Measuring the Success of your Company’s Social Media Marketing

I know a business owner who has complete command of his business numbers. He measures and analyzes the statistics of every aspect of his online marketing. He’s on top of making critical adjustments to his marketing plan on the basis of these numbers.

When it comes to investing in social media marketing, for him, there’s a pesky problem. Measuring the return on investment, or ROI, of such a plan isn’t pretty. The numbers don’t stand alone.

Why? First, it’s critical to understand that a business’ social media marketing is tied directly to the success of the website in one critical area — conversion. The goal of a successful social media plan in business is  to drive traffic to the company website. So, logically, if the website is optimized to convert traffic to sales, then the company can measure THAT success in business volume — or response to the call to action on the site.

Even the best social media marketing plan might be dynamically effective at driving traffic to the website, a measurable statistic, but it is a stand-alone number. Then, the number to focus on is how well the website is doing at converting traffic to sales.

Savvy business owners get this. Still, the compelling factor for investing in any marketing is always the ROI.

Here’s where the argument for using social media for marketing seems to come apart and why it can be so difficult to convince owners to invest in it. It isn’t a stand-alone measurement. And, like the owner I mentioned before, businesses  are usually making decisions about marketing dollars based on the numbers.

There are lots of numbers that help a business owner feel good about their marketing investment. And, there are plenty of companies that will throw numbers together in a convincing way that promise a return on social media marketing.

But, let’s be honest. It’s only a tool to drive traffic to the website. Social media sites are a place for people to connect with a business online through interactive dialogue. They have a chance to informally “like” you. Then, they “like” you enough to use another tool in your marketing arsenal — the website. Once folks are on the website, then you’re talking about numbers that really count in business.

Social media marketing in business isn’t talking about when you’ve brushed your teeth or what color your shoes are today. If it’s done correctly, it’s a way for businesses to generate a buzz about their passion — whether it’s culinary or construction or counseling.

It’s a tool. It works and plays well with others in the overall online marketing plan. And all together, they build a business’ online success. Collectively, the numbers matter.

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