by Faith Seekings
At first social media seemed like a godsend to the keeper of marketing budgets – free platforms, free access, do-it-yourself… But what they soon realized is it takes a lot of someone’s time and effort to make social media work as a marketing tool. Plus, you can’t just broadcast any old thing to have a presence, it has to be intelligent and compelling. Then you have to – at the very least – listen and engage in dialogue. It’s even smarter to proactively find new ways to engage followers.
Most organizations who are making a serious effort at social media have hired a specific person to fill that role, somebody who’s time is dedicated to broadcasting and monitoring the social channels, who has the intelligence and savvy to put out relevant and compelling content. Further to that they are hiring specialty firms like KPD-I to help them develop and manage creative ways to engage prospects, followers and fans.
It’s Not Free. What’s my ROI
Suddenly, this is not free marketing by any stretch of the imagination. Therefore, the holders of the purse strings want the effort measured. Just like any other marketing effort they want to know the cost per acquisition; tangible metrics to let them know they are getting return on investment. So there has been a lot of talk about how to measure it, naysayers suspicious if it can even be measured.
How Do You Measure Your Marketing Now?
I know that social media effort can be measured just as easily, if not more so than any other marketing. You can measure actual clicks and follows, where you cannot measure how many eyes look at your billboard or see your ad. The real challenge is that most companies simply are not measuring their marketing at all.
I would challenge anyone concerned about the ROI on social media efforts to tell me how they measure their current marketing’s success.
The key to measuring any marketing effort is to set realistic goals and yardsticks at different stages (ie: we hope to have 1000 visitors a day to the website and 100 of them fill out the contact request form, 10 to close). Identify upfront ways to measure not just success, but progress and do it regularly and adjust what you’re doing. Try different calls-to-action and A/B split testing.
There’s Always Room For Improvement
If efforts aren’t leading to anything, the first thing to look at is how you are asking for the sale, or next step (i.e.: get a quote). You would not believe how many people engage in traditional or digital marketing and simply don’t tell people how to buy. Okay, it’s not cool to outright ask for a sale in social media, but you can at least passive aggressively lead people to a landing page where they can learn more or take action.
Follow the Data
Technology is amazing and can help measure social media activity through simple things like tracking codes. It may seem close to rocket science but luckily there are companies like Hubspot who’ve figured it out, help you market better and have built software that allows you to track all your online activity right through to a sale.
Any marketing effort deserves well-thought-out goals, metrics and follow through.