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The Smart Marketing Blog

9

Jan, 2014

Gauging Social Media Success

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It is impossible to deny the current power of social media as a marketing platform. Millions of companies across various industries, regardless of size and budget, have devoted time and energy into establishing social media pages in order to connect with their customers. What’s more, customers have grown to expect brands to have social media pages. With that being said, social media has become so prevalent in marketing that is has developed into more of a prerequisite for businesses, rather than just an added advantage.

Now just because so many organizations are using social media, doesn’t particularly mean they understand it.  Many business owners bewilderedly watch their page compile likes, shares, followers, and comments; but at the end of the day they are left scratching their heads and asking whether or not their social media campaigns are “working.” At first glance, such a question seems out of touch and almost silly, but when you step back and truly ask yourself to gauge the success of a social media campaign, how do you do it?

Well, how do we define “working,” or “successful?” In order to measure anything as a success or failure, you need a prior objective to compare it to. Perhaps you wanted to increase sales, provide customer service, build brand awareness, or increase traffic to your website. Establishing goals prior to your social media efforts will leave you with a benchmark to refer back to.

Even with our goals in mind, it can be difficult to measure the intangibles of social media marketing. Lets look at building brand awareness, for example. One of the most popular misconceptions about spreading brand awareness through social media is using the amount of “likes” and “followers” as a metric to measure reach. Don’t get me wrong, having followers and likes are important, but let’s not forget that it is called social media for a reason. You need to focus on engagement, not just volume. The same can be said about content as well. Social media is not only about pushing content onto your audience, it is about listening, and once again- engagement.

Even after evaluating levels of interaction and overall activity on a social media pages, many business owners are still left demanding to see some quantitative results to prove the worth of a social media page. As social media as grown, so has the technology to track actual numbers to quantify success. You can measure click-through rates and traffic by tracking the number of times people have clicked on a link to one your websites shared over social media. This provides some perspective on the amount of reach your page has, as well the power and quality of its respective posts.

In short, the key to social media success is all about attaining the goals you originally set for your page. Sure social media is work that takes time and effort, but never forget that it’s supposed to be fun, too! Use it for what it is: priceless interactions with interested consumers, spreading awareness, and connecting with your fans. Enjoy the benefits of traffic, click-through-rates, and eventual sales along the way.