Did you know that Google gets over 100 billion searches a month? Or that 72% of adult internet users use Facebook – and that 76% of them use their Facebook feed to find interesting content? Social media has changed the way we interact with the world, from how we share personal news to how we search for and choose goods and services.
83% of all marketers actively pursue social media marketing initiatives, but despite the prevalence of social media, and despite our increasing dependence on it for visibility and lead generation, a shocking 60% of small business owners are not able to track ROI from their social media activities.
It’s not due to a shortage of metrics. Even casual users understand the concept of likes, followers, retweets, shares. But how do you determine whether all those shares have converted to sales? Or to an increase in visibility for your business?
Despite the continual evolution of social media, and the increased focus on how to reach customers use social marketing, there’s yet to be a set of universal best practices for measuring its ROI. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t best practices for your business. So how do you measure the effectiveness of your social marketing strategy in a way that can help shape future efforts?
Here are four steps that can help you gets results:
- Define your goals.
To know whether your efforts are succeeding, you need to start by setting clear, measurable goals. Are you an established business that’s years into your social strategy and hoping to grow revenue? Or are you a newer business, just building a social strategy, and you’re looking to grow awareness of your brand and find fans and likes? These are very different goals, and should be pursued – and measured – as such.If increased sales is your goal, the best plan is to link your sales to a specific campaign so you can track things like purchases, email list sign-ups, contact form inquiries, or downloads.
Brand awareness is more subjective. You could measure it based on the number of likes and engagements you have on your page, or the amount of traffic your social accounts are driving to your website – or how well your SEO efforts are working. Part of driving brand awareness can also include getting retweets or follows by important social media or industry influencers. Getting them to follow you and share your content is a great way to get more exposure and is a powerful indicator of the success of your content.
- Choose the right tools.
There are a wealth of tools available that can help you track customer interactions and engagements, analyze data, and report the results. Some of the most popular include:
- Google Analytics: One of the easiest to use, this helps you track website traffic, conversions, and opt-ins that came from social media.
- Hootsuite Impact: This tool can measure the ROI of social media across paid, owned, and earned social channels.
- Facebook Pixels: Facebook Pixels allows you to run Facebook ads on specific web pages so you can create custom audiences and continuously optimize your ads to get the most bang for your buck.
Once you have chosen your goals and set up your tracking, how do you go about discovering whether these goals are actually driving revenue for your business? Factors like how much your business earns from each customer on average, versus how much you’re spending on your social marketing strategy (in numbers like man-hours, the cost of content creation and social tools, combined with any paid social you’re investing) can give you a sense of whether your efforts are paying off – literally.
Graham Gullens of AdAge.com writes, “Zoomcar, the largest car rental company in India, is an example that helps to illustrate the value of assigning dollar values to KPIs. The company uses social marketing to drive mobile app installs, where users can make a purchase (its key conversion metric). Zoomcar knows that its lifetime value of a customer is $70 and that 40% of its mobile app users make a purchase. Therefore, it knows a mobile app download is worth $28 and can strategize accordingly.”
While revenue might feel like the most important measure of your social strategy’s success, increasing your visibility and creating content that resonates with your audience are both signs that you’re on the right track.
Social media accounts that get a lot of engagement – shares, clicks, likes – is a sign that you understand your audience and that you’re creating content that resonates with them. Gaining new followers, especially from social influencers or industry leaders and experts, is another key indicator that your content and messaging is strong and that you’re are on the right track.
What’s more, consider whether your audiences and engagements are growing year-over-year. If you’ve had more engagements, more traffic, and more referrals than you did the previous year, then you know you’re building momentum that is likely to convert to increased revenue.
While measuring the ROI of your social media marketing investment can seem challenging, it’s a process that can easily be broken down into bite-size pieces and clearly measurable goals. Keep reading as we explore the ins and outs of effective content creation, and what to look for in a qualified social media marketing professional.
7 Keys To Hard Hitting Social Media Use For Business
If you are an entrepreneur today, and not using social media to promote your business, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
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