Proving advertising value is pretty simple in the traditional methods and even in most digital efforts. Google Adwords, email marketing, commercials, direct mailers, etc. all have metrics advertisers use to measure how successful they have been. Like all of these marketing avenues, social media has its own set up of KPI’s and value that it provides to a brand. These numbers are often harder for businesses to justify and truly understand so I’ve taken some time to explain the value of social campaigns and how to measure them.
The first step is to have a clear understanding and expectations going into a social campaign. Social campaigns are inherently best used for driving awareness, leading customers to the intent to purchase, and in some situations driving conversions. Social is measured differently based on the brand goals. Awareness will have much different metrics than customer engagement, or conversions. No matter what metrics you use, keep in mind it’s important to measure growth or changes over time as well as against your competition to help gauge success.
For companies just getting started out or new to the social arena, awareness is challenging and can often be frustrating. The easiest and most fool proof way to succeed in this area is through paid social efforts. Get your brand started by developing a paid social strategy with ads enticing users to interact, follow, and get involved with your brand. Offer value to the potential followers to ensure long valued audiences. The metrics to track?
Once your brand has a solid social base, encourage customers to interact with your brand. Provide valuable, engaging content that will keep them coming back. Depending on what kind of products/service you offer this could be engaging discussions, sweepstakes, promotions, etc. Measure your metrics the same as awareness, compare over time, and against competitors.
Most social media goals are not focused on the final conversion given that social media is not usually where the customer goes right before they convert but rather its used as an earlier step in the funnel. For those campaigns that do work directly to see conversions, it’s important to use strong, direct language and calls to action to evoke response. Your communication must provide value and demand action in this step. Offer your customer coupons, free trials, email sign ups, purchase, or anything that you can directly link to your conversion.
For companies with larger budgets, there are plenty of 3rd party services who offer tools to help track and quantify your results. Google offers paid services like Wildfire.
For self-management you can use organizational tools like Tag Manager, data collection like Google Analytics, or good ol’ fashioned Excel spreadsheets to track things like drop off rates, CTR’s, conversion rates, lift, and correlation between audience growth and conversions. It helps to compare all these elements against both past performance, traditional marketing methods, and competition.
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