Thursday, May 26, 2011

How to measure your social media effectiveness

It’s not just about the numbers of followers or likes
 ‘Almost’ enough with basic talk and let’s discuss tools you can use to successfully pitch social media to those who still can’t see the ROI generated. In fact, the below is not really my own, most of it might be  based on experiences that I went through, but it is only fair that I give the credit to Mark Paddock from Social Media Pow. We all agree that once an ROI is clear, the client/brand guardian/organization… will buy in quicker and will soon turn into a practice custodian himself. And that’s exactly the point and the objective of this post.
What Return On Investment has your Social Media Marketing achieved for you so far?
It’s incredibly important for a company to know how they will measure this, even from angles you wouldn’t have thought about. It’s not just about the numbers of followers or likes. It’s about all the other benefits Social Media Marketing brings. Below are the metrics we measure for our clients that give a full picture of the impact of Social Media.
#1 Converted Sales – The most obvious metric and the easiest to measure results.

#2 Leads created – Next best thing to a sale is a hot lead. We must measure the leads gained from our social media activity and monitor when they convert. Track the links posted in your messages/updates/tweets etc.
#3 Customers Converted to brand advocates — This is (as Neil Glassman of Social Times puts it) the Holy Grail of social media marketing and is the most difficult for brands to attain. Your social media initiatives have identified influencers; your content on appropriate platforms facilitates user-generated content; and, as a result, your advocates lead the social media conversations about your brand. Every brand should strive for this — few will achieve it.
#4 Increased “likability”. How Likeable Are You?— Now i’m not against counting FB “Likes” as a metric. After all if a visitor clicks “Like” then they are effectively saying “i’m willing to be notified of your posts”. Though “Likes”, “Followers” and “Connections” plus other readily available metrics like re tweets and shares do not necessarily indicate engagement or intent. However the speed in which likes appear can indicate the viral effect of you marketing. If it took 1 month to get 50 likes then another month to add 250 likes then clearly your page popularity is spreading virally.

#6 Social Sentiment and Reputation — Too many brands spend too much time “defending” themselves against negative tweets and other social media comments. Earn a positive reputation by promoting what’s positive about your brand. Use buzz monitoring tools like Hootsuite or Google Alerts to monitor the positive a negative mentions of you brand or company name. Do your upmost to appease the negative commenters and thank with the upmost appreciation the positive commenters
#8 SEO Improvement— Your social media initiatives are a part of, not apart from, your other marketing activities. And your website is not likely to be taken dark any time soon. While it’s not a good idea to habitually kick customers from social media platforms to your web site, your social media content and activities can be used to improve your search rankings.
Take the time to make sure your profiles and pages are as keyword rich as possible. There are plenty of text boxes for you to populate so do it thoroughly. Linkedin Profiles and Company pages plus Twitter and Facebook pages carry the most weight for SEO.
#9 Reduce costs — A company with a “social” business culture has genuine, transparent internal communications with employees actively engaged in wider social activities. With all eyes and ears open, everyone is more likely to approach his or her job as a stakeholder, seeking increased efficiency and improved products in ways that hit the bottom line. And the top line.

#10 Provide improved customer support — Social media provides a wonderful opportunity for “push” customer service. You can be where your customers are hanging out and enlist the help of their peers with advice and solutions. Brands that listen carefully — and this is not a new concept, folks — can use social media to make changes in their communications processes to reduce support incidences and increase customer satisfaction.

Thanks Mark and to all those who read that far. Will be happy to read your comments and answer any questions.

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