Let’s get right to the heart of the matter. If you are managing social media marketing for your business without specific goals and metrics that identify the value to your business, you are wasting your time.
Once we get past the Shiny Object Syndrome of social media, we have to take a look at it just like any other marketing channel we use and ask, “Is this getting return?” Return on investment, or ROI, is the measure that all marketing embraces, and that should include social media.
So the question still stands, what is your ROI on social media? Don’t know? Then this is a clear indicator that your social media marketing is a waste of time.
How do you track ROI from social media? Well, we can’t cover it all here in one post, but I will give a detailed explanation of the process at the New Media & Technology Conference (FredNMT) on Thursday, February 13. For now, here’s a case example of a business that knows the return on each social media follower and wants to increase that number.
All the social applications now have very robust “Insights” or analytic interfaces where you can measure the return on your activity. That is where we start. Your baseline measure should be “volume of activity.” That might mean how many posts a week you are creating on various platforms.
The next item in your measurement is the activity from your posts in the form of clicks, shares, comments, etc. These responses are critical to measuring success in our next step.
So now that you have the basic data, we need to start gaining some insight. Let’s use this table of data for our discussion. Let’s make the assumption you are using social media with tact, and this is your activity for one month.
What can we tell from this data? We can see that your blog has a 2/1 ratio, and Facebook has almost a 3/1 ratio of posts to new followers, compared to Google plus, at 5/1 and twitter at 10/1. Also, we can see that your blog viewers are sharing your blog content more than your social content, and your Google has a 2.5/1 share rate, over Facebook at a 7/1.
What this data is telling us is that the effort on each of these platforms has different results and we should adjust our effort, or investment in each one, accordingly.
With these insights at hand, it’s easy to start planning the next steps in your social media. First, create more blog posts and Facebook posts. They are your highest ROI on posts to followers, and increasing those numbers should increase your followers, and eventually your sales. Second, stop using Twitter. You should be able to make up your following on Twitter with increased activity on the other platforms. Finally, equal out the posts on Facebook and Google, so you can compare apples-to-apples for the next month to make more decisions on what is working and what is not.
Obviously, this case leaves a lot to be discussed, like what types of posts are successful, and how to track followers to sales. But overall, it’s the beginning of an approach to marketing that uses insights to drive action in marketing. To learn more about this approach, join me for my session at FredNMT. We’ll look at how to use this same thinking to drive your marketing success across all channels.
Editor’s Note: Fred NMT will be held at Mount St. Mary’s University, Frederick on Thursday, February 13, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Click here to learn more about Tobin’s presentation about using insights to drive your marketing actions.