Facebook Pixel: Diving into Analytics

By: Cait Crenshaw

If you’re a PR professional dipping into the world of digital media, the learning curve can be daunting. Don’t let the jargon of website code or analytics deter you. Digital analytics are powerful because we can prove an ROI and use the data to make creative adjustments. The Facebook pixel is a tool everyone should mobilize if you are running Facebook ads.

What’s a pixel? The Facebook pixel is a piece of code, and because it’s code it is not for PR professionals to shy away from. Within the Facebook ads manager, you can activate a pixel for your account and grab the code. The next step is when your team’s website guru comes in and installs the pixel code on your website.

It is possible to get more granular with a Facebook pixel. Facebook has given us nine different events for nine different actions that someone may take on your website. Keep in mind the Facebook pixel should align with the overall goal of the Facebook advertising campaign. Are you driving traffic to view specific content on the website, make a purchase, or sign-up through a form? Choose the goal of your Facebook ad campaign before making any other decisions.

By far the best advantage from using a Facebook pixel is custom audiences. Since Facebook can see when someone visits your website with the pixel, you can mold your audience in ads manager even more granular than audience targeting. With the pixel, it’s possible to retarget people who visited a particular page or who visited during a specific time. For clients on a deadline or e-commerce clients, these custom audiences can translate into ROI.

The Facebook pixel also provides powerful insight into how and where people interact with your Facebook ad. Are most people interacting with it from mobile or desktop? Little tweaks to the creative image or copy of a Facebook ad can give your message the competitive edge in the noisy online world that resonates with your audience.

What actionable insights can your team gain from launching a Facebook pixel?

Cait Crenshaw is a PRSA member and Communications Manager at Signature HealthCARE. She is an alumna of the University of Louisville. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Five Tips to Help Simplify Your Social Life

As young PR pros, social media has grown into our everyday routines, used as a tool for both Don't stress out. Breathe.personal and professional use. With social media growing ever so rapidly, it is sometimes hard to keep up with the constant changes and advancements.

Producing engaging content and adhering to guidelines to make sure your post gets as much traction as possible can be overwhelming. Thankfully, there are ways you can simplify your social life on both a personal and professional level.

1. Maintain your online presence. Follow people on Twitter, clean up your Facebook, update your LinkedIn, and keep your profiles public – these are the easiest ways to be found via social media.

2. Schedule, schedule, schedule. In maintaining your online presence, you need to make sure you have time to keep the profiles listed above up-to-date. Pre-scheduling posts has made every community manager’s life easier, but it can also help your personal profiles so you don’t have to worry about losing your online impressions. There are numerous free online tools you can use for this including TweetDeck and Hootsuite!

3. There’s an app for that! If This Then That, LastPass, Evernote, Hootlet, etc. are only a few of the apps that can help simplify your social life. Useful for business and personal profiles, there is the right app for you depending on what you’re looking to post. My favorite is the “recipes” created on IFTTT which automatically posts your Instagram photos to your Twitter using the proper links so you can see the image.

4. Share, share, share. Sharing content! There’s nothing like creating traffic and sharing what people are saying online to get your message across. Always give credit where credit is due by tagging authors or publications in which will also help create more engagement for your profile.

5. Always measure up. Those of us who don’t work in social media don’t think to measure how our online presence is doing. Being able to measure your content helps you to see what posts are working and how to improve your content for the future. This can been seen through many online tools such as Klout, Twitter and Facebook Analytics, Hootsuite, Sysomos, and Sprout Social just to name a few.

What have you done to simplify your social media presence? 

Marcy McMillanMarcy McMillan is the Marketing Communications & Events Coordinator for York University’s Campus Services and Business Operations department. When she’s not working, you can find Marcy discovering new restaurants in downtown Toronto, attending and writing about events or spending some time at the public library. Find her on Twitter @marcy113 or visit her site

Why Facebook and Twitter are Reviving PR

twitter-facebook-2When I landed my first public relations job in 2012, I sensed the field—and those within it—were experiencing a paradigm shift. Working next to seasoned professionals, I watched as savvy practitioners stumbled over using one of the most important public relations tools of our time: social media.

In my opinion, practitioners often lose sight of the purpose of public relations, focusing on output-oriented measures like the number of press releases sent out or the amount of media coverage received. Over the last three years, though, I’ve seen social media bring an exciting transformation to the field.

Thanks to sites like Facebook and Twitter, publics expect honesty, quick responses, interaction and engagement more so than ever before. Gone are the days of hiding behind press releases and media outlets. Social media makes public relations operate on real time. More importantly, social media has helped PR rediscover its relational roots.

This public-focused approach has transformed the way my company operates and executes its public relations strategy. If you’re interested in harnessing the power of social media for PR, here’s four ways to step up your strategy:

1. Use social media to refocus on relationships. I firmly believe that relationships are the glue that hold public relations and social media together. As practitioners, it’s our job to know, understand and advocate for our company’s or client’s publics. Social media offers us the opportunity to do all three on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis.

2. Use social media to empower your position. Social media makes the need for a public relations practitioner mandatory. In addition, in order for the company’s social media pages to align with the business’ goals and values, the public relations practitioner in charge of social media must have support and approval from the dominant coalition, making way for opportunists to discuss and make the presence of public relations known.

3. Use social media to facilitate two-way and symmetrical communication. Social media enables businesses to practice two-way and symmetrical communication with their publics like never before. In other words, answer questions, create opportunities for dialogue and get personal! Social media efforts flop without a human touch.

