Social Media Marketing for Businesses
There is no lack of controversy on social networking ROI. Social media revenue attribution is tricky given the actuality of Facebook and other social networking websites privacy configurations. This challenge is the same for many word-of-mouth customer behaviors. For example, how easy is it to attribute a buyer visiting a new surf shop because of a buddy’s recommendation?
But that doesn’t mean a company shouldn’t evaluate and measure social media marketing and get significant information on the effectiveness of their strategies. Measuring customer investments in a social media relationship reveals the likelihood of along-term payoff, not just short-term results. When utilized properly, social media marketing produces interest, awareness, advocacy, and even loyalty — which all can be measured for ROI.
These key performance indicators should be considered and social media marketers should be focused on seeing measurable results which can be tied to increased revenue. Consider the following factors that can be easily taken and measured:
- Interest: Number of visits to your website, web page views, Facebook post and/or Tweet click-throughs from your posted link, page views on your social networking pages, re-Tweets & Twitter replies, and visits to your blog.
- Awareness: The amount of logo or brand & URL “mentions”.
- Loyalty: How many Fans or Followers you gain, amount of increase to RSS subscribers, Facebook comments, mentions on Twitter, blog comments, and the number of returning visitors to the website.
- Advocacy: reTweets, other people posting your blog link, mentions of your company or brand, and yes – even Facebook “Likes.”
This is just the tip of what you can measure in your social networking campaigns and it goes to show you that you can effectively measure the value of social media. While both customer loyalty and brand awareness are important to a company, having your company recommended online by one of your customers is actually more useful than just awareness itself. Often times, Fans of your brand or company produce more powerful brand action than you yourself can. A company could also start by thinking about what marketing objectives such a blog might satisfy (e.g., brand engagement), why its customers would visit the blog (e.g., to learn about new products) and what behaviors they might engage in once they got there (e.g., post a comment about a recent consumption experience) that could be linked to the company’s marketing objectives.
Here are some tips on developing your own effective ways of measuring social media marketing:
- Measure each of the things detailed above. Consider using both a social media tracking tool and a social networking posting tool to glean the information you need. Then think about a weighting element for each statistic. Are some characteristics more useful than others?
- Once the key metrics are set up, gather information every week or monthly. What matters here is the amount comparative to a competitors’ worth and, furthermore, changing that value over a specified time period. Periodic variations are normal and likely to happen, so improvements and tweaks to your social networking campaign may be necessary. Watch over time for month-over-month increases – as that is what will prove great results.
- Use a Graph to show a visual result — Interest, Awareness, Loyalty and Advocacy — all in one comprehensive report. This provides a summary of how these factors change monthly. Examine where each factor changes comparative to the others.