Over the past few weeks it has been very windy here in Indianapolis. By very windy I mean that I went to my sister’s collegiate track meet, where I witnessed two officials get taken off of their feet and a high jump mat move 50 yards in a tumbling somersault of padded mesh death before the meet was cancelled. On a positive note, the javelin record was shattered by more than 200% (not really)! Do you ever have a similar experience with social media? It seems like you can be riding a fateful gust of retweets, likes, favorites, etc. all the way to the most successful quarter in company history and then, all of a sudden, it dies (or gets crushed by a 1000 pound mat). A LinkedIn post that is some of your best work doesn’t receive so much as a single like while your company’s intern posts an Instagram of her cat that earns 7400 likes. What gives? How can you better track and maximize social ROI at your company? Is social media that strong of an investment?
I recently read an article based upon a B-to-B Magazine survey that shared that the average social media spend of B2B marketers would make up 25% of total marketing budget within the next 5 years. That is a huge investment! Increasing the marketing spend means that we will be looking for ways to justify the time, effort and money spent on this channel. This can be challenging for any marketing spend but especially for a channel that is evolving so quickly.
I have found that the best way to quantify the returns from social media is to clearly define objectives and expectations that your team hopes to earn via your social media budget.
Some companies use social media to generate new sales leads or recruit new talent. Others set out to better engage with prospects and strengthen customer relationships. Social media channels also serve as an excellent way to provide customer service or offer discounts to customers who interact with the brand. All of these objectives help enhance the prospect and consumer experience with your brand.
Once you’ve established the specific objectives of your social media engagement, the next step is to figure out what you want to track. Here’s where you begin to paint a picture of what success will look like (Remember: it’s ok to start with stick figures. There are very few Rembrandts or Van Goghs out there in social media).
General Indicators include buzz on social media channels, like getting your brand to “trend” on Twitter. You also build engagement by generating likes and impressions and sharing or re-tweeting information relevant to your customer base. Don’t be afraid to retweet and share content other than your own that speaks positively to your brand or your messaging. It is certainly best practice to create dedicated landing pages and forms to your social media campaigns in order to consistently track and understand your conversion rates and return on investment.
At the end of the day you want to track the impact that your social effort has brought to your organization (Social ROI). Here at Right On Interactive we use our own marketing platform that pulls in the social conversation, which is then added to the 360 degree view of both prospects and customers. This helps to show how social can drive website, email and 1 to 1 conversations. Being aware and reacting to social threads and trends is a key part of our social strategy but having a platform to enable and track this is mission critical.
It’s also important to note, that no matter what tactics you decide to use, successfully measuring social media engagement starts with providing your network with content that’s relevant to them, easily shared, and furthers your original objectives. Here at Right On Interactive, we call that Customer Lifecycle Marketing.
Contact Right On Interactive today to learn more about Customer Lifecycle Marketing or how to track the social ROI of your next campaign. Our business is helping our clients “blow” their marketing goals out of the water (or across the track)!