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Social Media for Lead Generation

More and more brands report that they use social media to generate leads and new business. Here are current best practices for using social media to boost business.

Use Multiple Social Platforms

Every social channel you use increases the potential for reach and effectiveness. Integrating and interconnecting those platforms also enhances connection with audiences online. Be sure to leverage all the platforms used by your target customers and clients.

Be Engaging

It’s not enough to post content and links to your website. Post interesting content that is useful to your customer. Bonus points for doing that in a fun way. Visuals and video are still great ways to capture attention if they are done well.

Be Interactive

Connect with customers on social beyond your own accounts. Comment and share their posts. Join groups and share ideas and help that aren’t direct sells. Businesses that effectively create positive impressions and beneficial relationships online are positioned to gain customers and reinforce relationships with existing customers.

 

In Search of Social Media ROI

We all know we need to measure the impact of our social media efforts. But how? Determining the return on investment (ROI) of social media is a challenge.

Every brand has different business goals, different audiences, and different reasons for using social media. So, it follows that there is no single ROI formula that works for every organization.

The right ROI measures are specific to you, and defining them starts with asking the right question. You need to get to the specifics of what you want to achieve on social media.

  • What business challenges do you want to solve?
  • What are your social media objectives?
  • What is the baseline that you want to impact?

If you don’t take the time to answer these questions, you can’t truly measure the impact of your social media effort. You can see trends in traffic and engagement, but you won’t know if it really matters to your business.

Social media metrics like reach, impressions and engagement are offered by all the major platforms and other tools. What they don’t necessarily tell you is whether any of that is helping you with your business challenge or advancing your objectives.

Define what it means to achieve your goal and reach your objectives. Then, select social metrics that reflect progress.  If your goal is to increase sales, then the number of followers on Facebook is not nearly as important as the sales numbers.

Don’t be afraid to start with assumptions of what measures will accurately reflect progress. It can be difficult to make a direct correlation between social activity and goals.

The important thing is to start with defining what you want to achieve. Then assess. You may need to refine your metrics as you go.

  • Are you making progress toward business goals?
  • Are objectives being met?
  • What role does each social tactic play?

Ask yourself these questions regularly. Look at the data. Adjust as needed.

How to Ensure ROI for Social Media

Social media is not free. It takes time to develop and implement your strategy. Increasingly, you need to pay to get your content seen.

Every business is right to ask if the investment is worthwhile. The only way to know if you are getting a return on your investment for social media, is to set goals and measure success. That’s easy to understand, but deciding what to measure to get meaningful insight can be a challenge.

Metrics let you show the impact of your efforts, allocate resources, track progress and optimize for continued success.

Define the Right Measures of Success
Defining the right metrics starts with having a digital strategy. There, you define your goals. The right metrics measure progress toward your goals.

There are three general types of metrics to consider:

Business-Level Metrics

Business-level metrics speak to the goals of your organization. Here you show how your digital efforts are contributing to the big-picture goals of your brand. Generally, business-level metrics are data that show financial returns like profit and savings.

Examples: Market share, revenue, brand equity, brand awareness, share of voice, customer lifetime value, and brand affinity

Performance Metrics
Performance metrics, also called key performance indicators (KPIs), measure performance against the goals in your digital strategy. This data provides direct measures against the defined goal(s). These metrics generally have set time frames.

Examples: Sales, reach, engagement, engaged users, clicks, traffic, quality traffic, audience growth, leads, mentions, earned impressions, and conversions

Optimization Metrics
Optimization metrics provide insights on how to improve your social media and other digital efforts. This data is collected to show what’s working and what’s not, so that you can fine-tune your online activities.

Examples: Click through rate, cost per click, conversion rate, engagement rate, engagement per post, reach per post, retention rate, and growth rate

Take Time to Assess
With measures defined, determining your ROI on social media becomes easy. Set aside time once a quarter to track your performance. Although you may be active on social media every day, it takes time to see the impact of the effort. You want to understand the trends in your data.

Listen to your data. Make changes as needed. Capitalize on what is working well.