According to the 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 62% of marketers do not know how to value their social media efforts. Valuing your social media efforts can be daunting. What is the value of a ‘like’ on Facebook or a follower on Twitter? If you are an online retailer and your Facebook advertising efforts generated $246,000 in sales in Q2 with 350,000 Page likes, each Page like is worth about $0.70 to your brand. Not so daunting, right? Well, it’s almost never that easy. Not every user clicks on your Facebook ad or content and immediately makes a purchase. And what if you’re not a retailer? How do you value social media based on the number of contact forms or phone calls you receive?
Set advertising goals specific to your social media efforts.
First, you need to define your goals. What do you want your social advertising efforts to accomplish for your brand?
- Increase online sales by 15% in 2018.
- Generate 20% more phone calls in Q4 2017.
- Increase website traffic by 30% year-over-year.
Maybe your goal is to increase brand awareness of your brand. That’s a tough one to measure, but you bet it’s possible! These are all good goals, and there are other great goals out there, but you need to start with actually having a goal to know if your efforts are successful. That’s step one.
Get the proper tracking in place.
After you know your goals for each social channel, it’s time to track them. Getting proper tracking in place is essential for showing value not only in your social media efforts, but all of your marketing efforts. If you don’t know what your audience is doing when they get to your website or where they’re coming from, you’re going to struggle with knowing how your marketing strategy is performing.
First and foremost, you will need Google Analytics code on your website. This tracks any and all activity on your website. Pretty neat, huh? On top of that, you will need conversion codes implemented on the appropriate pages of your website from each social platform. These codes will help you value your advertising efforts, but are not needed for those not advertising.
Choose the right metrics for success.
Have you ever dug into the amount of data given to you in Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, etc.? It’s insane! There is so much. I have gotten lost in the data many times, losing sight of what I was originally looking for. Or if I’m pulling together a report for the first time, I sometimes find myself starting to create a long, detailed report filled with information that my client doesn’t necessarily care about (I just get so excited about the data!). I have to take a step back and think about what’s really important. If your boss only cares about sales and the bottom line, you shouldn’t waste time by putting together detailed reports of clickthrough rates, retweets, or post shares.
So, what next?
After you’ve set your goals and decided on metrics to measure, you’re on track to valuing your social media efforts. Even when you narrow down your focus, there is still a great deal of data to analyze and pull conclusions from. Not all social platforms are created equal and not all campaigns have the same strategies and objectives behind them. Carefully reviewing and analyzing the data from all aspects, including how social media affects other areas of your online marketing strategy, is where the work (and fun!) really comes into play.
This is what our team does every day for our clients. Day in and day out we are diving into our client programs, figuring out what is working and what isn’t. As a fellow marketer, we know you have a lot on your plate. Don’t you wish there were unlimited hours in a day? (We do!) Taking the time to analyze the performance of our social media marketing efforts for your brand is what we do. We take it off your plate and put it onto ours. And we have room for seconds.