When discussing Social Media Marketing with a client, a traditional marketing or ad agency, or when giving social media marketing tips to anyone really, we are frequently asked how you can actually measure the value of social media marketing endeavors. Traditional ad agencies in particular like to fall back on their belief that you can’t actually measure results from social media marketing like you can from traditional advertising i.e. billboards, newspaper, tv etc. but nothing could be further from the truth.
First, social media marketing offers a bevy of advantages when it comes to measuring results over any traditional form of marketing because any social media platform now gives you insights that provide immediate feedback on efforts. If you buy a billboard, an analyst can tell you how many people will drive past that billboard on an average day, and maybe a customer will mention they saw you advertise on your billboard giving you some feedback on your efforts, but that’s pretty much where it ends, and the same really goes for print advertising, television, etc. You can put that same advertisement on Facebook for example, and within 24 hours, see how many people saw the ad, AND, how many people interacted with it, whether they tell you or not, as well as how many liked your page, started following your business or clicked through to your offer or website because of your ad.
If you really want definitive measurement, you can create online only coupons or offers that must be redeemed so you can track the actual usage, but the social nature of social media generally creates an atmosphere where people will tell you they saw your message. This week alone I received messages from two different clients ecstatic about the sales and response created by the social media marketing campaigns we designed for them: “The last wine post got a great response all week! People were saying I want that Cabernet I saw on Facebook!” Rashaun Brown, Manager, Paterno’s at the Park Restaurant, and “I just wanted to let you know how many compliments I’m getting on everything you are doing! 5000 times improvement over what we were doing before you! Compliments need to be paid forward! Thank You! We are going to have a great second half of 2014!”, Laura Miller, Owner, Ichiban Restaurants
When was the last time your newspaper ad created that kind of buzz or an immediate increase in sales?
In addition to customer response and feedback, when it comes to measuring ROI, you also have the advantage of continuous and up to date numbers for viewership, interaction, and response rates at your fingertips at all times. How is this valuable to you? You can actually see if your message is driving customer action almost immediately, not only showing you if it’s working, but allowing you to test multiple ads and versions of your messages with immediate feedback. Using social media AND traditional media? How valuable is being able to test multiple messages for that billboard or commercial against a qualified audience before you commit significant money to an ad that can’t easily be changed for months?
Other advantages of social media marketing many people overlook when we discuss social media marketing tips include:
- Long term benefit: unlike traditional media, social media marketing allows you to continuously build a list of qualified potential customers that you can contact indefinitely.
- Immediate effect: Need to liquidate inventory today? Are you a restaurant or retail store with an expiring inventory? You can advertise that special five minutes from now on social media, or get a commercial on tv 2 weeks from now after it’s already expired and at a cost that doesn’t make any sense either.
- Relationship Building: Studies show the modern day consumer wants to do business with an organization they like and trust, the same billboard message or commercial every day will get you brand recognition, but won’t easily create the kind of rapport sharing your message and carrying on a conversation with potential customers daily can.
The bottom line is, not only can social media marketing produce the results you need, a long-term value from constant list building, and immediate increases in revenue, it can be measured and give you feedback in ways no other marketing expenditure can possibly create.