Businesses and social media: how do you know if it’s working?

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Businesses and social media: how do you know if it’s working?

How can my business create a Social Media Plan that works?

“Does ROI exist when it comes to Social Media?”

The question of social media and ROI comes up frequently (as it should.) Of course, the first objective of social media is to be social, but second (especially when you’re a business) should be a link to your online activities and overall business objectives. (e.g.: increased revenue, customer satisfaction, etc. Becoming a “social” business takes more than just hiring someone to set you up on social channels and posting from time-to-time; gaining traction and results that matter to your business requires planning.

I like to use the gym metaphor: when we want to lose weight, we start going to the gym (or something similar.) But if we don’t know our starting weight or our goal, we won’t know if we’ve been successful or not. Sure, there’s anecdotal evidence – perhaps our clothes fit better – but we don’t have definitive data. With the availability of native analytics in social media sites, as well as Google Analytics there’s really no excuse for businesses not to track social media efforts so they can show ROI.

Want to increase website traffic to a specific page? Want to grow your mailing list? Link your social media program back to your business objectives.

Social Media + Business Example:

As we close in on the busy holiday season, let’s use retail as an example.

Scenario: You’re a local Alberta business that creates and sells custom handcrafted goods. You sell via craft shows and your website. Unfortunately, this time of year you’re competing against big brands for airtime – whether busy social media feeds, radio ads, TV commercials and basically anywhere one can advertise. You have a google analytics tracking code on your website. Having access to GA helps you make better marketing decisions, especially in collaboration with native analytics such as Facebook Insights. Upon reviewing the data available (and there’s a lot), you know how much traffic you get and what conversions looked like last year around this time. Your goal this year is to increase both this holiday season.

Start with a plan. Your social media plan doesn’t have to be complex. Social media is simply another medium for you to communicate and engage with your key audience. Essentially what you’ll need to do is put together a basic marketing plan. A marketing plan can be straight-forward and can include: Goal, Audience, Message (USP), Strategy, Tactic(s), KPIs/Metrics, Execution, Tracking & Measurement.

Goal: have at least five conversions

Audience: Grande Prairie; your most ideal customer (think of who loves your stuff already)

Message: This can be pricing, new products, coupons etc., whatever it is that you want to communicate.

Strategy: Leverage social media channels, as well as partner channels (e.g.: craft show Facebook pages) Create a unique coupon for each site, as well as website landing pages.

KPIs & Metrics: your KPI (key performance indicators) can be as simple as conversion rate or website visitor loyalty and recency. Metrics are the actual numbers.

Tactics: Share Facebook posts + Instagram posts with pictures of goods; Share promotion code specific to social media channels (e.g.: set up could be “FBSave” or “IGSave” to denote the social channel that the referral/lead came through.)

Execution: Specifically choose dates for plan execution. (e.g.: Nov 1 through to December 24th)

Tracking: Coupon Codes, UTMs, Specific Landing Pages

Measure: what does success look like? Have you reached your goal for the timeframe indicated? Let’s say you learn that in that period of time, you shared a coupon code via Facebook and also links to specific landing pages. You know via goals you set up in GA that you had seven conversions directly attributed to Facebook.

Now are you convinced that there are ways to track social media ROI?

Final thoughts: As a business owner you have limited time and resources to spend on social media; you can’t pay bills with likes, tweets, retweets and shares – therefore, it’s important to have a plan in place that’s specific to your business and goals so you don’t waste your valuable resources.

Not sure where to start? Download: TAKCAM Social Media Program Outline Guide

If you need help with your social media or digital marketing program, get in touch – I’d love to find a solution that fits your needs and budget.

Related Blogs:

How many hours a week do I need to spend on social media to get results for my business?
Social Media & ROI: does such a thing exist for businesses?
How do I know if my social media strategy is working?

Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay is a Marketing Strategist, Writer + Speaker known for her no-nonsense approach to pretty much everything. Using data and insights, she helps organizations market more effectively to get results that matter. She's also a high-scoring instructor at Mount Royal University, where she teaches Social Media Analytics and Google Analytics + Marketing Measurement. She holds certifications from Google, as well as Facebook and is currently working toward a specialization in Marketing Analytics and a certificate in Data Science from IBM. When she’s not busy juggling kids, volunteering + work, she’s busy planning her retirement to Cape Breton.