Saturday, 30 April 2016

Snapchat Delivers 10 Billion Video Views Daily: This Week in Social Media


Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week Snapchat Now Serves 10 Billion Daily Video Views: “Now users are watching 10 billion videos a day on [...]

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Friday, 29 April 2016

#SproutChat Recap: Advancing Your Career in Social Media

Why Social Recruiting Doesn’t Belong Solely to Recruiters

We’ve known it for years: Nothing is more effective than word of mouth marketing. Nielsen repeatedly drives home this message in its annual survey of audience preferences for advertising. Sharing information through personal networks is by far the best way to a get a message across and move people in meaningful ways.

Recruiters, however, have missed the memo.

In fact, while companies clamor to find the best talent through job postings, online ads and in-person networking, they often overlook their top tool for recruitment: current employees.

According to a new data report from Bambu by Sprout Social, companies that implement strict social media policies are mismanaging resources and preventing their HR teams from creating a pipeline of talent. These companies are also doing a great deal of damage to current workers in the process by making them disenfranchised in shaping their company’s culture.

Consider this: 44.5% of people say they are more likely to apply for a job if they discovered it through a friend’s social feed rather than some other medium. Meanwhile, only 9.4% of employees say they use social media to help their company with recruitment.

Where is the disconnect? And how can recruiting and talent teams bridge the gap?

To start, most employees (77.3%) don’t feel encouraged to share company news on their personal social profiles at all. More revealing, 15.6% are actually afraid to share anything about their company on social media, fearing they might make a misstep that could cost them their job.

The problem appears to be twofold:

  1. Companies have failed to make social media a priority throughout their organization.
  2. Companies do not empower employees to speak out on their organization’s behalf.

It’s not a lack of desire on the employee’s part either. In fact, Sprout’s data shows that 3 in 4 employees want their company to keep them more updated about what’s going on. Employees say this will not only make them more successful at their job (42%) but also more committed to the company as a whole (36%) and more likely to share information with their networks (17.8%).

With so many people hoping to be more engaged, companies that don’t empower their employees to digest and share information are effectively shooting themselves in the foot.

Recruiters’ misplaced efforts are also costing their companies money. According to a report on social recruiting by Jobvite, employee referrals have a 40% conversion rate, a tactic that most employers say makes the whole recruitment process much more efficient and cost effective.

What can be done to boost your organization’s social recruiting efforts?

First, make it easy for employees to read and share information. A central hub of curated content, powered by a formal employee advocacy platform such as Bambu by Sprout Social, will make your distribution efforts seamless and measurable.

bambu employee advocacy

Second, consider your employees’ perspectives. While most are interested in staying abreast of the latest news at their organization, incentivizing them to take the extra step to share that information requires you to think in terms of WIFM (what’s in it for me?). Employees need to understand and value the importance of personal branding, which today more than ever rests on deep social participation. By targeting industry-relevant content to different segments within your organization, you can start to position your people as experts in their respective fields; all they have to do is regularly read and share your company’s curated content across their social networks.

Finally, reinforce your advocacy program through ongoing education and perhaps even some old-school tactics, such as promotional posters around the office that feature testimonials from individuals about the program’s personal benefits.

The result of this ongoing investment will be a steady stream of talent, as your employees naturally share job openings alongside relevant industry information. After all, the act of socially sharing an employment opportunity should be viewed as beneficial in and of itself.

But there will be another important byproduct of this effort: Your current workforce will be more engaged. This isn’t just a warm-and-fuzzy idea either. In fact, it directly impacts the bottom line. Gallup estimates that each year US companies lose between $450 billion and $550 billion due to actively disengaged employees. Meanwhile, ClickZ shows that organizations with highly engaged employees reduce turnover by 87% and improve performance by 20%.

Companies therefore need to relinquish some control of social—and soon. Just as social media doesn’t belong solely to the marketing department, social recruiting doesn’t belong solely to recruiters. Wise talent officers will wake up and realize that while they may be the overseers of a larger social recruiting strategy, the agents who will make the most change are the very people they attracted in the first place. Your organization already vetted them during the interview process; now trust them to speak out on your behalf.

This post was originally published on Bambu by Sprout Social. 

This post Why Social Recruiting Doesn’t Belong Solely to Recruiters originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Social Media News You Can Use: Messenger Chatbots & Screen Sharing On Blab

Sprout’s Spring Service Day

How Team Sprout Gives Back.001

There are more than 660 public schools serving almost 400,000 students in the city of Chicago. Among them is Chicago Collegiate Charter School, which currently serves 225 students in grades 4–7. Chicago Collegiate’s mission is to prepare 100% of its students to attend and graduate from college.

