When people first started using social media for business, the goal was ‘the bigger the better.” The more fans and followers you had, the more successful your social media marketing efforts. Over time, however, it became clear that this approach was not ideal. After all, having 100,000 followers doesn’t do much good if none of those individuals are likely to convert into a paying customer, right?
So, if not numbers, then what are the things you should be measuring? How can you know your efforts are truly paying off? Simple – just follow these four steps.
Measure results of each channel individually.
You’re probably using several different channels to reach your target audience. Each of these platforms has its own unique value and benefits, so it’s important to measure your results on each independently. For instance, Facebook has Insights and Twitter has Analytics.
Use these tools in collaboration with Google Analytics to measure your strengths and weaknesses, identify opportunities and gain a better understanding of who you audience is on each channel. This will allow you to set more targeted goals and create more optimized content for each platform.
Align goals with the appropriate metrics.
With a more holistic understanding of where you stand with each social media channel, the next step should involve setting specific and realistic goals based on appropriate metrics. This will help you create a more results-driven strategy. Start by examining your overall business objectives and then figure out how you can leverage social media to help you achieve those goals.
For instance, let’s say one of your goals is to increase brand awareness among consumers aged 18 to 25. A realistic and manageable goal for achieving this might be increasing your Facebook efforts by 10 percent. Remember – be specific. This will allow you to properly measure your progress.
Place an emphasis on ROI.
Social media can be a tricky marketing activity to measure because it can be challenging to quantify results in actual monetary terms. Still, as with any strategy, keeping track of your return on investment is important. Focusing on ROI ensures that you remain keenly aware of how much effort you’re putting into your SMM and what you’re getting in return.
Start by establishing a cost per platform in terms of time spent (labor) as well as any financial output, such as paid social media advertising. You can use this as a benchmark to measure your results and see if you’re allocating your resources appropriately.
Utilize the tools that are available to you (and use them often).
As mentioned, each social media channel has its own analytics tools that you can and should be using to measure the results of your efforts. Marketing optimization is all about ongoing monitoring, so be sure you’re setting aside time each week to go over how your social platforms are performing. Conducting regular analyses can help you better understand (and therefore reach) your audience, hone your content creation and even learn the best days and times to publish for maximum engagement. As you identify areas where improvements can be made, adjust your approach accordingly.
Measuring the results of your social media marketing efforts doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Simply follow the steps above and you’ll be well on your way to developing and optimizing a strategy that will get you continued results.
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