You’ve caught me on one of the busiest days I can remember in a while. Mondays are always a bit hectic, but this one stands out. Don’t get me wrong, though – I enjoy a full workload and in particular the sense of accomplishment that comes at the end of the day, when I can mark most of my tasks as done or in the process of getting done. And that kind of quick gratification is something that I rarely, if ever, experienced in academia.
Coming into the office after the weekend – when social media posts continue to do their work while the people in charge of them, myself included, take a break – means there’s a lot of catching up to do. I start by going over the numbers from the weekend: How many orders did we get through Facebook per day, and at what cost? How many email signups (also known as “leads” in marketing jargon) did our Facebook ads generate, and how many mobile app installs? I fill out daily, weekly, and monthly spreadsheets I use to track ad spend and performance, and email reports to my boss and our accounting team.
Next, I take a look at the ads themselves, compare their performance to last week and to each other, and take action accordingly. Facebook allows me to run multiple ads simultaneously, differing in copy, imagery, and targeting. It’s interesting to see whether a specific image you thought would get people’s attention in the newsfeed indeed had a high click-through rate, or if some new webpage you’re trying out is generating more email signups than another page you had used until now. And over time you develop a feel as to what will succeed.
If an ad with a particular image is getting a low click-through rate and a high cost per conversion (i.e. order, email signup, or app install), I can pause it. If one set of ads served to audience A is performing better than another set targeting audience B, I can increase the spend on the former and decrease it for the latter. Or, I can launch a new set of ads, perhaps testing an audience I haven’t tried before or a novel headline. This process reminds me of the psycholinguistic experiments I ran during my graduate studies. But now the “experiments” can be planned and launched in a matter of minutes, and I only have to wait a couple of days for the results.
After spending a few hours analyzing, reporting and optimizing ad performance, I turn to other Monday tasks. I go through the Facebook, Twitter and Google+ posts scheduled for that evening and the next day; though I make an effort to get everything ready well in advance, last-minute changes are sometimes necessary, and in any case it’s always a good idea to proofread your content one last time before it goes live.
My colleague, another member of the social media team, is out of the office, and so I check on some of her accounts. I make sure our YouTube ads are running smoothly and enter the spend numbers into our reports. I go into our Instagram account and take a look at the latest entries into a sweepstakes we’re running. I pick the winner from all of last week’s entries, and post relevant information about this week’s challenge.
The day ends with a slew of meetings. At 4 PM we have a biweekly meeting of the entire North America digital marketing and web strategy team. I give a rundown of the latest social media projects and future initiatives, hear about upcoming changes to our website, and get to watch a new video the team created about a paramedic who is learning Spanish with Rosetta Stone. The video is part of a series about Rosetta Stone users we found through social media, and I’m pleased to see it came out so great.
At 5 PM I have a brief meeting with other members of the digital marketing team to go over the creative assets for our upcoming back-to-school sale. We finalize which of the images proposed by the graphic designers we’d like to use in each channel’s ads and which ones will go on the corresponding webpages.
I spend another hour or so in the office, reading and replying to emails and taking a look at our social media accounts one last time before leaving for the day. Though we have a customer support team monitoring these accounts and responding to questions, it’s important for me – as the person responsible for the content and advertising on the accounts – to see how people are reacting to the content.