When you’re just starting out with social media, it’s hard to imagine how all those tweets and posts can add up to anything close to dollar signs. Sure you can see how you can polish up your brand image and make connections with consumers or other businesses. But with so much chatting and so little actual selling, what exactly are you supposed to be measuring? The truth is that you must understand social media ROI or you will most likely fail to develop an effective long-term social media strategy. Here we answer a few key questions you may have about measuring your social media ROI.
Why do you need to measure you social media ROI?
You are undoubtedly using analytics in other areas of your business. They tell you how effective your salespeople are, whether your ads are working, etc. If, for example, one salesperson or one ad is consistently reporting low numbers, you know it’s time for a change. That’s also true with social media. You can’t fix anything if you don’t know it’s broken, and you need to be tracking a variety of metrics to be able to isolate exactly what needs fixing.
What are the main returns you can expect from social media?
One of the most obvious benefits you may see is new leads. Social media can open the door to more buyers, enable you to deliver valuable content and targeted messages to your buyers and leverage customer feedback. What many business people don’t realize is that social media without SEO is thrown away marketing. By integrating your social media and SEO strategies, you can also expect gains in visibility with the search engines, multiple positioning in first page results and better quality leads who find you through targeted keyword phrases.
Are there benefits that are not apparent in ROI metrics?
An effective social media plan can definitely bring you important benefits that you may not see if you just look at basic metrics. You may establish yourself as an expert in your field and even find yourself being asked to make appearances on radio shows or be interviewed for blogs or magazines related to your industry. Many businesses are able to build their brands significantly through social media channels and even combat negative press more quickly and efficiently than they could without social media. Seemingly stale brands like Old Spice have been able to breathe fresh and hip new life into their brand through their social media marketing efforts. An active and fun social media plan can increase employee morale as well as they feel a part of something larger and hipper than they were before.
Is social media really the cheapest marketing strategy?
Since most social media sites and tools are free or relatively inexpensive, many businesses have been lulled into thinking it’s going to be a cheap way to generate leads. Months and years later, when they’ve spent huge amounts of time learning what works for their business, made expensive mistakes and still are not seeing ROI, they realize it was far from their cheapest marketing option.
When considering the move to add social media to your marketing mix, understand that you will need to pay someone or a team of people to be constantly feeding content, regulating posts and managing your social media plan. It will take time out from your schedule and you will not get it right the first (or the second or even the third) time most likely.
However, a growing number of savvy business owners are finding that it doesn’t have to be this way. You can see abundant social media ROI, if you start with a proven plan and work with a team of experts who can do the work for you. When you don’t have to recreate the wheel and figure it all out for yourself, social media success can be built for you for a low monthly cost.