Social media marketing, like other online marketing tactics, is a long term investment. Simply setting up social profiles and starting to share some content isn’t going to result in a quick uptick in sales or conversions. Social profiles take time to build. Marketers get this but it’s usually the “money people” in the company that don’t and tend to get frustrated. A successful social media campaign involves an investment and it can be difficult measure the exact social media ROI. Sometimes this means that social media activity gets scrapped altogether. It shouldn’t! There are ways to gauge social media success that can be reported back to management.
Here are 3 items to monitor on a regular basis that tie social media to brand visibility (which eventually impacts sales):
Website visitor growth
The primary goal of all online marketing activities is to generate traffic to your website where visitors can learn more about your business and the products and services that you offer and potentially convert by purchasing a product, filling out a lead form, calling the sales team, etc. Social media might be “sexy” but your brand social media page shouldn’t be treated as the final destination. It should aim to deliver traffic back to your website by including calls to action within all content that is shared. By setting up analytics on your site you will be able to see how many new visitors are coming to the site via social referral. As your social presence and follower count grows, this number should grow along with it.
In order for your social media pages to generate website visitors, it’s necessary to have people that are actually following your business in social media. In order to get people to click the “Like” or “Follow” button you need to prove that you are worthy by having a great social page and sharing great content that they will find useful. If you aren’t that active or don’t share anything worthwhile there is no reason to be your follower. Even more important than social followers, are obtaining the right kind of social followers that actually have the potential to convert. This is why buying followers isn’t a good idea. It might increase your follower count but it’s from people (or robots) that will never buy from you.
Sometimes seeing your content isn’t enough. To really prove that you are making a difference in the social landscape you need to keep an eye on engagement levels. Are people taking any action on your social page? Are they commenting? Liking? Sharing? Re-tweeting? Etc. To promote engagement, share content in your social channels that promotes a dialogue. In order to keep engagement levels up on your page you need to be sure to interact with your followers whenever they take the time to comment etc. If someone shares your content, thank them. If they post a question on your page, answer them. It takes time but it is really the proper way to market via social media. If you don’t engage it can create a bad brand experience.
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