The first wave of social media is over. The bigger tools – Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn – are no longer new. The online landscape has changed with the rush to join slowing. Customers are no longer impressed by businesses that are using social media … in some industries they expect it as a minimum. Now businesses are looking at their social media efforts and determining whether or not they’re working.
The answer to this question often lies in the objective that was set in the first place. The only real way to evaluate social media is by measuring it against the business objectives that underpin it.
Many businesses measure the value of their social media program against the number of ‘friends’, ‘followers’ or ‘views’ they have. But, as of 2017, banks don’t accept these over the counter as deposits.
Social media is a great chance to build an online community. Awareness is good – and a key step in building your business – but you need actual results to see if it’s working.
So what were your objectives? If you stated them before you embarked on a Facebook presence, measurement will be easy.
But what if you didn’t? Well, now’s the time to set some and, in the meantime, you can use some of these metrics to obtain an ROI:
- Increases in repeat business – take your customers from two purchases a year to four. How much extra revenue does that result in?
- Word-of-mouth recommendations in the online space that result in new customers – gold if you can get your customers to sell your product or service.
- New suppliers that bring real discounts in $ or % terms.
- New agreements to bulk order your product or service.
The common theme here is outcomes in the real world. These are the things you can take to the bank and effectively measure.