It is increasingly affirmed that we are living in the digital age. Everything conspires in favor of the internet. Technology in computers, smartphones and broadband advances at the speed of light attracting thousands of people to the network. With this, the need for brands to become present in this environment, and consequently, professionals specialized in digital marketing.
One of the greatest challenges of these professionals is in proving the results of social media marketing, the impacts they generate to the target audience. The great diversity of actions that can be employed and the complexity to measure them are the main points. After all, the client wants to know the numbers, how much your investment will have a return.
One of the big mistakes of the companies and also of the professionals who are starting a strategy of social networks is not to correctly measure the results. Generally, the major emphasis is on the so-called vanity metrics, which are those that do good for the ego but have no strategic value (number of hits, likes and comments, for example). That said, let’s get down to a series of tips on how you can measure results of social media marketing:
1. Objectives, planning and monitoring
First of all, in order to be able to measure the results of an online campaign effectively, it is necessary to know what the objectives are to achieve with the campaign, to plan what action will be taken and to frequently monitor the progress of the process. That done, the next step is to use the metrics, tools for measuring results in digital campaigns. Tools like Google Analytics allow you to measure how social media leads to direct conversions or future conversions, understand how they improve performance indicators, and optimize engagement, and build effective digital marketing strategies.
Each social network has its peculiarity (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, and etc) and each brand or product has its purpose of communication. Therefore, one should think of an appropriate mix of networks to be used taking into account where the target audience is.
2. Identify your key performance indicators (KPIs)
Are you working on networks to generate revenue or build awareness of your brand? This differentiation determines what success is for your marketing efforts on social networks.
If your goal is sales, you should measure ROI as a cash value. By assigning an amount of money to your conversion goals, it is easy to understand the impact of your social media marketing, after all, there is an accurate quantitative indicator that needs to be achieved.
Already the perception of the brand can have different meanings for each company. You can define awareness as showing the brand to a certain number of people (preferably people who are part of your target audience), or you can, for example, define that winning influencers as journalists is a performance indicator. No matter, the important thing is that you have indicators to measure the success of the strategy or of each specific campaign.
3. Align your goals on social networks with business objectives
In order for your social media management to be meaningful and measurable, divide the macro goal into smaller goals. And do not forget to link these goals to business strategy. For example, if your company strategy is to increase the sale of a particular product, check how social networks can help you achieve these goals. Let’s say that networks can attract new consumers to get to know the products: design goals and action plans to attract the audience with their postings on the networks.
The more linked the goals of the networks to those of the business the easier it will be to measure and also to obtain investments. To measure results, you need to know what you want and where you are when you started the project, so you can evaluate the returns. Each of the goals calls for a different way of measuring and evaluating. Everything starts from this definition: strategy, actions, measurement tools, evaluations, and finally the return on investment.
4. Set up an analytics tool to track conversions
Your ability to retain and convert your audience depends on how you track your behavior on the networks and also on landing pages (where users are sent from networks).
That’s why it’s critical to use an analytics tool – Google Analytics is the most famous one, but it’s not the only one. It is possible to parameterize the monitoring of the indicators (usually assigning values to them) and verify that the actions that people do are in accordance with the objective.
Analytics tools automate the process of analyzing and measuring results and also provide time and accuracy in measurement. They are essential for anyone who wants to work with social networks in a professional way.
5. Create a routine of analysis and measurement of results
It is also very important to have the analysis and measurement of results in social networks follow a schedule. And that depends on what you want to analyze. When analyzing a specific campaign, for example, you can define that you will consult the analytics software once a week (or that will parameterize it to send you a report on a weekly basis).
The important thing is that there is an analysis routine, so you have clear periods to evaluate the actions and, in the intervals, you can take action to improve the indexes and correct the flaws. Also, be aware of the progress of the project, will your actions be efficient to achieve your goals? Search for success stories, follow blogs on the subject, but most importantly: ask your audience what they want, do not be afraid to talk, if your company is in social media is for that: talk.
Social networks should not be seen as a noun, but as a verb. They are channels where data can be gathered to guide the digital marketing strategy; are great places to understand consumer behavior, promote dialogue, raise brand reputation and also sell. But to use them to their full potential is necessary to measure results. What’s more, in order for social networks to be efficient, they need some investments (ads, content production, etc.). Therefore, you need to calculate the return on investment (ROI) to justify them to the direction of the company. Right?
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