Why Should We All Be Measuring our Social Media Strategies?
Going into 2017, most digital marketers would agree that it is difficult to overstate the impact of social media on marketing. That’s not to say that most of us have figured out a method to quantify that impact, or how to mine social engagements and activity for insights that can guide marketing strategy. In fact, a recent Entrepreneur Magazine article made it clear that an overwhelming majority of marketers who use social media — 85 percent — are unsure which social media tools best suit their businesses.
These marketers know, of course, that social media has an invaluable impact on marketing efforts and its respective ROI. It’s just the why and how of measuring its impact on marketing that remains a bit fuzzy in a rapidly changing digital world.
Social Media’s Impact on Marketing Can Make or Break a Business.
Fact: Social platforms are where customers can be found today. Conservative estimates say that people are spending at least 30 minutes a day on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit, etc. And that may not include the time users spend checking their apps while standing on line at the bank or while stopped at a traffic light.
This means it is essential for companies to have a robust presence on a variety of platforms. Whether the goal is to build brand awareness, engage with customers, or connect with new prospects, any organization striving for success must be able to connect with their customers wherever they are. However, it shouldn’t be lost on marketers that everyone else is on social media as well — that can have a profound impact on every aspect of business.
Social media is where a brand can engage with not only its brand ambassadors, but also other key influencers such as analysts, investors, future employees and bloggers. Something as seemingly innocuous as a “like” or a retweet from these influencers can leverage the impact of social media on marketing, offering both an expanded audience and a virtual seal of approval from an industry thought leader.
It matters, too, on the flip side. As much as positive comments from influencers can propel a brand to new heights, customer complaints and concerns can quickly take a toll on the impact of social media on marketing, if they are not addressed quickly. Where a complaint would once have come via an irate phone call, today they filter in through social interactions.
This offers companies both a challenge and an opportunity, because the way they respond to the customer’s concern, and how promptly, is being acted out in public. A satisfactory resolution goes a long way to build trust, not only on the part of the aggrieved customer but for the “spectators” as well. An unsatisfactory outcome, well, not so much.
How to measure the impact of social media on marketing — and put the metrics to work
Of course, it’s one thing to know that social media matters on a theoretical level. It’s another thing entirely to make it matter when it comes to planning, implementing, monitoring, and optimizing marketing strategies and tactics. With so many variables to track on a constantly evolving landscape, managing the impact of social media on marketing campaigns can be daunting.
At least that seemed to be the case until cutting-edge technological solutions leveled the playing field. Today’s sophisticated marketing analytics solutions and dashboards not only provide real-time metrics across all of the platforms in use, they also offer time-saving — and money-saving — tools for maintaining active and responsive social engagement. What does this mean at the end of the day? All-new technologies allow marketers to better target and strategically schedule posts to achieve maximum impact, or to monitor and quickly respond to questions/complaints.
Beyond that, since marketing analytics platforms consolidate and integrate all marketing data in a single place, they can help users analyze customers’ social media behaviors and interactions in a more personal way.
Doing business today is personal
No modern marketer has to be told that customer expectations are rapidly elevating in the digital marketplace, or that the relationship between consumers and brands has been turned on its head as well.
If well-heeled companies use to call the shots when it came to how business transactions occurred, those days are gone. Now, the customer has, virtually, an unlimited range of options for shopping and ever-increasing expectations for a personalized customer experience as a result.
This reality puts social media at the heart of any marketing strategy. How your customer relates to you and your brand’s social channels doesn’t only form the basis for building a long and profitable relationship with them. It also sets the tone for the message about your brand that they will spread throughout their own circle of influence — and they will be distributing that message, good or bad, far and wide through their various social channels.
With all of this in mind, what business can afford to bypass monitoring and measuring social platforms?