Analyzing social media marketing efforts is crucial for businesses
It’s difficult to track direct sales from social media marketing efforts, but there are applications like Hootsuite and even Google Analytics that make things easier. Marketers are commonly asked about ROI as it pertains to social media marketing investment. It seems like assessing ROI should be easy, but it isn’t always so; at least, not as easy as it is with a printed postcard campaign.
The following five steps, however, can help draw a bead on whether or not all those social media marketing dollars are driving actual paying customers to a business.
Set Clear Objectives
This may sound simple, but it’s a crucial step for assessing ROI. Without knowing what sort of goals are to be achieved, marketers can’t effectively evaluate ROI. While a specific dollar for dollar return on investment can sometimes be measured, it may not matter if the wrong or less-than-ideal customer is being targeted. This is where careful decision-making about your target market and goal setting comes into play.
Choose What You Measure
Choosing what to measure should be directly related to a company’s objectives. Social media marketing involves many factors aside from sales. In fact, most sales don’t occur via social media directly. However, creating a community that reflects advocacy, loyalty, trust, and sharing is essential for achieving sales. This is the purpose of social media marketing. With this in mind, objectives and targeted measurements can be established properly - not just a simple sales-driven methodology.
Collect Only Relevant Data
Relevant data is directly determined by objectives and measurements. Much of the available data will be generated through social media and Google Analytics. Other data from surveys and interactions will be collected and analyzed as well. It is vital to determine what the relevant data is prior to collection. Sometimes an enormous amount of data is collected. If the data isn’t relevant, it wastes valuable time and resources. Collect only what you needed. This also prevents over-collecting, which can cause violations of privacy for your site users.
Take Time to Analyze
A part of the analysis will involve plotting the data against various marketing actions. Additionally, looking at the marketing actions of competitors is helpful, especially social media actions. Finally, assess how external factors impact results. For instance, a news topic suddenly prompts a massive amount of visits to the company site. This won’t happen regularly and it should be eliminated from results.
Analyzing the data should offer several of the following insights:
- Some posts generate more visits than others.
- Various days of the week or times of day affect visit levels.
- Some actions and content generate more interaction.
- Visitor origin
Once the data is gathered and analyzed, there is still much to do. Measuring ROI alone isn’t enough; ROI must always be improved. How can this be accomplished? The answer is simple. Companies improve ROI by continuing to do what works and decreasing actions that don’t work.
Analyzing social media marketing efforts is crucial for businesses. There are numerous insights to be gleaned from interacting with customers via social media networks. Successful companies regularly measure and evaluate social media marketing efforts. It isn’t hard, and there are numerous tools available to aid businesses in their efforts, so don't keep putting it off. Research and get to work making the most of your social media marketing efforts.
About the author
Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising, branding, web and graphic design, and desktop publishing. She writes for PrintPlace.com, a company that offers online printing for business cards, catalogs, posters, brochures, postcards for direct mail, and more printed marketing media. In addition to her writing career, Tara also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. Connect with @TaraHornor on Twitter.