Step 2: Decide How You’ll Gauge Social Media “Success.”
Once you start your social media campaign, whether handling it in-house or outsourcing, how will you know whether “it’s working”? How will you know whether to be satisfied or expect more?
A common (and costly) mistake by companies new to Internet marketing is to assume “success” with social media is measured by number of followers, likes, fans, etc.
While we suppose this could conceivably be a good measure if you’re building your account solely for show, these superficial metrics just won’t work for the majority of businesses.
So, if not numbers, what should you focus on as a measure of success? This chart from marketer Stuart J. Davidson helps us think about our business goals more specifically:
However, most small businesses can’t afford to spend time (or money) chasing “awareness, loyalty, and engagement” without specifically connecting those to DOLLARS.
Instead, we must focus on traffic generation and lead generation.
In fact, each “Business Goal” in the chart is really just an avenue toward our “ending” goal of increased profit. And depending on your business, you might achieve “profit” through the acquisition of clients/customers, volunteers, donations, sponsors, or repeat sales.
THAT is the goal we need to focus on.
Sure, we need social media to drive traffic.
And we hope to have high engagement, long website visit times, and brand loyalty.
But understand that all of these are a means to an end.
These metrics must result in tangible leads—contact or quote form submissions, list opt-ins, etc.—which, in turn, translate into transactions!
You’ll know your efforts are paying off when:
(1) many leads come from social media, and
(2) they also convert — rather than draining your team’s time, energy, & resources, but never buying anything (nor referring others).
Other less tangible (but no less valuable) benefits you might begin to see from social media marketing include: