Businesses can be accustomed to measuring every program’s effectiveness by its impact on the bottom line. Social media return on investment shouldn’t be measured in dollars alone. The Social Media Marketing Conference session, How Social Media Actually Pays Off, got people thinking about the ways social media reaches consumers that traditional marketing never could.
Experts say you should consider these areas when evaluating the worth of a social media program:
Awareness raised and communities built. This means more than increasing your number of ‘likes’, connections and followers each month. Quality interactions yield a bigger payoff than large numbers with little engagement. Social media allows a company with broad appeal to nuance its messages at smaller levels, and to customize platforms for the consumers who matter most. Social media introduces your product to your target audience and keeps them up to date on your happenings. Syndicating your content increases your exposure, resulting in more people seeing your messages. Targeting that syndication allows you to reach the people most likely to grow in their enthusiasm and dedication to your company.
Popularity spread. Good content encourages your customers to share it with their social media contacts. Tracking re-tweets, shares and linking can help you learn what appeals to your customers. Follow a strong social media plan and you may find your company’s popularity aligned with the popularity of your brand ambassadors. Early on, look for people who are actively advocating for your products. Provide them with tips and content when appropriate and help them increase their followers. This way your reach becomes even bigger. Provide worthwhile content that people want to distribute and build relationships with those who are dedicated to endorsing your company.
Staying informed and acting in advance. Wishing you had a crystal ball to predict the future? Social media is the ultimate way to follow news and trends. It aids in researching, eavesdropping, paying attention to your competitors and tracking the buzz around your company. Honing in on these online conversations may give you ideas for content or advance warning about issues before they grow into bigger problems. When you can stay abreast of the trends you put your company at an advantage to offer more to its customers.
If those returns don’t compel you to punch up your social media involvement consider this stat: nine out of ten people believe companies should have a social media presence. It’s one of the dominant themes from the conference. Because your customers decide what’s relevant in social media, your greatest social media ROI is being known as a company that provides services and content its customers want.
Our facilitator shared a quote on the topic, “When your customers feel they are a more complete version of themselves when they use your product then you have successfully engaged with them.”