What stops them in their tracks? Figuring out how to measure the success of their social media endeavors. Well, as with most marketing campaigns, the best way to track success is to create goals.
Let’s say I own a small online retail shop and I want to reach out to consumers using Facebook and Twitter. I would need to come up with goals that could easily be measured. My goals could read as follows: Adding social media to my marketing activities will impact sales by reaching out to a wider audience over six months. And, when that happens, the added value of business will be $40,000, which will give me a ROI of $20,000.
Then I can track this hypothesis. Say I want to see how my social media outreach has affected my sales. I could offer a special promotion to all of my fans and followers, "Are you a Fan? Spend $50 and enter FBFAN to get $10 off." And, I can track how many of those fans made purchases using the offer.
Part of my goal also included reaching a wider audience. In order to measure this goal, I should track how my audience grows over time, looking at the increases in fans and followers. Since it is social media, after all, I’ll also want to see if my fans and followers have recommended my site to friends.
A few ways to track this is seeing where people are visit your site from and if they’re being referred there. Also, looking at the number of retweets in a given time will help track your reach. The thing with social media is that it’s constantly evolving, so things may not always go according to plan... Sometimes, it’s way better than you planned.
If measurements fall short of your goals, it’s time to reevaluate what you want to accomplish using social media. Maybe you’ll find that it does nothing for sales in the short-term, but does wonders for customer service, thus creating more loyal customers than before.
Social media is constantly evolving, so plan on growing and learning with it!