#SMMW16 Analytics and MarTech Roundup

#SMMW16 Analytics and MarTech Roundup

Social Media Marketing World 2016 offered plenty of networking, discovery, and fun, as promised. As part of the networking, I had the opportunity to lead the #Analytics Slack channel for the conference in the lead up to the conference and at the conference. The Analytics channel boasted 125+ members; one of the most popular discussion topics was the Analytics and MarTech landscape in social media marketing.

We referenced Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology super-graphic many times:

martech supergraphic

Out of this massive landscape, what did #SMMW16 analytics-minded attendees focus on? Here’s my roundup.

Data Visualization

Visualization tools were the hottest topic, including:

Data Quality

Improving our data quality was a hot topic, from cleaning tools to technologies:

Dashboarding and Reporting

We discussed today’s dashboarding tools for consolidating and cleaning up reporting:

Slack Bots

Unsurprising that the topic came up with Facebook’s F8 announcements and attendees just becoming comfortable with bots. Slack bots offer us the ability to experience chat bots and other interactive services today. For analytics and MarTech minded folks, we suggested:

Artificial Intelligence Platforms

AI was a hot topic for our #Analytics channel, looking forward at the future of marketing. We explored:

Social Media Advertising Systems

No surprise that the topic of modern ad systems came up since social media has largely become pay-to-play.

Analytics Training

Finally, we reviewed the many training options for Google Analytics.

It was my pleasure and privilege to lead the Analytics group, and for those who were members, stay in touch. You’ll find my contact information here on my site; please feel free to subscribe to my weekly marketing newsletter and Marketing Over Coffee podcast.

89% of social media marketers are bad at analytics

During the Social Media Marketing World 2016 keynote yesterday, Michael Stelzner revealed the fairly startling statistic:


89% of marketers believe that exposure is the top benefit of social media. This tells me 89% of social media marketers are bad at analytics. Consider the statement we make when we say exposure is a top benefit. Exposure must lead to something else. Exposure must lead to website visitors, to new subscribers, to leads generated, and ultimately to sales made. The top benefit of social media shouldn’t be exposure. The top benefit should be revenue.

Why do marketers believe this incredible fallacy? Consider how we report social media marketing to our stakeholders. We use metrics like impressions or followers. These are important numbers, to be sure: if impressions equal zero and followers equal zero, our social media efforts would be completely ineffective. However, if we stop our measurement process at the very top of the funnel or at the very beginning of the customer journey, we have no idea how our company benefits from our work.

We have an analytics crisis in social media marketing. We have a measurement crisis in digital marketing. The worst part is the crisis is completely unnecessary. Chances are we have all the tools we need to make a legitimate analysis of how social media accelerates our sales pipeline, or how social media attracts new audiences.

Except for Snapchat (which provides no analytics), most popular social media platforms have decent top of funnel analytics we can export.

Every marketer should have access to a great web analytics package like Google Analytics.

Every marketer should have access to a marketing automation platform and/or CRM, even if it’s just a Mailchimp account.

With these tools, we can develop a real, data-driven analysis of social media’s impact on our company. The measurement crisis should have been over years ago. Instead, it seems as though social media marketers have two feet firmly planted in the past.

We can measure social media.

We can judge its impact on our overall marketing.

We can understand how social media contributes to business goals like revenue.

How do we start? In our companies, we need an executive sponsor to commit to measurement. Commit time. Commit budget. Commit people. With the right tools, knowledge, and people, we can measure social media well.

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How to spot social media fakers, bots, and dummy accounts

Ever wonder if a LinkedIn profile is legitimate or not? Ever questioned whether a Twitter account retweeting you is a real person? Bots have always plagued social media, but as developers become more sophisticated, it’s easier than ever to create a real-looking social media account. I’ve certainly gotten invites and connection requests from people I didn’t know, but whose titles or employers piqued my interest.

We don’t want to waste our time trying to connect with machines; worse, we don’t want to accept a machine connection because of the inevitable flood of spammy content that will ensue. The hidden cost of connecting with a bot is the enormous time suck it imposes on you, filtering and cleaning out inboxes.

We have a useful detection method to help us: Google Image Search. Why? Spammers and bots tend to use stock photos or stolen images on multiple accounts. They’re lazy, and automated tools make it easy to set up thousands of fake accounts with the same profile picture.

Use a browser with Google Image Search enable, such as Chrome. Right click and search the profile image on Google Image Search:


If you see this in the search results, it’s probably a bot account:



In contrast, let’s look at what a legitimate profile appears as:

spot a social media bot

Most people tend to use the same image on many different social networks, so a quick scan of the search results should reveal whether this LinkedIn profile is the real deal. In this case, it is:


Richard is the real deal. He’s got accounts on multiple networks with the same profile picture.

If you’re concerned about the legitimacy of a connection request or a follower, using Google Image Search is an easy way to tell. It’s not foolproof – after all, spammers and scammers can easily lift a profile picture from anywhere. But generally speaking, it is reliable, especially since scammers and spammers won’t go to the effort of making matching accounts on multiple networks.

This brings up an important point: from time to time, search your own profile image. Find out if someone else has hijacked your identity, and if they have, report them to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or the social network’s abuse department. Protect your own image!

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