Measuring Social Media Success and ROI

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Social media generates value for a brand. But just how tangibly can we see this?

Marketers and clients alike often make the mistake of locking social media results into a vanity metrics-focused box and expecting their ROI to translate directly into sales or conversions. More often than not, social media plays a larger, more strategic role at the beginning and middle portion of the buyer’s journey, and not so tactically toward the end or directly funneling into a transaction.

The term “social media” refers to a powerful collection of platforms, media, and content. From ubiquitous sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to niche platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, and to platforms that ebb and flow like Vine, social media positions itself in the heart of marketing, advertising, and public relations. And brands can channel this to optimize your own marketing agenda.

be where your customers are on social media

The Benefits of Social Media for Businesses

Social media is about relationships – creating conversations and interactions that would be impossible in any other setting. It’s also innately qualitative, bringing together a combination of building your brand aesthetic with community management and customer service, public relations and exposure, and storytelling and marketing. The SEO benefits of social media include all those backlinks to your website and blog to help Google rank you even higher in search results.

Social Media and Digital Marketing

Make sure you are thinking globally with social media management as part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Click To Tweet

For a company first delving into social media or even for one that’s already established across platforms, it’s essential to put social media to work as part of an integrated strategic marketing plan to reap the full benefit. Interacting consistently across your chosen platforms and generating authentic experiences will help build a more robust social media portfolio, and in turn, yield growth and success in other ways.

Business Marketing on Social Media

Businesses are flocking to successfully implement and maintain their social media footprint. And it makes sense particularly with these statistics:

  • Over 70% of consumers have visited social media sites to get information
  • 49% of these consumers made a purchase decision based on the information they found through social media sites
  • 60% of people in the study said they are likely to use social media sites to pass along information to other online
  • 45% of people who searched for information via social media sites engaged in word of mouth compared to 36% who found information on a company or news site

How to Drive Sales on Social Media

It’s important to understand that social media is part of the buyer’s journey, but it is rarely at the bottom of the funnel. In fact, many followers report that they will unfollow a brand that posts too many sales-driven posts. So, how do you reach your customers? First, make sure you are on the platforms that they are. Signing up for Instagram as a B2B-focused firm may not make sense. Research into your target demographic and key audiences will show you where they are most active. Be there. Second, remember that you don’t have to be on every platform. It’s time-consuming and frustrating to try to be everything to everyone.

screen shot instagram and facebook

If you want to promote your products through partnerships, think beyond exclusively working with influencers. Your existing customers can be enticed with giveaways, discounts, and exclusive access. Look for followers who are posting about your brand on their own feed and offer them something special to create a few posts about your product. And share their user-generated content (with permission). It adds texture to your presence and gives you social media manager even more content to work with!

Most importantly, create content that informs, educates, and engages your audience. Social media platforms are an excellent place for how-to guides or information to help them better use your products. If you sell services, consider before and after posts, process videos, or other ways to visually show your impact. But remember, your relationship on social media with your customers is about building trust so this isn’t the place for a hard sell. It someplace to consider streamlining the buying process that might be barriers to making a purchase.

Measuring Success on Social Media

Success on social media begins first by determining how to measure it. Whether it be brand awareness, growth, engagement, click through rate, etc., a brand needs first to decide what target to focus on (awareness, engagement, traffic, fans, reputation, share of voice) and build a strategic plan on how to achieve that goal.

With clear goals in place, your business can align its overall marketing strategy with a variety of digital elements – including social media – to clarify your objectives. After your goals are determined, take time to bridge your social media with your web presence by setting up Google Analytics to track referrals and conversions to better tie your successes to your platforms. Over time, data analysis will show the relationship between social media and web traffic and behavior.

user generated social media content

Social Media ROI

Apart from traffic, lead generation, and conversion, how can social media prove value to a business that yields a buyer journey longer and more complex than most? Resonance and visibility play a critical role in a consumer’s choice to buy. This is hard to link to a direct sale, but the sentiment around posts, the sheer volume of users talking about a brand, and the environment your brand is in on digital platforms are crucial as part of a digital strategy.

Businesses stand to gain incredible traction with current and potential customers through a strong social media presence. By making clients feel like they are more than sales and numbers as part of a larger process, companies can build a strong sense of loyalty and create advocates, as seen by Apple, BMW, Starbucks, and more.

Social media is a powerful tool when executed well. When it’s not, it can end up having a negative impact on your business. Not sure where to begin it comes to how to tell your brand’s story on social media and all of the elements that go with it? Black Bear Design is here to help. Please contact us today to see how we can help.

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One response to “Measuring Social Media Success and ROI”

  1. Seong says:

    This is a very useful article and excellent job!!!!

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