Marketing departments are often asked to justify the time, energy and costs associated with maintaining their social media marketing strategies. Measuring the ROI of social media marketing is a tricky task. While some aspects of social media marketing can be measured using analytics, there are also many benefits that are nearly impossible to measure.
Number of Likes: Many companies focus on the number of Facebook likes, Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections as a return on investment for social media marketing. Each new like, follower and connection is another potential person you are reaching to spread your message. By considering these numbers as your social media reach they become much more valuable.
Engagement: While it is important to have a large reach on social media is it equally important to create relationships with these connections. To measure engagement look at re-tweets, favorites and mentions on Twitter or shares, comments and likes on Facebook. It is a problem to have high reach and low engagement numbers; this means your connections are not engaged. This could be because you are not engaging your connections enough; try sharing their content and liking their posts, they will return the favor.
Clicks to Website: Some companies are only on social media as a tool to drive visits to their website. Social media marketing is a valuable tool to reach out to potential customers and bring them back to your website. Use Google Analytics to measure how many clicks to your website came from your social media accounts each month.
While all of these are great analytics to measure the success of a company’s social media marketing, these are not the only benefits of online media marketing. Even if a company has low engagement or low clicks to their website from social media, it does not mean their social media marketing efforts are not valuable! Some of the best reasons to continue your social media marketing efforts are very hard to measure.
Keeping Ahead of Competitors: If your competition isn’t on social media yet this is a way to one-up them. Unfortunately is almost expected of companies to be on social media now. Social media is the new start of the sales funnel with customers choosing to follow and engage with your brand before making a purchasing decision. Build these relationships online to get a jumpstart on your competitors.
Building Trust with Customers: By building a relationship with customers online you are building their trust. Customers will be more likely to trust a brand they have engaged with online. To build trust online be transparent, answer customer questions and have fun! Customers know there is a real person behind the posts, so don’t tweet like a robot.
Creating a Dialogue: Traditional advertisements don’t allow the customer to respond and engage. The best part about social media marketing is the ability to create a dialogue with the customer. In order to do this ask questions and respond to the customers’ questions. One of the easiest mistakes companies make in their social media marketing is only publishing self-promotional posts and not interacting with their followers. By liking and sharing customers’ posts as well, you are opening the door for a two-way discussion.
Additional Platforms to Promote Content: By creating social media accounts, a company is creating additional platforms to promote their news and messages. Social media platforms are a great way to help establish a company voice and identity. Companies can have complete control over the way their company is being presented and their messages are being published on their social media accounts. Take advantage of the additional platforms and publish press releases or company announcements through Twitter or Facebook.