Three years in and their approach is working: Despite students entering Chicago Collegiate on average dramatically below grade level, students have shown growth in the top 1% nationally for math and top 2% nationally for reading.

At Sprout, we believe in the power of education and the importance of making a high quality education accessible to all students. We want to do what we can to encourage young people to continue their education, and that includes helping schools like Chicago Collegiate foster an environment that enables learning for their students, staff and community.

Earlier this month, a group of Sprout Social employees headed over to Chicago Collegiate to enhance their playground, clean up the hallways and redo their reception area: in short, to beautify their campus so that students can have a clean, organized place to learn.

We decided to develop a formal corporate giving program at Sprout nearly two years ago. To kick it off, we surveyed the entire team to ensure we were supporting the causes people cared about. The results showed that youth, education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) were clearly important to our team, and since then, we’ve partnered with one Chicago school each year to invest hours, effort and dollars into projects that serve the needs of the school community.

Over the course of our year working with Chicago Collegiate Charter School, we’ve hosted a full team visit in the fall, a book drive around the winter holidays and a smaller on-site in the spring. Members of Team Sprout have helped with projects ranging from organizing the classroom libraries to debugging and repairing some of the school’s computers to presenting on their career paths.

We’re proud to support a culture of giving back to the greater community and looking forward to more service days, drives and projects as Team Sprout continues to grow.


This post Sprout’s Spring Service Day originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Google AMP: What Bloggers Need to Know


Have you heard of Google AMP? Want to know how it will impact your blog? To discover more about Google AMP and the future of blogging, I interview Leslie Samuel. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers [...]

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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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Thursday, 28 April 2016

3 Simple & Quick LinkedIn Tips to Get More Reach

linkedin tips header

If you’re a B2B brand looking to promote your content, LinkedIn is the place to be. With 414 million users, it’s chock-full of active business professionals, providing plenty of opportunity for your content to reach a wider audience. However, it also means that it can be tough to stand out in the crowded news feed.

Increasing reach and engagement on your LinkedIn Company Page content can take a lot of trial and error. If you’re looking to make an immediate impact on your performance, start with these three quick and easy LinkedIn tips.

1. Use Large Images

You’re probably already well aware that using images on social media increases the effectiveness of your social media posts.

Based on our own Uberflip data, I can conclude that this is especially true on LinkedIn — after running an analysis on our LinkedIn Company Page posts, we discovered that uploading large images to posts (as opposed to simply using a link’s thumbnail image) can substantially improve a post’s performance.

uberflip example one

You can certainly see the difference between the example of the image in the post above and the one below. Larger images tend to draw more attention to the eye, which can be extremely beneficial when posting content on LinkedIn.

uberflip example two

On average, our posts with uploaded images received 35% more impressions, 32% more interactions, and 54% more clicks than posts with thumbnail images.

clicks and interactions example

This is probably owing to the fact large images take up a lot of real estate on LinkedIn, and any sort of color tends to stand out against the grey-blue background. If you’re ever in need of the right LinkedIn image sizes, check out Sprout’s always up-to-date social media image size guide.

{ask product}

The catch: Many social media scheduling tools don’t allow for pre-scheduled posts with full-size images on LinkedIn. If you’re looking for a breakthrough on LinkedIn, or are looking to amplify your distribution using LinkedIn, I’d recommend taking the time to manually upload an image to a LinkedIn post—our data is proof that it could be worth it.

2. Leverage Group Announcements

If your B2B business has its own group (which it should), be sure to use LinkedIn group announcements. Announcements can be sent once per week to your group members. These members will receive a notification in their inbox as long as they have their email notifications turned on. The announcement will also appear as a discussion in the group so all group members can be looped into the conversation.

One brand that does this really well is Rainmaker Digital, which was formerly known as Copyblogger. Rainmaker sends relatively consistent email announcements from its group and makes sure to change the headline so it’s not overly promotional and encourages discussion.

rainmaker example

There’s a noticeable difference in overall engagement for their group posts that haven’t been promoted via an announcement versus those that have had some sort of promotion.

linkedin clicks and comments example

  • Pro tip: Beyond driving group engagement and reach on LinkedIn, you can also leverage announcements to drive traffic. Track any URLs you include in your announcements so you can properly attribute referral traffic and better measure your LinkedIn group efforts.

3. Involve Your Entire Team

Content promotion is a team effort, and LinkedIn is no exception. Sometimes a boost from your team is all your LinkedIn content needs to take off.

