear as the cover photo for the month. 1 Likeable Social Media, 2011

Keep in mind the Facebook contest and promotions guidelines. You cant use Facebook functionality to decide who wins a contest. For example, you cant decide the winner of the caption this contest by how many likes it received. You must also use Third Party Applications to run a promotion. Heres a list of some good ones: . Woobox Votigo Competizer Wizehive Binkd Wishpond Strutta NorthSocial Shortstack

v. Buying direction
The 90-9-1 rule of social media participation posits that 90% are passive lurkers, 9% are active participants, and 1% produce the majority of the content. If you already work hard to make it worth your users time to actually participate, then imagine how much trickier it is to get someone to spend money. You must keep the buying directions as simple as possible. You dont want to bombard your fans with options. Buying something direct through Facebook or on an external site should be possible within 1-3 clicks. The best way to make buying easier through Facebook is to include purchase options directly on your Page. Direct users through a post to a specific landing page created just for purchases. Most of the contest applications mentioned in the previous section include direct paying options. One technique to help drive direct sales is to add urgency to a post, which has been shown to increase click-through rates by 15% (Source: Marketing Experiments Blog, 2012)

You could also use interactive cover photos to direct users to external purchasing sites or use Stipple so that fans can purchase directly from an image in Facebook.

vi. Other information

Create a welcome tab for new fans. You can brand the tabs, put videos in them, and make them look great. The best welcome tabs are called reveal tabs or fan gates. What that means is that if you arent a fan, you see one thing, usually a message about why you should like it (perhaps youll get to see a video or download a whitepaper) and after you become a fan, you see something different. This second view is usually a thank you, or it might be the thing you were told you had to click Like in order to see. Encourage fans to Check In to your local business. Its great to create imagery around your business to encourage this. You can go one step further and offer fans of your page deals and discounts for set amounts of Check-Ins. To do this go to Admin Panel > Edit Page > Update Info. On the bottom left side youll find the deals section.

b. Twitter i. When to Tweet

Just like Facebook, Twitter followers are more engaged on weekends - 17% more. But unlike Facebook, Twitter users dont primarily engage in their leisure time. Instead, they use it during their busy hours. From 7AM - 8PM engagement rates for Tweets are 30% higher than those Tweets that fall on leisure hours (8PM-7AM). If using both Facebook and Twitter for marketing its a best practice to post the bulk of your Tweets during workhours and then schedule Facebook posts for leisure time. Content that you post to Facebook at these times can also be cross-posted to Twitter. Make sure to cross-post at the same time, for sake of cohesion (many of the same people will follow you on both Social Networks). By cross-post we dont mean to use a tool to post the exact same content to both social networks. Instead, change the wording up slightly while keeping the premise. This means that a small amount of your Twitter posts will fall during sub-optimal engagement hours. Hardly a problem considering they are just cross-posts that are optimized for Facebook engagement. They will act as filler to make your Twitter profile look busier.

ii. In the Tweet

Many of the statistics and methods from the Facebook section also hold true for Twitter, so well keep this section brief. Unfortunately, not much is known about the Twitter news-feed algorithm, but its quite clear that your followers will see nearly all of your updates. Because of this, conversations are fast-paced and dissapear quickly into the background. Its essential to have your followers re-tweet every tweet of yours, or participate in discussion around every hashtag you use. Their actions help you continue to appear in peoples Twitter streams over a prolonged period of time. Asking followers to re-tweet a tweet of yours drives them to retweet 12 times more often than tweets in which you dont ask for re-tweets, so make sure to ask! Where Facebook users like to join discussions, Twitter users like to find, consume, and share new information. Theres still the potential for plenty of discussion centred around hashtags, but unless a hashtag actually begins to Trend, or is tethered to a live event or Tweetchat, its difficult to maintain a coherent conversation. Brevity is built into each Tweet. You have a limit of 140 characters per-tweet, but being even briefer is better. Tweets with less than 100 characters show a 17% higher engagmenet rate than those with more. If you must write close to 140 character, make sure to leave atleast a 10-15 character buffer for re-tweets or extra hashtags. Unlike Facebook, stats show that Twitter users love to click through to external sites and images. Tweets that contain an external link have 86% higher engagement than those that dont and Tweets that contain an image-link show a 200% higher engagement rate than those that dont.

