Social media marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand. And much like SEO, a social media marketing campaign is long-term and requires consistency in order to be effective. Some website owners are still struggling to measure the effects of their social media marketing campaign and prove ROI. While it may not be as black and white as some marketing efforts, it is still possible to measure social media ROI.
Here are 6 ways to measure the effects of social media marketing:
1. Visitor growth
This is the easiest social media marketing benefit to measure—how many new visitors are coming to your site or blog via social media? Someone following you on Twitter or that has Liked your company on Facebook is classifying themselves as your target audience and is essentially giving you permission to interact with their online world. It’s up to your messaging strategy to drive them from your social profile to your website.
Comments on your company blog and Google+ or Facebook page or questions directed to your Twitter handle are a good sign that your content (which drives your social media marketing campaign) is appealing to your target audience. You want to get people talking to and about your brand, sharing your information and spreading your messaging strategy throughout their own social networks. Just remember that not everyone who engages with your brand on a social network is going to leave a comment. Out of 100 visitors to your Facebook page, maybe only 2 posted something on your wall. Don’t assume that the comments behind reflect the majority opinion either.
3. New fans/followers over time
Just throwing up a Facebook or Google+ page doesn’t mean people are going to bother to connect with your brand on them. You need to give your audience a reason to get involved with your brand on social networks. Social media will give back what you put in! How many new fans and followers are you getting across the board once you ramp up your social media marketing campaign? Are they real people or bot profiles? Are you connecting with more industry professionals or is it mainly your customers?
4. Additional social shares
Keep an eye on how many times your content is being reTweeted, shared, liked, posted, submitted to social bookmarking sites and so forth. The more times a piece of content is shared via social networking the more valuable it becomes in the eyes of the search engines.
Keep in mind that social media isn’t about immediate sales. A lot of businesses want to see a direct line from social media, like a specific Facebook post, to a new sale and it isn’t that black and white. Social media is just one more piece of the puzzle that impacts your sales/conversion rate. However, a ramped up social media marketing campaign will most likely impact your sales overtime, especially if everything else remains constant.
6. Business relationships
Having a presence on a social network is a great way to establish new business relationships. For instance, a reporter that followed me on Twitter contacted me for a quote in a story they were writing. Even though we have never met face-to-face, our online relationship is incredibly valuable. Without a strong social media presence, that reporter would have never heard of me.