Mar 16, 2018

How a social media expert generates leads, tracks ROI and gets spectacular results


An interview with GA Creative’s social media maven Molly Musler: For nearly 20 years, Molly has developed high-caliber content strategies for major brands – and pairing just-the-right social with other campaign elements is her specialty.

According to 4C’s Four Predictions for 2018, this year marketers will see a breakthrough in audience-based marketing, thanks in part to the ability they now have to apply audience-level data to their social channel strategy. Further, social advertising will continue to soar to an all-time high. In short, brands can’t afford not to pay attention to social media as part of their overall marketing mix. That’s why we asked our social media expert, Molly, for some tips and tricks with regards to social media campaigns. Here’s what she had to say.

What are some of the top social media strategies companies can use to generate leads?
The best way to generate leads from social media is to ensure that social efforts are integrated into your overall content marketing efforts. Sharing blog posts to social media is a first step – but adding social advertising dollars to make sure the right targets see those blogs is even better for lead generation. Better still? Ensuring that your site is optimized with plenty of lead-capture forms once visitors arrive. Creating blog and downloadable content that’s informed by audience and keyword research in the first place helps ensure that when it comes time to submit their contact information, visitors will be more likely to do so.

Other ways to generate leads through social media include promoting special offers, contests, webinars – or any other tactic that requires a sign-up. For several clients, we’ve created social-promoted surveys to obtain content for future blogs, downloadables, or presentations. Offering an incentive is a good way to get people to participate in the survey – and provide their contact information.

Tip: It’s a good idea to speak with your legal team before launching any lead-capture program to ensure you’re collecting data in adherence with current privacy law.

What are the key metrics for tracking ROI on social media?
That depends on the goal of your campaign. If you’re trying to generate awareness, using social metrics available on Facebook Insights or LinkedIn Analytics are beneficial for tracking how many people are following your pages, how engaged they are in general, and how engaged they are with specific types of posts. These tools are also useful for tracking where different types of content resonates. For example, often the same piece of content will be very effective, engagement-wise, on one social site – but not on another. Paying attention to engagement and social actions can help you refine the types of content you share on the different sites – which will ultimately contribute to better brand awareness.

Analytics tools available on the sites themselves can provide information about your follower audience, so you can see how well your messages are resonating with your key targets, and refine, as necessary. For example, on Facebook, if your primary target is a 30-something mom but the People Engaged tab reports that the majority of people who are engaging with your posts are men, perhaps it’s time to target a page-like ad at women or refine your Facebook posting strategy so that it targets women more directly.

If your overall goal is to get people to take action, such as visiting your website, ad tracking tools via the social sites themselves are helpful – but they’re not the end of the story. Tracking social behavior on Google Analytics better helps translate how social ad dollars are contributing to success. Setting up goals in Google Analytics and tracking social conversions is perhaps the best way to determine how well action-oriented campaigns are performing on social media.

Tip: If you’re tracking sessions from social in Google Analytics, remember that sometimes Google lumps paid social efforts into the (Other) category, so the Social tab may not be giving you the all-up picture.

What is your favorite social media effort you’ve done for a client?
I’ve loved many of them, but my favorite is the work we did on behalf of the Washington State Department of Health about the importance of getting a flu shot. We came up with a boxing metaphor that guided this comprehensive ad campaign. As part of that, we conducted extensive social media advertising efforts that ultimately helped drive 20,000+ unique visits to the flu landing page. Not only did it allow us to reach out to both English and Spanish speakers with a very important message using some really fun creative, but the clients were also just lovely to work with. That made it even more special when we blew the campaign goal out of the water.

Tip: When targeting non-English speakers, invest in a translation service instead of relying on the social site (or Google) to translate it for you to avoid any mishaps.

What are some of useful tools to manage channels?
We use Hootsuite with many of our clients: It’s a solid tool for posting to several social profiles at once and has an easy-to-use approvals feature to simplify the process. We’ve also used both Hubspot, which allows you to see the full picture of how social posts contribute to lead generation, and SproutSocial, which has nice monitoring and reporting tools – plus a neat bookmarklet that allows you to post quickly from your browser bar. Perhaps the best tool, however, is simply downloading the social apps for mobile. That allows admins to flexibly post, comment or make changes anytime – which comes in handy when there’s a need to react to something posted on social after hours.

Tip: If you’re feeling overwhelmed managing social, check out our tips for the best apps for social media marketers to download now. Rest easy after you delete the rest!

How do you check and stay on top of the latest updates in the world of social media?
I read social media news each morning and subscribe to social media newsletters like Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner. I also follow pages such as Facebook Business and Twitter Comms that are specifically designed to share updates on the sites.

Tip: Social sites send a lot of notifications, but don’t automatically delete them. Some contain critical news about site rollouts you don’t want to miss.

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