VI. Paid Media

Up to now, weve only discussed Inbound Marketing tactics. That is, marketing conducted through Social Media Channels for free (aside from the costs of the social media marketers themselves). But all major Social Media Channels also have elements of traditional paid advertising built into them. No matter your budget, paid social media advertising is an integral component of social marketing. It can help you significantly expand reach to a very specific target at an efficient and scalable rate. Theyre also much more effective than paid media in print and video, with a 55% higher re-call rate. Part of this stems from the wealth of user data available to marketers, who can then use said data to create highly specfic and precisely targeted ads. Another reason is the ability to adjust the ad in real-time as data about the ad filters in. You can change anything from colour to placement. There may be hard costs involved, but the returns are far greater.

a. Facebook
Advertising on Facebook can be broken down into two sections: Marketplace ads and Premium ads. Because Premium ads have a very high minimum spend amount, which means theyre only suitable for very large brands, we wont be focusing on them in this manual. There are three methods of bidding on ads in the Marketplace, all of which involve bidding on the prices you are willing to pay. First is the Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) where you can bid on a target group of desired users and pay every time the ad is seen. Then theres the Cost Per Click (CPC) method where you bid on a price that youll pay every time someone clicks on your ad. Finally theres Cost Per Action (CPA) where you bid on a price to pay only when a user has completed the desired action you have specified. You can set it so that you pay a certain price when someone actually Likes your page - going beyond CPC where they only need to click the ad. They may click on the ad, but unless they like your page, or comment on your post, you dont pay. This feature was recently rolled out and isnt yet available in the basic Power Editor or Ads Manager on Facebook. It will be in the near future. In Marketplace there are two ad categories you can use, each with 7 different types of ads.

i. Basic Marketplace Ads

These ads are in the voice of your brand and appear only on the right-hand side of the Facebook page. You have control over every element of the ad (title, image, copy). They can appear in the Right-Hand Column, Desktop News Feed, Mobile News Feed, or Search bar. Page Post: Creates an ad out of a piece of content youve posted. This particularly effective to drive content engagement. If you have a contest that is doing particularly well and think deserves even more engagement, you can link an ad to the contest. Page Like: Creates a direct ad to your Facebook page. If youre looking to increase your fan count this is the type of ad to use. Keep in mind that the headline text must be the name of your Facebook page.

App: Directs users to a Facebook application or a specific tab on your Facebook page. Event: Creates an ad for an event youre hosting. The ad links directly to the event page. Mobile App Install: Guides users directly to the download page for your mobile app, be it Apple App Store or Google Play. External Website: Takes users directly to the external website youve specicifed. This is usually used for campaigns, deals, or online stores. Basic Marketplace ads consist of a 25 character headline, a 90 character body, 110 x 80 pixel image

Search Result: Shows your ad at the top of a users search results depending on what keywords they searched. Facebook automatically uses the image from the page, tab, or post you are advertising. There are over 1.2 Billion Facebook searches a day. A good trick to use with this is to use your competitors brand names as targeted keywords, so that when someone searches for your competitor they get you instead.

ii. Sponsored Stories

On Facebook, created content only appears in the News Feed for around 30-45 minutes before newer content replaces it, unless that content has engagement. Because of this, posts only reach about 16% of fans. Creating ads out of organic content created by your users can help keep your content in the News Feed much longer. Sponsored Stories allow you to make any organic action conducted by fans into an ad - you sponsor the story. They can appear in the Right-Hand Column, Desktop News Feed, Mobile News Feed, or Search bar. The power of this method is the built in ability to advertise to friends of fans. This way not only are the targets more likely to be interested in your brand page but they are also more likely to click the ad in the first place, as their friends who like your page are mentioned in the ad itself. Page Post: Sponsor a Like, Comment, or Share from one of your posts. Page/Place: Sponsor a Page Like or Check-In. App: Sponsor a fan when they use/download your app. Event RSVP: Sponsor someone RSVPing for your event. Game Played: Sponsor someone playing your game. External Website: Sponsor a fans visit to your external website. Open Graph: Sponsor actions that occur within your own Facebook apps.

