As the New Year ramps up, many CEOs and business leaders spend time thinking about how to get more ROI from social media marketing in 2018. It must not be surprise, but the social media landscape looks a lot different for businesses today than it did on this day last year. Audience behavior is different, new players have entered the game, competition is fiercer than ever and some of the tactics that helped brands succeed 12 months ago are much less viable today.
When it comes to business, there’s nothing worse than going into a new year with the intention of executing the very same strategy that you implemented the year before. Every smart CEO knows that in order to continue fueling growth, you have to alter and build upon your plan.
Want to create a winning social media strategy for your startup or business?
The same is true with social media marketing. To get a better return on the time and money you invest in social media, you have to leverage insights and data gathered by yourself and others over the past 12 months to build a more effective plan for the year ahead.
To benefit from social media, CEOs need to build a clear strategy that takes into account what they are trying to achieve. In other words, a social media strategy is meant to help you achieve your social media goals.
Here are 7 social media goals for every CEO handling businesses
To establish a presence and increase your reach on social. Social media metrics to be measured by the businesses should be the follower’s count, the reach of the social media post and the mentions and shares which the posts and campaigns get.
To drive traffic to your website or blog. Social media metrics that matter in this scenario are the total traffic generated from social media, bounce rate of social media traffic and clicks on the social media posts.
To collect key information from your prospects. Key social media metrics to measure in case of lead generation are downloads of the gated content, personal information of prospects collected using social media and participation in various activities on social media. The social media metrics related to clicks on lead generation activities and conversions of the leads from social media also matter a lot.
To increase signups or sales. Revenue growth also results in return on investment from the social media. While considering this social media ROI metrics, businesses must consider the signs ups and revenue generated from the social media channels and revenues from the advertisements.
To connect and engage with your audience. While businesses track social media metrics, brand engagement must be an important goal as, this results in customer engagement for the businesses. The metrics to measure are likes, shares and comments per post, mentions and replies for the social media campaigns.
To gather advocates of your brand. Like influencers for the brands, the CEOs must also look for advocates for the brand who promote them on social media platforms. The social media metrics to track community building are the engagement of community on Facebook, Twitter chats and involvement of people in Slack community.
To help and serve your customers. Social media metrics that matter in case of customer services are, number of support questions, the response time to queries and customer satisfaction score (CAST).
Social media followers though not treated as an absolute social media metrics for any business, it matters when we speak of the engagement of followers on the social media platforms. The goal of any CEO is to extend the network by increasing the reach, and here the follower count plays an important role. Building on the follower base on different platforms makes the businesses visible for the eyeballs.
For example, you may discover quickly that your YouTube profile is far more popular than your LinkedIn page, and this is a great opportunity to double down on your efforts there. This may also be a sign that your LinkedIn presence isn’t growing, and maybe it’s best to forget about it.
Another way to approach the follower count is to look at growth. This shows you whether you’re trending up (and fast), or if sadly, your followers are leaving you.
If increasing your follower numbers is a key social media metric, then the growth rate should be too. If your social media platform shows consistent growth over several months, you can justify the effort and dedication you’ve put in. Luckily, monitoring follower growth is incredibly easy. You can happily do it with a simple spreadsheet, updated each month.
Mentions are a useful way to measure brand awareness and find out who’s really talking about you online.
Closely tracking mentions shows you:
Even measuring the mentions of your competition also matters a lot. This provides insights into the performance of your strategy compared with them. As businesses want to increase the market share, monitoring mentions is a must to track and measure the progress of competition.
Sentiment analysis is a useful tool to quickly understand what people think about your brand online. Each tweet, Facebook post, or forum mention is assigned a positive, negative, or neutral sentiment.
For many brands, the most important thing to track is negative mentions. We all want to believe that our businesses are popular and well-liked, but unflattering comments can pop up at any time. That’s why it pays to keep track.
Positive tweets also offer opportunities. Be sure to reach out to happy customers and brand advocates, and encourage them to continue spreading the word.
We talk about influencer marketing a lot at Mention. We know that influencers can help you grow your audience quickly, and they usually come a lot cheaper than advertising.
Monitor the influence of the people talking about you online. Increases in influence usually mean that you’re being written about in industry news publications, or talked about by important people on social media. And that’s definitely a good thing!
Tracking your top influencers can also lead to memorable and effective marketing campaigns.
This next metric is a little more complex, but that’s not a reason to shy away. We want to prove that social media marketing leads to engagement. But we’re not talking here about likes and retweets – we’re talking about engagement on your website, which is very valuable.
If your goals for social media include driving traffic to your website, then of course you should track this. But, beyond simple traffic, it’s valuable to see what those social users are doing once they arrive on your site. Are they engaging with your content, or leaving straight away?
Similar to our last metric, if your chief goal for social media is to drive website traffic, you need to know which platforms perform best. So find out which social networks bring the most visitors.
But, as you can see, you’re not just limited to the raw number of unique visitors or sessions. Your analysis should include factors like bounce rate (whether your visitors leave soon after arriving), conversion rate (whether they sign up for a service, or even buy), and their average time on site.
If you can prove that social media marketing leads directly to conversions (especially sales), you have a demonstrable return on investment.
Again, the goal here is to identify what works and increase your commitment to it. Likewise, if a channel brings you nothing, ditch it. There’s no reason to spend time and energy on social platforms that don’t bring your business.
Find your social channels that convert and “post your top content to that channel. Content with great CTAs (calls-to-action), landing pages that you know convert – post them as much as you can to those channels.”
This metric pulls all social media conversions together, rather than separating them by channel. Your marketing team likely has monthly or quarterly targets, and you need to know how social media contributes to these.
Total conversions are again a great way to prove the value of social media marketing. If you can show that social media is a consistent source of website conversions, you’ll know that what you’re doing works.
Even better, monitor trends in conversions over time. You can see in the above screenshot green arrows showing an improvement versus the previous 30 days. This might be due to a new campaign, some exceptional social content, or simply a little extra effort. Whatever the case, this increase in conversions shows that something’s working.
You want to achieve consistent growth, month over month. You also want to watch out for major dips in conversions, especially if these follow a change a strategy. If you’ve decided to try something different, and you see conversions fall away sharply, you may have bet on the wrong approach.
Without a doubt, this is the metric that makes company executives take notice. Sure, they probably care about site traffic, social followers, and some of the others. But what matters most is the bottom line.
If you can draw a straight line from your social media marketing to money in the bank, you can confidently assess your social media ROI. Revenue isn’t the only thing that matters – if it was, we’d have cut this list by nine. But it definitely makes others pay attention.
Google Analytics lets you set website goals for each conversion point. From this, you can add a dollar value to each conversion. So if you know the source of each conversion (that was metric number eight), you can easily calculate the revenue generated by source.
There are also great tools like Marketo and Kissmetrics that will track your customer’s journey from that first conversion. This lets you tie that eventual customer to the social media link they clicked. So if you know that customer pays $10,000 per year, you can thank social media marketing for that revenue.
In the end, it always comes back to your goals. Of our 10 social media metrics above, you might only prioritize a few. And that’s normal.
After all, the point is to make more informed decisions for your business.
You may realize that social media marketing just doesn’t make sense for you. If it’s not building an audience, increasing brand awareness, or converting customers, then it’s probably time to pack it in.
You may also discover that you’re missing opportunities, and double down on specific social channels. It will all depend on your goals.