Secret #3: Winning Brands Know What’s Working & What’s Not: The Social Engagement Rankings of the Top 15 Cosmetic Brands

What’s the point of creating and posting content? It should be to drive business results. Content is what creates engagement and engagement is what drives business results. Here’s typical marketing metrics brands use to drive business results:

• Increase positive sentiment

• Increase share of voice

• Increase awareness, interest, consideration, intent

• Increase lead conversions rates and sales

• Loyalty, Brand Advocacy and Referrals

So if you want to get a return on your investment for your digital and social media initiatives you need a way to measure your engagement results.

That way you can hit your business objectives and goals as well as get buy-in from executives stakeholders for budgets. But if engagement is low, then the business results are gonna be lower. So it’s important to know what else can hinder high engagement capabilities.

Why aren’t typical social media listening & monitoring tools aren’t enough to help you drive higher engagement?

If you are using social media listening and monitoring tools that are keyword based, i.e., post-2009 you are missing data that provides your social media engagement ranking compared to your cosmetic industry competitors.

Why should your customers’ interests drive your engagement strategy?

The only thing that can tell you how your brand ranks compared to your competitors is interest graph data. Interest graph data looks at what is important to your customers. Without it brands and their agencies are essentially creating content without knowing:

• What appeals to their target audience

• What makes a great post and

• How they stack-up against their competitors

How does interest graph data work?

It is like one big, highly accurate, ongoing focus group. It measures the collective cosmetic industry audience’s interests and their interactions. This type of information is key because it’s based on the context of cosmetic consumer’s collective actions with content that is interesting to them, i.e., their “interest graph.”

Why is interest graph data needed now more than ever by the cosmetic industry?

When social media and digital communications first began to proliferate the web, content created by bloggers, publishers, brands etc.. was highly text based. Today people are using vast range of content types and in particular visual content like that on sites like Pinterest, Shutterfly, Youtube-type videos and micro-blogging (Twitter).

Often the content shared in social media has little or no text (think Twitter with 140 characters) which makes it difficult for keyword listening platforms to find it or deem it relevant. This is wherein the big issue lies. When we consider engagement capabilities, statistics show that visual assets perform better than text, which means that more and more people are acting on visual assets as part of a theme that interests them. And to understand what’s trending and how to adjust your strategy, you’d need to find and evaluate those visual assets. But to do that, you’d need something more than social media listening and monitoring tools.

How can you learn more about the interest graph of your target customers in the cosmetic industry?

Part of that requires you begin by observing what’s working and what’s not working in the cosmetic industry. If you want to create great content that your fans and customers will interact with you can’t just have some really smart people sitting in a room brainstorming by themselves.

Studies show that when consumers click and look at your content or when they post comments, those comments are not always related directly to a brand or mention the brand’s name. Instead, they need to become really knowledgeable about the types of content your fans and customers like the best– i.e., engagement with the most. You’ll need to analyze what themes and types of visual and text-based content customers are preferring.

And then you need to understand what your particular collective consumer base is interacting with and use that intelligence to inform the creative content direction and themes. With the ability to analyze those collective target audience preferences your brand will:

• Have the edge over your competitor

• Drive better and higher engagement

• Fill your marketing funnel and

• Obtain better business results.

What does it mean that we are now in the “interest graph era?”

With all the content that is being shared, we have now entered into the interest graph era. Data also shows that many customers, when they are posting online don’t mention a brands name.

However they do act on content which is relevant to the cosmetic industry. Studies show that when consumers click and look at your content, when the post comment those comments are not always related directly to a brand or include the mention of a brand. However, those clicks and posts are all related to a” theme of interest.”

What’s key is to understand what themes cosmetic customers are interested in and use that to inform your marketing content.

Consider that your customers have more content choices and ability to transverse between those choices now more than ever before.

And customers have the ability to share that content through many modes. In the old days when someone read an article in a magazine that they liked, it would be shared face-to-face or on the phone in a conversation. Then came email and people could share an article or boat load of jokes with their email list. As time went on, more and more people migrated to online content sources like bulletin boards, forums, etc.. which are by the way, content themed.

Today many of your customers are interacting in social media – Twitter, Facebook Pinterest, etc…

They have more content and more ways and places to share that content with their friends and families. To get really good at determining what is working and what is not, you need analysis.

