Is Your Social Media Paying Off?
There is no doubt that many people are increasingly spending more and more time on Facebook and the like for personal reasons, and as such, social media has also increasingly become the place where people are making business buying decisions. Via social media, they are getting recommendations from friends, seeing targeted ads, and researching businesses they learn of.
How do you know if all of your tweeting and updates and blogs and new videos are making a difference? Because you are making more money, that’s how.
So yes, because you need to go to where the eyeballs are, your small business needs to be on social media, but you also have to be equally sure that you are getting a bang for your buck and time. After all, the self-employed only have so much time and resources.
How To measure Your Social Media Success
Here are 5 ways to know if your social media efforts are worth your time:
1. The bottom line: How do you know if all of your tweeting and updates and blogs and new videos are making a difference? Because you are making more money, that’s how.
The real danger with social media is that it is very easy to get sucked into it, to find yourself spending a lot of time with it because it’s fun and engrossing, and then telling yourself that it’s necessary, when really maybe it’s not because it’s not paying off financially.
Yes, social networking can be a great, affordable way to build a brand and meet new people (see below), but if you are not making more money as a result, you are doing something wrong.
2. Increased analytics: Consider this quote from the Mobile Marketing Association — they say that measuring the success of a new marketing campaign requires a new sort of analysis, which includes:
“The number of eyeballs, shakes and finger swipes. The number of blogs, articles, tweets and diggs. The number of acquisitions, conversions, calls, responses or purchases. Total basket size, consumer recall, loyalty and recommendations. Check-ins on foursquare and check-outs on Amazon.”
3. Increased traffic: Here is another quantifiable way to judge your results: An uptick in traffic. Of course, traffic can mean all sorts of things: It can be more people reading your blog, more hits on your website, more people shopping in your e-store, or more people coming into the physical store.
Here are a few ways to measure your online traffic:
• Google Analytics: Google Analytics is the standard for tracking traffic, keywords, incoming links, sites, etc.
• WordPress: If you use WordPress for your blog or site, there are a lot of plugins that can measure your numbers.
• TweetMeme: If you have re-tweet button on your site, TweetMeme is very helpful.
4. More relationships: There are a lot of benefits to getting a lot of new online friends and followers. For instance, social media affordably gets your business in front of a lot of new people and moreover, it can look impressive, having a lot of followers or people who “like” your fan page.
But the real value is that you can actually meet and get to do business with some new associates; people you would not otherwise normally meet. The people who really make money with social media and who have figured out how to use it to grow their business in fact use it to meet and create relationships.
After all, it’s not just called social media, it’s also called social networking. Use it to network.
5. Better brand awareness: While real relationships are a valuable way to measure your social media ROI, it is nevertheless also true that another valuable benefit is that more people will learn of your business. Having a lot of fans and followers, or having your tweets re-tweeted, increases brand awareness. Social networking, when done right, builds your brand.
While the ROI on your social media efforts may seem difficult to calculate, it actually is not dissimilar to the rest of your business: Track it, analyze it, see what works, and do more of that.