Why should a company use social media for business? Well, in the 1920’s, if you walked into a train station, you would see dozens of people patiently awaiting their train and reading newspapers. Today, people are still consuming this kind of content — it’s just instead of a newspaper, people are holding phones or tablets, and instead of browsing a limited number of stories from a newspaper, today, people can find content they know they will enjoy by browsing through their social media outlets.
In fact, on Facebook alone, there are over 4.5 billion likes every day. By being present on these social platforms, you can learn a lot about your customers, like who they are, what they like, and how they feel about your brand. You can even control a dialogue between you and your customers to encourage your brand, handle poor customer experiences, or launch a campaign!
But How Do You Measure Success?
Good question! Unfortunately, the answer is not so simple. For more traditional marketing practices, calculating ROI is easy – simply calculate your return and divide that by how much you spent on the investment! Voila! This is easy because it is measurable. For example, a coffee shop may give you a coupon code for a discounted drink. With that code, the coffee shop can measure exactly how many people came in and used the coupon.
This kind of ROI can be measured on social media easily, but it doesn’t work well for every type of business – especially B2Bs.
Instead of thinking about social media ROI so literally, it’s important to hold a broader perspective. What are your main social media goals? If it’s to carry out social media marketing campaigns like the coupon code, you’re fine – but if it’s to build brand awareness or gain customer insights, things are less straightforward.
Putting a Dollar Value to Social Media ROI
The best way to put a dollar value to your social media ROI is by creating very clearly defined goals. What would be invaluable to your company — understanding your customers demographics? If that is the case, try social media for a month, and then use Facebook Insights and Google Analytics to take a look at the who, what, when, where, and why of your efforts. These platforms provide comprehensive data that your company can use to make adjustments and improve sales.
Think of social media as a tool you can use to understand more about your business and customers – with that in mind, how would your company benefit most from using it? With clearly defined goals set, your social media ROI is less about a dollar number, and more about whether or not you learned anything about your company – and we are willing to bet you will (but, if you are still a bit skeptical – check out some of our case studies and see for yourself!).