But to do the competitive comparison without an interest graph platform is impossible. The analysis of what content is interacted with should become the basis of a brand’s content and engagement strategy. Interest graph data tells us what customers are sharing and interacting with.

We can also learn more about brand affinity interests, i.e., interest of your customers in related or unrelated vertical industries. Facebook’s launch of Graph Search is further validation brands must understand what their customers find relevant.

What is the impact of the 3.5 billion pieces of content shared per week?

You need a platform designed to organize all that content that is shared. And keyword searches can’t help you analyze all that. How can marketers make sense of all this data?

What’s the difference between keyword monitoring and interest Graph intelligence?

Why won’t platforms based on keywords help you with all of this? Keyword monitoring can only bring back results for the “key words” you choose to search on. This is called a Boolean-type search. The problem is that it is very difficult to think up enough words to string to together to find the content themes from the 3.5 billion pieces of content shared per week. As a result that type of information does not represent your collective cosmetic consumer’s interests.

In addition, when many customers post, they don’t mention the brand name, so those interactions can escape keyword searches. And if customers mention a brand or if you search on a topic – you are still getting the results for that “word” or but it’s not categorized by content themes.

What’s required is a platform that systematically lowers the noise in the data by providing relative content that consumers have shown a high propensity of interacting with it regardless of whether it is a picture, a video or text. Keyword searches provide information on the content topic but it can’t rank the topic. Interest graph intelligence tells you which content themes rank the highest so you have factual information on which to base your marketing initiatives.

Want an example of how the Interest Graph Intelligence works in the cosmetic industry?

Let’s look at an example. Say you are a cosmetic company and you want to listen to customer’s conversations in social media. If you do a search on keywords, you would probably choose various terms related to cosmetics and the brand name

Now let’s look at what customers are actually sharing. In this example, a customer shares a picture of new nail polish and posts the words – “What do you think?” And all her friends respond to the post, never mentioning the brand name or even that is nail polish.

In a keyword search, that picture with those words would not be picked. Hence the brand would be missing the opportunity to interact with that customer as well as miss analyzing key content and interaction data.

In an interest graph search, the technology is able to discern that the picture is related to cosmetics and it brings it back as an result.

And that’s just one post. Take this one example and multiply it by hundreds of thousands or millions or billions of posts. Now think about how you would try to analyze these interactions with a keyword tool. The only way to analyze millions or billions of interactions is with an interest graph platform.

This is an example of the search results from an interest graph platform. What you can see is that one of the top ranking interactions is the picture of the nail polish.

What’s the difference between keyword monitoring and interest graph intelligence?

You’ve often heard the saying, “Half my advertising dollars are wasted, I just don’t know which half.” by Wannamaker. In the case of social media initiatives, and it could be that more than half of your marketing dollars are being wasted. Gone are the days of doing the ostrich when it comes to marketing. You can no longer stick your head in the sand and pretend their isn’t a way to provide social media accountability.

A brand may have one particular post that out performs their competitors but in order to continuously rank higher in engagement overtime requires that a majority of the posts have higher engagement. This means that a company would have to be able to evaluate effectiveness of not only their own content but also of their competitors.

That’s another reason why it’s important to know what your particular collective group of consumers is interacting with. Knowing this is the difference between guessing what content to produce and narrowing it down to a very specific set of data that pinpoints exactly what you should focus on.

How can great data can make executive stakeholder budget approval faster and easier?

Marketers have long needed data to justify their budgets. With the amount of content required to survive in social media, marketers need data to justify their budgets. It’s much easier to get executive buy-in when you can create a business case to the CFO or COO.

And what better way to get C-suite endorsement for social media than if one could show a detailed analysis of themed content from which the content and interaction strategies are then based on?

And you, like many people, may be in a position where you have little to no content budget.

Without industry comparisons, you can’t validate how much a lack of content budget is hurting the company.

Stay tuned for other secrets from my latest report!

At Social Business Builders,
we work with brands & software companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs.
Our Motto? Learn. Share. Grow!

@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff
310-919-8467

Want to see how to get an ROI from Social Media? Check out these fun videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media
Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Here’s My book on How Businesses can Drive Sales on Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

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