This is the 12th installment this year of our Deep Dive Into Local series. For the week ending Monday, April 4th, Ed Reese and Mike Blumenthal shared their thoughts about the previous week in local. The complete video, including links and commentary on critical happenings of the previous week is posted in the Local U forums (paywall). In the second half of that video, they take a deeper strategic and tactical dive into one interesting area that caught their attention during the week.
In this discussion, Ed and Mike discuss social and local KPIs that make sense for local businesses.
Ed Reese: My last one today, and this is going to lead us into our deep dive, talking about KPIs. There's an article in Marketing Land, "The 5 KPIs that Define a Successful Social CMO." And in my mind, that isn't necessarily a CMO, it's anyone that's actually paying attention to social. And this has a lot to do with the article you talked about, Mike, where how do people balance the social versus the search side of things. And a lot of people, especially on the smaller business side, it's an easier entry point going into social. And...go ahead, Mike. You had something to add.
Mike: It's easier, and there's a very concrete feel to it, because you're dealing typically with people you already know, who are already customers. Although, I think it doesn't generate as much business pre-sale, it doesn't find as many new prospects, it does a great job of keeping track of existing customers and prospects and making them and you feel good. And Facebook has made it much easier to do advertising and to boost there. It's a natural sort of area for small businesses.
Ed: Much easier. A couple of things that really bug me are some of the metrics that get pushed down your throat. Reach drives me crazy. I was at a social media thing last year where they did an exercise where their reach was, like, 1.8 million inside of half an hour. And I was like, "So what." Here we are. Our phones are in our pockets and we're talking. We're part of that. Other people who aren't seeing it on Twitter or wherever, aren't part of that conversation. I'm really not a fan of reach or impressions when it comes to social.
But I really like their take in this Marketing Land article -- they were talking about measuring a rise in engagement. I'm down with that. If people have a comment of if they like it or share it, that is engagement. Cool. Social conversations, what are people saying. And not just that they are saying ... What are they saying? What are they saying both on your website and on social, I'm down with that.
And that leads into tracking sentiment. And this is more qualitative than quantitative, but I really think tracking tone is important. So let's say you have a whole bunch of metrics that you can't really define. If you take the time to say, "Well, we had five comments but, shoot, here's a positive tone. Here are people that are saying nice things, who are saying that this is effective," or whatever, I really dig the idea of tracking sentiment.
Their fourth tip was uncovering influencers. You've talked about that for a while, the value of having a power influencer, somebody that is going to share your information and actually tracking that as a KPI.
And what I've always said, their last one is where I usually start, "So what. What'd they do?" Tracking action, and that kind of goes back to what you were talking about, Mike. I think that a lot of marketing people, whether it's the CMO or a business owner, they've unfairly pushed social for the conversion when it should be that conversation that builds up to the buy, and they just want it to be like, "Hey share it, and then get them to buy something." But even if that's unfair, at some point there still has to be a "So what, who cares." What are they doing? How do you measure those actions? And I think if you define those for each individual business, you'll get somewhere. And for these small businesses, what are those KPIs? Where would you pick that up, Mike?
Mike: First, let's put it in a bigger context, and that context is that an existing customer that you have a long-term relationship with is going to spend 7 to 10 times as much money as the new customer you just found. There is huge value in staying in touch with people post-sale. That has long term returns. It's difficult to track, but it's very real. So, even though social might return one-fiftieth the volume, if each customer is worth eight times as much, lifetime, then it's still significant. So, I want to put it in the bigger context.
I think, as you pointed out, it's important at least on the new, incoming customer side, where we're looking for new leads -- that's typically going to happen in Google. And I think that there, your web and your call tracking are the best KPIs. Call tracking, if you have moved your main number up to your call tracking, you can track all new incoming calls, which I think is important. Are your new incoming calls going up or are they going down? It's a huge metric. I think that's a really valuable one.
But I think it's important to understand with call tracking is it's real easy to screw up your NAP, so you really want to do this consciously. There's a number of ways to do it, but one way is to move your main number up to the call tracking system so you're tracking that, and not screwing your NAP up.
The other [KPI] is looking at analytics on your site. I think that we've talked about this in the past. It's not easy to do, but tracking just web traffic from the local sites, using Google campaign tracker, doing your Google link with a campaign tracker. You can track stuff coming from Google local or whatever they call it this week. I think general web volume, particularly within market -- if you're not doing a national reach, but looking at Google analytics in the context of your metro or regional market I think is a valuable KPI. Doing driving directions on your site out to Google using... What do you call those things? Actions.
Ed: Tag manager ... events. Events.
Mike: Event tracking [of driving directions from your website], and also tracking click-to-call. These are very, very good proxies for actual [store] visits coming from your website. Those are incredibly valuable. I think use of your contact form, tracking that volume there is a good KPI. And visits to your contact page is a good KPI, not maybe as good as clicks on driving directions or clicks on to call. And then going into what Google provides through their Google My Business Insights also provides additional look at driving directions, click-to-calls and web visits from Google. If you have a multi-location, rolling those up via something like the new Moz report makes sense to me. What's your opinion on those and any others that might be useful in a true local context?
Ed: One of the things that we've done in addition to the contact form -- we found this particularly helpful for small companies, local companies -- is adding a contact form where that content is, so whether it's a specific service based type and having that contact form right below. In Google it's easier. Here's your contact form...
It's an auto dealership. Maybe you want to get your transmission done. Maybe it's on your transmission page or whatever. Then, send that to a thank you page that's thankyou/transmission for example. From a web standpoint we can see if the service business is going up, and even subset within, "Oh, we're doing a lot of transmissions now," or we're doing a lot of whatever. And then, from my standpoint or from an internal marketing standpoint if it's a large dealership, you're able to see ... "Oh, the contact forms, the thank you forms are transmissions first and oil changes second" and we're actually seeing that trend go up, versus a bunch of people just calling the dealership.
Mike: Right. That's a great idea. That made my day worthwhile, that one idea which is to put the contact form on every service or product page and tracking it. Why not, right?
Mike: Even if you had the same...You certainly could track that with event tracking. If you didn't want to do different thank you pages, you could do the same thank you page but event tracking per page. There's a number of ways to do that. That's a great idea for a KPI in local.
Ed: From a real-world standpoint, another big benefit of that is on that thank you page, you give them valuable information. Let's say you're thankyou/transmissions, you can say, "Hey, our response time is normally 24 hours, here's the information we need to know." For a lot of these appointments...
Mike: Or, you could be honest. The car dealer could say, "Normally, we forget to call people back. You better call us again. Here's the phone number."
Ed: Here's the phone number, yeah, or whatever it is. Sometimes you need more information.
Ed: Sometimes it's 72 hours. Whatever it is, it gives you that opportunity to feed them more information about what they want instead of putting them in a big bucket of "Thanks."
Mike: Right. No, no, I think that's a money tip. It's also more likely to use a contact form if it's on the interest page. I think that's a great tip. I think with that...Do you have anything more to add?
Ed: I think that's it. I'm just glad I could make your day, Mike. It's all about helping. If that tip made your day...
Mike: I see I'm getting you trained and keep Mike happy. With that, I think we better say goodbye before it gets even weirder. All right, have a great day. Talk to you later.