For all its benefits, social media and social marketing is still a form of investment, either financial, or in terms of time. It’s important therefore not to lose sight of this fact, becoming distracted with numbers that don’t necessarily convert to traffic, sales or other measures of business success.
Simply identifying the fact that you’ve hit 5,000 followers on Twitter, or that you’ve blogged once a day every day for a year, or even that you have 10,000 fans on Facebook is of no consequence at all, unless it directly converts into something which ensures you’re meeting your commercial targets.
One of the biggest problems many business have when it comes to social media is that they have no idea what they want to get out of it. Some business owners mumble vaguely about increasing traffic or boosting sales, but woolly targets like these are of no use whatsoever.
You wouldn’t get in a car and start driving, with only a vague idea in your head that you’ll probably head north. Just as you would plan your journey, allowing sufficient time, making sure your vehicle is fully prepared and that you have a definite location in mind when driving somewhere, so too should your social marketing approach be planned, prepared and monitored for success.
But how do you determine the effective ROI from your tweeting, blogging, commenting and article marketing? Just because it’s not immediately obvious doesn’t mean to say it’s not possible. It is, and you should be doing it.
One of the easiest ways of identifying the effectiveness of your social marketing is to have unique landing pages for each of your social platforms. So by including a link in your tweets you could encourage people to click through to a page on your website which records the visit and then immediately redirects the visitor through to the actual page. By looking at your website logs (or Google Analytics) you can see the numbers of viitors coming through from various platforms, which helps you to decide the effectiveness of each.
But it is still important to have a clearly defined goal in mind, such as increasing sales by 10% over 6 months, or expanding your customer base to include more people from a specific age range or location.
Specific goals can be used to measure success. Vague goals give you nothing to evaluate your ROI, which means that your social marketing could be heading north, or south, or simply going round in circles – who’s to know?
Take a look at our social media marketing services to see how we can help your business grow.