Welcome back to TakeFive with TweetReach, our ongoing series where we discuss social media analytics and measurement with notable members of the community, pulling together insight and commentary on all things measurement. As always, we welcome your suggestions for interviewees and questions.
TweetReach: Welcome Sarah! Let’s start with talking about how you got started using social media. Can you describe you first “ah-ha” moment?
Sarah Reynolds: My first work experience in social media was very brand heavy with limited off topic conversation. My current position at ICED Media was my first foray in representing large, established brands. Now that I am part of an organization that has led non-traditional advertising for over ten years, I’ve learned how to apply my traditional background with my company’s expertise to establish a strong voice for a national brand that is both conversational and informative.
My first “ah ha” moment was when I realized I had humanized a brand. I had broken down the barrier between advertising and the consumer by infusing my content with my honest personality. Despite the size and reputation of the client I work with, I’ve made their online presence very personal and accessible. I’ve even been invited to meet some of my fans and followers in person! Social media often gets a doomsday type stigma — something along the lines of people will stop actually interacting in person, and instead, will only relay on handles, profiles, texting and chat boxes to keep in touch. I think my experience is a small example of the power of social media on human interaction and how it actually brings us closer. Since when did people want to become friends with a brand, or sit down and have coffee with a brand, or be interested in how they are feeling or what they are wearing? Social media can accomplish that if you insert some human touch and genuine traits that others can feel comfortable relating to.
TweetReach: Is ROI for Twitter campaigns achievable? There are many different ways to measure activity, but how do you gauge your success, or help your clients do the same? What’s missing from the equation?
Sarah Reynolds: Although ROI is possible via Twitter campaigns, all brands should be familiar with the quantitative and qualitative aspects of social media. Tracking a campaign’s reach and ROI are just as important as building a loyal follower base and engaging in impactful conversations. The job of an agency like ICED Media is to combine best in class tools and technologies with our ultimate objective of delivering the best results for our clients. Whether driving revenue is your ultimate goal, you should be always be monitoring reach and ROI. These measures are good proxies for determining the efficacy of your messages and how they relate to the number of responses, overall traffic, and conversions/sales. It’s important to keep an eye on all these moving parts to help analyze how your tweets are performing against certain metrics. I find that the timing, content and specificity of my tweets have a direct correlation to certain reach/ROI related metrics.
TweetReach: What’s your favorite example of a successful social media campaign? How important was measurement of the metrics around the campaign to its success?
Sarah Reynolds: We recently transformed one of our client’s Twitter handles into a personal concierge service during a heavily attended two week-long event in NYC. We provided a free delivery service for a select group of social media influencers in the fashion industry. When these users reached out to our client’s Twitter profile to request a delivery, our profile was exposed to all of their followers, reaching our targeted demographic. We tracked the reach and impressions based on our interactions with our concierge users, plus any organic requests that we received based on our initial engagement. This was a successful campaign because it provided a group of valuable influencers with a free service, leading to positive sentiments toward our client, and it reached a large group of qualified followers.
TweetReach: Where do you go for measurement and analytics-related news and insight — any particular website, blogs, forums, etc. that are of particular value?
Sarah Reynolds: Due to the flux of social media, it is important to stay up to date with as many blogs as possible, but personally I like to read www.adage.com for a general overview of advertising news and www.mashable.com for social media tools and best practices. The Twitter timeline has also become an excellent source for real-time information.
TweetReach: Do you have any secret techniques, tools, or other Jedi strategies that you can share with our readers? Any best practices for getting greater reach for your content?
Sarah Reynolds: The industry is too new for Jedi strategies — Yoda does not exist in the space yet; social media is the Wild West right now. So no Jedi tricks per se, but certainly some suggestions of things I’ve discovered. First, start by exploring your direct competitors’ profiles to gain insight on what type of content works vs. content that seems forced/too branded. Then, outline your goals for each platform, regardless of whether you aim to drive ROI, create a brand personality, or to simply provide customer service. Once you have an idea of what works for your target audience and you have your goals outlined, experiment with a mix of unbranded and branded messaging, this will help you understand what type of content your audience is more receptive to engaging with.
TweetReach: Thanks so much for your time and insight, Sarah!
Sarah Reynolds is the Senior Social Media Manager at ICED Media, an online strategy and marketing company in New York City. She oversees the overall online strategy for two Kmart apparel platforms, Kmart Fashion and Stylesip. This includes copy editing, customer service, creative design, and paid media campaigns. She’s also the voice behind @KmartFashion. She graduated from NYU in three years with a degree from Gallatin School of Individualized Study where she focused on the current and historical effects of advertising, marketing, and art on society. She enjoys being tweeted.