Many businesses actively engage in social media marketing, but very few are able to measure their ROI (Return on Investment). Such a measure is paramount in determining the effectiveness of your marketing dollars, and therefore warrants attention. Measuring your social media ROI is not much different than measuring the profitability and success of any other marketing campaign.
Social media is not a numbers game and there are some factors that are difficult to measure, such as direct influence on social media interactions, but there are still several indicators to look out for.
Size Of The Audience
It is important to occasionally measure the size of your social media audience. This consists of “likes” on Facebook, LinkedIn group members, Twitter followers, etc. These numbers should fluctuate on a rather consistent basis, and although it’s beneficial for these numbers to rise, it’s even more beneficial that such an audience is sharing your content.
If your social media activity suddenly plummets, try to determine the cause. Is there a trending issue? Did most Facebook activity decrease? Conversely, if you see a sudden increase, what was that the result of? Did you post a video, image, or something similar that seemed to “click” with your audience? It’s important to take note of such variations so that you can adjust your marketing campaigns and posts appropriately.
Addressing The Needs
If you’re having difficulty in attracting followers, one cause could be that you’re not addressing the needs and concerns of your followers. Try asking them directly about their challenges, or do adequate research and search other social media sites or Google with search terms related to your industry. This will allow you to see what types of topics are trending.
Tailor your posts around these topics and you should see an increase in your social media audience. One important ingredient is to post consistently AND engage to grow your social media networks.
Engagement Is Key
Remember that it is better to have a small amount of potential customers who take action (such as sharing content) than having a large amount of potential customers who ignore you.
There are a few ways in which you can entice more potential customers to take action.
Make sure that you post as many links as possible to your social media accounts. This includes email signatures, icons that link to them directly from your website, and so on and so forth. This will drive the traffic to your social media accounts, and in order to convert them into taking action it’s important that you post interesting and valuable information. If they believe something you post would benefit someone that they know, they would most likely share it, repost, etc.
Create A Two-Way Street
You want potential customers to visit your social media sites from your website, but you also want social media followers to visit your website. Therefore, it’s important to track these conversions and Google Analytics is a perfect tool for doing so.
Over time, this conversion rate should rise as you pull in more social media followers and they click through to land on your website. This indicates that your posts are relevant to current topics and you’re beginning to understand your audience and what will pull them to your social media and ultimately your site.
It’s also important to be aware of what is being said about your company on social media sites.
You can keep track of social mentions with tools such as Mention, Google Alerts, and social searcher. This allows you to keep track of any negative issues that may arise as well as any positive shares or praises that are occurring.
Keep track of which items seemed to have caused the greatest level of positive activity and tailor additional posts around those topics. If something negative does occur, be proactive and address the concern immediately. The social mention tools are very powerful and allow you to stay on top of what is being said about your company.
Survey Your Customers
Finally, one extremely easy way to track your social media ROI is to ask your new customers how they heard of you. It could have been on LinkedIn; it could have been by word of mouth, or they may not even remember. Regardless, such knowledge can paint a rather clear picture over time of where your marketing dollars are paying off the most.