4. Use social media for environmental scanning. Used as a tool for analysis, social media allows for practitioners to listen to the concerns of consumers and other risk bearers. In fact, I’ve started to track every single complaint we get on social media. It’s a great way for me to detect trends and a useful resource when asked for customer feedback.

What other ways do you feel social media has impacted public relations? 

Audrey Roeder HeadshotAudrey Roeder works as a public relations coordinator for two of the nation’s top-selling master-planned communities. She’s an alumna of Texas A&M University and the University of Houston, where she received a Master of Arts in Public Relations. In her free time, Audrey enjoys exploring her city’s ever-growing restaurant scene, binge-watching Netflix with her fiancé and posting too many pictures of her Siamese cat, Sibel, to Instagram. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Three Ways to Let Analytics Guide Your Social Strategy

DAY SPAEvery PR pro knows a good online strategy is nothing without great content to back it up. Social media should not be overlooked when it comes to strategic planning. As more and more organizations incorporate social media into their overall PR strategy, it becomes increasingly important to create content that sets them apart from competitors and builds trust with audiences. There are so many great tools available (for free!) that can help guide social content to maximize its benefit.

Here are a few ways to use them:

1. Find the Right Time to Post. Timing is everything. The great thing about social media is its instantaneous nature, so messages can get out to audiences in seconds. But is it really necessary and/or beneficial to deliver every message in real-time? Social media users can be connected to hundreds of other users or organizations, and every post is competing for attention. Most PR pros work typical 9-5 hours, so it might seem like it makes sense to post a link to a new blog on Facebook during your work day. But if those who follow a brand on Facebook aren’t online during that time, the post becomes buried among a hundred others.

Tools like Facebook Insights allow organizations to see the demographics of their Facebook followers. One of the most valuable pieces of information is a daily timeline that shows follower activity peaks. Insights is completely free to business/organization pages on Facebook, and it can help pinpoint the best time to schedule posts. It may turn out that time is at 7:00 p.m. on a Friday evening. There are plenty of tools available to schedule posts automatically so the prime posting window isn’t missed because it is outside of traditional work hours.

2. Figure Out What Content Works. It can be easy for a social media strategy to place too much focus on building an audience. Social media is a tool to engage in conversations with an audience. If the audience isn’t responding, something isn’t working. A large fan base does not equal a successful social media strategy.

“While the number of page likes or Twitter followers seems like an obvious metric to track, it is important to measure reach and engagement as well,” said Katie Hinerman, Freelance Digital Marketing Specialist.

Twitter Analytics is a new tool available for organizations to measure the engagement of their Twitter content. The dashboard shows overall impressions (how many times a tweet was viewed), engagement (how many users interacted with a tweet) and engagement rate (ratio of tweets to interactions). A good social media strategy should include a plan for increasing engagement rate across all social platforms.

“Social media marketing as we know it is changing,” added Hinerman. “In 2015, brands are going to have a harder time reaching users organically. This is why it will be especially important to track reach and engagement metrics when measuring your efforts.”

3. Measure Your Success. A strategy can’t be created without goals, and goals can’t be deemed successful unless they’re measurable (Click to tweet!). A social media strategy is no different than any other part of an organizations’ overall communications plan. Once SMART goals are set, they should be measured and tracked for progress. Lack of progress toward a goal could mean efforts need adjusted.

Google Analytics includes statistics on web traffic referrals from social media accounts. If increased web traffic is part of a social media goal, this tool is the best way to measure progress. The results are offered in real-time, and a variety of time frames can be analyzed and compared. Google Analytics is free to use and offers several tutorial videos to coach beginners through the analytics process.

In a world where PR pros are already stretched thin and wearing many hats, strategizing and measuring social media efforts can keep everyone on the right track. Using analytics to guide social media strategy is a great way to make sure that too much or too little work isn’t being done. Knowing what content is most engaging and when audiences are looking for it maximizes the impact with audiences and minimizes the drain on staff. And that keeps everyone happy.

Jennifer MaterkoskiJennifer Materkoski is a graduate of Kent State University with a Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications with a specialization in Public Relations. She has worked as a writer and editor for both newspaper and television and as a member of a non-profit marketing and development team. Materkoski is the owner and principal consultant of a boutique public relations firm, Songbird Public Relations. She is an avid sports fan and a yogi. Materkoski resides in Wheeling, West Virginia with her husband and son. Find her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter @MrsMaterkoski. She can be reached via email at jen@songbirdpublicrelations.com.

June Twitter Chat Highlights: Harnessing Data and Measurement for PR Success

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the June #NPPRSA Twitter chat.

Specifically, we’d like to thank our special guest for the month Shonali Burke, ABC. Shonali is CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting and founder of the #measurepr Twitter chat. You can read more of Shonali’s insights on PR measurement and data on her blog Waxing UnLyrical.

Join us again on July 11 at 9 p.m. EST for the next #NPPRSA Twitter chat. The July chat will feature special guest Deirdre Breakenridge, author of “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations” — our June Summer Book Club selection.

Review highlights of the June chat below. What did you learn from the June chat? How do you harness the power of data and measurement to help your business reach its goals? With which departments must PR work closely to integrate and analyze measurement goals that will add value to the entire business?


Amy BishopAmy Bishop works in digital marketing and public relations for digitalrelevance, a content marketing and digital PR agency. She is the social media chair for the PRSA New Professionals Section. Bishop is also a contributing member of Dachis Group’s Social Business Council. You can connect with her on Google+LinkedIn or Twitter.