So, how can you easily enable your team to share your content on LinkedIn?

  • Communicate when you need a social boost: Leverage your organization’s internal messaging system or send a daily/weekly email that includes easy click-to-share links so everyone can easily share the right content with the right messaging. Our team has a “please share” Slack channel dedicated to content that we’d like the team to help promote.
  • Onboard your team: If social sharing is important to your company, then include an onboarding session when you bring on new hires. This is especially helpful when educating sales reps on social selling. Be sure to inform them of best practices for posting, like sharing from your Company Page directly and tagging your page name as much as possible to increase exposure. If they’re interested in automating social shares, teach them how to use social scheduling and brand advocacy tools like Bambu. You can also help your team set up an IFTTT recipe for automatic content sharing from your blog’s RSS feed.
  • Gamify sharing: Admittedly, this tip is less quick and easy to implement than the others mentioned in this post, but it can still generate great results. Create a little bit of fun competition with your team to see who can generate the most engagement on LinkedIn. Provide unique tracking URLs to anyone who wants to be involved, select a prize, set a timeline, and you’re off!
  • Implement Sprout Social: With Sprout’s LinkedIn management tools, you can collaborate with your social sharing so everyone is on the same page. Sprout makes it easy to manage multiple profiles and content as a team. Keep your social team together with the right management tools.
  • linkedin-integrations collaborate example

Getting in the Groove With LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be a tough social platform to crack, and some of these tips (though relatively quick and easy to implement) might eventually lead to necessary process changes. On the bright side, big changes usually see big results. Luckily, there are LinkedIn management tools for businesses that make scheduling, publishing, collaboration and audience targeting simpler and more effective within your social strategy.

You can’t discount LinkedIn for other social networks. Simply put, if LinkedIn is where your audience is, it’s probably worth your time and effort.

Do you have any LinkedIn tips that help your business? Feel free to comment below!

This post 3 Simple & Quick LinkedIn Tips to Get More Reach originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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How to Repurpose Content From the Hottest Social Networks


Are you creating content on Snapchat, Blab, Vine, Periscope, or Facebook Live? Want to reuse that content on other social channels? Whether it’s a live broadcast on Facebook, a quick snap on Snapchat, or short audio from Anchor, you can save and download your social content and share it across all of your profiles. In [...]

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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Measure Productivity With the New Task Performance Report

Task Report Animation Blog
In addition to revamping our Team Report, Sprout is excited to offer the Task Performance Report—a new breakout report focusing on agent productivity. Available on Team and Enterprise plans, the Task Performance Report measures productivity based on Tasks. The report analyzes task assignment and completion rates across your Sprout account so you can track efforts at the user level.

The New Task Performance Report

>The Assigned vs. Completed section of the report visually shows your team as a whole. Use the chart and totals to understand if your team is staying on track and completing Tasks. Leverage the comparison percentage to recognize trends in task usage.


The Task Performance, by Team Member previously lived in the Team Report. Use this section to track important touch points and see which team members took a task from assignment to completion.


Increase Productivity Using Sprout’s Tasks

The Task Performance Report works in conjunction with your team’s use of assigning tasks in the Smart Inbox. Follow these steps to increase productivity and best use Tasks and the Task Performance Report:

  • Your team can use Tasks within the Smart Inbox to work more collaboratively and ensure that inbound messages requiring a response are addressed. To do this, triage messages using Task, assign the charge to a specific user and designate the Task Type.
  • When replying to inbound messages, stay organized and avoid duplicative efforts by having team members mark both the message and task as complete.
  • Use the Task Performance Report to analyze productivity and completion rates, benchmark performance and adjust your productivity goals as necessary.


Does your team use Tasks? Are you excited to start measuring performance with our new report? Sound off in the comments and don’t be afraid to ask any questions. As always, be on the lookout for more updates to Sprout’s reporting suite.

This post Measure Productivity With the New Task Performance Report originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Evaluate Social Care Efforts With the Enhanced Team Report

Team Report Update Animation Blog

Sprout’s Team Report has been redesigned and enhanced to include powerful new reply metrics for analyzing customer service efforts. Offered in the Team and Enterprise plans, the report enables teams to better evaluate efforts of individual social agents.

What’s New?

In addition to the current publishing metrics, the enhanced Team Report breaks down response metrics by agent so you can easily distinguish your rockstars from individuals that may not be fully contributing to the team. With the new profile picker, you can view agents across all of your networks but still dig deep into individual profiles.


View agent-level metrics across all selected profiles. Within the Team Report, Replies, by Team Member lets you analyze an individual’s total response number, average response time, reply thread size and more.


