A few years ago social media was perceived as a whole lot of nothing between bored teenagers and music fans but nowadays the phenomena has moved away from this perception into a real and non-negligible business tool. There is no doubt that it has innumerable benefits and that it helps drive exposure and awareness which in turn increase sales and leads. It is a business’ responsibility to market their brand accordingly and to come to an understanding of how social media can impact their business and… bottom line.
Do not start using social media just because you think you should, or because your competitors are doing it, that is a recipe for disaster. Make sure to research, plan and then act. As with any marketing activity the key is to understand where your customers hang out and who they are. As with anything in business, if you don’t plan your efforts with a goal in mind, you will more than likely find yourself crying and pulling your hair out.
Depending on what you are trying to achieve, there are five measures of ROI to gauge how you are progressing with your efforts.
1. Increased Sales | Customers Are Flooding In.
This is without a doubt one of the most obvious methods of measuring how you are progressing. If you have experienced a significant increase in sales or enquiries after you launched a particular marketing campaign, you can account for the help of social media. You might want to look at your sales figures before and after and also at the number of new clients you have captured.
2. Fans | Hi Nation.
Having many followers isn’t always an indication of your engagement but it’s a good place to start. If your fans have increased significantly after a certain campaign you will be able to gauge the quality of this effort on your overall business. Another thing which can be added to this is the quality of your fans and how they can impact your business, if more and more fans are joining your following and it is obvious that they are part of your target market, your number of enquiries and exposure are both likely to increase in the long term.
3. Enquiries | Dring Dring
High quality leads will vary from business to business however the effect of better networking and more prospecting cannot be neglected by any business. If through social media you are increasing the quality of your business resources, leads and customer relationship management, you are definitely doing something right. If you are not then you have to wonder – are we targeting the wrong niche? Is our tone wrong? Are we focusing on our ideal customer profile?
4. Growth In Reputation | Flaunting Your Expert Badge
Has social media helped you place yourself as an expert in your community? Are people coming to you for advice? If you have had repeat business from social media connections or you are becoming the ‘go-to’ person in your industry you can establish that social media is helping you grow your brand and improving perception.
5. Better Customer Insights | You Really Get Them Now!
Social media is a valuable tool when it comes to gathering market research or customer insights – it’s a direct conversation with your customers. Capturing the needs and wants of your customers to transform them into tangible solutions for them is the key of sound and effective marketing. Has your business offering improved since you started to use social media? Have you been able to develop new solutions for your target market? These are two more subtle indicators of how well you are doing engagement wise and ultimately business wise.