Marketplace Ad Types
Page Post Page Like App Event Mobile App Install External Website Search Result

Sponsored Stories
Page Post Page/Place App Event RSVP Game Played External Website Open Graph

iii. Methodology
When running an ad campaign its a best practice to use an outline to help you define objectives and measure success. At Blurbi we use a simple framework consisting of Objective, Budget, Target Demographic, Timeframe, and Key Point Indicators (KPI). Objective What do you want to achieve with this ad campaign? Do you want more Likes? High engagement from a post? More exposure? More contest entries? Traffic to an external site? App installs? Make sure to define these goals specifically. Budget How much are you willing to spend on reaching your objectives? Your objectives should help you define the budget. If you want 5k more Likes on your page, then youre going to have to spend a certain amount of money.

To calculate the budget spend youll first need to know your Cost Per Fan (CPF) or Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). CPF = ad spend / [number of impressions x CR]. Is rather simple to discern but you need to have a few campaigns under your belt to have the available information, specifically Page Like campaigns. Open up your Ad Manager and run a conversions report. On the Ads Report page youll find the Advertising Performance Report. Take your Page Like campaign and look at your conversion rate and the number of impressions it has. Divide your cost spent on that campaign by the conversion rate x impressions and you have your CPF. For example if your conversion rate was 5% with 5000 impessions and you spent $100 your math would look like: 100/[5000 x 0.05] Your CPF would be $0.40. It costed you 40c to gain a fan.

CPA = ad spend / [number of impressions x CTR x CR]. For the CPA section well use a specific example to make it easier to understand. Say your goal is to drive traffic to your online store from Facebook ads. To measure the success of this youll need to know your CPA. First determine your CTR (click through rate). This How many people clicked and visited your store. You can see this in your dashboard. Next determine your CR (conversion rate). How many people who visited your site from Facebook purchased items. Look at your website analytics (you can use google analytics for this) to see what people came from FB and how many of those people made purchases. Alternatively you could create a landing page just for Facebook ad visitors so that everyone who visits is from Facebook. Then find the number of Impressions your ad reached. You can see this in your Facebook dashboard. Determine how much money you spent on the ads. Lets say that you spent $500 and had 15 000 impressions. You had a 5% CTR with a 25% CR. 500/[15 000 x .05 x .25] your Cost Per Acquisition. $2.66 is your cost per acquisition. With these two statistics in mind you can work out how much to spend on Facebook advertising. You should continously test your assumptions and compare them to your most succesful ads, in terms of CPA and CPF. Target Demographic You can target ads by location, age, interests, education, and connections. In connections you can specify groups of connections to target. For example, you can target only your followers or you can target only friends of followers.

In section II. you created your target demographic list, which includes your communitys interests. To create ads take the age range, gender, and education level (if applicable) and combine them with an interest from the list. Remember to continually test your ads. This will help you allocate your spend budget more effectively. For example, instead of targeting an ad to both genders, you can split the ad and target each gender to see what gives you better engagement. Try a few different ad types for each gender to see what works best for each. You can also A/B test different headlines, photos, and copy at the same time to discern efficacy. Timeframe How long will you run the ad for? You can run them as long as you want before they start becoming ineffective. Ads burnout over time due to the Decay edge of Edgerank. Cancel them immediately upon seeing their affect drop, as youve likely reached the entirety of your potential targets. The people who havent clicked yet are worse targets as time goes on. Re-do the ad by changing the copy/images and even some of the targeting methods. Rinse and repeat. Key Point Indicators (KPIs) How will you measure your success? Key Point Indicators help you see if your campaigns were succesful. They are based directly off of your objectives. For example, 5k page likes could have been your objective, which means its a KPI. Did you reach it? Engagement rate above 45% could be another KPI, as could reaching 10 000 unique impressions, achieving 6k App installs, or making atleast $10 000 in your online store. CPA and CPF help you further define how succesful your campaigns are. There are some platforms that work on-top of Facebook Ad APIs to automate and optimize ad campaigns. Heres a few: Ad Parlor Blinq One Story Manager

