ExactTarget Provides an Overseas Lesson About Consumer Love Lost

The following is an excerpt from the ExactTarget blog, in which Kyle Lacy relays analysis about why consumers in the United Kingdom have ended their online relationships with some businesses. Perhaps it can help you objectively think about how you engage your customers — or potential customers — online.

I can remember that fateful day in the Spring of 1998. Mrs. Cash’s sixth grade class had been released for the day and kids were scurrying across the schoolyard. Everyone except for me. I was shocked and petrified reading the heart shaped note from Sally, my sixth grade girlfriend.

Dear Kyle, We are breaking up. -Sally

It couldn’t be! Sally and I were going to be married. I had given her all the signals. I had showered her with compliments (messaging) and constant hugs (email). How could this have happened?

Like my sixth grade self, brands are experiencing break-ups from consumers who they “thought” they understood. Each time the consumer signs up to receive an email, Likes the brand on Facebook, or follows on Twitter, it signals the start of a beautiful relationship. The consumer is interested and “might” want a relationship.

The consumer has certain expectations and those expectations should be met with enthusiasm. They should be understood. Sally had been interested in me. I noticed and then smothered her.

As many of you know, ExactTarget is a global company with offices all over the world. We pride ourselves in our ability to understand the thought-process of the consumer. We wanted to get a better understanding of what consumers in the UK think of instances where they engaged with a company but later terminated the relationship.

What caused the consumers to lose interest? Here are a portion of the findings:

  • 46% have unsubscribed from email because they felt bombarded with messaging
  • 36% have unliked a brand on Facebook because they felt bombarded
  • 26% have unfollowed a brand on Twitter because they became disinterested in the content
  • 23% unfollow because they feel bombarded
  • 34% of active users in the UK follow a brand on Twitter

Many relationships end at some point. For the most part, consumers’ reasons for leaving a relationship is based around a brands inability to deliver on expectations. The brand did not honor permissions and bombarded the consumer with messaging.

One this is certain: the consumer-brand relationship will continue to grow and develop in the years to come. As a marketer, it’s your job to make that relationship work with clear expectations and personalized content.

Quantifying Your Impact on Social Media When You Need to Report It to Superiors

The following is a guest blog from Steve Robinson of Constant Contact:

What are the best ways to quantify your impact – and progress – on Twitter and Facebook when you have to report it to your superiors?

If you accept that social media will help your organization, then what the issue really comes down to is: How do I measure its impact and know whether my posts and tweets are generating the social media buzz we’re looking for?

The easiest thing to keep track of is the number of “followers” you have on Twitter and the number of people who "Like" your Facebook Page. Over time, those numbers should go up if you engage your network with valuable and relevant content.

How will you keep track of the engagement? Allow me to suggest a variety of tools, all of them free, that you can use to monitor what’s being said about you. They have the added benefit of allowing you to streamline some of your social media activities as well:

• NutshellMail – This tool allows you to monitor and manage your brand’s social media presence right from your email inbox, and to do things like track your Facebook Page Insights, manage your Likes and followers on Facebook and Twitter, engage with your networks, and use other social media sites (like Yelp and Foursquare).

• HootSuite – This is a social media dashboard that allows you search for hashtags, terms, and keywords; merge and monitor your Facebook and Twitter streams; and gather social media intelligence as well. You can also post and schedule updates to multiple social networks all at once from within HootSuite.

 TweetDeck – This is a real-time browser, connecting you with your contacts across multiple social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

• Google Alerts – Google Alerts allows you to “save” keywords. It will then send you an email anytime your keyword matches with new content found on the web.

Other tools you can use include Google Analytics, to see if social media is driving traffic to your website, and email marketing reports, to see how many people click on the social media icons in your emails and how many people have joined your email list.


Steve Robinson is a Senior Regional Development Director for Constant Contact. In addition to serving as the President of the Lake County, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, he relies on his nearly 30 years of experience in small business ownership, business development, sales, and fundraising to help associations, small businesses, and nonprofits achieve success. He understands the importance of staying connected with one’s customer base and using affordable marketing technologies to do it.

Facebook Measurements: One More Piece of a Complicated Puzzle

Raise your hand if you’re satisfied with your company’s/organization’s number of Facebook fans. Yeah, I’m not either. But here is some advice you may find encouraging — mainly that the totality of fans may not be the greatest indicator of impact, so you shouldn’t be so disappointed about it. Besides, there are so many other terrible things in life to be disappointed about, anyhow. (I think Tony Robbins originally said that. No?) Regardless, Ragan’s PR Daily asserts:

Here are five reasons (number of fans) should not be used to measure social media success:

1. They are not a measure of impressions. Measuring impressions has been described as an old-fashion metric, but counting fans isn’t even that. Hypebot recently released a study showing that one in a hundred fans “liked” brand updates. Worst yet, previous studies showed that 1 in 500 brand updates reached their targets.

2. They are not a measure of advocacy. According to eMarketer, research shows that Facebook fans are not more likely to buy from the brand after becoming a fan. In that research, the top two reasons to become a fan are “to receive discounts” and “I am an existing customer.”

3. They are not a measure of engagement. On any given update, Coca-Cola receives about 5,000 “likes” and comments; Justin Bieber averages 30,000 “likes.” If you’ll recall, Bieber has about 23 million fewer fans than Coke.

4. They are not tied to a particular objective. The Barcelona Principles of Measurement place “Goal Setting and Measurement” at the very top of the list. Unless your business objective is to obtain fans, measuring fans is not the way to go.

5. A small fan base is fine if it’s active. Don’t beat yourself up if your page has a small number of fans. If your fans are engaging with you and responding to your updates in the way you are hoping for, you are doing fine.

This is not to say that a Facebook Fan page is not a good tool for marketing or corporate reputation management. But in 99 percent of cases, there are better ways to measure you’re success on Facebook.

They include:

•Measuring click-throughs. If your Facebook updates links to your online properties—for instance, a news release, a landing page, an online brochure, an article—the click-through rate will tell you how many fans read it. While this isn’t the ultimate in PR measurement, it at least tells you how many fans did what you expected of them.

•Measuring feedback. This will tell you the quality of your engagement. Not only does it show how many fans saw your update and reacted to it, but it also tells you how many are likely to receive future updates from you.

•Monitoring global discussion volume and sentiment on your page. This practice will give you valuable information on your brand’s advocacy and reputation. It will also detect crises or opportunities as they emerge.