The Replies, by Profile, by Team Member sections helps you to understand how agents are responding to incoming messages within their assigned networks.


How to Use the Revamped Team Report

Whether you’re a local support team with regular business hours or a global team with coverage around the clock, the Team Report enables you to analyze efforts across your full social customer service spectrum.

Reactive Communication

Monitor reactive customer care and ensure customer service levels are met and goals are reached. Track the response efforts of each agent in the Replies, by Team Member and Replies, by Profile by Team Member sections of the report.

Preemptive Communication

Preemptive communication is important to keeping customers informed when problems or disruptions arise before they come to you. Ensure your team is communicating preplanned or known service issues using the Publishing section.

Proactive Communication

Stopping issues before they start is a big win for social customer service. Use the Publishing section to benchmark efforts of employees that post “how-to” and best-practice content to proactively surprise and delight your customers.

The New Task Performance Report

To compliment our enhanced Team Report, we’ve also released a new Task Performance Report. By transitioning the task activity data into its own dedicated report, you can now dig deep into how your team is using Tasks to stay productive. The Task Performance Report is available in Team and Enterprise Plans. Learn more about our latest report.

As always, if you have any questions please sound off in the comments section.

This post Evaluate Social Care Efforts With the Enhanced Team Report originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Ultimate Guide To Social Media Competitive Analysis

How to Use the Pinterest Bulk Editor to Create Promoted Pins


Looking for a faster way to create promoted pins on Pinterest? Have you tried the Pinterest bulk editor tool? Pinterest’s bulk editor tool makes it easier to create and edit promoted pins and optimize multiple promoted pins at one time. In this article you’ll discover how to create promoted pins in less time with Pinterest’s [...]

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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

10 Reasons Not to Give Up on Paid Social

Paid Social-01

Social media has shifted drastically in a short period of time. Gone are the days of posting a Facebook update that reaches most of your fans organically. The chances of your Tweets being lost in your followers’ streams are higher than ever. With algorithms and the noise on social media, it has become extremely difficult to get people’s attention. That is unless you’re using paid social media.

Over the past few years, social networks like Facebook, and to a lesser extent, Twitter, have become known as “pay to play” platforms. Meaning if you want your posts to have a significant amount of reach, you need to buy advertising. While it’s still possible to have success on social media through organic reach, paid social strategies can be worth your time and money.

Most businesses are still hesitant to get started with paid social advertising. It’s new, non-traditional and we’ve gotten used to the idea of social media being a free way to market. But sometimes change is good.

If you’re a diehard organic social media marketer that refuses to pay for ads, here are 10 reasons you shouldn’t ignore paid social:

1. Paid Social Is Cost Effective

The biggest roadblock for people interested in getting started with any type of online advertising is the cost. That’s understandable. Just take a look at the suggested Google AdWords bids for legal-related terms.

AdWords Suggested Bid

Paid social changed the way that businesses look at ads. With platforms like Facebook and Twitter charging a fraction of the cost of traditional display ads, it’s very affordable to get started.

In one case study for a campaign with the North London Skydiving Centre, Facebook Ads were significantly cheaper than AdWords. The average cost per click for Facebook Ads was $0.38, while AdWords was $1.49.

If you are working with a modest budget and want to try your hand at paid advertising, give social media ads a try first.

2. Paid Social Delivers Great ROI

Unless your ads are driving revenue, they aren’t very effective. Paid social has been proven to deliver a great ROI for marketers. Digital Marketer ran a Promoted Tweets campaign that generated a 198% ROI.

Twitter Ads ROI

Samsung SDI achieved a 7 times higher ROI from LinkedIn Display Ads and SlideShare Content Ads.

The mix of content marketing and paid ads is a consistent theme for successful paid social media campaigns. Both case studies above involved creating content, then using ads to generate targeted traffic and leads.

Paid social also makes it much easier to track social media ROI, which is one of the biggest challenges small businesses have. You can finally quantify how much money you’re spending on a campaign and the amount of revenue you generated as a result.

3. Paid Social is Mobile

Paid social works because you’re marketing to an engaged audience. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a huge shift toward mobile.

Mobile vs Desktop Users

As an advertiser, you need to be in the same spot as your audience’s attention. What that means is you need to be where your audience spends the most time, and right now, that’s on mobile devices. Particularly, social media apps.

mobile device behavior

As phones continue to be the preferred choice for using the internet, mobile advertising is now more important than ever. As a result, banners and sidebar ads have been replaced by native ads. These are ads that fit and mimic the platform where they exist. Think Facebook sponsored posts, promoted Tweets and Instagram Ads. They look like the rest of the content in the apps, with the exception of “sponsored” text on them.

jaguar sponsored ad example

The natural look of the ads makes them less disruptive than a banner that sticks out like a sore thumb.

