While many businesses invest in social media to tap into coveted target markets, very few can quantify its return on investment. With this ever-evolving tool becoming an essential part of marketing strategy, it’s imperative to show its value – not only to increase effectiveness, but to ensure dollars are spent efficiently. Here’s how to get started:
First, identify your company’s key performance indicators. To start, look at the KPIs your company tracks for other strategies (i.e., finances or growth). Then, align these KPIs with your social strategy so you can understand what metrics are important to impact the bottom line. With social media’s evolution, metrics have gone farther than how many likes you receive, and into engagement or conversions. At the end of the day, it’s not about impressions or reach, but about what converted these customers and delivered a sale.
Next, track your conversions to follow customers along the consumer decision journey. You can implement this through tracking scripts or Google Analytics. By setting up tracking scripts (through Facebook and Twitter, for example) you can easily monitor successes taking place during and post-campaign. One way we track scripts at Cousins Subs is through online ordering conversions. While we have a myriad of partnerships and campaigns, we attempt to tie in an online ordering element. Through tracking scripts, we can determine how many people converted to purchases/sales. To retain and convert your intended audience, you must be informed about their behavior. With Google Analytics, you can set tracking tags on the URLs you use in campaigns, while also monitoring completed actions and website behaviors. Through these tactics, you’ll be better informed of your target audience.
Lastly, upon completion of these campaigns it’s equally as valuable to follow up and report on the KPIs you set. This allows you to make improvements for future campaign success.
The spheres of social media and its users change daily. What may have worked for one campaign may not be effective for the next. To better understand what’s working now and what might work in the future, it’s necessary to benchmark and understand the successes/failures from each campaign.
-Phil Batzner is digital and social media lead at Cousins Subs.