One of the hardest things for most so-called social media consultants is to show the ROI of utilizing social media to their clients. If your consultant can’t show you the ROI, it’s time to find a new social media “expert.” I want to start off this blog by giving a simple way to track social media return on investment (ROI).
How to Track Social Media ROI
There are dozens of ways to track social media ROI but one of the simplest and my go-to is by utilizing Google Analytics. Google Analytics is great about tracking what hits to your website come from social media and then breaking it down by network.
When I give my reports to my clients, I include how many hits to the website came from social media that week by network. This way, they can see the growth. I also spend some time with my clients just explaining Google Analytics as most don’t understand how to really track their sources, conversions, and audience at all! But this is why I do what I do with my preferred type of clientele – small business owners and independent contractors who don’t’ know where to start, how to start, or have been trying but furiously flinging things at their wall and hoping it sticks.
BONUS TIP: A new blog post on your site with unique, fresh, and informational content boosts the number of hits to the website via social media when you share it with your networks.
Increasing Social Media ROI
So, let’s get down to it then. Here are the 6 ways to increase your social media ROI:
1. Use Images – LOTS OF IMAGES
It’s not a secret that we take in data visually. And I know this is a tip you hear a lot, but that’s because it absolutely works. Images, videos, and stunning graphic design help to get your message across over regular text posts every time. In fact, using pictures on Facebook increases average engagement by 120% over regular text posts!
2. Offer Incentives
A great way to easily see your ROI and track the leads and sales is to offer social media only incentives such as coupons or downloads. If you go to my Facebook page right now I have a unique tab that offers a coupon for my services if you give me your email address to be added to my newsletter campaign. It’s easy to track how many hits I get by seeing exactly how many emails I gather. Facebook also allows you to create “Offers” just for your fans. To learn more about how to set up an Offer visit Jon Loomer’s article on how to create Facebook offers for an online business.
3. Design, Test, Scrap, Try Again
Social media marketing strategy is not a “one-and-done” deal. You have to try new strategies, change up your designs, switch your tactics, and be ready to throw away things that any social media marketer tells you. Just because something is an industry standard, does not mean it will work for you and your business. Just an example, one client of mine gets the most engagement and reach when they post after 8pm on Facebook. But the standard for best times to post on Facebook is between 1pm and 4pm. You have to test, retest, and retest again to find your social media posting sweet spot.
BONUS TIP: By changing the way I tweet and interact with my followers, I grew my personal Twitter page audience in October 2014 from 275 followers to over 600 in 10 days with no paid advertising. I increased my retweets, favorites, and twitter mentions by over 600%. No joke.
4. Define Your Audience
Knowing exactly whom you’re trying to reach plays a massive role in how you market on social media. Ask yourself the following questions:
What is my ideal client interested in?
What is my ideal client’s age, gender, location, income?
What exactly do I want my potential clients to do when they see me on social media?
5. Use Calls to Action
Most people need to be spoon-fed instructions on exactly what you want them to do – this is especially true in social media. If you do not tell them to act, they’re not going to do anything but maybe like your post. Ask questions, create contests, ask for retweets and shares, tell them to go to your website, inspire them to call you. Change it up but try to always include a clear action you want your fans to take.
6. Reach Out to Top Followers and Influencers
You may not know it but your biggest brand advocates for small businesses are typically followers and tweeters that have the fewest number of likes and followers themselves. You have better luck reaching lots of smaller fish than trying to wrangle one large one. Use the people who are already talking about your business, brand, or products! How about reaching out to these people specifically and ask them to review one of your products or to share your next event with their followers? Most likely, they will do it – and even more so if you offer them an incentive. For example, if have designed an app for your business, reach out to your top followers and offer the download of the app free-of-charge if they post about the download with a review to their friends.
Honestly, we could go on for days about best practices and specific ways to increase your social media return on investment. These 6 are some of my favorites and what I have found the most success with for not only my clients at Nissen Media but also my business.
What have you tried to do to increase your social media ROI? I’d love to hear about your successes and your failures – it’s how we learn!