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Measuring the Impact of Social Media

Measure, Analytics Social media has become a marketing cornerstone, and online businesses can’t survive without some social media efforts. So, what impact are you making on Facebook, Tumbler, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn? Although it’s challenging to determine your return on investment (ROI) with social media, it’s not impossible. Yet marketers often shortchange the value of being social, and miss opportunities to extend their business reach because they don’t know how to measure the impact of social media.

How to Measure

It’s important to know your objective when measuring the impact and effectiveness of your social media plan. Your virtual assistant can help you prepare a comprehensive social media plan, tailored to your business and promotional efforts. When you begin working on a social media plan, you should first set clear, reasonable goals and timelines to help you measure impact. If you’re not clear in defining what you want to accomplish up front, you will be disappointed down the line.

Once your goals are set, choose the platforms that are most effective and that speak to your target market. For example, if you want to reach a female audience and you have a business strong in visual imagery, Pinterest is a great platform because it’s both visual and it appeals to a largely female audience.

Tools to Use

There are more tools to measure the impact of social media out there than there are social media platforms. So you want to choose analytic tools that are easy to understand, and/or those your VA team is familiar with to make tracking data simpler. Here are some top software picks among marketers:

1. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a web-based dashboard monitoring multiple social networks in one place. You can manage multiple accounts on the same platform and collaborate with teammates.

2. TweetReach

TweetReach is a social analytics tool that helps you understand your Twitter impact through who’s reading, re-tweeting and quoting your tweets?

3. Twitalyzer

Twitalyzer measures your impact, engagement, and influence on Twitter. You can choose from their top three reports for free.

4. Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights is a user dashboard that provides clear analytics for your Facebook reach. You can use this data to better focus your posts on your most targeted followers and reach the right audience.

5. TweetDeck

TweetDeck is a great place to organize all your social media feeds in one place using the TweetDeck dashboard.

6. Google Analytics Social Reports

Social Reports integrates your current Google Analytics platform with social media, measures your impact, and how that effects your conversion rates. You can see where your traffic on the various platforms comes from and focus on those that pay off.

Measuring Effectiveness

There are other factors to consider when examining social media measurements, just as in any marketing plan. These items impact your social media analysis and help guide your efforts going forward.

1. Know Your Costs

How much will your new social media plan cost to put into effect? How much time does it require? Generally speaking, you can spend as little as 15 minutes per day on social media. However, some businesses choose to dedicate an hour or more to their social media efforts. Choose what you consider a reasonable time frame to start, and adjust later according to your findings.

2. Benchmark

Choose the standard you want to measure against. Are you judging performance against your most recent Pay-per-click (PPC) campaign? Or you may want to see how social media stacks up against last year’s marketing campaign in the same period. Be sure to choose a benchmark that is comparable to social media. Using a vastly different measuring stick will not produce an accurate measurement of your impact.

3. Review

Your Social Media Goals Remember what you wanted to achieve? How close are you?

4. Data Collection Tools

Put your tools in action! Whatever you’ve chosen to use, make sure it’s set up to produce the most important information, and is accurately gathering data.

5. Take Action

Review your analytics for success based on your benchmarks and goals. Did you meet your short term goals? Are you on track to meet your long-term goals?

6. Review Your Plan Based on your findings, strategize with your virtual assistant to revise your social media plan. Identify which platforms work best for you and work to maximize the impact of social media on your bottom line.

And remember, no social media plan is complete without interaction. Don’t just post and leave. Once you get people to pay attention, stick around and engage with them. This interaction is the key component in effective social media marketing, it’s what turns followers into customers.

Photo Credit: Google.co.uk

Posted on May 21st, 2014 by Client Advocate Team

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