Social media has become the go-to marketing solution for many brands and it’s thought that it now accounts for 11% of all digital marketing outlay. This equates to around $10bn a year being spent on social media marketing this year and yet many marketing professionals still struggle to prove ROI.
With that in mind, today let’s have a look at what key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to track and measure in order to improve your strategy and prove ROI.
#1: Fans and Followers
In order to work out your reach, you will need to know exactly how many fans and followers you have on each social network that you use. Since these are displayed on most of your profiles, this isn’t difficult to find out or keep track of. A simple count entered onto a spreadsheet once a month will quickly and easily allow you to do so.
Ideally, this number needs to be growing week in, week out. In order to grow your following, you might want to add people manually, but this is time consuming. It’s not recommended that you buy followers, as this is easy to spot, but there is plenty of software out there that helps you to manage them. These can quickly identify those that don’t follow you back, as well as inactive accounts that do.
#2: Demographics and Location
In order to know who your audience are, you should keep track of who is engaging with your page/profile and where they’re from. Ideally, these will be very similar to the buyer personas that you’ve already produced as a part of your marketing plan. All of this information is accessible in Facebook Insights and Twitter analytics (Pinterest also has its own analytics) regardless of whether you advertise or not.
You should look at:
- Age group
Armed with this knowledge, you can then tailor content to suit the audience and boost engagement further.
The engagement that your posts gain allows you to again further tailor content to ensure that it’s the type of content that your following want to see. Facebook is the most difficult platform to gain engagement on, thanks to the lack of organic reach that your posts get. You should consider boosting the odd post if you don’t feel Facebook ads are for you. When doing this, choose a post that you know that your audience loves already and encourage sharing.
On Facebook, videos get the most shares, whilst images and links get the most likes and comments. Consider how you can mix up your content so that you get a good amount of shares, likes and comments and always reply as soon as you can.
On Twitter, it’s a much faster moving platform so make your tweets stand out by adding images – it’s thought that Twitter images increase retweets by as much as 150%. It’s useful to use the voice of your business when replying, or to be yourself so that you present the account as one that’s run by a real person, with a personality.
You should also use social listening tools to pick up social media mentions and to maintain your business’s reputation.
It’s a lot easier for some businesses to measure conversions than it is for others. If you have a physical product, then you can track clicks and visits to see if they have resulted in a sale. However, it’s a little more difficult if you offer services as there’s no physical purchasing process other than quotes and finalising the arrangement.
Conversions are not all about sales though, you can measure anything that requires the user to take action, such as signing up for your email newsletter or downloading a money off coupon. In many respects, following you on social media and engaging with your content, as well as driving traffic to a site can also be seen to be conversions.
However, businesses like to hear about monetary ROI and are often not overly interested that you’ve added X amount of new followers on social or increased site traffic by 200%. This means that it’s necessary to find a way to place a value on those followers who have taken an action that results in them signing up for the service.
For example, if the business offers SEO services, then each customer that orders the service is worth a certain amount to the business on average. In order to prove ROI, you should come up with an average conversion rate based on the number of visitors you send to the site through social media and other web marketing activities.
You should also find a means of asking customers who buy the services how they found your site and what made them decide to go with you. For creative and marketing services, this is usually pretty straightforward as it’s usually the case that the customer fills out some kind of form to let you understand more about the business, so you can add it to that.
#5: Google Analytics
You should also use Google Analytics to understand where your visitors are coming from and what they are doing once they arrive on the site. Pay particular attention to social media referrals and how visitors use the site once they’ve arrived from there.
You may find that social visitors behave differently to search visitors and this will help you to craft content further that resonates with them both.
Social media has become a huge part of online marketing and the business that ignores it is the one that is doing itself a disservice. As it’s still a relatively young discipline, as a marketer you more than likely have to put the work in to convince some businesses of its usefulness. However, there’s no doubt that it is highly useful and when worked properly and approached strategically, it can significantly increase a business’s online presence and essentially, sales.
Kerry Butters, XEN