Most everyone in the business world has heard that social media is the place to be. Since crowds of marketing professionals and agencies alike are pounding the metaphorical social pavement, it can become a bit muddied with poorly-developed strategy and content.
In order to properly develop a winning social media strategy, you should understand the ways in which your business, product, or service can best build a social community using social market analytics to study what, when, how, why, and where your brand should show up and engage with your audience.
In today’s FAQ Friday, we’ve got the answers to your social media questions on how to measure success within the current social landscape for your business.
Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media.—Lori Ruff
What are social marketing metrics?
Social media marketing analytics is measuring your social media activity as well as using social media listening to gather data on your audience’s engagement. For some quick insight on which metrics matter for your brand, explore the following video:
What is an effective social media strategy?
Social media is a great avenue to better communicate your brand story with the individuals who are looking for the answers you hold. A simple social media strategy development process can be broken down into 5 steps:
- Set goals that are aligned with the social media platforms you’ve chosen to use, the audience you are attempting to reach, the community you want to build, and the overall goals your business has in mind.
- Identify your target audience, or buyer persona, will most benefit from the content you are sharing.
- Select the proper social media platforms that are of interest to your target audience. For example, if your audience communicates primarily on Facebook, your social media efforts should be focused on engaging with your audience on Facebook first, and every other platform afterwards.
- Develop primary topics from your target audience in order to create content that will be based off that data. Be sure your content is well thought out, relevant, and beneficial to whoever might find themselves knocking on your brand’s social front door.
- Create a plan of action. In this plan, you should include scheduling timelines and content topics. You can think of this as an editorial calendar solely for your social media marketing.
You may or may not have used these steps before. In fact, your social media strategy may look a bit different than these suggested guidelines. That is okay. The real takeaway is that you should strategize your social media to cultivate the most successful community building efforts around your brand as possible.
What can I get from using social media for my business?
Top of mind awareness should be the number one goal of marketing. Every marketer, business owner, and organization as a whole strives for success and top of mind awareness every day.
Setting a goal centered around ONLY gaining more followers, likes, or shares can be debilitating to your social community. What really matters is the potential social media has to work for your business. Gaining top of mind awareness around your brand in order to increase your product or service would be a key goal to set. But don’t forsake your audience just to get to the sale.
Find the perfect balance between marketing and engagement. Being authentically social with your audience is the key to gaining an organic audience towards your brand.
When you lose followers because of where you stand – you strengthen your tribe.—Glen Gilmore
How can you best use social media to increase your return on investment or ROI?
Social media has been used as a bargaining chip to generate higher returns on marketing investment, increased brand awareness, and community engagement.
Increasing your return on investment with social media is simple when managed properly with planning, consistency, and dedicated social media engagement. Having a focused and well-managed approach can provide a myriad of options to help boost success.
Likes, followers, and shares are great metrics to use as benchmarks for real social progress. It's a good idea to think about these metrics as a way to track your key performance indicators (KPIs) and measure your brand’s progress and social success.
Everyone starts out with nobody listening to them and nobody to listen to. How and who you add determines what Twitter will become for you.—Laura Fitton
Where should I focus my social media marketing efforts on?
Focusing your social media marketing efforts on organization-wide key performance indicators will allow your marketing team to track social media initiatives to a positive return on investment.
Here are our suggestions for good key performance indicators to start with as well as questions to ask you and your team when conducting social media marketing analysis:
Increased website traffic: Do your social media platforms currently drive traffic to your website, product pages, or lead generation landing pages? Is this traffic logged in a system allowing you to track lead conversion, website traffic, lead nurturing, sales cycles, or any other qualifying metrics to better assist marketing and sales teams?
A loyal community of followers: Are the followers in your community actively participating in your content by liking, commenting, or even following your brand? Are they resharing your content—expanding your reach and potentially grabbing new followers? Have you established an engaging conversation with your social community? Ultimately, do you take the time to actively participate and get social with your industry and within your industry?
A place to get to know and understand your audience: Is your marketing and sales team able to extract all of the valuable information from your social channels? Can you repurpose any content, topics, or conversations on social media to boost your social following?
Increased lead generation: Is your social media team using the proper #hashtags, industry insight, and news to captivate and encourage audience participation? How do the content topics you have strategically chosen reflect the needs of your audience? Are you publishing relevant content for your audience? Are you publishing at the right time that your audience is congregating online? Are you addressing (or even reaching) your right audience?
Higher search engine ranking: How is your website's on-page SEO? Does your social platform have a home base, i.e. your website, that your audience can go to? Are your social lead conversions as successful as your website lead conversions? In what ways can you use both to convert that right people for your business?
Thought leadership and partnership: Is your content developed around thought leadership or are you constantly discussing with subjects like I, we, us, or me? Have you conducted interviews from industry leading innovators, influencers, or niche specialists? Have you reached out to partner companies for content collaboration or an interview?
Lower marketing and sales costs: Can you reach more of your audience with high content saturation on one platform at the expense of dialing back on another? Will you have to hire an in-home social media manager, or reach out for outsourced agency guidance? Is your social community set up with a website that nurtures visitors through the buyer's journey?
You can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them.—Pam Moore
Creating brand fluidity and brand awareness are important when you are trying to build an engaged social community. Reaching your goals and achieving this top of mind brand awareness will require more than participation and follower tracking.
Take some time to know and answer these questions and others that may arise as you go. A vanity metric is just that — looks nice from the outside but doesn't really have an impact on your return on investment. Focus on the goals and metrics that matter, and reap the benefits of increased return on investment.
For more information on social media marketing metrics, check out the following video below:
If you have questions you would like to see featured in our weekly FAQ Friday, please submit them in the comments below or mention us @DirectImages on Twitter.
Until next FAQ Friday, keep your communication lines open. Don’t know the answer—just ASK.
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