SAScon Live Blogging Day Two: 13 Things Online Dating Taught Me About Smashing Social KPIs

PushON | June 9th 2014

With an interesting title like that, I followed through on Simon’s promise that I would “shit myself laughing” and attended Return on Digital’s Laura Thomas‘s presentation. 

I mentally prepared myself for memes like every good presentation should have but was surprised by reaction GIFs and the statement that “Tinder isn’t for long-term relationships.”

Laura had a mission. Get a boyfriend.

Social media also needs a mission. Whether it’s get  Likes, comments, shares, organic reach and invisible engagement, traffic and engagement rate.

Lesson One

Understand who your likely conversions are. Who already shops with you. Why spend too much effort initially converting the unlikely?

Lesson Two

Monitor your performance and create content accordingly. Have you sent something similar that didn’t work? Why repeat it?

Lesson Three

Know your platform. Facebook isn’t the best place to get new customers for your dishwasher maintenance customers.

Lesson Four

Hyper-target your message. Use statistics, data, words. We know which words convert, so should you.

Lesson Five

Know when to give space. If someone doesn’t respond to your advances, leave them alone. This means checking your ad frequencies, your outreach lists and your followers.

Lesson Six

Be honest. It’s the only way to build  trusted relationships with your clients. Clients are skeptical about social. They may have been burned before. Be honest and transparent so they learn to.

Lesson Seven

Don’t be afraid to revisit something on another channel. Idea didn’t work on Twitter? Try it on Facebook. What about when your audience has grown?

Lesson Eight

Just because it’s topical doesn’t mean that it’s right for you. Own the moment but only if it’s relevant.

Lesson Nine

Split test your social advertising. Trial different copy with different audiences and hyper-target. As soon as something shows it performs well, reallocate budget to it and be agile. Try and understand what about your content made it succeed.

Lesson Ten

Share actual relevant content. Don’t share something for the reach.

Lesson Eleven

Give people something to talk about seriously. People won’t just engage with you. Give them something to go off.

Lesson Twelve

Keep it simple. Shorter posts engage more. Header photos convert well. Email subscribers convert well.

Lesson Thirteen

Don’t forget offline. Forgetting offline means missed opportunities.

A good presentation from LT. But here is my retort.



When someone complains or is abusive, that’s okay. Consider what they’re trying to get out of the conversation. Are they likely to be converted into a happily engaged customer? Focus on the positives.

Research your competition

What sort of things do your competitors do that causes great engagement? What message are they sending out? Review their pages and identify what you think they’ve done well. Often your target audience will comment about what your competitors have done that they’ve found distasteful, i.e. use of inappropriate images, overly generic or pushy approaches to engagement.

Review Your Messages From Your Audience’s POV

You must consider the experience that your audience gets – put yourself in their shoes with surveys or consulting industry research. Every message you put out must be considered from their point of view if you’re looking to establish a preferred and long term relationship with your audience.

Your audience gets many competing messages thrust at them from competing brands. Your audience may not care about aspects of your message. Your audience might be bored during the advert break during Coronation Street. 

Consult Experts

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Using insights from experts can be valuable until you’re ready to engage your audience on your own. Blog posts and Youtube videos about improving your social media performance offer great insights.

Focus on the big picture

Don’t focus on the advice they give about social engagement at the expense of neglecting improvements to your brand. It’s not just about your social media – it’s about your entire company. If your company has a bad image or has poor business practices, you’re unlikely to succeed in social media. Small business owners should devote some time to improving their company a few times a week.

Your website needs to look professional, for example.

Ignore Experts

There’s only so much insight experts can give you. They don’t represent your brand and won’t be familiar with your target audience and what’s appealing to them. Be prepared to ignore their advice because the audience that their brand has engaged well with may not be suitable for your company.

Engaging for the sake of engaging might well generate business but won’t lead to long term stability if this audience isn’t a good fit for your brand. They are unlikely to develop into loyal brand ambassadors.

Heh. I speak fluent marketing speak. Kudos if you can translate any of the above into dating advice.