4. Paid Social is More Targeted

With organic social media posts, you have no control over who sees your content. Paid social lets you target a specific demographic, so you know exactly who’s seeing your Tweets and Facebook posts.

Facebook Ad Targeting

Social media targeting gives you the opportunity to create content for a specific type of user, and promote directly to them. The end result is qualified traffic that’s more likely to convert.

5. Paid Social Gives You More Reach

Organic reach on social media is dwindling and has been for quite some time. In March 2015, Facebook’s organic reach was as low as 2.6%.

facebook organic reach drop

Of course, there are some steps you can take to improve your organic reach. But in the end, it doesn’t compare to the reach you can achieve with paid social media ads.

With more platforms switching to an algorithm based feed, there are no guarantees that people who follow you will see your content. With paid social, you can immediately amplify the reach of your posts.

6. Paid Social Provides Quicker Results

Growing a following on social media 100% organically takes time. Trying to monetize your following once you build it takes even more time. Paid social accelerates the process.

Organic social media marketing involves a lot of one-to-one networking. Whether it’s finding influencers with a large following or taking time to reply to different people who could potentially become a follower, it’s extremely time consuming.

Compare that to paid social media marketing, where you create an ad and distribute it thousands of users simultaneously.

This doesn’t mean you should neglect the relationship building process. Continuously engaging with your new followers allows you to maintain the relationship and build a loyal community, rather than just a bunch of non-active followers.

7. Paid Social is Easy to Scale

Once you’ve created a paid social media campaign that works, it’s easy to scale up by increasing your daily ad spend or advertising to a slightly different audience.

It takes less than a minute to replicate an ad that works.

8. Paid Social Gives You More Data

The data you get from social media sites about the performance of your organic content is limited. However, once you become an advertiser on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks, you get access to more information.

Facebook lets you see your ad’s performance based on region, gender, time of day and other criteria that you can’t see for your organic posts.

FB Ad Reports

LinkedIn shows you impressions, engagement and even click demographics for your ads.

LinkedIn Ads Report

The data you collect will help you improve future ads, and also affect the direction of your organic social media content as well. For instance, if you notice a particular promoted post did well among your target audience, you can incorporate similar content in your social media calendar.

9. Paid Social Creates Brand Awareness

When you send a Tweet or publish an Instagram post, a majority of the people who see it will already be aware that your company exists since they’re following you. But what about the other 99% of users on any given social network that have never heard of your brand? Paid social puts your content in front of these people.

Brand awareness is important if you want to build a loyal customer base, particularly for millennials. Newscred found that 69% of millennials feel brand recognition is an important driver of brand loyalty.

Every impression your social media ads get is a step in the right direction, even if they don’t get clicked. The more often people see your brand, the more familiar they get with your company. It’s all about building equity with each person.

Remarketing has become insanely popular over the past few years for this exact reason. Remarketing or retargeting, allows you to show your social media advertising to people that have visited your website before.

Website visitors that have been retargeted convert better, become more familar with your brand and are more likely to click your ads.

Remarketing Statistics

Let’s say someone found one of your articles through a Google search one day. They read it, and exited your site immediately after. Unless they purchased something from you or joined your email list, they’re a missed opportunity. If you set up retargeting, you’d be able to display social media ads to them and stay fresh in their mind.

10. Most Brands Aren’t Using Paid Social Yet

One of the reasons social media advertising is cheaper than display ads on networks like AdWords is because fewer businesses are doing it. As the demand increases, so will the prices. Facebook Advertising has gradually increased in price, but it’s still a much cheaper option than most non-social advertising networks.

snapchat ad example

Platforms like Snapchat and even Pinterest are in the early stages of paid social. The ad above was used on the Earth Day feed in Snapchat to direct viewers already interested in the subject. It’s the perfect time to jump in and take advantage, since the risk is so low. Don’t wait until marketers are crowding the marketplace. Take action now.

Quick Tips for Profitable Social Media Ads

We realize paid social can be intimidating. And even though the costs are relatively low, you can still burn through a lot of money if you’re making mistakes. Here are some quick tips to help you create winning campaigns.

