social media marketing

Tim Hayden is one of those dynamic idea guys, and knows how to execute for his clients. It was a pleasure to present along side him at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business Conference and Alumni Reunion recently.

He gave us a thought provoking presentation on the integration of the live, mobile and online life of our prospects and customers, including some important tips on the use of QR Codes and email.

Email is the currency of the Web.

Here is my Infograph of that presentation captured with Instagraph technology.

Mobile Social IntelligenceTim Hayden infographic mobile marketing

INFOGRAPH: Tim Hayden-Mobile Social Intelligence Part 2

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

I had the honor of presenting at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business Conference and Alumni Reunion along side some smart people.

These included Sam Decker, recently of Bazaarvoice, who gave the attendees three tips on how to succeed in a world of influencers.

Here is the infograph of his presentation captured with instagraph technology.

Sam Decker Success Influencer World Part 1

Sam Decker Success Influencer World Part 2

Developing a social media measurement plan could be a bit boring. But we think it’s OK to take a scientific approach to social media. Here’s why it’s OK to be the Rainman.

In my last Conversion Science column I introduced you to the social media landing page. This landing page has the power to bring social media conversations to a measurable, business-building conversion. Let me show you how to develop the perfect social media measurement plan.

Social media is very important to us at Conversion Sciences. We know that education is the key to changing the web into a place where people find what they are looking for and reward companies for being so darn helpful.

Social media is a great way for us to share our educational and (hopefully) helpful stories, posts, columns and presentations. But to know how our efforts are performing, we need to create a social media measurement plan.

Why It’s OK to be the Rainman of Social Media

However, we aren’t really that good at social media conversations. It may come as no surprise that, as scientists, we are like the Rainman of social media. Like Raymond from the move, we are capable of amazing feats of insight and intelligence, but we often miss important social cues, especially when interactions occur 140 characters at a time.

“I’m an excellent Tweeter”

Social media measurement plan: Why It's ok to be the Rainman.

“I’m an excellent dancer.”

Given the fact that people like us sometimes have awkward digital interactions, you may not invite us to your swanky party. However, you certainly want us to participate in your social graph.

People like us provide an important service to the social spheres. Our content-oriented social media strategy feeds those who rely on social media for education and elucidation.

If you spend the bulk of your social time interacting with individuals, you are probably using a conversation-oriented social media strategy.

Choose the right social strategy

A conversion is more than just a conversation without the T&A.

In our studies, we have observed two broad categories of social media behavior:

  1. Conversation-oriented social behavior
  2. Content-oriented social behavior

While the posts, pictures and pokes that make up an online conversation certainly qualify as “content,” we distinguish conversational content from content that is specifically designed to educate, entertain or inform on a particular subject area.

This article is “content.” The comments you will inevitably leave are “conversation.”

We have found that content-oriented social strategies lead to more measurable campaigns. Plus, many conversion scientists don’t have the social skills to implement a conversation-oriented strategy.

Conversation-oriented social media

This strategy centers around conversations. It typically involves one or more personalities that interact with individuals in the social graph. This strategy is ideal for improving customer support, building awareness, personal branding and image marketing.

Conversations may involve content, but it is the interactions that are front-and-center in this strategy.

Results are typically measured using predictive metrics, such as friends, followers, likes, bookmarks, retweets and reach. These soft metrics are often more satisfying to us than definitive metrics such as leads, sales, and conversion rate.

I admire people like Kate Buck Jr. who make this strategy really work for their business and their clients.

Content-oriented social media

Unlike conversation-oriented strategies, this approach focuses on content as we’ve defined it here: communication that is designed to educate, entertain or inform. This strategy is ideal for lead generation, thought-leadership and building targeted social channels.

Content-oriented conversations don’t focus on the authoring brand or individual. Instead, these conversations circle around the content itself. This content will spur conversations, and ideally will be passed around, expanding our reach.

Of greatest interest to conversion scientists is that content draws visitors to social landing pages, where conversion beacons can drive business-building conversions.

