In the first installment of this blog series, we discussed the most effective ways to go about 1) defining and 2) assessing metrics that can be used to drive social media campaigns. We considered cost per acquisition (CPA), user engagement metrics (both qualitative and quantitative), and website engagement metrics, and discussed the ways in which these can be assessed in the evaluation of a social media campaign’s effectiveness. This first blog served as a guide for placing your social media campaign within a metrical framework.
In this blog, we will use client case studies to show how the clear definition and systematic assessment of metrics allows one to make positive adjustments in a social media campaign. These case studies all incorporate the metrics we discussed in the first part of this blog series.
Case study 1: Diminishing purchases and increasing CPA
In a recent social media campaign that incorporated significant advertisement toward users from a targeted location, all of whom had identified specific interests on Facebook, we realized that over a three-week period, there had been a downward trend in number of purchases week-over-week, as well as an increasing CPA week-over-week.
The key questions we considered were:
- Why would an audience heretofore so responsive begin lagging all of a sudden?
- How are the users we do have over the last three weeks engaging with our website, if they are not going on to purchase?
We scrutinized user engagement with the posts we had put in place, realizing that both user engagement and users reached had steadily been decreasing for the three-week time horizon. Moreover, the fewer users we were driving to the client’s website were bouncing at a high rate, with fewer pages visited and shorter session durations.
Our assessment therefore led us to consider that we had “maxed out” the audience we were targeting with our advertisements. As we had been aggressively targeting the same users for a period of 6 weeks, it stood to reason that we had reached the maximum number of people who would consider purchasing.
We therefore modified our approach to targeting users for the campaign, focusing on those who had already engaged with our client’s Facebook page. Within two weeks we were back at our target numbers for purchases and for CPA, and by the end of the campaign we had more than surpassed our goal for purchases.
Case study 2: Unpredictable peaks in user engagement
For the same social media campaign, we realized that we were getting unpredictable peaks in user engagement (clicks, shares, and “likes”) for the multiple posts we were putting out every week, although overall user engagement remained relatively constant week-over-week.
The key questions we considered were:
- What about the campaign—content, frequency, targeting, purchasing deadlines—was leading to these spikes in user engagement?
- Is there an observable trend from post to post that we can see regarding the above characteristics of the campaign?
Given the constancy of overall user engagement, frequency of advertisement, and targeting, we decided to drill down further to see what kinds of messaging and media our audience was responding to. We found that posts containing specific kinds of pictures, coupled with shorter, more declarative messaging, performed better than other kinds of posts, regardless of day of the week or time horizon.
We therefore re-strategized our approach to content production for the social media campaign by incorporating more media and shorter, punchier messaging. As a direct result of our efforts, we saw a sharp increase in overall user engagement both with our social media posts and on the client website, which led to more purchases and a lower CPA.
Social media marketing efforts can be regularly assessed through the systematic evaluation of metrics. Cost per acquisition, user engagement metrics, and website engagement metrics can tell a story about how your social media campaigns are performing. This blog series provides an overview of why the metrics are important, the questions to ask while evaluating them, and ways to adjust your social media strategy based on the story that the metrics tell.