When it comes to social media marketing, the questions commonly asked are “How can you scale your social media?” or “Is social media even scalable?” The answer to the latter is “Absolutely.” Social media scalability can become a rather intuitive process if you have the right tools in place. It all comes down to the metrics and how you measure your social media efforts. Social media measurements allow you to deals with what actually happened, (conversions, clicks, etc.) versus traditional media measurement which generally only measures potential reach. These metrics are constantly being refined as more integrated analytics platforms are being developed.
What Should You Be Looking For?
The way you measure or scale your social media will also depend on your industry. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) vary for each enterprise, as every one has different ROI drivers. As your business goals change, these may as well, but it’s important to have a core strategy as a starting point that you can then modify later on as your business development expands. When implementing a scalability strategy the key factors for measuring your success, especially with content marketing are:
- Reach:How many views is your content getting?
- Relevance:Who is your target audience and is your content reaching them?
- Influence and Engagement Who is sharing your content? Are they valuable members of the community or conversation? Is your content starting a conversation or adding to one? Are people interacting with it?
- Sentiment and Promotion:Is the response to your content positive? Are people sharing your content and promoting it?
These KPI’s are measured through a more qualitative method, but if you want more concrete numbers-based analytics you can also implement quantitative, comparative, and competitive measurement strategies to analyze the success of each of the above indicators:
- Reach:To measure your exposure you should be looking at website traffic (unique vistors and page views) and conversion rates.
- Relevance:Analyze if your reach is converting into sales, subscriptions, registrations, etc. – i.e. is your increased visibility bringing about an actionable ROI?
- Influence and Engagement:What are the number of click-thru’s you’re getting from shared links. How many repeat visits? What is the time spent on these visits? Are people commenting on your posts? Are they retweeting or @replying? Is there a change in awareness towards your brand? What implications show that a use will be more likely to purchase?
- Sentiment and Promotion:Determine the percentage of response rate to your content that is positive vs. negative. What is the likelihood that people will promote or share your brand? In addition, how are you ranking in relation to your competitors? If you cross-track their activity, channel usage and engagement, keyword traffic, and demographic reach in relation to your own you can analyze your ranking in the marketplace and the sentiment towards your brand in relation to the competition.
So What Does This All Mean?
So you know generally what KPI’s to be looking out for, but the question then is how do you actually measure these? There are many tools available to help you such as Google Analytics and other monitoring tools, CRM systems to help maintain contacts, eCommerce tools, social media performance tools to assist in ROI analysis, and more. By integrating all of these elements you can develop a strategy that follows the following steps:
- Strategy/Assessment:Figure out how you will align your social media strategy with your business goals and objectives when deciding which tactics are best for your brand.
- Brand and Content: Once you have established the voice of your brand create, curate, and distribute content that promotes this image.
- Establish Enterprise Metrics: Using the suggest KPI’s, decide which tools are best for monitoring your success.
- Monitor and Manage: Keep track of trends in your analytics and use these to inform your progress and what works (or does not). Tailor your strategy as needed to maximize results.
Next Steps: Social Value Chain
To ensure that your social scalability is truly up to size ensure that your “social value chain” is in tact. This means that every department in your company holds value in your social scalability, so your social media needs to be integrated cross-departmentally, internally and externally. Every business process you have has a social media impact, and you need to take that into account. Especially for marketing, customer service, and HR purposes, your social media usage is essential for scaling the success of these departments, aiding in audience engagement, branding and PR, sales support, lead generation, reputation management, customer information, talent acquisition, research, and more.
Your social media marketing strategy needs to align with the goals within each of these departments in order to maximize your ROI. Define your social media campaign parameters before diving in by solving for the KPI and projections, taking into account room for risk, Enterprise cost, and growth, and figure out how much of your budget you need to allocate for your social strategy.
Questions to Keep In Mind
- Is my organization and my executive management team ready for Social Media Marketing and Branding?
- Does everyone treat Social Media as a strategic effort or as an offshoot of marketing or PR/Communications?
- Where in the organization will Social Media reside?
- Will I be able to allocate sufficient budget to Social Media efforts in our company?
- How will Social Media discipline be aligned with HR, Technology, Customer Service, Sales, etc.?
- What tools and technologies will I need to implement SM campaigns?
- Will ‘social’ also include ‘mobile’?
- How will we integrated SM marketing campaigns with existing, more ‘traditional’ marketing efforts?
- How much organizational training will we need to implement in integrating ‘social’ within our Enterprise?
- Are we going to use ‘social’ for advertising and PR/Communications? What about ‘disaster recovery’ and ‘reputation management’?
Once you are able to answer these questions you will be all set to scale your social media marketing strategy to size!
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