Develop the Perfect Social Media Measurement Plan

It’s possible to automate and centralize the measurement of social media marketing efforts, in part thanks to a wireless tracking device that we attach to each status update, tweet and email that ties conversions to specific social conversations. Here’s how.

Step 1: Create some content.

The catch with the content-oriented strategy is that you must create content. Frequency is up to you. In a sixty-plus day experiment conducted here in the labs, five articles and seven blog posts drove 145 status updates, tweets, emails, Flickr images, etc.

We focused on articles that I write at The Conversion Scientist blog, that I contribute here at Search Engine Land and that I contribute at other venues such as ClickZ and the Content Marketing Institute.

Step 2: Devise a way to measure results.

To measure results, traffic must arrive on one of our instrumented pages. However, some of the content we used lived on other sites.

Our strategy was to create a social media landing page for each of our “off-world” articles in the form of a blog post. These posts teased the article and linked to it.

While we announce each new article through our social networks, the bulk of our marketing drove friends and followers to the blog post.

Right now, Google Analytics is our favorite single point of collection because of its content filtering and segmented reports.

For click tracking, still can’t be beat for its flexibility and integration with so many tools.

Step 3: Market each content item as if each was its own product.

Each of these content items gets a multi-network, multi-touch treatment designed to expose the maximum number of our friends and followers to this content. We maintain small but targeted social graphs on Facebook (<1000), Twitter (<2000) and LinkedIn (>1000).

On Facebook we did a single status post to my profile as well as “The Conversion Scientist” and “Web Strategies for Business” pages.

On Twitter each content item got between two and four tweets. We tried simply repeating the tweets as well as composing a series of unique tweets.

We did one LinkedIn status update, but did not post discussions on LinkedIn groups because the process couldn’t be automated. We’re looking for tools to help with this.

Several items got supporting posts on our predecessor site, the Customer Chaos blog.

All of this may sound like a lot of work. That is why we need tools to automate the process. Right now, Austin-based Spredfast seems to have the best support of the social networks we use, as well as one great collection point for analytics from across our social graph. Hootsuite is an alternative for those focusing on Twitter.

Note: We turned off all of our cross-network services, such as to implement this strategy.

Step 4: Attach a wireless tracking device.

This is real Hollywood stuff.

The most important feature of our measurement strategy is a wireless tracking device that we attached to each post, tweet, email and image. This is the secret sauce that enables the report shown above. is the carrier for this wireless device. Google’s link tagging feature provides the micro circuitry.

Each post, tweet, image and email carries with it the following micro-coded information:

  • Campaign name and date
  • Send date
  • Delivery method (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  • Medium (email, microblog, status update, etc.)
  • Format (text, html, image, video, etc.)
  • Identifier
  • Version (for split tests)
  • Keywords

As an example, here is the fully instrumented URL for the link-tagging spreadsheet offered in this column.

The URL builder provided by Google is quite unsatisfying for us, so we’ve developed a special Google Analytics link tagging spreadsheet that you can use to create and track your micro-coded addresses.

Next time, I’ll show you the queries and reports that reveal which content, social networks and conversations generate the most email subscriptions for us.

In the mean time, let me know the social media distribution and tracking tools that you use and love in the comments section below.

Article originally published on my Search Engine Land column “The Perfect Social Media Measurement Strategy.”


Brian Massey Signature rainman

Brian Massey

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Brian Massey Speaking • Advertising in Attention Managed Zones

BAM explaining • Advertising in Attention Managed Zones

My ten-year-old son gave me a valuable lesson in content marketing today.

Sean has a good friend who, to hear him tell it, rarely changes his expression. It’s just who he is.

However, Sean was sharing one of this friend’s more interesting ideas: to build a tall building and put a catapult at the top of it to deliver packages around town.

“Was he serious?” we asked.

“Yes,” said Sean. “He had his explaining face on.”

Clearly, when this boy puts on his ‘explaining face,’ you had better listen.

