Social Media

LinkedIn Conversion Tracking And Its Value

by Alex Bruner on September 29, 2016 , No comments

LinkedIn has announced and released a conversion tracking system that will allow universities advertising on the platform the ability to track the performance of their ads beyond the standard reporting available on the LinkedIn advertiser dashboard. This will provide deeper understanding of user behavior and allow for the creation and configuration of targeting personas as well as optimization of ad copy.

Why Your University Should Be Advertising On LinkedIn

LinkedIn advertisements in the form of Sponsored Content are a popular and effective way for marketers to reach their target audiences.

LinkedIn Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content Example

The more detailed a prospective targets profile, the more information LinkedIn is able to provide advertisers for the purposes of targeting. Since most users are on LinkedIn to showcase their skills, networks, and experience, they tend to openly provide the most detailed background that they can in order to appear desirable to potential employers or clients.

This level of insight into user’s experience and skills allows one to create personas that are intrinsically conducive to conversion. For example, let’s create a theoretical persona whose background would make them a valuable target for an advertisement featuring a healthcare-focused MBA in Tennessee. We can then review the audience size that results from our targeting.

Sample LinkedIn Persona and Audience

For our audience we want an individual who has completed a 4 year degree, preferably in a field of study that is contextually relevant to our Healthcare MBA. This individual would live in Tennessee, have 4+ years of work experience and fall within the ages of 25-54. Technically we would want our target to skew lower in age, from 24-44, but LinkedIn clusters ages in groups. Our target will not have completed any post-undergraduate degrees as this would make them less likely to matriculate.

When we create this audience in LinkedIn we are given an estimate of the total amount of users who meet our criteria, and in this case have a substantial audience to target.

Here is the resulting audience available with our targeting parameters:

Audience Size: 173,000+ LinkedIn members

Residence: Tennessee

Work Experience: 4+ years

Age: 25-34, 35-54

Include: Bachelor’s degree, Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.), Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.), Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.), Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.), Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.)

Exclude: Master’s degree, Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), Master of Computer Applications (M.C.A.), Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Education (M.Ed.), Master of Engineering (M.Eng.), Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), Master of Library & Information Science (M.L.I.S.), Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.), Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.), Master of Public Health (M.P.H.), Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Social Work (M.S.W.), Master of Technology (M.Tech.)

At 173,000 potential users in our audience we are below the LinkedIn suggested audience size of 300,000, but since our audience is targeted well, our higher potential for conversion should make up for the small size.

With our newfound audience we are now prepared to create a series of ads to entice our audience into seeking further information. As our audience engages with our ads, LinkedIn will store the data and we will be able to view this in what is known as a “Click Demographic Report”. These reports can be filtered by a number of variables pertaining to your initial targeting and look something like the following:

linkedin click demographic report image

EXAMPLE CLICK DEMOGRAPHIC REPORT

After analyzing our click demographic report, we can create additional audiences that speak specifically to our best performing personas from the first. Prior to conversion tracking launching this is where the reporting metric buck stopped within the LinkedIn platform. After this launch we will be able to make use of even more detailed conversion info.

How LinkedIn Conversion Tracking Helps

With conversion tracking we can not only see which demographics interact with an advertisement, we can also more accurately understand the level of engagement outside of the Linkedin platform.

Since your conversion pixel will be placed in your web page code, when users interact with your ad in the LinkedIn platform and visit your site you will now be able to see which ad and audience netted you a conversion on the site itself.

Here are some of the new metrics the tracking pixel will enable advertisers to measure:

LinkedIn Conversion Tracking Options

  • Conversions – The total number of times people took a desired action after clicking on or seeing your ad.
  • Post-click conversions – Clicks on your ad(s) that led to a conversion.
  • View through conversions – The percentage of impressions of your ad(s) that led to a conversion.
  • Conversion rate – This is the percentage of clicks that led to a conversion (conversions divided by clicks).
  • Cost per conversion – This is the average amount you spent on each conversion (total spent divided by conversions)
  • Total conversion value – This is the total dollar value of all conversions (value per conversion times conversions).
  • Return on ad spend – This is the percentage of revenue generated for every dollar spent (total conversion value divided by spend).

Making use of this additional data will allow a deeper understanding of the true value of each ad click and impression, and will help inform budget decisions. From a first perspective this addition is LinkedIn keeping up with the Joneses, but the additional demographic reporting into the funnel that this feature ads should not be overlooked.

