How do you determine the value of social media? Well, the answer is different for everyone. What exactly is your goal? Why did you choose to use social media for marketing your brand, event, etc? You can’t put a value on something until to first determine your goals, because “having your own unique business goal to attach social media to is the only way to measure it“. Once you have defined your goals, you need a strategy for achieving your goal. With a goal and a strategy, you can then measure if you are on track to succeed.
Many charitable organizations find that the “real value is that it connects people to one another“. Whether connecting people helps to bring support or resources to the community, the goal might be to spread the word in order to bring more people together. For many brands, the goal is to increase sales. To increase sales, you have to be able to get your product or service in front of people and “data shows that social media users are having more conversations with people — online and off!” Therefore, you can measure how many people you are reaching through social media and how many of these people follow the sales cycle through to conversions. The actual “data related to customers’ identity, habits, and behaviors can be valued in terms of returns stemming from the improved ability to target marketing investments.” Certainly you can track hard numbers by using analytics. Such “metrics like page views, engagement, and positive sentiment are easily correlated with top-line growth.”
Regardless of the goal, social media must be used properly in order to be successful for any brand, event or organization. It comes back to the basics of social media:
Most importantly, listen to your audience. The best way to gauge if you are on track is to see what people are saying about you. You can’t just pull up the most powerful analytics tools to do all of the work for you. As the human in the social media equation, you must be present because “people tend to hate talking to bots.” They want to connect on a real, personal level. If your brand is doing its job to properly engage, much of the other “stuff” falls into place.
Questions to consider:
- Is it necessary to be able to measure social media in order to be successful?
- What is the best way measure the success of social media? Analytics, followers, likes, etc?