As you put more time and money into your social media marketing campaign, it may be time for a reassessment. One of the biggest problems companies and their marketing departments are facing is whether their resources are directly generating more sales.
There are some companies that use social media marketing improperly and then complain about its lack of results. What these companies don’t understand is that social media marketing is about engagement and being an active participant with your followers.
Social media platforms are not for companies to blast their own updates and their own content. It is a platform to exchange ideas and nurture relationships. Many brands are still coming to terms with this, which is why 49% of digital marketers say social media marketing is one of their most difficult tasks.
However, even when used properly, reevaluating your social media marketing strategy is always a good idea. These are the steps needed and should be applied quarterly, or at least every six months, to ensure that you’re maximizing your return from social media.
Evaluating Your Social Media Marketing Campaign
When starting your campaign, did you take the time to set clear, concise goals? In the beginning, not all of your goals should be directly tied to increasing sales. However, as time goes on, it’s important to make sure that your activities on social media are increasing your revenue.
As your goals change, so will your KPIs. These indicators will show you which areas of your strategy are producing results and which need to be improved. And, as with everything, you need to set short and long term S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Timely).
When just starting on social media, it’s good to focus more on brand awareness. Your posts should focus on engagement and supporting brand objectives, rather than on generating revenue.
You can’t be everywhere. The good thing is you don’t have to be because your audience isn’t either. Take the time and clearly define your target audience. Then track their activities on each of the social media platforms to see where you need to be.
When defining your audience, be as specific as possible. The more vague your target audience, the harder it will be target them specifically. If you need help defining your target audience, read our article Defining Your Social Media Marketing Target Audience.
There is so much data available now that it can be overwhelming. This is why setting clear, concise goals and KPIs is so important. If you don’t know what to track, you’re more than likely going to concern yourself with the wrong information.
When it comes to social media marketing, analytics is a two-part problem. First, you need to set up Google Analytics to track incoming traffic from social media (and other sites). How did your visitors arrive on your site? How long did they stay? Which pages did they visit after arriving? Was it different when coming from different platforms? Google Analytics will tell you the answer to all of these questions, plus much more.
The second part of analytics is that each of the individual social media networks have their own analytics. Which of your posts generate the most engagement? What times do your posts receive the most engagement? How does this information help restructure your strategy? See which of your posts and hashtags generate the engagement you’re looking for and continue tinkering.
To develop and nurture relationships on social media, you need to be active. That doesn’t mean blindly liking a bunch of posts and tweets you think are relevant. It means reading and sharing articles, commenting, and engaging. This type of engagement is what you’re looking for from your followers. You will never receive what you don’t put in.
The only way to convert all of this information into useful data is to determine which are the most important to you and your objectives. Once determined, find a social media dashboard that fits your budget and provides all the tools necessary to achieve success.
Don’t forget to monitor the accounts and mentions of competitors as well. Learn from what they do well and how to improve upon their shortcomings. Plus, by tracking their mentions, you can respond to complaints. Nielson reports that 33% of customers prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the telephone. If you respond before your competitor you may gain a convert.
Not all of the goals associated with your social media marketing campaign will have a financial ROI. However, as mentioned, the goal of your social media marketing campaign should eventually be to grow revenue. If, for instance, your goal is brand awareness, there will more than likely be a short-term financial loss. That doesn’t mean that your strategy is failing. That’s why setting and tracking specific KPIs important to your strategy is so important.
When setting long-term goals, you are going to have to include an increase in revenue directly attributed to social media marketing. Take the time and combine your goals with analytics to see revenue generated.
The only way to properly track your ROI is to meticulously track all costs, including, but not limited to, manpower, technology, and any outsourcing. Then, by using Google Analytics and other data, learn how much revenue was generated from your social media strategy.
Successful Social Media Marketing Campaigns
Social media marketing isn’t a one-time job. You can’t even post weekly and be done with it. You need to be active and consistently engaging with your audience. That also means that you will constantly be tinkering and changing your methods and approach. Test what works best for your company, with your specific target audience, and your brand objectives.
Focus on providing your audience with:
- Quality Content
- Visuals (Photos, Videos, Infographics)
- Engagement with Followers
Restructuring Your Social Media Marketing Campaign
Because social media is so fluid, you’re never going to get your strategy right the first time. Probably not the second or third time either. That doesn’t mean social media marketing isn’t worth the effort or that there aren’t any benefits.
By following best practices, and by taking the time to clearly define your target audience as well as your goals and KPIs, you will at least be able to track whether or not your campaign is succeeding at the specific metrics important to your company.
Be consistent. That doesn’t mean be consistent in your approach because you’ll always be tinkering. Be consistent in regards to your activity. Your social media campaign should be focused on developing and nurturing relationships to keep your sales funnel full.
One of the most difficult aspects of your campaign will be to calculate your social media marketing ROI. Don’t forget, that time is part of that calculation. So continue reading about 22 Ways to Save Lots of Social Media Time.
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