  • Make quality ads: Whether you’re creating a sidebar ad on Facebook or promoting a Tweet, focus on quality. Most social media advertising platforms factor in the quality of your ads when determining how much you pay per click. Also, the better your ads look, the higher they’ll perform. Consider hiring a professional copywriter and designer to get quality content.
  • Don’t neglect the organic side: Paid social is not a substitute for organic social media marketing. It’s used to complement your overall strategy. You should still post to all of your profiles like you normally would.
  • Only promote your best posts: When Facebook’s organic reach dropped, businesses started boosting as many posts as possible because they thought they had to. However, that’s generally a waste of money. Be strategic about which posts, Tweets or Pins your promote.
  • Target carefully: This tip is mainly for Facebook, but it’s useful for other platforms as well. Don’t just randomly pick interests and demographics to target. Think about the ad creative, landing page and what you’re promoting when you’re selecting an audience. Use features like Facebook’s Custom Audience or Twitter’s Tailored Audience when possible.
  • Aim for leads, not sales: In most industries, it’s a much better idea to create social media ads for the purpose of gathering leads than try to get someone to make a purchase. Use ads to promote a webinar, build your email list or other lead-generating content. People will be more likely to give you their email address than commit to a purchase after clicking an ad.
  • Split test: If you’re running any type of paid ads, you should be split testing. Change out the call to action, try a different color background and test every element possible to improve your ads.
  • Review your results: Analyzing the results of your ads is crucial. Don’t just brush over the numbers. Look at your CTR, impressions, reach and other metrics to find which ads are the best performers.

The Best of Both Worlds

A complete social media marketing strategy will be a mix of paid, owned and earned media. Think of ways you can integrate paid social media marketing into your existing plans to amplify your results.

How Social Media Analytics Help

On the other hand, you still need to track, measure and monitor your social media channels to ensure you’re going after the right audience.

social media analytics gif

If you decide to reach out to a specific audience, make sure you have the right social media analytics tools. With Sprout Social, you can have presentation-ready reports that are not only easily-digestible but proactive to your paid social efforts as well.

Have you been using paid social media marketing? Leave a comment and let us know what’s working for you!

This post 10 Reasons Not to Give Up on Paid Social originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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6 Instagram Tools to Improve Your Marketing


Do you want to take your Instagram marketing to the next level? Have you considered using tools to support your efforts there? Adding the right Instagram tools into your marketing flow can help you project a more professional image and give you valuable analytic insights. In this article you’ll discover six tools to improve your [...]

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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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16 Writing Tools for Social Media Marketers


Do you create copy for social media posts? Do you want some tools to help you improve the quality of your posts? Whether you work on your own or with a team, there are tools that make it more likely your social media posts will publish without errors and with correct word counts. In this [...]

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Monday, 25 April 2016

Meet Team Sprout: Scott, Chief Marketing Officer

Meet Team Sprout Scott Brandt-01

A lot can happen in a year at a company that’s growing quickly. Scott Brandt, the Chief Marketing Officer at Sprout Social, joined the team in April 2015 and has already been part of the launch of two new products (Landscape and Bambu), a $42 million round of funding and more than 300 product and feature updates.

For this round of Meet Team Sprout, I sat down with Scott to discuss the biggest lessons he’s learned in his career and talk more about his first year at a growing company. Read on to learn what Scott sees as the key to effective marketing, the obstacles he regularly tackles and why he’s so passionate about all things internet.

Can you tell me a little about your career and how you got to Sprout?

I started with internet companies back in the mid to late ‘90s. I worked at a company called TMP Worldwide, which bought the company that became Growth exploded. I worked for a few companies owned by Monster, first in sales, then in consumer advertising, and then I joined a company called SurePayroll. It was similar to Sprout in that it was business-to-business (B2B) and five or six years old at the time.

What interested you about Sprout?

I was fortunate in that I had a lot of opportunity. Payroll is a more established industry, whereas social media is more nascent. I knew that Sprout was a good company, with a good reputation, in an exciting industry, and I wanted to be part of that.

Did anything surprise you when you first got here?

One of the things I like the most about working at a young company like Sprout is the great energy and curiosity. There’s too much talent around us here for anyone to rest on their laurels. The level of talent was a really pleasant surprise.

Something I didn’t expect was how quiet this office is! People are social, but they really put their noses to the grindstone.

You recently spoke to students at Harvard Business School. What was your main advice for them?

Listen to your customer. Everything starts with the customer. What are their needs, what are their objectives. Understand the benefits they seek, not the features you give them.

That’s the most important thing to do on social media too. If your customers are on social, find out where. Then go down the path of relevance: Be yourself, develop a voice and understand that social media isn’t just promotional.

What are your recommended books or blogs for marketers?

