Social media marketing is no longer an optional extra in your marketing portfolio. It’s an essential marketing channel for any business or digital marketing agency to exploit. But how do you know your business, or your client’s business, is getting a good return on investment (ROI)?
Define Specific Goals
You must define your marketing goals precisely so you know what to measure. What are you aiming for? To boost brand awareness, increase customer feedback and engagement, drive traffic to your web properties, or make more sales? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can better understand if you’re getting there. The more specific the goal, the easier to measure the impact of your marketing campaign.
Benchmark the Current Situation
Measurements of impact are measurements of change. So, the first step is to benchmark your starting point. If you’re looking to increase traffic to your website, benchmark your current traffic data, where the traffic comes from, and which landing pages are most important. If you aim to boost customer feedback and engagement, take stock of current comments, reviews, and social shares. If you want to see a direct impact on turnover, note what percentage of social media interactions with your brand results in sales.
Narrow Your Social Media Focus
It’s common for an enterprise to open accounts on all social media platforms. The idea is you’ll get better outreach and influence if you’re visible everywhere. But you’ll spread yourself too thin. While you can automate much of your social media activity, it’s the creativity and personal engagement with a devoted following which makes social media marketing profitable.
If you have several social media accounts, run the stats and see which have the highest engagement among your fans and followers. Narrow your focus down to two or three, or even just one platform which already works for you and concentrate your efforts there. You’ll get a higher return on your investment, and the focus will make your metric changes more sensitive and easier to measure.
Know Which Metrics Matter
Once you know your goals, you’ve benchmarked your starting point and narrowed your focus on the media most likely to bring a good return on your investment, you must know which metrics are worth analyzing. Measuring everything is a waste of time, energy and resources. Go back to your goals and focus on metrics which have a direct impact on your desired outcomes. Track links in your CTAs (calls to action) to websites or sales pages, and offer media and campaign-specific discount codes to measure the impact of a social media campaign on offline activities. Only you can know which metrics matter to your campaign, but to get a clear understanding of how the campaign is going only analyze the relevant data.
Don’t Let Data Gather Dust
A common failing is to analyze the data and then say, “Okay, so that’s what’s happening,” and leave it at that. But the purpose of data analysis is to inform changes and refinements in your campaign. Fine-tuning a social media campaign to bring in the best return on investment is an iterative process. Use your analysis to understand what’s working and what’s not. And then do more of what works and cut out what doesn’t.
Social media marketing can be a channel in your digital marketing portfolio which demands the lowest investment and gives the highest long-term returns. Social media marketing spend is now higher per annum than TV and print advertising. That growth is likely to continue. Follow the advice given here and you’ll not only be part of that growth in investment, but you’ll make sure get the returns you’re looking for from your social media marketing campaigns.