At the end of the day, it all comes down to measurement. If your strategy is based upon anything, base it upon a relevant business objective that you can measure. In the last few months, I’ve really learned that at the end of the day whatever you do, you should contribute to the bottom line. Don’t get me wrong it doesn’t have to always be about money – but you should be thinking about money anyways. It makes you important, it makes you & what you do valuable.
Brand Awareness is a real objective… if you measure it correctly
Brand awareness is a real objective – let’s get that straight. It is absolutely the top of the funnel, it’s important, it’s measurable. The problem, I find, is that when people cite ‘brand awareness’ as a reason for ‘doing’ social media – they often have no intention of measuring it and will call any metric a success metric. Having tens of thousands or even millions of fans on Facebook does not equal brand awareness. You have to be top of mind for people to be aware, and usually that equates to the idea that people actually need to be talking about you. If you want to measure ‘Brand Awareness’ in social media, you should really be measuring Share of Voice (SOV). Share of voice determines where you stand in consumer conversations in relation to your industry. At a basic level, this is the # of conversations mentioning your brand, divided by the number of total industry conversations. That is a basic measurement, I’ll save the more advanced stuff for a later post.
Business, at the end of the day, is business. It’s about money (at least it is most of the time). Every company’s goals, to some degree, have some sort of revenue attached. There is obviously a lot of value in engaging people, and that serves as a loyalty and/or acquisition strategy. But if you want to prove to your management that you can achieve ROI by investing in social media, you need to be able to back up what you say. It’s as easy to make a sale using social media as an outreach tool as it is to sit at a phone and cold call people all day (I know it’s not really easy, it takes a fair amount of determination and thick skin to do this job). Look for your leads, qualify your leads, and eventually turn a percentage of those qualified leads into sales. To measure it’s really quite simple: # of sales coming from social channels divided by # of total sales. What’s key in measuring sales is measuring the growth patterns of sales coming from social channels. Create a proper sales strategy, measure it, optimize it, and see success.
Too many measurements that mean nothing without context
My biggest problem with measuring social media marketing & sales efforts is that there is SO much data. There are so many metrics that can mean a lot, and so many metrics that mean nothing at all. I too, am guilty at times of creating a roundabout strategy – with no clear goals and no clear measurement. The best thing to do is stop yourself before you get to far into Narnia and tell your brain to stop chasing unicorns. It’s important to find the right measurements (even if they are not nearly as attractive as the vanity metrics out there). Understand what you want to use social media for and bring value (and moula) to your efforts.
Too many times I’ve had to restart my course, I don’t want to be a social media guru that promises pixie dust and happy children to the world. I want to contribute to the bottom line and earn my place as well as my strategy. We all have to work through these obstacles, just stick to it.