Sean gives words to an attitude that offers all of us a way to make our content more helpful, more interesting and more engaging.

We just need to put on our explaining face.

Your Selling Face or Your Explaining Face

I’ve got my explaining face on right now. It is different from my selling face.

When I have my explaining face on, my eyes are wider, my eyebrows go up, my jaw is drawn back to help me enunciate.

When I have my selling face on, my eyebrows come down and my forehead furrows. My jaw jets forward. I’m in your face.

How does your content change when you have your explaining face on? Mine does.

A Face for Every Occasion

There is a place for each of your faces.

You should use your explaining face when you are participating in what I call an Attention-managed Zone. As I write in my most recent ClickZ column, an attention-managed zone is a place where we have curated the participants or content.

Our Facebook page is an attention-managed zone. Our inbox and our feed reader are as well.

When you are communicating within one of these attention-managed zones, put on your explaining face.

However, when you have drawn someone to your site, to a landing page for instance, you will want to put on your selling face and be more persuasive. Visitors expect to learn about your offering in these places where they have no control over what they will see.

Advertising in an Attention-Managed Society

Attention management is not something that people think about, but it is what we do when we curate places like our inbox, social news streams, and RSS feed readers.

As marketers and advertisers, we are bombarded with statistics that tell us there is a shockingly small supply of time in the world.

  • “You only have eight seconds to catch a Web visitor’s attention.”
  • “The average person is bombarded with over 5,000 commercial messages a day.”
  • “Today’s multitasking Millennials are doing up to 10 things simultaneously.”
  • “You have to do something surprising every 10 minutes during your presentation to keep the audience awake.”

I would provide citations for these statistics, but “Article writers only have an average of 15 minutes for research, down from 30 minutes in 2007.” I made that last one up.

We believe we’re dealing with the scarcity of our prospects’ time, and are acting accordingly. Too often, we’re getting “all caps” on our audience, shouting louder, shouting more often, and shouting through more channels. I call that tossing “Jenny” around.

What if we worked the other end of the equation? What if we helped our prospects manage their time better? Could we get nine seconds instead of eight? Could we cut our Millennials down to five simultaneous activities?

Unfortunately, attempts at time management have been thwarted in large part by the social part of our brains, the part that says we need to be laced into the lives of others like tangled doilies.

  • “96 percent of Millennials have joined a social network.”
  • “Social media has overtaken pornography as the number one activity on the Web.”
  • While you read this, “100+ hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube.”

I can cite these quotes because they come from a “Socialnomics” video that is only four and a half minutes long.

The net of this is that we are spending more time on our digital social pursuits and less time on our commercial messages, such as those found in display advertising.

The Components of an Attention-Managed Zone

An attention-managed zone provides a cone of safety, like a playpen for our children. We check Facebook several times per day because it’s an attention-safe zone. The same is true of e-mail.

When my attention is focused on one of these safe places, I know that:

  1. It will be filled with offerings from people I have vetted at some level.
  2. I can use my time there to refine it, dropping and adding friends, groups, games, etc.
  3. It’s designed for a variety of moods. I can expect to find the informative as well as the entertaining.
  4. I can go there to relieve stress any time of the day or night.
  5. I can participate, helping others manage their attention.

Be Where Attention Falls

My good friend and client Maura Thomas, who is writing the book “Control Your Attention, Control Your Life,” has introduced me to a different way of looking at the time/attention equation that may benefit advertisers.

It seems that we are willing to “kill” time on social networks because it helps us manage our attention.

More and more, we rely on our social graph to keep us in the loop, often 140 characters at a time. Thomas puts this into the category of “attention management.”

The tools we choose and the people we follow make up our attention management strategy. Those places where we implement such strategies – Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon – are “attention-managed zones.”

“Attention wastelands” are those places in which we receive irrelevant information; places that are populated by people and brands that we don’t trust. Prospects must shun these wastelands lest their attention be squandered by fools.

Let me put on my selling face to help persuade you of its value.

