How To Track Social Media ROI In 2018
We all know that shortening your links for social media is a great way to help users (and yourself), get more value out of the interaction.
Social media can be the linchpin of a successful marketing campaign. Yet while it’s clear that you should be investing in social channels to drive your brand development in 2018, how can you tell what’s working, what’s not, and where your resources would be best spent?
Tracking your social media ROI is essential to the long-term health and success of your business. In fact, in the US, around 81 percent of the population has a profile on at least one social network.
Fortunately, it’s not as tough to measure your ROI as it might sound. To help you get on top of this critical bit of marketing knowhow, we’ve put together a brief 101 to get you started.
Recommended reading: Organize Your Links and Tap the Potential of QR Codes
Know Your Core Metrics
Everyone’s talking about data and analytics these days, and terms like “metric” and “KPI” get thrown about a lot. But all this is more than just jargon, and it is important to understand which metrics you need to measure for your business, and what the key performance indicators are for your chosen commercial goal.Some elements you might benefit from tracking include the following:
- Number of followers, and number of new followers.
- Social mentions.
- Website visitors and conversions.
- Brand awareness.
- Mailing list sign-ups.
But beware, don’t fall into the trap of tracking vanity and buzz metrics; the combination you choose to keep tabs on will heavily depend on your business goals.
There is no need to track every detail if you’re short on resources. Instead, narrow down your options to those metrics that will tell you the most about the areas of your business you are focusing on developing.
Set Specific Goals
This brings us onto our next tip: setting your goals. You need to set out your aspirations for your social media presence, as well as for your business as a whole. Do you want to generate more leads? Increase your number of followers? Increase web traffic? Support SEO initiatives? Or perhaps you want to drive brand awareness, and build recognition in your target audience.
Whatever you settle on, you will then need to identify the metrics that will give you the best idea of how well your business is performing in that area, and how it might be improved. This is the first step to successfully measuring your ROI. After all, while there are many ways in which your business can benefit from a strong social media presence, this can be devalued if the benefits you see are not aligned with your aspirations.
Remember that traffic driven by social media marketing is often more likely to convert, as it comes from a source where individuals have made a definitive choice to interact with your brand. This means social media can directly drive sales. As such, you should keep track of core metrics such as revenue and sales figures in addition to more obvious social media metrics such as audience size and engagement.
– Below are some great measures you can introduce to help you to track the return on your social media investment –Goal-setting: Decide what you want from your social media outlets and which of your platforms you want to focus on. Some of the goals you can introduce are:
- Increased sales on a specific platform.
- Selling to a new geographical region.
- Focusing on the demographic among your social media followers who are most receptive to seasonal promotions by posting seasonal content, then measuring the number of likes, comments, shares, and retweets. Retarget these same followers with ads and sponsored content.
- Designing, and then measuring, seasonal advertising campaigns that use trackable links and landing pages to drive conversions and sales.
Measure Ad Campaigns
One of the best ways to develop a picture of how well your business is performing on social media is to evaluate the success of paid ads. By targeting your audience with a strong CTA as part of a winning ad campaign, you can quickly develop a picture of the extent to which your audience is willing to engage with your brand.
Furthermore, this provides you with an excellent opportunity to see how well your social media marketing stacks up next to your other marketing efforts. One way to do this is to run A/B tests, in which you run the same ads on a number of different channels and measure which have the most success.
– Facebook altered its search algorithms in early 2018, putting an even greater emphasis on making sure you are getting the most out of the ad campaigns you run on its platform –
You can gain particularly dynamic insights from tests, giving you a far more comprehensive understanding of your audience. For example, you might find that an ad is more widely viewed and shared on one platform, but that it secures more conversions on another. These details are essential for optimizing your campaign, and providing customers with the right sort of ad content at the right time.
A tool like AdEspresso is invaluable when it comes to optimizing ad campaigns and targeted competitor research.
Evaluate Your Marketing As a Whole
When measuring the ROI of your social media marketing, it is important to remember that it is just one part of a wider campaign, which should be tied together across a number of channels. As such, you should avoid simply measuring your social media performance in isolation.
Compare your results throughout your marketing efforts, and weigh up not only how each element performs, but how successful it is in relation to the rest of the campaign. For example, you might see what appears to be a low conversion rate from a particular ad campaign on Facebook, yet discover that it is widely shared and commented on, building brand visibility.
Many social media channels include helpful tools to facilitate measurement of your interactions with your audience. Facebook Analytics and Twitter Analytics are just a couple of examples. These insights can also help you create detailed buyer personas, enabling you to enhance your brand message in accordance with the perceived needs of your core demographics.
Marketing ROI to some extent will always be subjective, as it is dependent on your own aspirations for your business. Set clear goals for your campaign, and make sure that you and your marketing team know which metrics to track to determine the success of your social media interactions.
Once you have a clear framework in place, you will be able to gather invaluable insights about your audience and their expectations. This in turn will enable you to develop and optimize your social media presence to form stronger bonds with your target demographic, and reinforce your marketing campaign as a whole.
Victoria Greene is a freelance writer with a long history of covering social media topics. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she covers updates in the social media world, along with ecommerce and digital marketing.