For some time now, you have heard that having a presence on social media is important. However, you’re not really sure why or how to prove it – does this sound like you? If so, then this blog post is for you. Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) of online marketing activities is crucial not only to your success as a marketer, but also to getting buy-in from your boss. If you are able to successfully show how social media will benefit the company’s bottom line, then you are on the right track for getting the support you need to carry out your online marketing strategies.
Below I will share three tips for how to measure the ROI of social media.
Tip #1: Start by Defining Your Goals
This tip is two-fold. When defining your goals, you need to first identify what your overall goals are and then define more specific goals. Think of this as a main goal that is supported by the specific objectives that will help get you there. Or in other words, your general purpose for doing social media and the specific performance targets that you would like to achieve. These objectives or targets are desired actions that you want people to take that will ultimately help achieve your overall goal.
It is critical that you set specific goals in order to have a clear insight into what success looks like. I would also suggest involving all of the stakeholders during the goal setting process to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Some examples of what your general purpose might be:
- Expanding social reach – more fans and followers translates to more people hearing your message
- Increasing website traffic – specifically, social referral traffic
- Building your sales pipeline with new leads – keep your sales team busy and focused
- Acquiring new customers – increase revenue and market share
Some examples of what your specific performance targets might be:
- Fills out a form
- Social engagement such as likes, retweets, comments, or favorites
- Subscribes to your blog or email newsletter
- Spends time on an important page, such as a pricing, demo or service page
Tip #2: Determine the Best Platforms to Use
The best approach when choosing which social platforms you should be investing your time on is to look at two important things: your goals and your target buyer. If your goals include expanding social reach, then platforms like Twitter and Facebook are good choices. If you are looking to expand your sales pipeline, then LinkedIn may be the way to go. Before you dive in to any of these platforms, it is imperative to consider your target buyer(s) and what their social habits are – their online social habits, that is.
At SyncShow, we do a target buyer persona exercise with our clients during which we determine who they are trying to reach and what kind of messaging will resonate best with those people. Part of that process includes determining where the target buyer spends their time online. This may involve research, perhaps in the form of current customer surveys, or a simple Google search. Either way, once you determine where your target buyer is spending their time, it will make choosing your social platforms much easier and, more importantly, more strategic – which is key to proving ROI.
Tip #3: Establish How You Will Track and Measure Results
So, you’ve established your goals and determined where your target buyer(s) is spending their time and what messages you plan to deliver to them. Now it’s time to establish how you will measure results. The easiest place to start when it comes to tracking success and performance is with Google Analytics. Google Analytics will report the amount of website traffic generated from social referrals. The platform also allows you to set goals for your performance targets. For example, you can set a goal for newsletter sign-ups or 10+ page views and then track how many people converted on your goal and where they came from. Pretty amazing for a free tool!
There are numerous other tools available, such as social tools like HootSuite, and marketing automation platforms like HubSpot. Regardless of what tool you choose, determine how you will track your results from the start. This will be vital to showing the ROI of your social media efforts and getting the buy-in you need to continue these efforts.