Your selling face delivers what your business needs to grow and thrive. If you are afraid to promote your products your online marketing strategies will most likely fail.

Your selling face is a powerful, and you should put it on if you want:

  • More persuasive copy
  • Calls to action that deliver leads and sales
  • A clear focus on reader benefits and less focus on you

If you want captivating headings and pages that turn visitors into readers and then buyers, then put on your selling face today.

Act now and receive a Thinking Face at no additional charge.

Signs that You’re Wearing Your Explaining Face

If you’re new to face management, here are a few signals that you have your explaining face on:

  1. You find yourself telling stories in your writing
  2. You prefer simpler ways to convey a point
  3. You look for more interesting and colorful words
  4. The writing is fun
  5. You feel that you’re helping someone when you click “publish.”

Ironically, these are also the markers of good sales copy, when you should have your selling face on.

Nonetheless, I recommend that you mentally put on your explaining face when you want to write for social media, for your blog or anywhere else that your reader has control.

Your explaining face content will give them reason to stay tuned in.

P. S. Don’t for get to read my ClickZ column Advertising in an Attention-Managed Society.

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

New Tool Makes it Easy to Find Prospects on Social Networks via Social Appending.

In my most recent ClickZ column, I reflect back on my days as a marketing cog in the corporate machine, a time in which the practice of “appending” was considered “black hat.”

Appending is the practice of adding contact information to records in your prospect database. If you have someone’s name and company, you could “append” their email address and mailing address through a number of services that keep that kind of information.

Companies that sell mailing lists often provide this kind of service.

The thinking was that the prospect hadn’t given you permission to contact them through these other channels, and that it violated the “submit button contract” that is implied when they completed an online form.

Social Media Appending: How Far We Have Come

Social Media Appending: How Far We Have Come. Source: Unbounce.

We’ve come a long way

Oli Gardner has an interesting infographic on the Unbounce blog. The graphic highlights a tool called FlowTown. This is a social media appending tool. Marketers can use it to find the social media accounts of their prospect list, and begin marketing to them through those social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn.

This is where those of us who have been around the block groan, and then secretly cheer.

Social Media Appending: Why this is different

While appending has not been considered a best practice, it happens. In fact, the best way to do this is to send ask your prospects for permission after appending the data; sending them an email asking if they want email messages, for example.

Many social media platforms allow us to easily “unfriend” or block unsavory marketers. This puts the opt-out capability in our hands. So asking for permission ahead of time is less of a problem.

But there is a right way to inject yourself into someone else’s conversations. It’s called a Content-oriented Social Media Strategy.

  • Only “append” people who have expressed an interest in your industry or products. This is how you know your content will be relevant.
  • Begin with non-promotional content. “How-to” and “10 Ways” style articles test well.
  • Use social landing pages, such as a blog or Facebook page to “keep it social”
  • Measure what you send. Stop sending content that doesn’t generate clicks, shares or comments.

If you’re going to jump into the social conversations, do it right, or it will backfire in a very public, viral way.

It is rare that my visual live blogs are less visual than the original presentation, but Dan Zarrella’s presentation on Twitter and Facebook optimization is SO choc full of graphs, that I could barely keep up.

So I resorted to banal prose in my notes.

As a fellow scientist (Dan is the Social Media Scientist), I am happy to borrow from his work in doing my own. Here are my notes from Dan’ presentation at PubCon Masters Group Training. I was glad to share the stage with him.

Dan Zarrella Twitter and Facebook Optimization Notes.

Dan Zarrella Twitter and Facebook Optimization Notes.

Getting More Followers

“The best way to get followers is to follow people.”