Typically the next step in an ad platform will be to enable re-marketing next, it’s possible that a future iteration of this conversion tracking/pixel addition will include a new method to reach users on LinkedIn who have already visited your site, or for whom you have email addresses.

If LinkedIn follows in the footsteps of Google and Facebook, we will likely see both website re-marketing and email list marketing that will allow advertisers to reach new subsets of users with strong potential for conversion.

 

 

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Alex BrunerLinkedIn Conversion Tracking And Its Value

Are Your Tweets Improving Your Search Marketing Impact?

by Brian Coughlin on November 3, 2015 , No comments

As we first reported back in February, Google and Twitter started a new partnership allowing Google greater access to Tweets. How this partnership would impact search results was a mystery until recently, when Google started showing Tweets when searching for branded terms.

As a result, your Tweets now have greater visibility than ever before. This visibility represents powerful branding and lead generating opportunities for business schools.

Here’s an example of in-search Tweets for Chicago Booth:

Chicago Booth Tweets in Search Results

This development, if used strategically, can add to your search and social marketing efforts, but the message you’re sending should be carefully considered. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Tweets only appear for branded terms (“Chicago Booth” but not “Chicago Business School”).
  • Your Tweets now have massive branding power. Looking at the example above, Chicago Booth can control a very limited amount of information appearing in search results for their brand name. How do your Tweets explain the value of your MBA program?
  • Only your two latest Tweets will appear.
  • Tweets don’t show up for every brand. Google is still testing this inclusion, so your school may not benefit yet. There’s no on/off switch. Your best bet for inclusion is to ensure your Twitter profile is verified and you have links both on your school’s site and on your Twitter profile pointing to one another (you should already have these links in place, but this is another great reason why!).

How to Leverage Tweets in Google Search Results:

  • Stay on Brand (Repeatedly) – Even if you craft a Tweet that perfectly encapsulates your brand image, once you’ve published two more Tweets it will disappear from search results. So repeat your message (with different language) frequently to ensure the right message appears at all times.
  • Promote Lead Generation & Enrollment – Getting prospective students to the right landing page as quickly and easily as possible is key to maximizing lead generation. Here are a few ways to help your Tweets:
    • Link to the Right Page – Link to the top-converting pages on your site. Don’t make users navigate extra pages. Your conversion rates will skyrocket if you can get students to the right place from the start.
    • Employ Calls to Action – “Learn More,” “Advance Your Career” and “Apply Now” do wonders for conversion rates. “Learn More” in particular is effective as it’s short and to the point (hallmarks of any good Tweet). Here’s a great example from UCLA Anderson that promotes campus visits and mentions both signing up and checking out campus experiences (second Tweet):UCLA Smart Tweeting for Google

Twitter has generally been limited to your number of followers. Now they’re front and center in Google search results for your brand. Make sure you’re driving users to the right place and with the right message.

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Brian CoughlinAre Your Tweets Improving Your Search Marketing Impact?

The Search Social Connection – New Google Twitter Partnership

by Grant Sabatier on February 9, 2015 , No comments

In an effort to share the most relevant results to searchers, Google continues to evolve both its algorithm as well as establish partnerships to keep visitors using the platform. It is both an exciting and challenging time for Google, whose lifeblood rests in its online advertising model and dependence on keeping users coming back. For the first time since 2009, Google is now losing marketshare of the search market to other giants like Yahoo and has recently been seeking more creative ways to provide the information people want. While the specifics have yet to be disclosed, the Google Twitter partnership is one of those efforts that is highly representative of the increasingly blurry lines between social and search and will likely have significant implications on search results.

Google and Twitter have reached an agreement that will give Google access to its data feed – which will make it easier for 140-character tweets to appear in the search engine results page. This means that tweets will appear faster and more prominently in the search engine results, which will ultimately drive more search traffic to Twitter instead of to websites. Historically, Google needed to crawl Twitter like any other website to obtain content, but this new arrangement will allow tweets to show up in real time. This will significantly increase the visibility of conversations happening on Twitter.

What does this mean for colleges, universities, and business schools?