b. Twitter
Most Paid Marketing on Twitter tends to be reserved for B2C brands large enough to actually gain much value from it - this is dependent upon the industry of course. Where nearly all of your fans will already be on Facebook, not as many will have a Twitter account. There are three different ways you can advertise on Twitter. Promoted Tweets are the most common, and the most useful for smaller B2C brands. You can create targeted Tweets with a variety of parameters that will appear in users news-feeds. Its best to reserve these for your most engaging Tweets. You can also place these Tweets in search results. To get maxmimum effect out of this method, always keep up to date on what your users are talking about. If its something theyre talking about, and its timely, its likely theyll be searching a related term in Twitter. Search these related words then target a Tweet to appear there. For example, if you ran a local Yogurt brand and someone tweeted that they felt like yogurt you could bid on the words want and yogurt so that a crafted tweet of yours offering a 25% discount on yogurt would appear at the top of that followers feed. This feature can be used alongside Twitters existing parameters such as Geolocation, Gender, Device etc.,

You can take a similar approach to promote your Twitter account in search results for a particular term with Promoted Accounts. You can also advertise your account in the who to follow section. Another ad method Twitter offers is Promoted Trends. If you want to generate hype around a conversation you can promote a paritcular hashtag of your choosing to the top of the trending topics list. Like mentioned earlier, this is only viable if you have a large budget.

VII. Participatory culture

In section 2 you defined your online community. Being an active participant in your defined community will help you build trust, develop interest, and gain market share. Here are some suggestions on how to take part in your community: Get involved in Timely cultural events like the Oscars or the Superbowl, even if your brand has nothing to do with it. If your fans are talking about it so should you. Being involved in the community is part of the Twitter ethos. The unwritten 2 to 1 rule states that you should Reply or Retweet two things for every piece of original content you post. Sharing others content on Facebook as often wont go over as well. Cross promote your page on organizational symbiots pages by engaging in discussions on their Timeline. The trick here is to just act like any normal fan would. People will find it sleezy if you start pushing your product. Participate in Tweet Chats or create your own. These are scheduled meetings where a community discusses relevant topics. Theyre coordinated by way of a hashtag. To run your own youll first need a decent Twitter following. For the week prior to the scheduled Tweet Chat, let your followers know on a regular basis when the chat is scheduled to happen and what the hashtag will be. Once the time has come, organize the Tweet Chat by asking questions. When asking a question define the question with a code. Its easiest to say Q1 for the first question, Q2 for the second, and so on. When answering use A1, A2, etc. If your business is local, make sure to get involved in local events related to your brand. Theres bound to be discussion on social media surrounding an event. If theres a hashtag then participate. If theres no hashtag yet then create one for the event and tell all of your followers at the event to use it. If your brand isnt local you can still participate in the conversation. Just find the terms or hashtags with which people are discussing an event. Usually there will be an event Page or Twitter account you can first follow.

If youre running an event make sure to define a simple hashtag and tell everyone about it. Coordinate the social media for the event from your account. Set up a Twitter wall to display Tweets in real-time. Make sure to interact throughout. You can even give prizes out to the most entertaining Twitter users at the event. Participate in Follow Fridays. Designated by the hashtag #FF, its a Twitter tradition for Twitter users to share with their followers other users whose content they enjoy. Though it may be tempting to add as many names as possible to your FF tweet, its best to focus on just one or two users. This makes it more personal and less preachy.

VIII. Return on Investment (ROI)

Return on Investment is an often overlooked aspect of Social Media marketing, but its immensely important. Without it, there would be no funding, and no jobs for Inbound Marketers. Often when talking about inbound marketing, marketers sound like theyre pitching butterflies and lollipops... pipedreams. The only way to convince yourself and executives to invest in Inbound Marketing is to present hard data. Sounds easy right? At its most fundamental level ROI can be defined as:

ROI = [Revenue Cost] / Cost, x 100

Example: If you spent $62 000 this year on your Social Media budget and posted earning of $140 000 your ROI is 125%. But your direct ROI from sales doesnt tell the whole story. Theres plenty more return you can get that is more difficult to define, but incredibly valuable nonetheless. To help us judge this more abstract form of ROI we use our own TREADI method. In this section we will lay out the six categories from TREADI and provide you with helpful Key Point Indicators (KPIs) for each.