To get more followers:

  1. Finish your profile.
  2. Put a link to your website.
  3. Upload a picture.


The twenty most retweeted words:

  • please retweet
  • follow
  • top
  • social media
  • help
  • you
  • blog post
  • new blog post
  • retweet
  • free
  • twitter
  • how to

Twitter Stats

  • Over 50% of retweets have links.
  • Retweets tend to have larger words. You don’t have to dumb things down.
  • Retweets use “novel” or less-used words.
  • Retweets are noun-heavy, third person.
  • Retweets have more punctuation, even exclamation marks.
  • Retweets are less emotional, more conceptual.
  • Social behavior is retweeted.
  • Men retweet opinion, women retweet entertainment.
  • Retweets happen later in the day, after 4:00pm ET.
  • Women follow more people and tweet more.

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Jen Wojcik and Brian Massey at the Austin AMA

Jen Wojcik and Brian Massey at the Austin AMA

If you follow me, you know I’m not big on “safe” marketing.

I turn things up a few notches in this open discussion at the American Marketing Association.

I apologize in advance for my language.

Tom Myer herds the cats:

Yours Truly, the Conversion Scientist

Tom Hayden of Blue Clover and Jen Wojcik of Pinqued in a panel discussion entitled “Show Me the Money: Make Marketing Work for You.”

Tim was our mobile marketing expert, Jen handled social media. I just played Devil’s Advocate.

I hope you will enjoy the audio of this slide-free discussion.

Subscribe to the Podcast

What is your social media ROI? Can you measure the increase in traffic quality coming to your site from your social media actions?

Tell me your social conversion rate

“Social media is revolutionizing customer care.” Yawn.

“Social media is helping brands build awareness.” That’s sounds interesting (not).

“Social media increases the quality of the traffic coming to your site in measurable ways.” Now you have my attention.

Don’t Hate Me for My Myopia

It is my choice of career that has given me this singular focus when it comes to online marketing. There are other people to create brand image. There are smart, dedicated people trying to improve their company’s customer service.

I say “you go!”

But, I want measurable, tangible data on how social media gets qualified prospects to a web property, and how it helps me carry on a conversation with them making them more likely to buy.

I can already hear Qwitter messages landing in my inbox. I hate Qwitter personally, but it is a FABULOUS metric, the equivalent of email’s unsubscribe rate. So, I have to listen. It’s an measure of my social media Return On Investment, my social media ROI.

What is your social media ROI? Can you measure the increase in traffic quality coming to your site from your social media actions?

What is your social media ROI? Can you measure the increase in traffic quality coming to your site from your social media actions?

This Attitude is Good for Social Media ROI

How many times do you have a great conversation in the social space only to find the company’s website opaque, posing, and irrelevant?

Social media won’t work if we’re transparent in our social graph and obsequious everywhere else.

Let’s encourage businesses to put content out that draws people to their website. They will quickly begin to realize that certain content works (educational, entertaining content) and certain content does not (home pages with self-aggrandizing copy).

ROI is the great informer for these companies.

The Importance of Social Media ROI

If our stuff is worth talking about, why hold it back?

There is a camp of social media digerati that believe social channels are not for promotion, that it is evil to advertise where conversations are the norm.

But, if conversations are going on around a brand or a company, why deny the social citizenry of a chance to own or use their offerings?

It’s just plain selfish to hold back.

When buying is an outcome of conversation, ROI tells a company how it’s doing in starting and continuing those conversations.

Online communities are arbiters and aggregators of ROI

Let’s face it. We want the support of companies as we complain and cheer about their products. We want them to hear us, to reply to us, and to see things our way.

And we are not above the occasional bribe.

How many times have you started a complaint with, “I spend $_____ with your company every _____, and I expect… .”

We regularly use ROI as a way to get attention.

Communities that raise their hand get more attention. They drive it, highlight it and can take it away. They should be rewarded for their financial contribution to companies with increased support, more say in product design… and the occasional bribe.

What do eBook Groupies and Designer Laptop Bags have in Common?

I’ve recently begun working with J’Tote Designer Laptop Bags, and heard a story that illustrates this concept perfectly.

It seems that the women of an eBook community have developed a love for J’Tot’e’s chic laptop bags. How do we know?

