For many businesses, social media is the the wild frontier of marketing. More and more companies are jumping on the bandwagon but it can seem a lawless place. This is why many newcomers tend to waffle around with no clear strategy and call it quits if they’re not making fast progress. But while it’s true that social media can seem challenging when you’re first getting started, it pays dividends if you’re willing to put in a little time and effort. This is why we’ve put together some practical tips that will help you measure your social media ROI more easily.
Why it’s difficult to track social media ROI
The reason many business owners find it difficult to track social media ROI is because they don’t understand the purpose of the platforms from the perspective of traditional marketing. It’s all too easy to expect immediate payoffs and profits, not to mention increased business. But while social media itself moves and changes fast, businesses should remember it still takes time to increase brand recognition, build relationships and enhance a company’s reputation, whatever the platform. It is brand recognition that produces more sales in the long run. So don’t lose heart if you are not making progress in the first couple of months. If you play the longer game, you’ll enjoy more success.
So how do you measure ROI?
It comes down to tracking everything you can, including:
- Online purchases
- Online contact forms
- Video views
- E-book Downloads
- Social interactions (this includes Facebook likes, Twitter follows and more)
To track these, you can use any or all of the three methods below.
Tagging a URL is basically adding a “tag” or more characters/words to the end of the original URL. Below are two examples of a normal URL and tagged URL:
Normal URL: www.AllstarIT.com/harddrive.html.
Tagged version of the same URL: www.AllstartIT.com/harddrive.htm?utmcampaign=BannerAdharddriveAd&utm_small=BannerAd
Adding this tag allows you to easily track which of your social media campaigns are producing the desired results. Without doing this, you run the risk of of all your social media visitors being recognized as organic, rather than ones that have come from a specific campaign or strategy you’re implementing. An excellent tool to build your unique URL is Google’s URL builder.
This is the most obvious strategy for tracking your social media campaigns, and Google has long been the market leader in tracking the success of online marketing. A Google Analytics account can be set up in a matter of minutes, and then makes it easy to track your campaigns. Go to Acquisition and then check All Referrals. Here you’ll see where people are discovering your site – be it a Google organic search or social media network.
Call tracking is often used to track the ROI from Facebook ad campaigns, though it can also be used on other social media platforms. This tactic allows you to measure how many phone calls you are getting from your customers on social media sites.
To do this you list a different phone number on a particular social media page than on your business website. For example, if the number listed on your business website is 763-984-6577, you instead list 763-984-6555 for the social media page you’re tracking. By seeing how many people call the number listed on the social media page, you’ll gain a better understanding of how effective that particular page or ad is. If it’s effective, you’ll know to use whatever methods are working from this page or ad in your other social media efforts.
Want more ideas on how to measure social media ROI or to get more value out of your IT investments? Get in touch today.