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Is Engagement the Most Important Social Media Metric?

This article was originally posted on and can be found here.

Likes, shares, comments, and now hearts. Engagement is an important social media metric, but is it all you should be watching?

Social Media Engagement Meme with Dog on Computer

Social media engagement reminds me of the Skinner Box. Except instead of pushing the lever myself and getting the reward, I’m relying on users’ affirmations to give me that weird, endorphin-like high. Engagement means my content resonated, it entertained, and it effectively solicited the kind of reaction I wanted.

But while engagement is certainly a valuable social media metric – and one of the most commonly measured – it isn’t the only one. And in some cases, it isn’t the most important one either.

Engagement vs. Other Social Media Metrics

Let’s say your company is brand-new or just about to launch. You have very different needs on social media than a business with huge market presence. You must make yourself known (brand awareness), whereas the other business may be more focused on increasing sales.

Because you have different goals, your organization must measure your performance differently, too.

Your goal needs to correspond to a specific social media metric that tells you how well you’re doing – or not doing.

For a campaign focused on brand awareness, engagement is certainly an important metric. The goal is to get in front of as many social media users as possible, and to increase likes, shares, etc. in order to gain even more exposure. The more users who engage with your brand, the better for building your brand.

But for the company that is building a sales campaign, measuring conversions is a better fit. The business needs to see which social content is getting users to click and then buy the product or service. The goal is to sell more, so the business must be able to see whether or not their social media is aiding this initiative.

Some campaigns may even combine metrics. But that’s a whole other post. For now, just know that while engagement is a very good social metric, it may not be the most effective one to help you reach the goals that are important right now.

Vine Vs. Instagram: Which One Should You Choose?

Ladies and gentlemen of the marketing world, there’s a war going on. When Facebook announced Instagram could now play videos, I imagine someone at Vine hit the panic button and started shouting, “All hands on deck!” Blog posts like this one poured onto the Internet, and a great debate began. Six looping seconds or 15 filtered seconds? What’s going to reach the largest segment of my audience? (I secretly am wondering if the entire world forgot about YouTube, but that’s an entirely different blog post.)

While this confusion hasn’t affected the amount of times Instagram has been shared on Twitter, Vine share count has tanked. As Marketing Land reported, the volume of Vine links on Twitter slid 40 percent in one day alone. Clearly people are reacting to the news, but I don’t believe either platform has definitively won the war. Or debate. Or whatever synonym you choose to insert.

People aren’t fleeing Vine; they’re just distracted. Instagram’s video now possesses the sexy “newness” that Vine previously held – I’d be shocked if the level of shares on Twitter had stayed constant. I predict in a few weeks, things will return to normal. Which brings me to my point: the two platforms are too different to necessitate a choice.  (more…)

Social Media for B2B Marketing

It’s Not Just About Being Funny

In 2012, B2B Marketing (Business to Business) saw a surge in social media use. Many predictions, such as this one from Social Media B2B blog, say that trend is only going to increase in 2013. With big changes in social media last year, such as Facebook’s promoted posts, Twitter’s acquisition of Vine and LinkedIn’s passing the 200 million customer mark, it’s now completely impossible for businesses to avoid using social media. You’d be hard pressed to find any organization without at least a Facebook page.

But how do you adapt your social media strategy to a B2B organization? After all, if social media is about posting YouTube videos and tweeting funny headlines, how does a company maintain a professional image? It’s not as if every B2B company is in the comedy business. (more…)