Social Media Marketing: Making it Measurable and Accountable
Social media marketing, while undoubtedly a must-use channel for some businesses, is often approached in entirely the wrong way. There’s a habit of using social media as a digital marketing channel just as a box ticking exercise.
“Let’s get on Facebook cos such and such a body said it’s a great way to generate leads!”
“There’s loads of people on Twitter. We should get some followers!”
Those are statements that are the wrong reason to start out on a social media marketing campaign. Social media should be treated the same as all other online marketing solutions – objectives driven and measurable. But what does this mean?
1. Setting Objectives
Before you even begin to contemplate setting up profiles and stalking your prospective customers across the web, ask yourself one simple question:
What do I want to achieve for my business through social media marketing?
Maybe you want visitors? Maybe it’s enquiries? Maybe you want people to share your content? Maybe you want to use it as a means of reaching people who will link back to you?
Whatever it is that you are trying to achieve, put it in writing and make it SMART!
By SMART we mean:
So whatever your objective, try and make it smart. If you want traffic, you could perhaps set out by saying:
I want to have achieved 2000 click throughs to my website from social media platforms by the end of November 2012.
You can then set another when you hit it. This gives you something to aim towards and, more to the point, a means of assessing whether you have made progress when you come to look at the results of the activity.
2. Research and Benchmarking
Make no assumptions about how many friends/fans/followers you need and on which platforms you should aim to acquire them. Instead, do your research. Find out where your target demographic is spending its online social networking time and where your competitors are focussing their activity as well.
Don’t assume you need 5 million fans because some big multi national brand has 5 million fans! Benchmark against your direct competitors.
Don’t set out thinking you’ll just put whatever you can into it. Have a clear idea as to what resources you are prepared to put in to meet your objectives. It might be a cash resource or it might be time (yours or someone else’s). But resource it ahead of the start of the project based on the value that meeting your objective will have.
4. Everything Objectives Driven
When you come to carry out any social media activity at all, you should be asking yourself:
“Will this help me to meet my objective?”
5. Measuring and Analysis
Every single month at least you should be picking apart the results of the social media campaign. As with any online marketing solution you use, you should be able to visibly identify where the spend or resources have gone and what progress you have made towards your ultimate objective.
You can use Google Analytics, Facebook Insights or other platforms to measure (depending on what your objectives are). But make sure you carry out an honest assessment of what’s working, what isn’t and whether you’re still on target to hit that end goal.
Use your monthly findings to tailor the following month’s activities.
In setting about social media this way, you can make sure your campaign is as measurable and accountable as all other online channels you are marketing through.
Author Bio: Thanks to Lyndsey Ashley for this post on making social media accountable. Lyndsey is a freelance copywriter and social media marketer from the UK.