Published on Sep 22,2015
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Social media is everywhere and it has really made everyone quite social and hooked on! It could be about individuals, who are looking simply to post, tweet, pin or connect. It could also be about companies that are spending mammoth efforts to market and campaign on it, a lot of investment is going into social media. Be it a brick-and-mortar set-up or a tech company, social media is being discussed at everyone’s strategy meets. Staff costs, advertising costs, fees paid to external agencies, amongst others are components of costs of social media campaigns.

You would definitely measure returns on an investment made on a promotional campaign, wouldn’t you? Then why is your investment in social media not getting as much attention? In order to learn what is working and what’s not and whether your campaign is delivering the required results or not, it’s imperative to calculate social media ROI (return on investment). The good news is that it is not complicated at all and you can adopt some simple metrics for this. We are listing some of these metrics here:

#1 Traffic being referred

You are creating content and using multiple social channels to get potential customers interested in your products and services. A basic metric to measure this success, is to analyze how much traffic is being referred to your website through these social channels, the ‘reach’ of your campaign. Digital marketing analytics offers easy ways of estimating this numerically these days and also makes it possible to create goals based on what you would like your visitors to do once on the site. Possible sources for referrals could include websites like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn etc.

#2 People talking about your brand

At the end, it is a numbers game. Have you generated a buzz and created a huge ‘volume’ of interest in your product or service? More than just counts, you should be concerned with whether people are talking about your brand. Usually, a great experience or a poor experience would spark of conversations. If someone were disinterested, he/she would not really like to talk about it. How does one measure this? A simple example is that Facebook provides a metric called ‘people talking about this’ which enables a social media marketing team to understand how many people have discussed their brand.

#3 Share of voice

Once you have established that people are talking about your brand, try and figure how you are performing in the competitive landscape. ‘Share of voice’ is described as the percentage share of all online chats and conversations about your company and its products and services, as compared to competitors. Look at the ratio of outputs to responses. On analysis of responses, you will be able to understand which product lines are garnering more attention than the others. Similarly, since competitors are also using similar platforms, you could estimate their share of voice as compared to yours for the comparable products. To increase share of voice, make sure that you are keeping customers constantly engaged, delighting them with jaw dropping content and give back to them in innovative ways for talking about your product.

#4 Time spent on page

Content is the lifeblood of any social media marketing campaign. Unless you can measure the relevance and likeability of your content, you will not have a true picture of your social media ROI. Mind you, we are not referring to just counts here. Tweets, comments and likes provide a feel-good factor. But the real test is to measure the number of unique page views, time spent on each page and total pages of your content viewed. If the time spent on each page is higher than the industry average, you can safely assume that you are churning out valuable content for the user.

#5 Video plays

It is said that a picture speaks more than a thousand words. To understand the power of videos therefore, is no rocket science. Social media campaigns are using videos increasingly nowadays with user interface to suit a variety of devices. With less time and so much content to view, videos seem to be a better choice over written content. If your video goes viral on YouTube or any other video platform of your choice, it could end up being a very prudent investment. The ROI on video content is usually assumed to be high, given a gripping and interesting video.

These metrics, when measured and analyzed regularly can help you monitor trends and adjust goals as and when required. The frequency of monitoring these depends upon which stage of the campaign you are in. If at any point you find that the metrics are stagnant, try experimenting. Posting during different hours or altering the frequency of posting can sometimes make an impact. The benefits of customer engagement, speedy feedback, easy brand building and outreach must accrue to your organization. Only then, will you know that you have accomplished a good ROI on your social media investment.

Let’s also take a look at the career options one has in the open-ended world of social media marketing. In terms of skills needed, anyone working in this space would need a good mash up of communications skills, analytical skills and research skills. Some of the job roles that are proving to be lucrative career options today include SEO (search engine optimization) Specialist, Social Media Strategist, Digital Analytics Strategist, Social Media Marketing Manager and Blogger or Content Creator. One thought can be stated with confidence – these careers will only grow and evolve with time and will cause a shift in the paradigm of marketing.

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