According to Social Media Examiner’s 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, the top question marketers had regarding social media was “How do I measure the effect of social media marketing on my business?” Social media came to popularity and rose to prominence so quickly that companies jumped onto the bandwagon without considering what the strategic implications would be. Now that social media is part of the mainstream media mix, many executives are looking to quantify the value of social media.
The first step to measuring social media (or any marketing campaign for that matter) is to set goals in order to know that you are measuring the right thing. An easy way to set goals is to follow the S.M.A.R.T. criteria, which states that goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Once you have goals set in place, you can look to see which metrics would best reflect these goals.
If you are concerned with generating sales from social media, there are several ways to measure the impact of social media. By using landing pages or redemption codes that are unique to social media, it is possible to track which purchases are directly attributable to social media. Also, by tracking the sources your customers came from, you can see if social media played a role in the sales process, whether it be through an initial exposure to your brand or a final push to take an action.
Another common goal is to improve customer service through social media. By calculating the time and money saved from conducting customer service through social media, you can compare these figures to what your other methods of customer service cost.
One beneficial aspect of social media is the wide array of analytics tools available. Using these tools in conjunction with other web analytics tools and CRM software further increases their ability to help with measuring social media’s influence on your business’s profits.