How Does Your Social Media Garden Grow?

Remember when you first began your social media marketing? It was so fun watching users “like,” comment, tweet, tag, and share your content. You might’ve told yourself, “Yes! THIS is how you share content in cyberspace!” “Look at that engagement!” Much like a new vegetable garden, you regularly monitored your fan and follower count, ecstatic when you saw it growing, even just by a little bit. Have you ever wondered, though, how much good fruit you’re getting out from your social media patch?

The Facts: 

Social media can be the most challenging platform for brands to measure ROI, but absolutely vital to have in a marketing strategy. With 52% of U.S. customers using the web as a primary purchase tool, it’s something businesses can’t afford exclude. Check out  this infographic.

Outstanding social media benefits include: increased site traffic, conversion, and positive word of mouth; increased probability of closing business deals; more partnership opportunities; lowering the costs of marketing for a business over time and improved search engine rankings.

For many companies who grew up on more traditional, measurable forms of advertising, these benefits may be a little hard to grasp. Nevertheless, social media, when used correctly and regularly, has the ability to provide many business benefits in a more affordable, simpler, powerful way.

How to Measure Social Media ROI: 

Social media is still in its budding stages so there isn’t exactly a silver bullet way of getting a highly analytical report that you could get with more traditional forms of marketing. However, there are a few things that businesses can look out for to get a sense of how their initiatives, efforts, and money are moving the needle for their branding overall.

1. Share of Voice 

How’s your brand presence compared to your biggest competitor? Try not to focus and compare numbers of fans and followers with your rival, instead, look at how much engagement you’re receiving. How engaged are your customers compared to the customers of your competitor? Are they enjoying, responding, and sharing your content?

2. Conversation

Are you being “social” with your customers on social media? Focus on how you’re speaking to fans and followers when crafting messages and posts. Remember to talk with your customers and not at them. This will increase your brand affinity and brand awareness – the overall “big buzz” that will help bring more revenue to your yard.

3. Advocates 

Social media advocates, also known as “super fans” or “super followers,” are great people to get in touch with and focus your efforts on. Not only are they truly passionate, loyal individuals that just love your brand and “like” and comment on anything you say, they can provide the most powerful form of marketing – word of mouth. Noticing, engaging, and activating these users can allow you to tap into a group of potential customers who may be compelled to try your product or service.

4. Product and Service Guidance 

Are you noticing what users are saying about your product or service? Are there any questions or comments customers are leaving on your social media platforms? Social media provides businesses with (basically) free, real-time, 24-hour focus groups. Organizations can tap into what others are saying simply by listening. Use what customers are saying to steer products in the right direction, which will save time and costs in the long run.

The Takeaway 

It’s really important to note that social media is a marketing tool that produces delayed benefits. It’s a totally new breed of plant to add to your marketing garden with different needs and fruitful results. It’s definitely not another marketing stage in the funnel, but plays a vital role in your overall communications platform. Social media goes way beyond marketing, touching all levels in your company and every type of user that engages with your brand, customer, or prospect. Instead of focusing on how much immediate ROI you’re getting from it, focus on another aspect instead: what have you learned from your customers lately?

If you need a little guidance with engaging more fans and followers on social media, be sure to check out our free ebook below for tips, recommendations and resources to get you going!