While it’s true that every large company probably needs some social media marketing strategy, it isn’t necessarily true for every business.
No matter your company, you should have at least a Facebook page that provides some information about your business and links to your website. The question you have to answer is—do I want to consistently commit resources to a social media marketing strategy?
Just about every business can benefit from social media marketing, but if you’re a small growing business, you need to worry about resource allocation. That means conducting a cost/benefit analysis of social media marketing.
There’s no one right way to go about this, but broadly speaking, here are the benefits of that social media marketing can provide:
- Create a stronger bond with your existing customer base
- Increase your brand awareness
- Boost the performance of other marketing strategies, such as content marketing
- Gain an understanding of what your audience thinks about you
- Create another medium for which you can convert prospects into customers
Think of your social media goals as high level. There will likely be several different metrics that contribute to one goal. The following are some common goals:
- Increase conversions
- Build your email list/leads
- Increase your brand awareness
- Boost audience engagement
Since goals are so high level, looking at how you perform relative to a goal isn’t very helpful. Let’s say you want to increase your conversion rate and at the end of the quarter you’ve fallen short.
Well, if all you’re doing is tracking your conversion rate, you won’t really gain any insights into what was working and what wasn’t.
If you want to find out what works and what doesn’t and, ultimately, reach and surpass goals in the future, you need to track the performance of your individual tactics.
The first step here is to make a list of all of your tactics. There are countless social media marketing tactics, but as an example, here are five:
- Content distribution
- Replying to all (appropriate) mentions
- Capitalize on trending topics
- Run contests
- Use Gifs in tweets
You need to understand why you are committing time and resources to each of your tactics, and then figure out how those tactics contribute to a specific goal. If a tactic isn’t contributing to a goal, it’s probably time to scrap it. If a tactic isn’t sufficiently contributing to a specific goal, it might be time to scrap that one too.
So, let’s continue with the example goal of trying to increase your conversion rate. We’ll assume one of the tactics you’re implementing is distributing more content. After a month of sharing more content on social media, you are seeing that the pieces you share on social are not only getting more views, but they’re also converting at a higher rate.
With this information, you can confidently say that social content distribution is linked to higher conversion rates. Now that you’re armed with this information, you can use it to inform your social strategy going forward.
Measure and Refine
So you’ve determined your goals, you know which tactics roll up into which goals, now all you have to do is measure and refine.
You’re almost certainly going to need a tool to measure the metrics you want to. If you already have a social media management tool, it will have some measurement capabilities, but it’s crucial that your tool has the right capabilities.
If your current social media management software doesn’t have what you need from a performance management standpoint, go find the one that does and make the swap. Your tool shouldn’t be defining what you measure, you should.
Once that’s squared away create reports that provide all the info you need for all of your metrics. Remember that this is an ongoing process, not a set it and forget it situation.
You should be continuously evaluating your performance. If you are far-exceeding some of your goals, maybe aim higher and vice versa.
You’ll find that when you get into a groove and are effectively measuring your social performance, you’ll be able to be more calculated in your strategy, and ultimately get more return on your investment.