Social media has revolutionised consumer behaviour in numerous ways making it impossible to be ignored. Your customers are all out there, logging into Facebook, Twitter etc. connecting with friends and family, looking for entertainment and exchanging product/service reviews. The sheer pace of information exchange has resulted in some comparing this phenomenon to “word-of-mouth on steroids”.
An organisation’s social media strategy needs to be solid for the very reason that social media, done right, can facilitate meaningful connections and engagement with the target audience. These connections and engagement lead to customer loyalty, brand recognition and revenue. However, ask yourself, “is your business’ social media presence meaningful or are you doing it for the sake of it?”
Social media requires considerable investment in terms of human resources, time and money and it is imperative that there is positive return on investment (ROI). Most SMBs have a tendency to jump in to the world of social media clueless and later find themselves battling a lost cause to gain business leads or to obtain vital interaction. As a result, this week’s article seeks to address why you need to be measuring the ROI on your social media initiatives.
Why measuring ROI is essential
Social media ROI can be summed up as how well the gap between “the reason you decided to shift your marketing efforts to social media platforms” and “what the overall objective of your business is” is covered.
To measure social media success you need to ensure your KPIs are set according to your business objectives and goals. Whatever the investment maybe, basic goals such as providing consistent and engaging content that does not clutter your customers’ social media accounts is crucial. To understand how we can measure the ROI of your social media campaigns, we need to first have a look at what the objectives of the latter are.
1. Increasing brand awareness via consistent engagement with target audiences
2. Becoming opinion leaders in the minds of customers, thus paving way for your content to be shared and recommended
3. Drive traffic towards your business website
4. Increase online lead generation and sales through online methods
How to measure Social Media ROI
1. Engagement measures may differ according to each social media platform. You will be ideally looking at number of likes, followers etc. along with how your content is being shared across any given social media platform (i.e. shares, retweets, re-pins etc.) on a social media profile. You will also pay close attention to what your audiences are saying about your brand and check your responsiveness. Engaging actively and “listening” to ongoing conversations about your brand/industry will give you a good feel of the pulse of the market place.
According to statistics, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the most popular social media platforms. Therefore, chances are high that a major portion of your target audience too is there. What better way to generate engagement and increase ROI than on the most popular channels?
2. Website Traffic – One of the most important goals of any social media initiative is to drive traffic to the business website, hence the importance we place on measuring. Website analytics matrices play an essential part when it comes to the tracking of web traffic performance especially directly via social media platforms. Google analytics is a popular tool that is used for this purpose. Other aspects you will look at are click-through-rates in order to ascertain how well your content is resonating with your audience.
3. Response rate to your “Call-to-action” feature – A tracking system should be in place where from the amount of total visitors that come into the purchasing app/site, the level of conversion to actual sales etc.can be identified.
4. Social media management tools – By using tools such as Sprout social, Wildfire, Shoutlet etc. an organisation can easily manage several social media platforms. These tools also aid in analysing the performances of your company’s social media profiles in a timely and organised fashion. Statistics relating to audience demographics, engagement levels and click-through-rates can be monitored. Click here for more information on popular social media management platforms.
For a more in-depth view on how social media ROI works, click on the below image.
Social media in Australia has continued to grow as networks such as LinkedIn, Flickr and WordPress.com have experienced 5 digit growth or more according to figures as at 31/03/2013 (Source: socialmedianews.com.au). Furthermore, out of the total number of Facebook fans in Australia, which amounted to 11,784,460 in January 2013, 54% are female, making it slightly more favourable to promote and create awareness of feminine products or services compared to other channels. Also studies prove that female consumers are more likely to exchange information about products/services prior to making purchase decisions (Source: http://blog.marginmedia.com.au/Our-Blog/bid/90850/Australian-Internet-and-Social-Media-Statistics-January-2013)
Face it, social media is here to stay and will always be an important tool for your marketing activities. By measuring the ROI of your social media activities, you will have a better grasp on what works and what doesn’t. This will help fine tune your social media strategy for optimum connection with your audiences.
SolomoIT is a digital marketing agency, based in Sydney, Australia, offering fully integrated social, local and mobile marketing solutions.