How To Drive Measurable Social Media Results

5 Social Media Tactics To Improve Trackability

Drive Measurable Social Media Results Do your social media marketing activities drive measurable results?

Or does your c-suite grumble that your social media investments are NOT contributing to your business’s objectives?

A top marketer told me about a social media campaign his agency created for a high profile client.

At the heart of the campaign was what LinkedIn’s Jason Miller refers to as “big rock” content. That’s a piece of content that can be re-imagined into related smaller pieces.

The project’s stated objective:

  • Raise awareness for a major product rollout. In line with the stated goals, the content didn’t include any calls-to-action, buttons or links for viewers to request more information or purchase the product.

The results:

  • Attracted 10,000s of views and 1,000s of social media shares and comments. Most businesses would consider this a major success. Yet, the client was disappointed. The campaign yielded NO sales although the goal was to increase awareness and there was no way for prospects to show their interest directly.
  • In addition, the campaign was so attractive to other firms that the marketer acquired at least one new client from the campaign.

The bottom line:

  • Always provide ways for prospects to contact or purchase from you in every campaign regardless of your stated goals. Add tailored, contextually relevant calls-to-action and links that allow direct sales and email address collection for additional nurturing and later conversion.

This case isn’t that different from what many marketers who use social media experience. While many marketers state the marketing objective of social media use is to raise awareness, the reality is that, like television advertising, they can’t figure out how to make it more trackable and accountable.

In today’s media landscape social media use isn’t a choice for most marketers.

Why?

Because social media is where your target market spends their time. Data shows that consumers spend over an hour a day on social media.

Time Spent with Social Media per Day - eMarketer

But it’s difficult to yield measurable social media results on any social media network, based on AOL via Converto research. That’s because social media interaction tends to occur in the middle of the purchase funnel. 
Convertro_SocialMedia_report 2014-2

Adding to this marketing challenge is the fact that dynamic social media platforms like Facebook continually adjust their algorithms reducing the visibility of overly pushy products and promotions. (BTW, here’s how to deal with Facebook’s decreased visibility.)

So what’s a marketer to do?

5 Tactics to drive measurable social media results

Think differently about how and when you use social media to distribute and engage with your prospects to get the most measurable social media results possible. Drive Measurable Social Media Results

1. Start your social media plans by clearly defining your objectives.

These goals should be aligned with those of your business and you should be able to assign measurable results to them.

Among the top 5 marketing goals, regardless of business type are:

  • Raise brand, product and/or company awareness. Get your name out there.
  • Acquire new prospects, leads and/or customers. These are people willing to raise their hands and show interest in your product or company.
  • Get prospects and customers to buy from you. This can be first time purchasers or people who’ve bought from your firm in the past and are buying more or different products from you.
  • Encourage customers to keep and use your products. Purchases that are returned generate costs. You want buyers to keep and use your offering. If they don’t, it’s unlikely they’ll buy again. This is one reason to provide customer service via social media but it requires a high bar to succeed.
  • Persuade customers to show support for your company and products. Encourage existing customers to share their opinions to help new buyers. Also. Where appropriate, resolve customer issues.

Understand that social media is best at building awareness since it reaches a broad cross section of customers before, during and after they purchase.

Further, your business must have a presence on social media because that’s where recent data shows more prospects find your firm.  Maximize social sharing - Shareaholic chart

2. Use social media to get prospects into your purchase process.

Seeking conversions via social media is more difficult. Since your B2B prospects are over 58% of the way through the purchase cycle before your firm is aware that they’re in the market. You must distribute content that provides the 5 basic content types they seek across a mix of platforms. 5 basic content types

  • Product information.
  • Customer FAQs (frequently asked questions)
  • Product how to’s
  • Styling information
  • Customer ratings and reviews.

3. Integrate conversion friendly social media into your marketing plans.

Don’t just use social media platforms based on the numbers (BTW, here’s where to find your audience on social media in 2015.)

Here are 4 social media platforms that support lead generation

  • Blog: Answer your customers’ questions, support your search optimization, and link directly to your product. Marcus Sheridan found that answering his customers’ key question yielded $2 million in sales.  Business Blog Sizzle - B2C example
  • YouTube: Strut your product’s stuff on YouTube to show its 360° glory. Also, use YouTube to teach your audience how to use your product or communicate with them through a regularly hosted talk show. Social media video content
  • Pinterest: Is where shoppers go to get inspired especially for clothes, styling, interior decorating and DIY. It’s the “I want” social network. Don’t write off its potential for B2B and media distribution; it’s BuzzFeed’s #2 social media traffic driver (after Facebook).  (1) BuzzFeed on Pinterest
  • SlideShare: Generates leads for B2B businesses through the posting of presentations, ebooks, articles, videos and other forms of content. A paid version enables marketers to capture lead generation information. Up-cycled content marketing example-prime content-Kapost

4. Offer customer service via social media.

You can provide help to your prospects and customers when and where they seek it. This generally falls into 2 distinct categories.

  • Provide product information. Answer all of the potential questions that your prospects and customers may have regarding your products. This includes the tough questions like price.
  • Be available on social media. Have social media trained customer service specialists who can respond on a variety of different platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. If you’re not available 24/7, post your hours, a phone number and email address. Understand that customer expectations are higher on social media.

5. Be openly promotional in your use of social media.

Don’t try to sugar coat your promotions because customers can smell an ad a mile away. Instead be transparent about your activity.

  • Employ social media advertising to extend your reach. Like other forms of advertising, additional budget is required. The benefit is that you can laser target your ads to reach your specific niche. Use a call-to-action to drive viewers to act.
  • Create a targeted deal page. Another option is to create a tailored site where all you offer is deals. While popular with customers, this alternative has declined in popularity with marketers.

As this marketer learned, regardless of your stated objectives for social media, you’ve got to maximize every opportunity for more than just increasing brand awareness.

To this end, incorporate trackable calls-to-action that link to more content, email capture, a phone callback, an email or purchase.

The bottom line is often assessed based on getting the most measurable social media results possible.

How do you increase social media trackability?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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