One of the biggest questions people ask is how to measure the return on their investment in social media. For both new and seasoned social media mavens, it can be tricky.
For e-commerce businesses, the results are often more tangible. Increased online sales are often a common measure of success. But what about businesses that don’t engage in online commerce? For these companies, the measure of success is often customer engagement and the dissemination of information.
Getting the word out can be paramount for a business such as a restaurant, where specials change day-to-day. Still, getting this type of information in the hands of your guests may be of great benefit, but are its effects measurable?
Customer engagement is one method by which many companies today measure the success of social media. Customer engagement measures how your customers are interacting with the information you are putting out there on outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.
First, examine the type of messages you are posting and tweeting. Is your messaging authentic and aligned with your brand essence? Are you avoiding ‘canned’ messages? Or are you talking without listening or only using this vehicle to sell, sell, sell?
Coming across as authentic in social media is a delicate balance of promoting your brand, while at the same time providing additional information that is industry-related or culturally relevant. If you can master this, you’ll gain traction and begin to increase your reach.
So what’s the point of social media if it doesn’t tangibly affect your bottom line? The truth is, any marketing endeavor that effectively keeps your brand alive in the minds of your target audience is sure to help your bottom line – you just might not see its impact immediately or directly. With consistent communication to your readers, fans, or followers, you continue to keep your business in the back of their minds. Moreover, you may become a source of information for your readers, who can, in turn, become brand ambassadors for your business.
Furthermore, you can use social media to enhance your professional image, establishing yourself as an expert or key point of contact in your industry. Positioning yourself as a source of industry news establishes you as someone to be listened to and trusted. In this way, social media becomes a lead generator, something to connect you with new customers or clients.
Most importantly, to fully connect with your friends and followers, make them feel special. Everyone has a voice on social media, so everyone has a virtual soapbox. It’s important to make your followers or fans feel like part of an elite group, through insider information, be it discounts, secret sales, or other benefits. conferred to followers and fans.
Ultimately, like any other marketing endeavor, set individual, tangible goals about what you want to gain from social media. While the financial costs associated with social media may be minimal, the time associated with engaging in a social media campaign can be quite demanding. Make it a part of your daily routine, but stick to your plan and your brand message, or you could find yourself devoting hours and hours without benefit.