With all the information so readily available to us, I’m always surprised to learn that even some of my most tech-savvy colleagues aren’t diligently tracking their online marketing efforts. There are so many things your fans, followers and subscribers are telling you by their actions (and inaction) – and getting the message is as easy as just paying attention! For instance …
Do you know what day of the week and what time of day your audience prefers to hear from you?
Sorry, there’s no secret “right” formula … your audience makes that determination – and your audience may have very different preferences than mine. Keep an eye on which days and times people open your email campaigns or comment on your blog and social media posts. Rearrange your posting schedule to hit those times more often. Using a free utility like Hootsuite makes it easy to pre-schedule a bunch of posts to all your platforms, including your Facebook personal profile and Business Page, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog(s) and Google+ account. And, of course, Google Analytics should be on your website to track traffic there, as well.
Do you know what their favorite kind of information is?
Do they prefer your own opinion pieces, or links to articles on certain topics? The humorous posts, or the how-to’s? Those that reveal a bit about you, the person – or those that are all business? Text, photos or videos?
Pay close attention to the posts that get the most feedback. The posts people are commenting on or retweeting on Twitter or sharing on Facebook are the ones that are resonating. Note the subject matter, tone, and timing of those posts – then lather, rinse, repeat.
Are you aware of the “frustration points” contained in your own website, blog or email newsletter?
Do you have “dead” links in your blog or on your website? Don’t assume. Have somebody check them once in a while for you. A friend and colleague helped me out not too long ago by letting me know my “Contact Us” form had blown up on this very site. It had worked fine just 3 days before when someone else had used it to contact me. I make it a point now to not take anything for granted.
Also … be sure to send a “test” email before scheduling an email campaign, and give it a good going over. Nothing like hundreds or thousands of people getting your eNewsletter with pictures that didn’t load properly, formatting that’s askew or links that go nowhere.
What about how you might be annoying people on social media?
I somehow became a friend/fan/follower of a guy on social media and, soon after, I learned he had completely automated his entire online presence. I won’t mention any names, but if you follow him you may recognize this pattern: He has a couple dozen – maybe 30 – posts that are constantly “recycled,” in a seemingly random fashion around the clock. Not just from 9 to 5, not just Monday through Friday, but literally around the clock, 24/7. After one too many frustrating days of having to scroll past well over a dozen of his posts to see what even one other person had to say that day, I decided to count how many of his posts were clogging up my feed in a single 24-hour period. It was 70. 70! I guess this is where I should mention that he is a self-described business and life coach who claims to teach people how to “connect” on social media. But he’s so disengaged from his own social media efforts that they are meaningless! Now, he seems like a nice guy and a good soul, but I wonder how much more successful he could be if he weren’t so oblivious to how he’s coming across online.
What are you doing with those email campaign statistics?
You know, the reports that tell you who opted out of your list, who opened your last newsletter, who clicked through on which links, who forwarded it to a friend? Having a follow-up plan – and implementing it – is the crucial “next step” that is often the difference between being a professional newsletter publisher and a success in your actual field of endeavor.
So, all I’m saying is: Don’t let all this valuable information go to waste. Dive in and find out what it all means. Use it to improve your efforts – let your fans know you’re listening! And remember: Social networks are not just about the “social” – be sure to do the follow-up with those who are showing a real interest in what you have to offer.
© 2011 Linda C. Rooney
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Small business mentor Linda Rooney teaches aspiring, new, and evolving entrepreneurs how to navigate the New Economy with startup, branding, marketing, business & personal growth expertise. Get a FREE subscription to her eNewsletter, “Chart Your Course,” at www.LindaRooney.com.