The importance of social media is well-stated. 71 percent of consumers follow businesses online for promotions, with 66 percent onboard for updates on new products. What’s more is that more than half of consumers will go online for customer service and 61 percent indicate reviews impact purchasing decisions. Social is now a crucial part of business.
While this is well-known, how does a business actually measure the efficacy of social? It allows for direct engagement with customers, the opportunity to build and expand brand presence, and sell more. There’s data for follower count, retweets, reach and more. Identifying which pieces of data matter is core to measuring social ROI. It’s more than likes and followers. Social media now allows brands to use more links, tag and even directly sell on platforms to create a frictionless purchasing opportunity and a better way to track the process.
So, how can your brand measure the real value of social?
- Think about evaluation at the start of campaigns.
Design your measurements during the planning stages instead of at the tail end. While you may have to adjust campaign plans (by calibrating the weights of certain activities or introducing A/B tests), it’s much more effective to begin with the end in mind. The best way is to honestly and realistically define objectives, such as building brand awareness, driving leads, improving customer support or collecting consumer feedback.
- Start with the basics.
Social is no different than other campaigns. Consider the purpose, priorities and timing of your evaluation. Clearly define which decisions your evaluation will inform and when you need the insights. There is no one size fits all approach. You will need to select the appropriate data and methodology for your brand and your campaign objectives. For example, if your main objective is brand awareness, you’ll want to look at community growth, as well as sentiment and share of voice. For lead generation, set up special links to track customer behavior. For customer support, compare dips in calls/emails versus rises with online requests or response times.
- Avoid silos and look for context.
Social should never live alone. Social media is just one part of your marketing campaign and should be evaluated as such. This means that you’ll need to factor in both long and short-term goals. Activities with call-to-actions, for example, competitions calling for likes, will inevitably result in greater immediate response and online engagement, but they may not necessarily be set up to indicate long-term effects. In addition, looking at the data in context with other marketing objectives, you can see patterns and correlates that might be overlooked if data sits alone.
- Consider content classification for various goals.
Some content or initiatives will be more effective for some objectives. A/B testing helps you measure this. You’ll learn what drives conversions and click-throughs, which, ultimately, enables you to understand the ROI on the time and creative spent on your campaigns.
While social continues to grow and become a part of marketing plans, knowing how to measure and interpret the data is key. We want to help you and your team make the most of real-time data.
For more on how we can help transform your business intelligence, head over to our Command Centre page.