How Do You Measure Social Media Impact?
The businesses that use social media often experience positive results with their online marketing efforts. Using social media as a way of making solid connections and developing relationships with their followers is especially beneficial for these businesses.
Social media provides businesses with an effective means for building awareness of their brand. Businesses also have the opportunity to establish credibility with their target audience, rather than overtly selling to them.
Most businesses measure their success in terms of actual numbers, such as ROI (Return on Investment). Of course, there is no specific number or percentage you can place on a business relationship.
However, there are plenty of ways you can measure social media activity. And measuring activity can provide businesses with an idea of the extent of their social media impact.
Getting started with measuring your business’ social media impact
First things, first: you should decide up front which social media activity or activities you are going to measure and why.
Having clear-cut goals from the beginning will help save you time and headache in the long run.
Also, knowing what you are measuring helps you determine which “tools” you will need for measuring it. The right tool or tools allows you to obtain the information you need for measuring your social media impact.
You may feel initially overwhelmed by how much social media-related data is available to measure. With so many different tools available, which range from free to expensive, you should find at least one which can help you get started.
Lilach Bullock provides an excellent list of tools for measuring social media success, along with a description of each, in her recent article for Comms Axis, 20 of the top measuring & analytical tools for 2015.
Here are some of the better-known tools from her list that you may also consider using for measuring your business’ social media impact:
Unfortunately, as of right now, no one-size-fits-all tool that measures every aspect of your social media activity exists. You should research your options, and also be prepared to try out different tools before you find the one or ones that works best for your business.
And, as Bullock states in this same article,
By using a combination of tools you will get a full picture of your social media performance with in-depth insight into your customers, your own performance and your competitors.
Once you decide upon the tools, you are ready to start the process of measuring your social media efforts.
Here are a few other aspects you may wish to keep in mind as you measure your social media impact:
Make it easy for yourself
Remember your original goal, which involved deciding up front which specific activity or activities you chose to measure? Another good reason for doing this early on is so you won’t end up biting off more than you can chew, so to speak.
If you plan on measuring your Facebook page analytics, for example, then collecting additional data from Twitter or Google Plus, etc., is completely unnecessary, as well as a waste of your time.
Properly measuring your social media impact means you must be consistent when posting on your business’ social media platform(s). This helps you obtain the most accurate picture of your social media marketing activities.
Use the data you collect
What good is having useful data from your business’ social media activity at your fingertips, but not using it in ways which benefit your organization – or, more importantly, your clients?
In his article for Oracle, “Effective Social Media Strategies – Four Tips, Four Benefits,” Madhur Chaturvedi stated the following:
Companies that incorporate best practices in their approach to social media can get the maximum benefit from social media initiatives.
(Note: Unfortunately, the Oracle link broke, so we had to remove the hyperlink)
One way you can use the information you obtain from the data you have collected is to fine-tune your social media marketing efforts.
Chaturvedi lists sales improvements and customer service improvements as two of the main benefits for those businesses that leverage their data and form effective social media strategies from it.
Sales: Sales leads generated from social media platforms; and improved conversion of leads through actively engaging with prospects, providing targeted offers via social media, and driving greater brand advocacy by providing an open platform for happy customers to voice their opinions
Customer Service: Reduced time of responding to customers and improved customer satisfaction
Of course, there are so many other ways you can use to determine whether your business is making a social media impact, as well as how you can use the data you collect. Whichever way you choose for measuring your social media activity, know that you are making a good decision by not neglecting this crucial part of your online marketing.
How do you plan to measure and start making an impact with your business’ social media?
Images: Copyright http://www.123rf.com/profile_gavrilichev (Stock Image)
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