An Essential Guide to Understanding Social Media Metrics & ROI
Over the last decade or so, there has been an explosion of growth in the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well as other platforms including LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest. There is no denying that this is the era of social media and for the foreseeable future, the need for businesses to incorporate social media into their marketing efforts will only become stronger. After all, the rising stats of the social networks speak for themselves.
1. Facebook has over 1.19 billion active users monthly. Basically, if Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third largest.
2. 1 in 5 young adults aged between 18 and 25 uses Twitter. The social network is currently adding 300K users per day.
3. YouTube reaches more US adults aged between 18 and 34 than any cable network.
4. LinkedIn saw a 105% growth between 2011 and 2013.
5. 72% of online adults are social networking site users
In layman’s terms, whether you run a small, mid-size or enterprise level company, the statistics above clearly demonstrate that your customers are online. They are on the social networks looking for information and entertainment and interacting with friends, colleagues and brands. If you don’t leverage these opportunities for responsive communication and interacting with customers on a huge scale including those who are right down the street from you, make no mistake that your competitor will be doing just that.
Not to mention that social media can be a springboard for marketing success through other channels too because it takes your existing brand and solidifies it. It captures your company’s voice and propels it far and wide into the world opening up opportunities in other inbound marketing channels including but not limited to SEO, branding and public relations. Through social media, you can:
- Build relationships with customers. These will then serve as the foundation upon which other aspects of your business will flourish including advocacy and loyalty.
- Get feedback – on the social networks, information is shared at the speed of light so if you know how to take cues from your audience, social media can become an invaluable tool to gather insights and feedback.
- And finally, when integrated with the rest of your marketing efforts including branding and PR, social media can help you create a scalable experience for your customers, which will, in turn, amplify and solidify your work.
So as a business, having a successful social media presence can have a far-reaching impact. But how do you know if you’re doing it right and your social media marketing efforts are paying off?
This is where social media metrics and ROI come into play!
The Importance of Social Media ROI
There is a bunch of reason why online marketing appeals to many businesses and one of them is the fact that you can measure nearly everything you do. Once you collect the data you need, you can derive actionable takeaways. The challenge it seems is to remember that measuring and collecting data is only effective if you know what to measure and why. The point is to measure any return on your investment (ROI).
For some businesses, this is as simple as driving traffic and measuring conversions. For others, ROI may come in the form of increased foot traffic from a Yelp campaign. One thing is for sure: Knowing the ROI of your social media campaigns leads to action and budget based on solid data, facts and figures rather than assumptions and instinct. For example you can:
1. Track your brand growth – it helps to see where and how fast your social profiles are growing so you can better allocate your time and resources to the different social networks.
2. Visualize social demographics – the better you know your audience, the more you can craft your business messages to target a specific gender or geographical location.
3. Measure sentiment metrics – by paying attention to what people are saying about you, you can adjust your marketing efforts. You can do more of what your audience wants and less of what they are not appreciating.
4. See what content resonates – And finally, by measure clicks, likes, retweets and more, you can discover what content works and what content doesn’t so you can invest in content that resonates better with your target audience.
In short, whether you use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to increase sales, generate leads or drive other valuable customer activity for your business, it’s a good idea to measure your ROI because it helps you evaluate whether the time, resources and money you’re spending is going to a good cause, which is healthy profits for your business and/or improving the performance of the less successful campaigns.