Putting a Number on Your Social Media Success The question is not whether you need a social media presence or not – you needed it yesterday, so asking that question today means you’re already behind the race. The more pertinent matter to address is how you can develop effective marketing campaigns leveraging on these online communities and how you will be able to measure your success. While signing up for a social network account is free, it does take a monetary investment in order to come up with effective promotional or SEO campaigns in these spaces. For one, if you are going to hire a social media company to render their professional expertise, it will definitely cost you some amount of money. If you want your campaign to be more engaging, you also have to spend on other things such as freebies and other tokens. Given that there is a capital outlay, who wouldn’t want a measurable ROI? The key performance indicators for marketing in these social channels have been in limbo and for some time, it was all fun and games with no clear-cut gauge of success. Recently, innovative social media agencies have been able to come up with concrete metrics on how you can measure your campaigns in social sites. One at a Time Social media marketing is an exciting foray and it’s easy to get too excited and next thing you know, you are running a campaign in Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest at the same time. This can get too overwhelming and impossible for you to maintain. What’s worse is you might not even know why you entered a particular social space to begin with (of course, aside from the reason that all your competitors are present there). Metrics stem from objectives so make sure that you know your goals for using each social platform. Also, take it one at a time and don’t rush into things. Unless you hired a huge team in a social media company to do this for you, it would be more beneficial if you become a master of one channel first before venturing into the others. Look at both Quantitative and Qualitative Metrics The thing that makes social network marketing trickier as compared to others is the lack of obvious quantitative success indicators. The other things that make it more difficult to gauge is numbers don’t really speak for themselves. You might have thousands of fans in Facebook or millions of followers on Twitter, but this does not necessarily spell out success. With that said, when outlining your social marketing metrics, take note of the level of engagement in your social community. This is the purpose of social sites in the first place – to have people talking and conversing. Know how many people repost your Facebook status, the number of re-Tweets you get, the number of mentions you generate. Then look at what they are saying and derive rich insight from there. Look at Concrete Business Impact Once you have your quantitative and qualitative data, evaluate how your social marketing initiatives are impacting your business. Did sales go up? Did you get more inquiries? Did brand awareness increase? You have to measure these data against tangible business performance indicators. Tag Your Metrics The other crucial element for gauging your social site marketing success is making sure that the movements in numbers are actually due to your social marketing efforts. What social media agencies do is to track your social shares or the traffic coming from social channels versus other sources. Be Flexible Lastly, once you get the results and you see that it’s not working the way you want it to, be ready to throw out your initial plan and create a new one. Every social media company knows not to take it personally and that the interest of your customers should be your top priority. Know when to say when. Build and destroy. Author is an Internet marketing expert and wants to share his knowledge with people who are about to hire a social media marketing company for their business. He has also given words to many articles where one can find the latest trends popular in SEO and social media agencies.
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