Social marketing is increasingly raising companies’ attention as an integrated marketing channel to the business. According to the CMO survey in 2014, Social media spending of marketing budgets is expected to increase 128% to 21.4% in the next five years.
However, many social marketers are still struggling to demonstrate the value of social marketing. Although tons of new social marketing analytics tools are emerging, measuring ROI is still the number one challenge for marketers, according to the 2015 Social Media Marketing Trends Survey by Simply Measured and TrustRadius.
A webinar with Kevin Shively, Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Simply Measured, and Megan Headley, Research Director at TrustRadius, discussed the challenges social markers are facing and provided some insightful tips on what they can do about the challenges.
Here are our top learnings from the webinar on how to make the most out of social marketing and demonstrate its value:
Set Right Goals and Metrics
Why are you using social media? This should be the very first question you ask before setting up the social marketing strategy as it’s crucial for defining the value of any social programs.
According to the survey, Brand awareness is the mostly measured goal with 71% of respondents identified it as one of the top three goals of their social programs. The goals following up are drive website traffic (48%), audience reach/share of voice (38%), and generate leads (32%).
After your goal is clear, it’s time to set up the metrics to measure your effort accordingly. For example, to measure brand awareness, HootSuite suggests marketers to track metrics like Follower Growth Rate, % Change over Time in Followers, Sentiment, Reach by Region, and Clicks by Region.
Kevin also reminded marketers during the webinar that the goals and metrics may vary based on the business situation:
(From the webinar)
Use Social Data Wisely
With the help of social marketing analytics tools, we can get so much data from so many different places.
In general, the data has two main functions – research and measurement:
(From the webinar)
However, we shouldn’t just measure because the data is there. Before deciding what data to collect and analyze, marketers should answer these three questions:
- What do you need to research to develop a complete strategy?
- What metrics will you need to track as you’re executing, in order to optimize?
- What do you need to measure and analyze to share with the brass, and add to your research for the next campaign?
Communicate with Coworkers Effectively
Communicating the value of social marketing to other teams and stakeholders in the company is also a key challenge among the respondents of the survey. To solve the problem, aligning social media goals to the marketing and business goals is a must.
For instance, to prove the value of the social effort to the stakeholders, marketers need to firstly demonstrate your program’s impact on the social audience and the conversation, then how the program improved the performance of a specific marketing campaign, and finally, how it influenced overall business outcomes such as sales.
(From the webinar)
Communicate in the language that your coworkers understand is another useful tip. Don’t use jargons that only social marketers understand without an explanation. The metrics you keep track on every day, such as reach, impression, and engagement, may confuse your uneducated coworkers.
Are you facing the same challenges? What’s your strategy to tackle them down? Please let us know if you have anything to share.
And don’t forget to:
Thanks for reading.
Bianca Hu – Digital Marketing Specialist