Social media marketing is rapidly becoming the method of choice for marketers in all industries. Even so, social media marketing can often be difficult to quantify in terms of return on investment simply because it functions differently than traditional marketing. In many instances, marketers find themselves in the position of having to justify the time and resources spent on social media marketing. The following tips can help your brand to make the most of your social media strategy without being caught in the trap of trying to justify it.
The first and most important step that you can take is to separate ROI from the concept of social media marketing. Too many brands often make the mistake of assuming that social media marketing equals sales. Social media marketing works best when you understand that is best deployed for defining or even re-inventing your brand’s identity. Any goal that is related to using your social media strategy for increasing your bottom line should be eliminated. A robust social media marketing strategy can eventually help your business to boost sales but not in a direct manner.
Using Meaningful Measurements
While it is best not to measure social media in terms of dollars, it is possible to measure it in terms of interaction. The ultimate goal of social media should be based on what you hope to accomplish in terms of consumer behavior. For instance, you might establish a goal of reaching 5 percent more users or to increase average engagement among a particular population of users. Social media measurements are ultimately based on Key Performance Indicators or KPIs. The good news is that there are tools available to assist you with measuring KPIs, such as Sprout Social. Other metrics you might consider measuring include message velocity, total reach, and social share of voice.
Be Willing to Be Flexible
It is inevitable that some social media strategies will work and some will not. With that said, you must be willing to analyze what is working and what is not and pull the plug on those techniques that simply are not working for your brand. Even strategies that are working but perhaps not as well as you would like can benefit from being altered, optimized, and refined over time. If your brand is not evaluating your strategy at least twice per year, you are likely missing the opportunity to maximize your strategy.
Remember to Follow Guidelines
While there is a fair amount of flexibility allowable in social media marketing, there are also certain guidelines that should be followed in order to achieve maximum success. Keep in mind that social media is extremely fast paced. Consequently, it does not take long for a negative post to go viral. Remember that due to the fast paced nature of social media, it is also vital that you respond to comments quickly. Be proactive by setting a response time for messages and make a commitment for sticking to that schedule.