How much traffic have you driven from social media to an external site such as a campaign landing page or web store? Traffic from social media is usually a first click touch point. Its likely that a fan first heard of your brand from friends or a news-feed post on social media. As opposed to last-click touchpoints from which a fan directly visits your external site. These most often come from Google, where customers are already looking to buy; Googling the product is just the last step in their search. Advertising on social media increases its likelihood of being a last-click touchpoint.

Traffic Reach Engagement Action Demand Influence

To track leads and conversions directly from Facebook Ads to external sites you can use Facebooks own converstion data tracker Facebook Pixel.

Unique Visitors from social media. Time Spent on Site. Click Through Rate (CTR) from social media posts and ads containing URLs

How many people will see your social media posts? On Facebook Reach measures the amount of people who have received impressions of a post, or in other words, how many people saw your post in their news-feed. This is easy to find in your Facebook dashboard. Treat Reach as a measure of your audience size or fan base This differs slightly from Impressions, which measures how many unique times your post is shown to others. It is usually higher than Reach because a post can be shown multiple times to the same person. Twitters algorithm works in a similar way, but its best to use a third party Twitter client for analyzing.

Reach Impressions Number of followers/fans Cost Per Fan (CPF) = budget spend / [number of impressions x CR] Value of Fan = revenue directly resulting from social media traffic / reach Example: If youve generated $25,000 of revenue from your 1,000 fans, each fan is worth $25 to you.

How active are your followers/fans with your posts? Knowing your engagement rate is a stong indicator of your contents quality. If the KPIs from engagement are lower than you wanted, take a step back and focus your efforts on creating great social content.

Number of fans who engage with content atleast once a week Number of Comments/Likes/Re-Tweets/@ replies Number of Comments/Likes/Re-Tweets per post

How affective is your social media in generating tangible leads that can be tied directly to sales? Or in other words, how active are your fans/followers in actually buying your product or using your service? You must be able to define how much of your sales can be tied back to your social media marketing efforts and what the conversion rate for those direct sales are compared to the conversion rate for non-direct sales. You can justify your social media spend when your CR for direct sales is better than the typical conversion rate, and when the ROI on the direct sales is in the positives.

Direct sales from social media leads Conversion Rate (CR) Cost per Action (CPA) = ad spend / [number of impressions x CTR x CR] CR from social media leads vs CR from non social media leads

What are your fans/followers saying about your brand on social media? What do they Like? What do they Dislike? What do they want to see? Market research used to cost an arm and a leg. Now its free. Monitoring social media for mentions of your brand can help you determine what your customer wants. Listening for demand can help you better shape your product/service. Its basically free crowd-sourced demand sensing. Always listen for customer service opportunities where you can turn disgruntled followers into brand advocates. For example, if a fan doesnt like a product ask them why, tell them their feedback will help better shape the product/service, and then offer them something in return for their feedback. Of course if all of your products or services suck then it will really show in your social media. A brands social media following is only as strong as its product/service.

Social Bakers Brandlove is a great tool for demand sensing Positive mentions per thousand (PMT) Negative mentions per thousand (NMT) PMT vs NMT The Social Contribution Index (SCI) Percentage of positive mentions / percentage of total mentions

How influential is your brand on social media in its particular market? How does it compare to other brands in your market?


Mentions across all social media channels per time period (MPT) Your MPT vs competitor MPT Share of Conversation (SOC) = posts about a specific topic and your brand / posts about specific topic in general Example: If 2400 of the 3700 posts this month mentioning content marketing also mentioned Blurbi, then Blurbis SOC is 64%.

Youre probably confused by all of the metrics for defining ROI and rightfully so. Its best to focus on only as many metrics as you need with the goal in mind. Not everyone may not care about market influence so a metric like Share of Conversation would be of no use to them. Traffic to a website might be the overall goal. In this case metrics like CTR and CPC are important, so to are metrics in the Reach and Engagement categories as these help support efforts to increase traffic.

We would like to thank Hubspot and Salesforce for providing us with a plethora of useful social media guides. We highly recommend their platforms for managing all of your social media needs.

Blurbi is a crowd-sourced content curation platform for short form social media content. It also offers experienced full service social media marketing.

About the Author: Tyler Handley is the founder and CEO of Blurbi. Having previously advised early stage start-ups on social media planning at the BBC, Tyler loves helping small to medium businesses jump-start their social media marketing.