The following is a guest post by Jason Walberg of Power to be Found, an Arizona-based digital marketing agency.
Although a recent CMO survey conducted by Duke University revealed that marketers intend to almost double their spending on social media in the next five years, most of them still grapple with being able to attribute or measure the impact on their conversion rate. This is largely because social sharing is unpredictable and complicated. As such, a lot of social conversions are attributed to direct research.
Thus, there is need to establish the connection between downstream conversion and social sharing. Although this is challenging, it is possible through data analytics that will enable marketers to make smart decisions on what is working for social media or not. Here are a number of ways to use data to validate the importance of social marketing:
Connect social to broader marketing objectives
Marketers can use data to influence their social media activities to their overall marketing goals. Through social insights, they can create audience personas that will be tied to traditional marketing and sales. In addition, they can plug the social data to the CRM platform, thereby gaining deeper understanding of the individual customers that will result in better targeting, increased calls and so much more.
Highlight successful campaigns
Marketers can use data to highlight the most successful social media campaigns, thus proving its value to team members and executives. Consequently, the team needs to be notified whenever a campaign hits a milestone such as attaining a certain number of audience that translates to a large number of downloads and numerous engagements. This is an important way of using data to express the value of social media, especially when seeking budget increments, expressing future success or seeking support.
Track social leads
Marketers can use numerous tools to track customers from the initial touch point all the way to the actual sale. These tools can aid in showing when customers engage with the content for the first time to the time a purchase is made.
Show increasing share of voice
Not all social media efforts lead to direct sales. However, this is not enough to dismiss social media. Data can enable marketers to express the degree of thought leadership and voice to the marketing efforts. This can be achieved by examining how often a brand receives a mention in comparison to its competitors. Consequently, marketers can show the effectiveness of the content as well as social posts they created.
Metrics to Prove the Value of Social Media Marketing Strategy
Digital marketers are always at a loss to explain the value of their activities in driving business. Here are four metrics that can be used to prove the economic value of social media strategies to your team members and executive:
Engagement rate – This refers to the total number of comments, shares and likes a post generates from the audience. The basic goal of social media is to have conversations that are engaging with the audience. Analyzing your engagement rate lets you understand your audience in terms of what is interesting to them. Overall, tracking the engagement rates lets you go back and understand the posts that resonate with the audience as well as those that do not before you can hypothesize on the elements that appeal to your audience.
Amplification rate – This refers to the number of times a social contribution has been forwarded. That is, if your direct audience shares your messages to their networks, they magnify your messages as well as brand. Social shares play an important role in marketing as 92% of consumers believe in referrals. The amplification rate lets you understand if your followers are amplifying your message beyond the audience you can reach.
Affinity rate – This refers to the number of positive clicks for every social contribution. It is difficult to understand the quality or relevance of social contributions to the audience. This saves you from shouting to your audience with promos they do not agree with. Affinity rate measures whether the audiences were pleased enough to favorite or like the post. Posts that have zero or minimal affinity rate are then considered to be irrelevant to the audience.
Economic value – The economic value of a social campaign can be arrived at by adding the revenue generated to any cost savings. The revenue may be due to someone visiting the site because of a compelling tweet and later conversion. It may also be a product of long-term relationships that include signing up for newsletters as well as other interactions.
In conclusion, it is possible for marketing departments to validate social media campaigns, especially if you are seeking to convince executives and other team members by employing any of the techniques discussed above.
Author Bio: Jason Walberg is responsible for coordinating and implementing SEO & SMO strategies for clients. He is goal oriented, possess exceptional attention to detail, and has outstanding interpersonal skills. He received his Master’s in Education Technology from Pepperdine University after getting his undergraduate degree from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga.