By adaptive - February 26th, 2014

Your visual social campaign may be brilliant, but what are you doing to monitor its progress and success?

Visual content is the future of social media. In part one we discussed platforms and tools and how best to harness them for the business and in part two we looked at the psychology of visual and how to take advantage of it. In this, the final piece in this series, we examine how best to track visual social media and list top tips from industry experts on how to make the most out of the experience.

The tools you use to track your visual social campaign will depend on what you need to get out of it and what information is essential to its success. Using tracking tools in the right way will allow your business to evaluate social media efficiency from the audience’s perspective and this will enable you to create visual campaigns that tap into the demands of the crowd.

“If we are trying to understand what it is that our current and potential followers want to see from us on a specific social media platform, we’ll refer to the analytic tools offered by that platform,” says Tony Ellison CEO and Founder at Shoplet, “By enumerating which posts are the most engaging, the general demographics of our followers, and at which times our followers are most active, these internal and free tools provide us with key information that is useful to our daily social media decision making.”

For Shoplet, tools such as Klout, TweetReach and SumAll also provide strong solutions that can show the larger picture in relation to their social pursuits, while Google Analytics has provided them with invaluable information when measuring the quantitative effects of their social presence.

The online retailer is about to launch a visual social campaign where Shoplet plants a tree for each social media share of the infographic below. They are using these tools to track the shares, assess the success of the initiative and keep their end of the bargain.

Shoplet Campaign

According to a report by the Managing Partners' Forum and Elephant Creative ‘Exploring management attitudes towards digital and social technologies,’ and based on the responses of 190 senior managers and marketing professionals at professional services firms mostly in the UK (82%), 67% of firms use Google Analytics and 85% of these firms use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of their digital and social technologies with the most popular being:

  • Website traffic at 73%
  • Reach at 61%
  • Engagement at 60%
  • New clients were 40%
  • Inbound links got 37% and
  • New work from existing clients sat at 28%

A tool shed

Stephanie Wielinski, Public Relations Specialist at Blue Grace Logistics is a firm believer in using the insights offered by the social media platforms themselves, and in the value of Google Analytics for tracking visuals in social media, especially if they are paired with links to your website and blog.

“Another helpful tool for tracking visuals on social is eye tracking software such as Tobbi Eye Tracking Research as their technology tells you exactly where the users are looking and comes with built-in analytics to help companies optimise their visuals,” she adds.

Flora Busby, Social Media Manager at Xuber, recommends solutions such as Sprout Social and HootSuite to regularly track visual content across the various KPIs. She adds that it is important that the data is regularly used to improve campaigns.

“A great example is if, say, you discover that your followers just love pictures of cupcakes on a Friday afternoon. You can make it into a competition, get them involved, create a hashtag and start some conversations,” she says.

For Lana Strydom, Head of First National Bank Digital, the tools are not as important as what’s being tracked, analysed and interpreted.

“Business objectives have to be reflected in measurement criteria and the most common of these are reach, clicks, engagement and conversion,” she says, “At the end of the day it is ROI that determines the failure or success of visual content initiatives, the effect on customer acquisition and retention.”

Organisations need to understand the limitations of the tools they adopt and what role they specifically play within their visual social campaigns. According to the report by the Managing Partner’s Forum mentioned earlier, 85% of firms are collecting and analysing this external dat. However, all the experts agree that unless insights are being shared with those who need to know there is no point in having the tools at all.

Hot social tips

Within the shape of the visual social stream there are strategies and tricks that organisations can employ to improve their performance and interaction. It’s a busy world out there so the more impactful your campaign, the better. We asked some of the experts what they recommend to organisations embarking on a visual social journey.

Sharing infographics

“Always relate the content back to customer needs around information, education or entertainment and strive to be relevant,” says Strydom, “Try to avoid stock imagery and create uniquely branded content, and make the expected action clear to the user to stimulate the desired level of engagement. Don’t clutter the message with superfluous information or push product information only.”

For Ellison the following are three tips every business should know:

  1. Know your audience – we don’t cater for teenagers, we cater to well-established adults with a sense of humour so we have fun with our visuals and make sure that they speak to this audience specifically.
  2. Never underestimate the power of aesthetics – only post content that both you and your following find presentable.
  3. Accompany your visuals with quick and meaningful captions – clever captions are the verbal to the visual story and are absolutely essential.

“Context, content and timing are the three major factors that will affect the success of your image on social media,” says Charlotte Golunski, Head of Marketing at Taggar, “Organisations can take advantage of the power of visuals by creating good quality content that is relevant, interesting and engaging.”

It always comes back to relevance and content with social, even when driven by glorious visuals that bring a story to life. By keeping the organisation on track, focusing the imagery to the target market, tracking it properly and sharing insights across the organisation, your business has the tools it needs to make the most of visual social media.

Read more about how visual content can be leverages in our practitioner interview with Katie Richman, Director of Social Media Strategy and Social Media Product Development for espnW and Global X Games.

[Image Source:]

Katie Richman, Director of Social Media Strategy and Social Media Product Development for espnW and Global X Games - See more at:
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