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Published On: Thu, Dec 7th, 2017

How can I tell if my social media strategy is generating results?

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It’s common to wonder whether your social media strategy is really generating the results you had in mind.

According to Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report, 61% of social media marketers consider measuring their social ROI to be their top challenge.

What makes a social media strategy successful?

Every goal can be measured by different KPIs, but they all have the same starting point. By setting up your goals from the first stage of your social strategy, you are able to measure your performance step-by-step without losing your focus from irrelevant metrics. This helps you track your objectives and analyze your progress toward achieving them.

Your goals should be smart: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. One goal can be to increase Facebook engagement by 25% in the next 3 months, or to double your brand mentions within the next six months.

Your goals may vary from one strategy to another but they all aim to help your business meet its wider goals. S.M.A.R.T. goals have more chances to help you understand the performance of your social strategy and its ROI, which leads to the question of how you define ROI.

Defining social ROI

The social ROI sounds intimidating to many marketers but in fact, you can simplify it by following this formula:

Social media ROI = Profit / Investment

A successful calculation of the social media ROI can be helpful in numerous ways:

  • Better overview of marketers
  • Improved visibility among the team
  • Clear goals for the department
  • Easier alignment with the business goals

Once a business is able to understand the performance of its social strategy, it’s easier for marketers to request further budget to improve their efforts. The buy-in for new plans becomes easier and they can prove that social media can have a key place in a marketing strategy.

In fact, what makes social media special in its position in a business strategy is the fact that it can make an impact in various departments, including brand, marketing, sales, PR, business development, customer experience and SEO.

Six KPIs to help you analyze the success of your social strategy

It’s good to start thinking of the most relevant objectives that can take your social strategy to the next level while proving its success to your organization.

When setting your KPIs, start by asking yourself if the goals help meet business objectives and if they’re trackable. It also helps to understand how the metrics you’re tracking match those initial goals.

The answers will lead you on deciding on the best objectives for your social strategy. Here are common KPIs for six particularly popular ones:

  • Brand awareness: The number of impressions, both organic and paid.
  • Engagement: The number of likes and comments, with an aim to analyze the interest from the followers in the brand’s posts
  • Traffic: The number of clicks that each social post brings to a website, which can be combined with engagement to measure how these two can offer additional information about the content consumption
  • Influence: The number of media mentions, the social coverage from other sources or the number of shares from influencers, all of which increase a brand’s authority in the field
  • Lead generation: The number of social signups, visits to landing pages or downloads of guides, making social media the first point of contact in the customer journey
  • Conversion: The number of sales that social media has facilitated, whether it’s about moving a prospect further in the funnel, or even completing a sale

According to Immediate Future’s survey, social engagement, such as likes and comments, was the first choice that marketers were able to track. The number of fans and shares coming second and third.

Similarly, Mary Meeker found that 56% of respondents picked engagement as their metric for social advertising success. Conversion and revenue came in second, followed by brand awareness and amplification.

These metrics confirm what we’ve already noticed in social media marketing: a shift toward relationship-building between brands and customers. Engagement is the key objective when creating a meaningful relationship between the brand’s social presence and its customers, and the number of comments is only the start of the analysis.

Overview

Tracking your social media ROI can be a challenge, but you can overcome it by revisiting your existing strategy to evaluate your goals.

If your existing goals meet your business objectives but you weren’t able to measure the success of your social strategy up to now, it’s time to find the right tools and the most relevant metrics. If your existing goals don’t meet your business objectives or you’re unable to measure their effectiveness, you need to consider how to adjust your social strategy to align with your expectations.

Once you start learning how to track your social ROI, you’ll be able to achieve more tangible results that can improve your social presence in:

  • learning your audience
  • creating a more successful social strategy
  • measuring your coral ROI more effectively
  • managing your tools and your social team more efficiently
  • proving how social media can help the wider organization
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