Inherently knowing that there is value in social media marketing and being equipped to show value are two different things.
Social media provides a unique and often-challenging opportunity to connect one-on-one with customers, prospects and fans of your business. However, only 42% of marketers feel that they are able to accurately measure the value of their social media efforts.
“Social media enables relationships to be built regardless of traditional barriers like distance or language. For brands, this provides a forum to listen and learn – and if you’re smart, take action based off of what you learn,” says Alison Herzog, Marketing Director, Global Social Business & Digital Strategy at Dell, (a TopRank Marketing client).
Social media strategy has become a fundamental part of most marketing plans. But as marketers, we are pushed to show the value of these programs. To help you do just that, here are three ways you can measure and share the value of your social media marketing.
#1 – Understand Your Current Situation
When creating your social media measurement strategy, start by defining the outcomes you are looking to achieve. Once you understand what success should look like, you can set your strategy and define your key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring progress. The actual metrics you use should be based on the KPIs or action they represent.
For example, if your ongoing social media marketing goal is to increase brand awareness and improve traffic back to your brand’s website you should:
- Set benchmarks on where your brand is currently ranking on all social media channels.
- Create a competitive analysis of your brand versus your top competitors.
Additionally, there are many tools (native and 3rd party) that can help you measure towards your social media marketing goals.
Some tools to help you review your competitor’s social media presence include:
Twitter measurement tool examples:
You will want to review your competitors overall followers, the frequency of their postings, and engagement of posts. Also, use a search or listening tool, to find-out the overall mentions of your brand compared to your competitors.
To understand the source of your web traffic, use a web analytics tool, like Google Analytics or Adobe’s SiteCatalyst to review the referring traffic sources. You can also use a link shortener, like Bit.ly, to gain additional data on who is clicking on the links in your social posts.
Once you understand the playing field, you can set goals and review your social growth on an ongoing basis. Regular evaluation is key to understanding what is working and what isn’t.
The great thing about social media is it is easy to adjust course mid-plan and optimize if you see a type of post or messaging that isn’t capturing an audience.
#2 – Set Specific Campaign Goals
Depending on what you are hoping to achieve, specific campaigns will require different metrics to show value. Social media has proven to be a very effective tool that can be used to target a particular audience to increase brand awareness (or meet other marketing goals) in a unique and conversational way. Below are some examples of recent social media campaigns that achieved great results:
In 2014 Clif Bar created a campaign focused entirely on content created by their fans. Brand enthusiasts were asked to share an environmental friendly photo under the hashtag #MeettheMoment. For each photo that was shared, Clif agreed to donate $1 to an environmental non-profit. When all was said and done, Clif not only donated a cool $60,000, but they had made their fans part of something memorable.
Lowes found a unique way to present users with a clever social campaign around six second life hacks. They used 6 second vine videos to share easy lifehacks for everything from getting scratches out of your wood floor to making a pillow case out of an old t-shirt. Their inventive social campaign garnered over 4 million views putting Lowes on the Vine map.
#3 – Communicate Value to Your Internal Audience
By this point, all marketers are aware that any social media marketing program should consider the audience’s needs and habits. However, we may not always think about our internal audience. For any social media program to grow and be successful, it is important to show that it is adding value to the business.
Measuring and communicating social success can sometimes be overwhelming. When preparing to show value internally, think about which internal stakeholder will be reviewing the information. Below are some metrics that you may want to consider sharing with different internal stakeholders:
- Overall trends
- Standing in the marketplace
- Engagement rate on campaign content
- Best performing creative or content
- Highlights relevant to their line of business
- Click-through rate from social posts to key landing pages
- Response rate
By understanding your current situation, developing goals and communicating internally, you will be able to provide more value with your social media marketing strategy – to your community and within your company.
What have you found to be the biggest barriers in creating value with social media within your organization?
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