We have looked at why we are using social media, who we want to talk to and what we want to achieve. We have a list of where the content is going to come from and who is going to manage it. The last thing to work out is how we are going to measure our return on investment (ROI).
There has been a lot of discussion about measuring the ROI of your efforts as people realise it is in fact quite difficult to measure, but there are a few tools to look out for.
A great free piece of software is Google Analytics. Your social media efforts are going to drive lots of traffic back to your website, so make sure you have monitoring tools installed to capture that information. By monitoring your traffic, you can see which sites are in fact referring traffic back to your website and chart it. From your Google account simply click on ‘Analytics’ and follow the easy steps. You will then be given a short piece of HTML code to put into your website. You may need your web person to do this bit for you, but it only takes a couple of minutes so it should’be cost much, if anything.
Facebook Insights is another free tool available to you. This will give you information on the mix of your fans and how active they are, which you can then use for marketing purposes. For instance, if the majority of your fans are female aged 35 to 44, and you decide to try Facebook ads, you can target those people for a more focused advert.
LinkedIn is a maybe a little easier and more obvious, as you know if you connected with someone on LinkedIn and they became a client after a series of meetings. That is hard evidence. It is worth mentioning at this point that not everyone will become a client straight away and some never will, but from a networking point of view, who knows where that connection might take you? When you send a valuable newsletter-style message to all of your connections, watch what happens to your own inbox with positive comments coming back in yo you. Remember that radar?
By registering for a bitly account at www.bitly.com you can monitor just how often a tweeted link has been opened, so how many sets of eyeballs have now had exposure to your information, and therefore how successful that piece of information your shared has been to others.
Other areas that contribute to the ROI
Defining the ROI of social media is a bit like defining the ROI of your telephone – it’s not easy. But there are more questions to ask that will contribute to your ROI:
- What have we learned from our customers that we didn’t know before?
- Did we manage to talk to more prospects and expose our brand even more?
- are our staff more engaged now?
- What shall we do for all of our cheerleaders?
How great would it be if you found out on your Facebook page that the new cheese-flavoured crackers you have just spent a fortune developing were in face a little over-salted for most people’s taste, and you were wondering why repeat sales were not happening as much as you would like? What a goldmine of information you could have at your fingertips.
Why not reward your cheerleaders and get them to cheer about your product or service even more? Send them some free product for even more promotion.
What you don’t see
During a recent conversation with a company director, he told me about a prospect that had called him after doing his due diligence on his company. If he was going to part with a large amount of money, he wanted to see if the company practised what it preached. He looked at the team’s LinkedIn profiles to see if they were all of the same standard and displayed the same company message, checked that the company Facebook page followed suit, and maybe even looked at some of the other sites to see if everything was ‘on message’. It wasn’t. It wasn’t consistent all the way through.
Now if that person had not picked up the phone and called the director to tell him what he’d found, he might have simply decided not to become a client and no-pone would b e any the wiser. What it did do was make the director’s company sit up and take note that it needed to get its message consistence, and pronto. How many other prospects had it lost that they didn’t know about because its social media message was no consistent?
People are checking our your brand all over the internet, so if you have anything to tidy up, do it today.
Ref: Marketing with Social Media: 10 Easy Steps to Success for Business, Linda Coles (2015)
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