Social media marketing is no longer a weird concept and today, companies are taking the strategy seriously using professional tools and staff to manage and deploy it. Unfortunately, there’s still one problem preventing newcomers from investing in the strategy; it’s very difficult to really see your hard work and results(and therefore, your return on investment be it hours put in or paying someone or a 3rd party company to manage it.
Below are some tips in making sure your social strategy is working for you.
What does really work for you may not work for another business and vice-versa
Be aware that a social media strategy that works for you may not work for someone else. That’s because social media marketing can hypothetically address many goals at the same time, and you may favor one of those goals over another.Success is subjective, but usually relates to one of the following concepts.
· Traffic. If your site is capable of generating revenue, any traffic you receive is inherently valuable. It’s therefore reasonable to tie your social media success to how much traffic it can generate for your site.
· Revenue. You need to fully realize that not every hit on your site is going to generate big bucks and make you money. If your social media traffic visits your site, but never takes meaningful action, it isn’t going to return any money to your brand. Accordingly, you might measure conversions that originated with a social media visit, and use that as a gauge of success.
· Visibility. Revenue is the ultimate bottom line for most companies, but it isn’t the only indication of success. Social media is an important channel for getting your brand out there to build engagement which can lead to more loyal customer relationships and long-term purchasers, Looking at the big picture that does in fact mean more revenue.
· Followers. You might also be on social media specifically to get more followers, so you have a larger and more active base for distributing your content and promotions. This is an especially important metric for startups, who might need an initial audience more than an initial customer base.
The Common Traps
Be very careful on the "vanity trap" gauging your performance means looking at all the statistics and analytics and not just the one of "Wow, look at me!"
· Followers. Followers can be a good thing; having more followers means having a wider field of influence. This helps you by instantly increasing the potential reach of every piece of content you share. Follower counts can also make an impression with investors or partners, who might use your follower count as an informal gauge of your popularity, authority, or influence. The one negative here is that follower numbers don’t tell you how active those followers are, whether they’re genuinely interested in your brand, or if they’re ever going to buy anything.
· Impressions. Some social media platforms give you insights to see how many impressions you’ve received for each post or piece of content you share. Again, this is somewhat valuable; it allows you to see how far you’ve been able to reach. But it doesn’t give you the whole picture, since you don’t know what people are doing after they see your content. You may be just getting that old "look and leave."
· Traffic. Traffic is a valuable metric, but taken by itself, it doesn’t mean anything. If 1,000 people visit your website, but none of them buy anything or return to your site, you might as well have gotten 0 visitors. You need some qualitative measurement of your traffic in addition to your quantitative measurement.
So what better metrics can you use to gauge the health and effectiveness of your social media campaign?
· Conversions. First, you can measure conversions, or set up “goals” in Google Analytics to determine how many social media users, specifically, are taking a meaningful action on your website. You can define this “meaningful” action however you like, and even assign a value to it; what’s truly important is that you know what percentage of your social media traffic is actually taking that action, and how much value those actions are creating. We at FDMC Media use Google Analytics with all of our clients to get accurate measurements.
· Engagements. Instead of looking at how many followers you have, look at how many engagements you’re getting. Engagements include things like shares, likes, and comments. These will easily show that your followers aren’t just chilling and seeing you post things—they’re actively interested in what you’re posting.
· Growth velocity. You can also get more meaningful information by comparing a variety of metrics to those same metrics in the past. How fast are you growing? Are your numbers in every dimension increasing? Where are they falling stagnant, or worse, declining? These are valuable pieces of information. This does mean more work for you if you are not hiring out a social expert or paying someone on your staff to do it.
· On-site behavior. Take a look at your social-specific traffic within Google Analytics. How is this traffic behaving on your site? What pages are they visiting, and how interested are they in your content? If they tend to bounce after a page or two, you might be targeting the wrong audience. Bounce rate is a very important key to look at and follow.
In conclusion, Social media marketing success can’t be defined by any one variable, or any one metric. It is not the same nor will it ever be from one company to the next. If you want to know whether your social media strategy is working, you first need to define what “working” means for you and your brand and then go from there. So many factors come into play so figure out what you are trying to achieve. It’s a complex process, but it’s necessary if you want to accurately estimate your ROI and make improvements to your brand and marketing campaigns.