Social/digital media marketing is quickly replacing traditional marketing practices. Media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, and billboards will most probably be replaced by digital substitutes within the next ten to fifteen years.
As a Millennial I can tell you that my peers and I use social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and SnapChat constantly. Unlike generations before us we did not go to the library, unless forced to, to do research for a paper. Libraries were basically obsolete to us in high school because of online databases like JStore and other Ebraries. Our first instinct was to look online because we wanted to know what people were saying about a certain subject in real time.
It then makes sense that social media would then also be the new frontier of marketing. It is important for marketers to understand how important the utilization of these outlets has become to media strategies.
It is also important for marketers to understand what appeals to millennials in order to figure out the social media metrics for each outlet. Social media metrics are important because social media strategists need to be able to prove how social media investments are helping the companies they work for achieve their broader business goals. Accordingly social media strategists need to prove a social media channel’s return on investments (ROI) in order to demonstrate why investing time and money into social media marketing is important.
More specifically measuring ROI is necessary in proving the value of social media to your organization’s overall goals and business objectives, allowing you to clearly see where efforts and resources are being used efficiently, enabling you to evaluate where resources are being wasted, or not used as efficiently as possible, allowing you to recognize gaps in strategy, key messages, and content, and showing where your social media budget is being used most effectively, and showing areas where it can be pulled back.
It is a good idea to categorize the type of data you gather into quantitative and qualitative. One needs to separate data out into useful and useless data. Quantitative data is useful because when Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are translated into the Return On Investments (ROI’s) they build a stronger, more solid case as to why social media strategies are vital to a business’s success.
Examples of quantitative data include followers, engagement, acquisition, conversion, and activity.
When talking about keeping track of followers I’m talking about keeping track of Audience Growth Rate. Audience Growth Rate is
“A refinement of new followers or similar stats expressed in percentage change over time, the growth rate of your audience depicts your social media momentum.”
Measuring the social media momentum of your business helps you zero in on important information such as Audience Growth Rate as opposed to purely your number of followers.
When measuring engagement you should keep track of Average Engagement Rate. “Your AER compares posts’ engagement with your overall follower base.” Keeping track of AER helps you to determine your target audience amongst a large crowd of followers. The AER defines your core and consistent group of followers.
Measuring acquisition should be done in terms of visitor frequency rate. This metric separates visitors into return visitors and new visitors.
“Return visitors numbers further indicate the depth of engagement and strength of your social networks. New visitors confirm that your more nebulous ‘reach’ and ‘audience’ metrics accurately depict meaningful growth.”
This metric should be monitored because it is important to understand and target new visitors and return visitors.
The conversion metric determines how to convert visitors into sales. However, it should be clear that visitors don’t want to be bombarded by your product either. A good way to determine if your efforts are being well focused is to look at Assisted Social conversion, or, visitors who are referred through various social channels.
Tracking these conversions using Google Analytics or other tools can help determine which parts of your social media strategy are affective and which are not. They also can help determine which social media channels your target audiences uses the most so you can utilize them as much as possible in your social media strategy and focus less on the social media channels that your audience does not use.
One way to figure out how social media helps your business is to derive Customer Service Savings from the data you collect. One equation, for example, is:
Repeating this process over a hundred times could result in significant savings for your company.
Other metrics to measure include likes, retweets, favorites, shares, comments, and mentions. Measuring these metrics allows social media strategists to see how their audience is responding to the content that the strategists generate. These metrics also allow social media strategists to track and measure if they are increasing engagement on social media.
At the end of the day the world is going digital. Accordingly, social media marketing is an extremely important piece of any business’s integrated marketing strategy.
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