In all honesty, I read more blogs than books, and I find most of the articles I read on Twitter. My top three organizations to follow are Harvard Business Review, McKinsey and Kellogg.

In one word, what’s the key to effective marketing?


What do you like to do outside of work?

One through 10 would be family, whether that means my kids’ activities like sports, dance and theater, or hanging out with my wife. I love taking pictures too.

Eagle at Davenport

Scott captured this picture of an eagle in flight along the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa.

Something I’ve noticed in these Meet Team Sprout interviews is that, in a good way, people at Sprout have similar answers to those core questions. Family first comes up a lot.

The lifestyle and flexibility that Sprout affords us is incredible. My commute is a little long, but that way I have some time alone before I walk home and into the fire.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?

Never stop being curious. If you stop learning, you’re in trouble. Halfway through my career, I’m still as eager to learn as everybody out on the floor.

I’d also say, pick something you love to do. If you don’t love it and don’t have a passion for it, the days can get awfully long. Fortunately, I’ve picked a path I love. The internet fits: It’s always changing and there’s always something to learn.


This post Meet Team Sprout: Scott, Chief Marketing Officer originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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How to Perform a Successful Social Media Audit

Social Media Audit-01

We’ve discussed the importance of creating a social media strategy before. Having a clear plan for how your business will use channels like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter significantly increases your chances of success.

After you start implementing your strategy, you need a way to follow up and make sure everything is going as planned. The best way  to do that is with a social media audit.

What is a Social Media Audit?

Most people don’t look forward to audits. When’s the last time you were excited to get a letter from the IRS about issues with your tax return? However, not all audits are bad.

A social media audit is the process of reviewing what’s working, what’s failing and what can be improved upon across your social media channels.

engagement report sprout

Yes, there are spreadsheets involved. And yes, you will have to get detailed. But it’s nowhere near as bad as you think. And with all the social media analytics tools available to help you, it’s pretty simple. On top of that, you only have to do a social media audit monthly, or even quarterly in some cases. As you start to get into the habit of completing audits, each one will become easier.

Whether you’ve never done a social media audit before or are unsure if you did it right, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to perform a successful social media audit.

Create a Social Media Audit Template

As we mentioned earlier, you’re going to need a spreadsheet to stay organized. No matter how well you can go off your memory, you cannot do a social media audit in your head. Plus, your audits need to be accessible for everyone on your team as well as having data to be able to track and compare down the road.

There are a lot of social media audit templates online. If you decide to use one, keep in mind that they’re just guides. Don’t feel obligated to limit yourself to the columns and rows in the template. Customize it to fit your needs.

Here’s a brief overview of the basics you should include in your social media audit checklist:

  • Profile information (name and URL)
  • Posting frequency
  • Follower count
  • Referral traffic
  • Channel specific metrics

For any type of metric, you should include the percentage change from the previous month and the previous year. The problem with only comparing your numbers from the previous month is it doesn’t account for seasonal changes. For instance, retail stores usually see a big influx in social media activity during November and December, so it can skew the comparison for January of the following year.

Another tip is to create one “hub” tab on your spreadsheet, then a tab for each individual social media channel instead of having them all on one. Not every social media channel has the same metrics, so it’s easier to just break them up. For instance, one of the things you’ll measure for Twitter is your number of Retweets. Pinterest and Facebook don’t have Retweets, so those columns would be pointless.

Now that you have the base of your template ready, let’s dive into the nitty gritty.

Find Your Best & Worst Social Channels

Nothing is worse for a social media marketer than wasting time on a platform that isn’t producing any results. No matter how popular Snapchat may get, it doesn’t mean anything if it’s not performing well for your business.

Do a complete review of every social media profile you have, not just the big four (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn). Did you create a Tumblr five years ago that you forgot about? Is there an old YouTube channel floating around with 15 subscribers?

You can use a tool like Namechk or Knowem to find existing social media profiles. Only pay attention to the channels where you’re interested. You’ll notice a lot of platforms that probably aren’t of any use to you, so you’ll have to sort through each network.


In order to determine which profiles are the best and worst performers, you’ll have to look at:

  • Referral traffic
  • Engagement
  • Opportunity

It should be pretty obvious which channels are outperforming others, especially if you’re staying on top of your social media measurement. You can also take note of your posting frequency to see how active you are on each channel. The goal is to find which platforms produce the best results so that you can focus in on those.

sprout group report example

Also, you’ll be able to see what platforms grew, which networks have potential and require more time and effort.

