We hear this time, and time again. “ I don’t want to put money into social media because there is no proven Return On Investment.” If you learn anything from reading this blog, learn this one thing: Social Media can generate ROI, and you can track it – especially if you are willing to be patient and do some testing.
For years, social media has been the ugly (if not the more fun and free spirited) stepchild of marketing. Now, I am not here to tell you that social media is the new Pay Per Click, but I can assure you whole-heartedly that you can see results from social media marketing. Not only are there ways to see your ROI, there are ways to track it so you can actually enhance your social media strategy, making it more fun and engaging for your fans. Here are some tips we use to create and track ROI for our clients:
- Online Coupons: Ahhhhhh coupons – they are to consumers what candy is to a kid – too sweet to ignore. Coupons are a super easy way to track your social media ROI, especially if you are offering a social only coupon. You can go about this two ways. You can either create a custom Facebook tab that is linked to a 3rd party coupon source like coupons.com, or you can create an offer right in Facebook. The beauty of both of these options is that you know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, if people are redeeming that coupon, they are coming from Facebook.
- Google Analytics: Chances are, if you have a website, you are already using Google Analytics to track your online traffic (if you’re not – you need get on that!). From here, you can see your social referrals, or traffic coming directly from Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, etc. You can see how much traffic is coming from social, how much time they’re spending on your site, what they’re looking at and you can correlate your efforts with upticks in sales. You can even set up your analytics to track social referrals all the way through to e-commerce sales.
- Facebook Advertising: Running ads on Facebook is a great way to drive traffic to your site, but also test to see if your social media marketing is working. Try placing an ad for a specific product or an event. Test it for a set amount of time- if you see an uptick in sales or visits during this period (See item #2 above), you can feel confident that your ads are effective.
While there are lots of ways to show social media marketing ROI, these tried and true methods will help get you started. Having an open mind about social media can prove to be incredibly successful.