By Anton Koekemoer Oct 06 2014
During the early days when social media marketing started to buzz online, many marketers and digital marketing agencies jumped on the bandwagon without thinking on how they are going to measure their marketing efforts and to check if they are on the right track. Many were confused because they didn’t have clear objectives on what they want to accomplish, and this is why it is so important to plan your social media marketing strategy before you start venturing on the social web. Find below a couple of tips to help you get started on how you can measure your social
media marketing campaign.
Define goals for your social media campaign
If you are going to start a social media campaign just because everyone else is doing it, your ability to get results that you can measure will really be limited. This is true if you are using social media channels such as your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
When you start planning your campaign, think about what you want to achieve with your initiative. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Build a network of loyal followers? Increase sales? Generate leads? The same as any other digital marketing strategy, once you see and measure what you are doing, you will be able to make corrections as you are going along.
What goals are you going to measure?
Are you going to use any other form of marketing including traditional marketing, direct or branding, without a clue of what you can expect? Most likely not. At a bare minimum, you need some way to see if anyone is actually responding to all your efforts. To accomplish this you should use factors that you are already using for your digital marketing efforts that can be integrated easily.
Among the most basic metrics you can use to measure are factors such as number of visitors generated, actions, brand awareness, time spent on site, costs, and sales. While these elements may not provide an accurate measure, these can give you a ballpark estimate of your effectiveness. Since you basically have to start somewhere, using what is free from the social media channel you want to measure so that you will have some basis to compare the results with your social media marketing initiative.
Always use calls to action
With your social media campaign, use unique promotional codes, and dedicated calls to action that you can use for tracking purposes. The same as what you must do with any other promotion, you often will need a code that you can use for tracking. This way you can track your social media influence very early in the sale process, and you have a way to track it. The easiest way to accomplish this is by using UTM tracking codes in Google Analytics.
As you are gaining more experience with your social media marketing campaign and ways you can measure the effectiveness, your insights into what you have to measure will make sure your initiative will improve. If you are still having problems measuring the effectiveness of your social media campaign, there are many commercially monitoring applications available that you can use to effectively measure your results.
Image: orkomedix via Flickr.