When a prospect searches for your business school, they are likely going to see your business school tweets featured prominently in the results. It is also likely that prospects will see what other prospects and others are saying about your institution. This significantly increases the importance of leveraging social media in your institution’s recruiting efforts. It is also an opportunity for institutions to define and share what differentiates their institutions. This past fall, the incredibly popular, yet controversial #WhyMBA Twitter campaign which BusinessWeek ran to promote their new business school rankings did one thing very well – it brought out the best in business schools.

The Top 5 Business Schools on Twitter were those who did something truly unique and were able to showcase the distinct attributes of both their culture and their programs. The digital space is becoming increasingly competitive and full of noise. It is no longer sufficient to get the attention of a prospect – you have to tell them something distinctive and of value. This is the only way they will pay attention.

Unfortunately after the campaign, most business schools went back to the status quo. But what the new Google Twitter partnership means is that the status quo will no longer be good enough – because people will see your tweets directly in the Google search results, significantly increasing their visibility. Prospects will have the opportunity to judge your institution through real-time content – so every tweet now matters, because you never know who is going to be viewing your updates when they are forming their consideration sets.

Twitter now must officially become a more important component of an institution’s digital strategy and now has significant search engine optimization implications since Google will now be able to index tweets more effectively and crawl Twitter links. As Google continues to increase the information they share about an institution, it will be increasingly important for institutions to develop a distinctive digital strategy – one that not only showcases their brand, but also aligns with how the digital world is evolving. The institutions at the forefront of digital marketing, including Google changes, will be the ones to gain a competitive advantage and increase the visibility of their institutions and programs.

 

Bob Booth, Digital Analyst at Eduvantis contributed to this post.

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Grant SabatierThe Search Social Connection – New Google Twitter Partnership

The Top 5 Business Schools on Twitter

by Grant Sabatier on October 22, 2014 , No comments

This past week Twitter has exploded with business schools sharing photos, stories, and testimonials at an intensity and frequency that has never occurred in the business school sector. The inspiration? Another business school ranking competition. To promote Businessweek’s Best Business School rankings set to be released on November 11, Bloomberg created the #WhyMBA social media competition encouraging business schools to share information about their institutions and compete to get the most @ brand mentions.

The purpose of the campaign is to answer the pressing questions on many prospective student minds including: Why should I get an MBA? Would an MBA help you get your dream job? Which MBA program is best? How has your MBA helped your career? Is an MBA worth the investment? Despite the importance of this topic and these conversations, currently Businessweek are ranking of the top business schools on Twitter based on only the total number of people who mention the business school’s Twitter handle(ex. @DukeFuqua).

But at Eduvantis Digital we understand that social media is about more than a popularity contest – its about real engagement and having the opportunity to share what makes an institution’s programs, campuses, students, faculty, alumni, and community truly distinctive. Based on an analysis of over 50 business school Twitter accounts, the Eduvantis Digital team ranked the top 5 business schools on Twitter based on how successful they are at conveying the unique attributes of their brand. The business schools we have chosen really stand out and there is a lot other business schools can learn from them. At the end of the rankings below we have compiled a list of the top 5 social media best practices that any business school can implement today to have a more effective Twitter and social media strategy.

The Top 5 Business Schools on Twitter

1. Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

The @DukeFuqua Twitter account is a standout example of a business school who understands who they are. Fuqua have built a social media strategy to showcase their unique brand – a truly global business school. Duke Fuqua can lay claim to launching the first global MBA program with their Cross Continent MBA, which has since become a model for other global business school programs to follow. Over a 16 month period Fuqua students in the Cross Continent MBA program study in North Carolina, India, China, Russia, and Chile.

To align their social media strategy to support its global mission and programs, the @DukeFuqua team focuses on sharing globally focused content – from faculty research, to student photos, program gatherings, and Fuqua alumni stories across the world. Not only has Fuqua set the bar for business schools on Twitter, they were also the first business schools in the United States to expand their social reach into Asia, creating a Duke Fuqua account on Weibo (the Twitter of China) to engage with stakeholders and prospective students in China.

2. University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The @DardenMBA Twitter account takes the opposite approach to @DukeFuqua, focusing instead on an intensely local strategy – showcasing what it’s like to a student at one of the most beautiful and prestigious business schools in the world. The University of Virginia, which was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson has a stunning campus – especially now with the bright colors of a Virginia fall season. The famous Jefferson lawn and rotunda is a world heritage site and creates a historical backdrop for a business school with an intensely close and ethically driven community.

