Maximizing the ROI on Social Media

April 28, 2016

Social media is nothing new, but it’s still an emerging marketing channel and Return on Investment (ROI) remains a mystery for many. Why? ROI used to be a simple calculation of quantifiable financial results, but in social media it commonly refers to situations where results cannot be immediately quantified or simply expressed. New research from LoyaltyOne and leading academic institutions revealed that social media can increase consumer engagement and drive sales when companies execute a strong social marketing strategy. In fact, according to the study, companies saw a 30% bump in purchase behavior from consumers that engaged with the brand on social media channels.

So, from ‘LIKES’ and follows to check-ins and pins how can companies measure the ROI of social media efforts? Measurement is not one-size-fits-all, but every social campaign can and must be measured to an action – whether it’s followers, revenue, leads, engagement, etc. The biggest mistake companies make is not developing a social strategy that clearly outlines goals and objectives.

To achieve real, tangible results, here are few pertinent tips to help maximize your company’s social media channels:

  • Establish Benchmarks. Once you have determined the overall goals and objectives for the company identify various benchmarks that will help to achieve those goals. This can include fan growth metrics, engagement with fans, number of ‘SHARES’, click through to web pages, among others.
  • Know Your Competitive Set. Understand how your competitors are utilizing social channels to help determine your company’s competitive set. How are they engaging with fans? Are consumers talking about your brand – if yes, how often and in what context? This will help you develop a strategy and content that meets the demands of your target audience.
  • Develop Relevant Content. Consumers follow brands that they ‘LIKE’ on social channels. All content should be relevant and align with the brand while appealing to the passion of the target audience.
  • Listen. Social channels provide companies with real-time access to consumers. It’s a great tool for research and development as well as customer relationship management. Listen to what they are saying about the company, product or service and respond accordingly.
  • Create Dialogue. Never speak at your audience, speak with them. Put the “social” in social media by initiating conversations with you audience. This will help increase brand affinity and help build loyal customers.
  • Build Brand Advocates. Leveraging the passion of devoted fans provides an opportunity to extend reach to audiences who may not be aware or use the brand currently. Encourage them to ‘SHARE’ content, offer exclusive deals for engagement with the brand, invite friends to participate in promotions, among others.

While the ROI of social media is complex and often delayed, it is a critical part of a company’s overall communications platform. A strong social campaign will help move the needle for your company and turn ‘LIKES’ and ‘SHARES’ into real, tangible results.