  1. Mysterious spikes in J’Tote’s Web traffic led to the discovery that people were posting about them on the forum.
  2. Boxes of bags were soon waiting to be shipped to the group’s members.

Visitors from this community stay on the J’Tote site longer than average, view more pages, and have a very low bounce rate (a measure of the number of visitors who leave immediately after visiting a site).

The folks at J’Tote now make it a priority to tune into the conversations on the forum, and are certain to give them warning when inventory clearing sales are imminent.

Companies speak ROI

It is the lingo of the bottom line; the babble of budgets; the conversation of the coin. If we want more companies to engage in social media for all the “right” reasons, we need to communicate with them in this language: more visits from interested conversationalists who buy their products.

We need to speak to them with ROI.

It’s one thing for a company to monitor our conversations attempting to gauge positive or negative sentiment. It’s quite another for them to know that their Facebook page is generating additional visits and sales.

There is a catch

Companies that don’t measure the ROI of social media won’t get the message. They’ll continue to ignore important communities, cut social budgets and generate plenty of negative social sentiment in the digital conversationsphere.

If you’re not measuring, you’re not listening.

J’Tote is listening. Are you?

On July 21, I’ll be showing you ways to measure your social ROI, and in particular, your social conversion rates.

Did you know there was such a thing as a social landing page? It’s nothing like your landing pages.

Did you know that there are six major conversions that happen when you add social media to your sales funnel?

My presentation is just one part of a spectacular Master’s Group Training being held in Austin by Webmaster World, the PubCon people.

Only, you don’t have to attend a full PubCon to go.

Not only will you learn from me how to measure your social media efforts, you’ll learn how to do the things that make social media work.

  • Andy Beal will tell you about social media reputation management.
  • Dan Zarrella will give you the low down on Twitter and Facebook optimization.
  • Brett Tabke will show you how he reached influentials in his social graph and put PubCon registrations slashed his marketing budget.

Oh, and there is also an search marketing track going on at the same time. Yawn.

We’re going to make people love your business through your website at The Conversion Scientist. Subscribe to learn the strategies and tactics that turn more of your visitors into leads and sales.

I want measurable, tangible data on social conversion rates, on how social media gets qualified prospects to an online property, and how it helps me carry on a conversation with them making them more likely to buy.

Read this article if interested in improving your social media conversion rates.

I love to watch Social Media Ninja Giovanni Gallucci present. He imparted a great deal of info on the intersection of social media and search to the audience at the Innotech PDX 2010 eMarketing Summit last week.

If you weren’t there, you can enjoy it through the lense of my pen.

Here is the visual live blog from that presentation.

For more of Gio, visit for hours of good stuff from the Social Media Ninja.

Visual Live Blog Innotech Portland -Giovanni Gallucci

Notes from Giovanni Gallucci Presentation on Social Media Part 1 of 2


Click to Enlarge Part 1

social media Portland -Giovanni Gallucci

Notes from Giovanni Gallucci presentation on Social Media Part 2 of 2

Click to Enlarge Part 2

We’re going to make people love your business through your Web site at The Conversion Scientist. There is plenty you can do to increase online sales conversions, and we share it all. Learn what that you can do to convert more of your visitors into leads and sales.

At PubCon 2010 in Dallas, UnMarketer (@unmarketing) Scott Stratten’s keynote “Social Media, We Have to Talk” was, well, Scott. That means funny, frank, and contrarian. The audience loved him.

His keynote rant ranged from “Breaking up with Social Media” to the fallacy of getting rich quickly from social media, to Twitter etiquette. However, it was his constant assertion that great content is the source and sustenance of social success that endeared me to Scott.

Coincidentally, the best conversion strategy is to produce great content.


Click to enlarge.

Scott Stratten Keynote PubCon 2010 Dallas

Scott Stratten Keynote PubCon 2010 Dallas

Click to enlarge

Additional Coverage

PubCon South 2010 Day 2, Elmer Boutin

Live from PubCon South: Keynote by Scott Stratten, Janet Driscoll Miller