The Darden brand is built on a rigorous social community where your professors can be your friends and joining the UVA family gives you both a large, but also practical network to support you as your build your career and life. From day one, students at Darden are taught to respect and value their tight-knit learning community through the signing of the famous UVA honor code. The Economist recently ranked Darden as having the number one teaching experience in an MBA program. Professors are known to give their cell phone numbers to all students on the first day of class and even text with students when they have a question.

3. University of Michigan Ross School of Business

An early Twitter adopter, @MichiganRoss are an exceptional example of a top-ranked business school that stands out, not only because they are a world class institution, but because they make going to business school seem like a lot of fun. The “social” Michigan Ross brand is naturally suited for social media and one of the most engaging higher education institutions on Twitter.

Out of the 50 business school Twitter accounts the Eduvantis Digital team analyzed, @MichiganRoss has the most accessible brand – they are the industry leader in creating and sharing dynamic brand content (consistently releasing new engaging photos and videos) and they truly engage with their community on Twitter and their enthusiasm shows. The @MichiganRoss team are always listening to their community across social media and consistently share user generated content that tell the stories of their many stakeholders (students, faculty, alumni, and Michigan business community).

4. University of California – Berkeley, Haas School of Business

The @BerkeleyHaas Twitter account is the only one Eduvantis Digital ranked that is not participating in the #WhyMBA campaign, which naturally aligns with its “question the status quo” and “confidence without attitude” brand. Led by the prolific Tweeter Dean @RichLyons, @BerkeleyHass is fiercely independent and always engaging. Haas has unique built into the core of its brand. Most of @BerkeleyHaas updates are about the success of their students and the cool stuff that seems to only be able to happen at Berkeley.

Berkeley Haas’s proximity to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, where there is a natural skepticism for MBA programs within the entrepreneur community is both a challenge and an opportunity. It’s clear from the @BerkeleyHaas Twitter account that Berkeley is tight with the tech community and it’s graduates are having an incredible amount of success working in the tech industry, as well as launching their own companies. They also share a lot of stories about their students and graduates helping others – which aligns nicely with the other core tenant of their brand – to go “beyond yourself”.

 

5. University of Maryland Smith School of Business

The @SmithSchool Twitter account wins the award for most passionate #hashtag user – which allows them to tap into other conversations that are happening on Twitter outside of its core community. Most business schools shy away from engaging outside of their core followers, but @SmithSchool clearly understand their large community is deeply rooted in one of the most cosmopolitan and powerful cities in the world.

Of all the schools the Eduvantis Digital team analyzed, @SmithSchool does the best job engaging all of their stakeholder groups and showcasing all of the elements of their brand (their campus, proximity to Washington DC, top notch faculty, research, and programs). This is not easy to do on social media, but with a focused approach it is possible to engage with a much larger community than just your students and create more value for your followers.

 

Business School Twitter and Social Media Best Practices

1. Showcase Your Distinct Brand: Figure out what makes your institution unique and build your content strategy around showcasing that distinctiveness. @DukeFuqua and its global focus is a standout example.

2. Leverage User-Generated Content:  Social media is about more than one person managing an account. Your business school is a community and to truly tell the story of your institution and what makes you unique, that story needs to come from your community. Very few business schools encourage their students, faculty, and alumni to create and share content about their experience. As an institution you should be curating the best of this content on your own Twitter account. @BerkeleyHaas does an exceptional job listening to their social followers and leveraging their content to showcase the unique Haas experience.

3. Create and Share Dynamic Content: You should be creating and sharing photos and videos with as many of your Twitter posts as you can. Your social media followers want to “experience” your business school – they want to watch it, hear about it, and see it. If you don’t have top-notch videos to share you need to make a priority to create them. @MichiganRoss have created some of the most engaging videos for a business school and share them frequently through Twitter.

4. Engage With All Stakeholders: Most business schools only share content related to prospective or current students. This is a missed opportunity to engage with all of your stakeholders (including the business community) most of whom likely have very different expectations of your brand. Listen, engage, and be proactive. Find conversations where you can share your institution’s unique views and join the conversation. @SmithSchool engage with all of their stakeholders, including the DC business community.

5. Mobile User Experience – it is important to remember that most Twitter users are engaging with the platform on their mobile device. Business schools need to ensure that all content linked to from Twitter is mobile optimized to ensure the best user and brand experience.

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Grant SabatierThe Top 5 Business Schools on Twitter