Social media marketing may be popular, but how can you ever judge its true effectiveness?
How many times have you heard that question? The chances are all-too frequently. Every internet marketing business appreciates the benefits that social media marketing can bring: they understand its accessibility, appreciate its sharing capability and value its ability to increase the awareness of brands. But after that they tend to struggle. Most businesses look for short-term results. It’s only when they can see these that they feel they are getting value for money and a tangible return on investment.
The problem is the social media doesn’t tend to work like that.
Social media marketing is a long-term strategy. If you give it long enough and put in the required work, it will deliver tangible benefits. So should you continue to plug away with the social media if the benefits aren’t immediately obvious? Well, the simple answer is yes – you should, because, contrary to perceived wisdom, you can still measure the impact that social media is having on your business and potential profits, even in the infancy of a campaign. How? Well look at these factors.
The number of followers.
If you only have a few followers on any of your social media accounts, you’re unlikely to make much of an impact when it comes to generating leads. You’ll need a bigger audience before you can start to sell products and services. The greater the number of followers ad fans you have, the greater your chances of selling things. But followers are more than just leads: they are part of a community. Social media is all about engagement and building a brand. It takes time and effort. Your followers might not be buying your products now, but as you start to build awareness brand loyalty will also grow. In the longer term your followers will turn into conversions.
Just because your social media followers aren’t buying any of your products or services doesn’t mean they are engaging with your business. They may well be engaging in other less-obvious ways. If your fans and followers are actively engaging with you on social media through likes, comments, shares and posts, you will know that your social media campaign is working. Build on this blossoming relationship and find new and innovative ways to engage with your audience. In that way you’ll build a loyal customer base that will eventually become brand ambassadors.
Analytics and Traffic.
A critical part of any online marketing strategy, whether that’s SEO or social media marketing, should be to regularly review and analyse every possible piece of information about your visitors and their behaviour. Using analytics you should be able to see which visitors are being referred from your social networks. Even if you are not getting a high number of referrals from social media sites, if you haven’t changed your marketing strategy yet are still getting more traffic in general, that should serve as an indication that your social media strategy is creating greater brand awareness and sending more traffic to your site.
You can also check the analytics on your chosen social network, either directly through the site in some instances or through a service like Sprout Social. With such analytics you can learn more about your customers and discover which aspects of your social campaign are working by noting which posts get the most engagement and shares.