Originally published on June 12, 2018. Updated on July 9, 2020.
So you have your social media editorial calendar and you’re consistently posting good content and putting ads out there on social media. Congrats! Good job! Way to be proactive!
The next question, naturally, is how effective are your efforts? Is your hard work producing results? It’s great if the phone is ringing more or there is more foot traffic at your place. But do you know where it’s all coming from? If you don’t this is a great article for you! Getting out there and being active as a business on social media is at least half the battle. However, if you’re not paying attention to the results and where they are coming from, there is a very real possibility you’ll burn out on social quickly. Here are three things to consider to make sure your efforts are producing the results you want and need.
Does Your Social Media Marketing Have Reach?
When we talk about reach in social media marketing, it means something similar to what you would expect: How many people could see something published by you. It doesn’t mean how many people are engaging with your content, but the total number of eyes that could be seeing the posts you put out.
While reach is important to keep an eye on, it isn’t the blockbuster measuring stick it used to be. In the earlier days of social media marketing, there were considerable bragging rights tied to the number of fans or followers you had. This got so bad that at one point brands and even celebrities were “buying” likes, followers, and fans from random places like Thailand, Cambodia, and others. Facebook caught on to this disappointing fad and shut it down rather quickly. Now the focus is on quality over quantity. Yes, you want the number of fans you have to consistently grow over time. However, making sure you engage the followers you do have is now more important than just being the one with the most fans.
The number of impressions is a valuable metric to track on Facebook because it means someone saw the post or interacted with it in some way. Twitter, on the other hand, counts an impression when a post is delivered to a particular Twitter accounts stream. They do not say that someone has seen the tweet, just that it would show up somewhere in a person’s stream. Make sure you keep this in mind as you are comparing stats. In my experience, impressions, especially on Facebook, are more important than your reach numbers. I say this because reach is about the potential and impressions is about those who have seen your material.
Are You Getting Leads from Social Media?
Having quality engagement and reach on social media is a good start, but the goal of these efforts is to drive traffic and leads to your company. I believe social media has a lot of power in generating brand awareness. It is foundational that the public knows your business exists. Awareness is the first step, and while it is more intangible than getting a customer, it carries a lot of value.
Once people are exposed to your company, then you want them to choose you over the competition. You want them to become leads, which are potential new clients. For the most part, we consider followers or fans as leads when they make the jump and click on a post, an ad, or tweet that takes them to your website or a landing page. Some people will give your business a call directly from Facebook, but honestly, this is rare. Leads typically will reach out via your website or a landing page when they are ready to make a buying decision. We do see a fair number of our clients get business via a direct message on Facebook as well.
Google Analytics is a great tool to track the amount of traffic that is coming from social media to your website and if you use a landing page creation service like LeadPages you will have their tracking metrics to look at as well. If your social media marketing isn’t generating the amount or the type of leads you want, that usually means you aren’t on the right platform, or your content isn’t engaging the right customer.
Are Your Leads Converting to Customers?
The final step in the process is making sure your leads are converting to clients. Usually, you have to do this tracking internally because in involves making sure you know which of your new customers were referred to you by social media. If you are marketing through multiple channels, make sure you track which one is delivering better quality leads. That is then the one you need to put the most effort into.
To be honest, this final stage of tracking is often the one most overlooked. There are no easy tracking tools like Google Analytics to automate it for us. Instead, we have to train ourselves and staff to consistently ask the right questions to gather the date we need to prove ROI from our social media efforts. However, it is well worth the extra time and attention to close the loop.
Social media marketing is a powerful tool for businesses in Anchorage and across the US. Part of what makes it so powerful is the tracking that is available to everyone who does it. The monitoring gives us the data we need to prove what is working and what isn’t. The information we get paints a roadmap by which we can guide our marketing to be as effective as possible. Without this data, we are driving blind and throwing our money away. If for any reason, your social media marketing is not getting the results you want, the answers are probably in the data we discussed in this blog and my blog on the effectiveness of your social media. With that information, you can tweak and adjust your marketing until you are getting the clients you want from your social media marketing.