How to Measure Social Media Success for Your Small Business

With social media marketing, you can undeniably grow your audience, gain visibility and exposure for your company/products/services, provide outstanding customer service, and – yes – generate business and increase sales.How to Measure Social Media Success for Your Small Business image Measuring Social Media Success11

There are many business owners running small-to-medium sized businesses who are still hesitant to invest in and start social media marketing because they are not sure how to measure and prove social media ROI – Return on Investment.

Measuring social media success and ROI for your business isn’t as challenging as you may think, and there are different ways to measure success to see how this is impacting your business. Here are the top ones:

1. Community Growth & Sustainability

 

2. Likes, +1s, Favorites, Repins, Retweets

3. Engagement, Shares, Comments

4. Social Media Referral Traffic and Visitor Increase to your Website

5. Email Collection

6. Increased Sales

7. Referrals

8. Word of Mouth
1. Community Growth & Sustainability

This is the classic social media metric that is SO important, but get’s a lot of question for not being as easy to attribute to quantifiable business growth and direct indicator of sales increase.

This is simply NOT TRUE. The sales cycle here is just slower and takes daily nurturing of engagement and care – which is what social media is all about – for that follower to come around and take action to sign up or purchase.

It is very different from that immediate, direct measurement we see from “Click Here”, “Download” or “Buy Now”.

Community growth is a VERY valuable and important metric because it shows you’re appealing to your audience and staying relevant, especially if they’re not dropping off. Remember to stay focused on building the right community, meaning targeted followers who are a good fit for your brand. Building a community of disinterested, unrelated followers is ultimately useless.

How to Measure Social Media Success for Your Small Business image Community Growth tip

These next measurements follow directly from this first measurement of community growth, and will depend on how you nurture and care for your social media community:

2. Likes, +1s, Favorites, Repins, Retweets

How to Measure Social Media Success for Your Small Business image DEMO thumb
Social media measurement comes in different levels. At the first, most basic level, you have simple acknowledgement. This includes likes, +1s, favorites, repins, etc. This is the beginning. Your followers have acknowledged your presence and are looking and reading your content. This is a good start, and it is an important metric to measure.

3. Engagement, Shares, Comments

How to Measure Social Media Success for Your Small Business image social media engagement
This is a step up from the first basic level. Engagement happens when those first likes, +1s, retweets and favorites turn into comments and shares. These are important metrics and indicators that your efforts are succeeding and give you a better impression of your community and that you are reaching people in a compelling way.

NOTE: Facebook Insights provides important data that shows how your community is interacting with your posts and when your fans are online. These numbers can help you streamline your efforts and engage with more of your customers. Read more here.

Twitter Stats show a number of stats, including the mentions, follows, and unfollows, along with stats for each individual Tweet.

You can also use platforms (free and paid) like SproutSocial, HootSuite, Sysomos and InsideSocial for more detailed analytics.

There are also these free tools for monitoring mentions of your brand/company across the web: Topsy, SocialMention.

4. Social Media Referral Traffic and Visitor Increase to your Website
Tracking the number of website traffic and conversions that come from your social media channels using Google analytics is a very efficient way to measure your social-media marketing ROI. You can measure a particular channel, like Facebook or Twitter. This is important as referral traffic shows people are interested in your company, products or services and want to learn more.

When you share a link to content on any of your social channels that drive people to your business’s website or online store, you can track how many people clicked on that link or shared it and much more via Google Analytics.

Driving traffic to your website from social media also gives you an opportunity to capture lead information, like emails, cell phone numbers, etc. for nurture and eventual conversion.

Use Google Analytics to see this data by going to Acquisition – Social – Overview.

How to Measure Social Media Success for Your Small Business image Google Analytics measurement

5. Email Collection

This is one of the best ways to measure social media. You can easily place a “Subscribe” tab on your Facebook page that ties back to your email service like Constant Contact or MailChimp.

6. Increased Sales

How to Measure Social Media Success for Your Small Business image how did you hear about us
Even though many small businesses don’t use CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software for tracking and managing sales and marketing (like Infusionsoft, Salesforce and Hubspot), businesses that I have worked with have seen a direct increase in sales for the specific products or services they post about on social media. When you get a phone call, an email or someone comes into your brick and mortar store, always ask them how they found you!

7. Referrals
Many of my clients get regular referrals due to their social media presence. While someone who follows you online may not currently need your service or product at the moment, they may know someone who does. Being active on social media when someone voices a need for your services makes you much more likely to get a referral. Regular social media posts help keep you top of mind whenever these types of conversations may occur.

8. Word of Mouth
My clients frequently have customers tell them “I love your posts on Facebook” or “I came here because I follow you on Twitter”. These word of mouth statements CANNOT be discounted. Many businesses have social media “lurkers” who are following along but don’t always use social media to engage. While they may be converting to sales and singing your praises to their friends, you may never know it until they tell you in person. These face-to-face interactions can be some of the most fun ways to learn that social media is working for you!

As you can see, all the above social media metrics can be measured, and matter to your business. Keep tracking them. Look for trends you can correlate to social activity. Keep an eye out for active customers who advocate for you on and offline.

Social media has value beyond marketing and when used to the fullest, it connects with every part of your organization’s business.

Now its YOUR TURN! How do you measure social media success for YOUR business? Please share with all of us in the comment box below!

 

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