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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.

Create Social Media Content that Connects

Social media content is not just words. It is an effort to reach out to and connect with your target audience.  Here are some ideas to create social media posts that’ll get your audience talking to you.

Know Your Goal

Every post should have a goal. Is the goal to create awareness? Are you trying to connect with your audience? Do you want them to take a specific action after reading your post?

Speak to Their Needs

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Before you write, answer the following questions:

  1. Would my audience find this interesting?
  2. Why would my audience care?
  3. Would they have something to say in reaction?

Encourage Reactions

Write your posts in a way that encourages conversation. Ask open-ended questions. Invite opinions. Post a poll with options so that people can interact with just a click.

Be Meaningful

A good way to connect with your audience is to  offer content that helps them and addresses a need. Give your audience information, make them smile, or share some inspiration. They are likely to comment when your content hits home.

Also create meaning by being true to your brand. To stand out, you need to be yourself and reflect your brand personality.

Not Dead Yet!

The headlines catch our eye. Millennials are moving away from social media, says the NY Post. Twitter is dying. While there is a kernel of truth to be had, the latest data from Pew makes it clear that social media will continue to be important for marketing and communication for years to come.

The latest annual social media survey of U.S. adults finds that the social media landscape is defined by a mix of long-standing trends and emerging narratives. Pew began surveying about the use of different social media in 2012

Facebook and YouTube continue to dominate. Younger Americans (especially those ages 18 to 24) embrace a variety of platforms and use them frequently.

2018Pew

Facebook is the primary platform for 68 percent of Americans. About three-quarters of those users access Facebook on a daily basis. A majority of Americans across  all demographic groups except 65+ now use Facebook.

YouTube is now used by nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults and 94% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

The share of social media users who say these platforms would be hard to give up has increased by 12 percentage points compared with a survey conducted in early 2014. But, 59% say it would not be hard to stop using these sites, including 29% who say it would not be hard at all to give up social media.

More Insights

  • 68% of U.S. adults are Facebook users
  • Other than YouTube, no other social media sites or apps are used by more than 40% of American
  • There continues to be substantial differences in social media use by age group and even within age groups

The report offers rich insight by platform and by user demographics. This is my go to resource as I research effective platforms for clients all year.