Podcast: Social Media for Conversion with Jay Berkowitz

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In this episode of Landing Page Optimization, SiteTuners CEO Tim Ash and Ten Golden Rules CEO Jay Berkowitz talk through the nuances of using social media as a channel for conversions.

Assessing the Benefits

Tim asks Jay what he thinks of the analytics-heavy professionals who are more likely to say that social doesn’t move the needle on conversions, and Jay is quick to point out that that should be tested. He notes that with TV and radio, and print, there were essentially a lot of “rules” to follow, but with online marketing, those rules are basically gone. Marketers can now get answers from consumers quickly and assumptions are easy enough to test, so they should be tested.

Jay says that done with the right testing and measurement of results, social media’s functionality, features, and familiarity will improve landing pages. So marketers have to think about what elements of social properly aid the conversion environment. One benefit of social is one-click opt in. Jay suggests using form integration like what AWeber offers - since Facebook already has a lot of the data, longer forms are not as necessary if that level of integration is present.

Striking a Balance

Tim and Jay walk through what accounts for a good social strategy, and what can be measured to get there. As a baseline, there’s “likes,” but Tim points out that measuring just “likes” on social is like measuring “hits” for web sites in the early days of web analytics - it’s a crude measure that does not offer a lot of value. One step up that ladder, Jay mentions, is “people talking about you” - how many “likes” or fans you have versus how many people are engaging with your content.

Tim notes that that’s a little more refined as a metric, but it’s still just interactivity, not quite actions that lead to conversions.

Jay talks through the balance when engaging on social media, and why that interactivity is crucial: most of the content has to be entertaining, educational, and engaging. Depending on the industry, maybe 1 out of every 10 posts can be conversion-related. The vast majority of your messaging should be engaging in nature, and that gives you permission to post one sales message that brings people back to your website. 

Measuring Social Media

Jay says that once you have a fan base, you have options about what to test. Posts from companies generally get to just 10% of the fans, and Facebook encourages you to advertise to reach wider audiences. It also helps to tie your efforts here to other systems, like Google Analytics or other traffic monitoring tools for the web site.

If you do advertise, it’s important to design tests and measure results. Depending on the scope of what you’re doing, you can set up different messages to different groups. Start with nice-sized test budget that’s going to get you enough traffic that you’ll have readable results on the back-end. Then, you take people to a landing page with an obvious conversion action (e.g. download more information, sign up for a webinar). You make decisions on budget going forward based on how effective those test targets worked.

Additionally, you can use data from things people have already “liked.” Facebook has data about what people have explicitly liked, so they are self-expressed affinities, people telling you what they like instead of marketers trying to understand the preference of people based on indirect measures their job title. Tim asks Jay if this yields results since there seems to be not much of self-declared stuff compared to generic demographic information on social media. Jay shares that in the past 12 to 18 months, people have been so involved liking and sharing on Facebook, so much so that marketers can now target campaigns more effectively. 

Spending on Social Media

Jay notes that you can start small on investments in social media for a campaign:  $500-$1000 dollars in a test campaign is generally good enough to get good sense of whether a campaign has a take rate or if you need to take a different direction. 

He adds that you shouldn’t be measuring just up to the point of the clicks. You should be measuring up to the point of the conversion action and that there should be a measurable action on a website (e.g. people watching videos, people signing up for a webinar, people downloading free content). 

Jay concludes that the biggest mistake marketers can make is to not test the integration of social media on landing pages. By not testing the integration of Facebook and YouTube videos on landing pages, marketers fail to take advantage of the opportunities.

First Air Date: November 12, 2013

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