To implement your social media marketing strategy, you’re probably spending lots of time and effort posting content, liking posts and sharing other peoples best content?

Do you know if all of this effort is actually benefiting you or your business? Is it integrated with your marketing strategy? Does it contribute to your overall business goals?

Most businesses now recognise that social media is a powerful marketing channel. Some business owners create and develop a social media marketing strategy that’s part of an overall integrated marketing plan.

As a marketing medium, social media has recently ‘matured’. Therefor as with any other marketing tactic, it’s crucial that accurate return on investment can be provided.

Is your social media marketing strategy working?

Here’s how to monitor the return on investment from your social media marketing strategy.

Why should you measure social media return on investment?

You should obsessively test and measure everything in your business – especially your marketing activity.

As a small business owner it’s difficult to justify spending your time on anything that isn’t actually helping to drive your business in your chosen direction.

There’s no point in spending your time on social media marketing activity that isn’t helping you or your business to move forward.

Having a good understanding of return on investment for all of your marketing activity will arm you with knowledge to make powerful decisions. If something is ‘working’ and generating acceptable results, then do more of this! If something isn’t ‘working’ (not generating desirable results), then stop doing this or maybe try a different approach.

Most importantly, understanding social media marketing return on investment will help your business to be more efficient, more successful and ultimately to grow.

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What is social media return on investment?

Social media return on investment is essentially what your organisation gets out of social media marketing.

There might be many ‘soft’ benefits such as fulfilling a corporate social responsibility or training requirements, but ultimately social media return on investment should be measured in ‘income generated’.

A simplistic algorithm would be –

Income generated from social media – social media investment (time, spend etc) = social media return on investment.

In real life, it’s obviously not as clear cut as this, but this should act as a good starting point.

How to set goals for social media marketing strategy.

In order to start measuring your social media return on investment, you’ll need to set some goals.

It is a good idea to have targets around metrics like number of likes, followers, engagement, reach etc. But I think your social media marketing goals should also be more aligned with your actual overall marketing or business objectives.

Your goals should be more focused on generating leads, opportunities or enquiries.

As well as direct sales, some good examples of social media marketing goals would be –

The amount of traffic driven to a landing page.

The number of email opt ins completed.

The amount of traffic clicking through to products in an online store.

The number of Case Studies or Reports downloaded from your home page.

Now that the goals are set, how do you measure them?

There are several tools and strategies that can be used to measure your social media marketing return on investment.

The social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc) include a whole host of metrics. It’s important to become familiar with these. It’s important not to become overwhelmed – I recommend focussing only on the metrics that actually matter to you.

Social media marketing software such as Hootsuite also includes some powerful analytic and metric modules.

If your goal is to drive website traffic to your landing pages, online store or email marketing opt ins, then I recommend using Google Analytics. Analytics will give you powerful statistics on which social media channels and actual posts are generating the most website traffic.

Ultimately you need to adopt strategies in your business that discover and measure where every single customer found out about you. These could be very simple ‘verbal and spoken’ strategies or slightly more complex drop down menus on an enquiry or registration form.

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Putting it into practice…

The world of social media marketing moves fast. You need to almost constantly monitor the impact of your campaigns.

It’s a good idea to set yourself a goal to produce some kind of regular reports.

Remember – it’s important to test and measure everything! If your social media marketing strategy is not quite right, then adjust and develop it.

When you know which marketing tactics work best and generate the greatest return on investment, then making your business more successful becomes a lot easier.

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