Four Helpful Hacks to Measure Social Media Marketing Initiatives

July 2015

Effectively managing inbound marketing, strategic planning, lead generation, and public relations is essential for marketers to stay ahead of the game. So is social media marketing, which has evolved into a vital piece of modern marketing’s puzzle. Businesses everywhere are empowered and able to connect with prospects, engage with clients, through a variety of social media platforms.

But, often companies are left with the question "Is it worth the time invested in it?" Are their social media efforts really targeting the right people and sharing their branding message? The numbers say YES! According to a recent study by Hubspot,  "social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate." This is fantastic news for marketers who strive to attract and convert leads to the company through social media.

Keep in mind, however, making social media marketing work for your particular company in your specific situation all depends on the amount of strategic planning and investment that goes into the overall process. You must be able to measure your return on investment (ROI).

Consistently analyzing and measuring ROI is a necessary function for any successful marketing initiative, otherwise it ends up lacking focus and results. Did they succeed? Did they fail? Nobody knows! Using resources to implement a social media marketing campaign and then not measuring ROI is liable to waste everyone’s time, marketing’s budget, and yield little results.

It's true that it does take planning and consistent follow through, but analyzing ROI is critical to achieve a productive, successful social media marketing campaign. To all those marketing professionals who understand the importance of tracking their ROI but haven't started yet, listen up!

Here are four resourceful ways to measure the ROI of your social media efforts, and leverage that information to work to your advantage.

#1: Set the goals. A smart best practice is for marketing to meet and outline the plan they will use to measure the campaign’s success. Is it to boost lead generation, increase website traffic, engage with current clients, or promote brand recognition? Make certain each team member understands and agrees with the goals. It serves no purpose if everyone is on different pages.

#2: Determine measurable metrics. In a recent poll, the three most common metrics used by CMOs to measure social media marketing activities were: 68% said site traffic, 66% said conversion, 63% said the number of fans or members (MDG Advertising). Specific, measurable goals show valuable results and save time. Use numbers and percentages to your advantage when setting up success points and key performance indicators for your social media marketing strategy.

#3: Scrutinize costs. A key aspect of social media marketing is its low cost. The price to post or connect with other site users is practically free. As low as it seems, costs still need to be tracked to gain an accurate idea of how much is spent versus how much social media marketing brings in. Include employee time, software costs, and any other costs associated.

#4: Keep the C-suite dialed in. In any marketing initiative, it's imperative to do what is necessary to get the top executives’ buy in. There may be at least one who casts a skeptical eye on social media in general and strongly advocates for staying the course on old, traditional marketing initiatives. It's marketing's job to ensure that their business leaders understand the components that makes social media marketing important to the bottom line, and the potential results it brings the company. Create an easy-to-read report outlining the overall goals with the planned actions and investments.

Savvy marketers understand the benefits of connecting with leads on social media platforms, and how doing so successfully serves to increase leads and drive revenue. Employ these hacks to monetize your social media marketing ROI and make sure top management knows of its success!