Identify Top Performing Social Media Posts

This step will improve your social media content strategy. If your posts aren’t engaging and resonating with your followers, you won’t succeed. Use your audit to review the content you’ve shared and identify which posts had the biggest impact.

For platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other popular networks, you can use Sprout Social to quickly figure out which posts received the most engagement.

Instagram Analytics

For others like Snapchat and Vine, there are alternative options to track your content’s performance. For instance, with Snapchat you can track engagement manually with a spreadsheet.

Include the metrics of each post such as Retweets, Repins and likes.

If you want to go a bit more in-depth, you can categorize your top posts.

  • Videos
  • Promotional
  • Educational/information
  • Entertainment
  • Rich media (images and gifs)

This will give you a clear picture of exactly which type of content is working on each channel. From there it’s just a matter of fitting more of that type of successful content into next month’s social media calendar.

Identify Your Site’s Most Shared Content

Now it’s time to look at the content on your website. If you do content audits, then you can probably pull this information from there. All we need to know is which posts are getting the most social shares, and break it down per network.

An easy way to get this data is using a tool like BuzzSumo.

In the Content Research tab, enter your domain name. Make sure you filter the results to only show the last 30 days. Then you can click the column of each social channel to see the most shared content on each network.

social shares audit

Depending on how often you publish content to your blog, you’ll want to copy the URLs of the top 10-20 posts for each network into your spreadsheet.

You’ll also want to find out which social networks drive the most traffic to your website. You can find this in Google Analytics under Acquisition.

Google Analytics Social media Referrals

This data will help you understand what type of content your audience shares the most, so you can create more of it.

Check Your Branding

Your brand should be immediately recognizable across all of your social media profiles. When there’s a disconnect between your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles, it’s difficult for customers and followers to determine which profiles are official, or if they’re even following the right company.

Consistency is crucial.

sprout linkedin example

sprout twitter example

sprout facebook example

If you notice your social media graphics are inconsistent, you can use Landscape to create profile and cover photos for all your accounts using a single image.


Your graphics aren’t the only thing you need to check. Look through your bios and URLs. Every bio doesn’t have to be identical, but they should have consistent messaging.

For example, BellyCard has a different bio for every social network, but they all push the same messageA fun and easy to use rewards card and app.

Belly Google Plus

Belly Instagram

In your social media audit spreadsheet, create a column for each of your bios.

Lastly, you should take a look at the URL you’re using for each profile. It may seem pointless, but small details like this are easy to overlook. For instance, you may have changed the URL in your Instagram bio to promote a special campaign. After that campaign is over, you need to change the URL again so people don’t get confused or think you’re still running an old contest or promotion.

Define Your Audience

When you first started your social media marketing strategy, you probably had an idea of who you wanted to target. However, sometimes the people that end up following and engaging with you will be completely different than what you expected. Your audit shouldn’t focus so much on who you want to target, but who’s actually following you.

You can get this data a variety of ways. Some networks such as Twitter and Facebook give you information about your audience. You can also use Sprout’s Audience Demographic report to see who’s following you on Twitter.

Twitter Audience Report

Include a general description of your audience on each social network in your spreadsheet. For instance, Women between the ages of 20-35.

Explore New Social Media Platforms

New social media channels pop up all the time. You shouldn’t jump on every new app you hear about, but you need to at least be aware of what’s out there. Occasionally you’ll find a golden opportunity to become an early adopter and get a head start on the competition.

In your social media audit spreadsheet, highlight new platforms you want to explore. Keep in mind that this isn’t a necessity. If you’re already focused on a few networks or don’t find any new platforms that interest you at the moment, don’t force it.

Calculate Your Monthly ROI

We’ve talked about social media ROI in several different articles. The reason this is so important is because most brands don’t measure it. As a result, they end up spending time and money on activities that aren’t delivering any value, and probably never will. Additionally, several businesses can have pretty strict budgets when it comes to social media.

topics and hashtags with sprout

However, you shouldn’t let that change your auditing. In fact, with Sprout’s presentation-ready reporting, you can easily show demographics, trends and other critical engagement analytics that shows your social media is worth the investment.

Read our guide on social media ROI to learn more.

Create New Objectives & Goals

With all of this data in front of you, the next question is how do you put it to use? The point of a social media audit is to give you a better understanding of where you are currently and to make plans for the future.

Use all the information you gather to create new objectives and goals for the month. Whether it’s growing your followers on a certain channel, getting more engagement or broadening your audience, you have all the data you need to make informed decisions on how to reach your new goals.

What’s on your social media audit checklist? Leave a comment and let us know!

This post How to Perform a Successful Social Media Audit originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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