If you’re running a small or micro business it’s likely you have your hand in the marketing. Even if you’re not managing all the activities associated with growing your business through social media, you most probably have had to put up a post promoting your upcoming book signing or tweet out the location for your scavenger hunt giveaway. And in the midst of all this “noise”, we may find ourselves prioritizing content volume without taking a real look at the impact. The following is a quick refresher of how we utilize data from MailChimp, Twitter, and Instagram (and others) to give us insights on growing our business and designing more effective marketing campaigns.
MailChimp – These days it’s common for businesses, regardless of size, to cultivate an email list. Whether you’re running a graphic design blog or selling furniture, the power you can leverage from building an internal list for email marketing can be significant. However, even the most astute entrepreneur can overlook some very important clues. Here are some quick insights to look at while preparing emails for higher conversions.
- Open Rate – The percentage of your subscribers that opened your email. If you have a low open rate (remember, emails, in general, have low open rates to being with), then this could signal two things; 1.) Your target audience needs to be refined or 2.) Your subject lines aren’t encouraging people to open the email.
- Click Rate – The percentage of total clicks on any link found in your email. Let’s you know which links and type generate the most clicks.
- Click Map – This is cool feature allows you to see where clicks to links were made (or not). When you use this feature over the spread of several email blasts you can begin to identify clues for better placement of links.
- “Opened” & “Subscribers with most opens” – Use this feature to hone in on your contacts that are most engaged with your emails/content. If they aren’t already customers or clients it would be wise to target them individually for a specific promotion. Additionally, who they are might also give you clues to which groups to target moving forward.
Instagram – How effective Instagram is at generating business, driving traffic to other pages, or building your brand is likely dependent on how you use it and how your customers use it. While hashtags, the ‘Explore’ button, and casual lurking can be great reconnaissance here are some ways to think strategically about your posts’ engagement.
- Likes – Contrary to popular belief likes don’t have to be a “vanity metric”. Taking a deep look at your likes (who is liking your posts) can offer insights of the same fashion that MailChimp “Subscribers with most opens” provides. One caveat, be aware that you will have to discern between organic and fake or paid likes. This can be a challenge and the task somewhat tedious, but if you’re actively monitoring your Instagram to begin with it might be easier than you think.
- “View Insights” – This more recent feature signals that the makers behind Instagram are formerly acknowledging that their platform is being used more than ever by businesses, marketers, and influencers. While the Top Posts, Reach and Impressions insights can show you how much mileage your posts are gaining, the Saved insight is what I find particularly interesting. Saved posts indicate someone found something of interest from your post. While you can’t see who saved the post, it is an indicator that the post could be leveraged for something greater. Take for example this saved post and this one from our feed that prompted us to post it on Facebook, where it received more traction.
Twitter – I like Twitter because information is exchanged in real-time. Technically, so moves information on the other platforms, but Twitter feels like eavesdropping on really interesting conversations from people all over the world. In the past, I’ve found it particularly effective for making solid connections with key people as well as airing my grievances towards Pizza Hut for fumbling my order…and getting offered a refund in return.
- Impressions – By now we can surmise that Impressions means how many times any one person has seen a particular piece of content. However, “seen” doesn’t guarantee the person paid attention to your content, but at the very least it appeared on their feed as they scrolled by. Alongside Engagements and Engagement Rate we will understand better how well our tweets are performing; their reach. And if we look at the data more critically, we can even uncover clues to how we should adjust and revise future tweets and strategies in the future. Lastly, it is another way to measure the impact of our marketing efforts. A trend of increasing impressions and engagement rates indicate that you’re probably doing something right.
Your quest for insights shouldn’t stop at these three platforms, however. Whichever platform you use likely has within it some analytics that you can use to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. As you come up with your marketing plan, understanding these insights will help you determine what goals to aim for and how to pursue them.