I’ll get right to the point, there is no value to brands participating in social media. Why? Because for many, evaluation metrics haven’t been set up in advance. And that’s not the fault of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Tumblr, it’s yours.
We hear rumblings and read articles stating that social isn’t working for them. And it doesn’t work, because the outcomes are undefined and the tracking is non-existent.
Despite the many protests, social media is trackable. But you must decide on a strategic plan with specific steps you want your consumer to take and assign value to each individual action.
What do you want social media to do for you? Drive traffic to your website, provide customer service duty, convert users to buyers, get people to a trial, reach new audiences? If the answer is vague, mapping content to consumer actions and ultimately to a social valuation is going to be a bit challenging.
Define Your Strategy
To avoid brand disconnect, define how your social media strategy integrates with your marketing communications plans and your brand’s overall business objectives. This is a critically important step that will help guide all other social media activity.
An example of an excellent social media strategy is Black Angus Steakhouse. They understand their current target market, have a specific goal for their Facebook page, integrate the messaging across channels and are creating content that maps back their business goals.
When creating messaging, consumers need to be able to follow the directions in order to fulfill the goal. If you want your Facebook fans to sign up for a free trial, place that option on a custom tab on your Page. Provide consistent content updates that ask fans to take the free trial.
On Autodesk’s PLM360 Facebook Page, they place the free trial on a custom tab with a clear call to action and an easy to follow guide to sign up.
Assign Value To Actions
This is not so chimp simple, but well worth the effort. As you dissect actions on your page, you will be able to begin assigning monetary values to them. If you don’t know the exact answers, you will be able to fine tune your calculations as your program evolves and you gather data. So don’t worry about it being perfect the first time around, just try to get it as close as possible.
For example, if an ebook or whitepaper is downloaded from your website 500 times and you estimate that five of the individuals who downloaded the content will result in a sale with an average order of $1000, then each download is worth $10.
Additionally, if 100 people sign up for and attend a webinar and 5 place an order at $1000, then each webinar sign up is worth $50.
You will then have to back out the percentage of individuals who originated from social media sites to give you a clearer picture on how social media marketing is converting into sales for your company.
We use a combination of both paid and free tools to get more precise information. But since it’s free and accessible to everyone, Google Analytics is a great tool to help you assign value to website actions and track social media’s impact on your business.
By understanding the value of a potential customer attending a webinar after clicking on a Twitter link, a Fan clicking through from Facebook to your website, a visitor downloading or reading and Tweeting an article, it can help you better understand social media’s return on investment to your organization. Knowing how social media-generated actions benefit your company is essential to leveraging its potential.