Businesses are struggling with how to evaluate their social media campaigns to determine weather all the work they are putting in has actually had a beneficial effect and achieved the goals set out in their strategy. If you have been following my 6 Steps to Social Media Success blog series, then you should a clear idea on setting goals and optimizing your results but let’s think about the bigger picture to understand the obvious and sometime unseen benefits of the campaign as a whole. Evaluate your campaign every 6-12 months to keep on top of your progress.
If you haven’t had chance to read the previous 1-5 steps, please find the links below:
Your social media return on investment will relate to your goals. If you set out to drive traffic to your website to generate sales, this is easily measurable and we can determine your ROI based on your profit vs marketing cost. To read more on social media ROI, I’ve written a previous post here.
If you were looking at increasing conversation and sentiment around your brand, we can look at certain metrics such as reach, people talking about, RT’s and @mentions but it’s much harder to pinpoint a numerical figure for ROI. We can look at sales before and after the campaign but other marketing and advertising could affect the numbers. The only sure fire way of finding out if your audience would be more inclined to make a purchase or perceive your brand differently would be to send a questionnaire out to customers and others in your target market, before and after your campaign.
Please remember to generate social media ROI careful planning, resources and time are needed; don’t give up if you aren’t seeing results after just one month!
How to improve
When developing your social strategy, constant optimization will help you find out what is and what isn’t working on a daily basis. But looking at you campaign as a whole, you need to assess other areas of your marketing that have an effect of your social media. Below are areas that will need attention:
- E-mail marketing – Track all click from your e-mail campaign to find out the click through rate for your social links. Then test placing your links in different positions in your e-mail to see if you can increase your CTR. Also you will find including a strong call-to-action to like your fan page or follow you on Twitter will have an effect on your CTR.
- Website/Blog – Ensure all social icons are visible above the fold and to draw extra attention, add a call to action next to them. Social sharing is a great way to expand the reach of your content so if you’re on WordPress there are tons of great plug-ins to choose from. This is my favorite from my blog – Get Social.
- Offline Advertising – If you place ads in a print publication the same rules apply. Make your social icons visible and include a relevant call-to-action to introduce your readers into your online environment.
- Online Advertising – Again, the same applies. Use a strong call-to-action to inspire users to take the next step in your sales cycle.
A final word
To really achieve a plausible social ROI you need to apply a social media strategy over an extended period of time, usually at least 6-12 months before you can really start accumulating some interesting data and seeing a good return.
Your audience needs to know, like and trust you before they part with their cash. This sometimes is a long process of education, gathering opinion and audience interaction. Value you audience and they will value you.
When brands use social media, they get involved for the long-haul because they have realized they can alter the perception of their brand through their image, how they interact and the sort of content they create. A great quote from Brian Solis highlights this:
Social media has forever changed the way businesses and customers communicate and also the way customers make their decisions. With networks like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, anyone can now find and connect with others who share similar interests and goals — creating communities that shape the perception of brands.
I hope those of your who have been following my 6 Steps to Social Media Success have enjoyed my content! I would massively appreciate your comments below.