Before you start begging your boss to jump into the social media fray make certain you sit down and calculate exactly what you hope to gain from your efforts and exactly how you hope to gain it. This means developing a very specific social media marketing plan and a very specific call-to-action.
Your call-to-action is the deal sealer. It’s the point where you convert social media visitors into paying customers and your one true method for tracking the effectiveness of your social media marketing plan. If your plan is merely to gain Facebook Fans or Twitter Followers, so be it. But if you plan on deriving any revenue from your social media efforts you will need something a little more concrete than that. In fact, you’ll need something a lot more concrete than that or the boss will begin to wonder why he hired you in the first place.
There are a number of companies which promise to analyze the effectiveness of your social media campaign, and some of them might actually deliver useful analytics in this regard. However, any social media manager worth hiring will sit down with you before creating the social media network to help you determine exactly what you want to do and how you will measure its success or failure. That means having a well-defined plan and a well-defined goal(s).
There is no secret to understanding the effectiveness of your social media marketing campaign. If you set a specific goal and work toward that goal it is easy enough to determine how close you are to that goal and therefore how effective your efforts have been using social media to get there.
Typically, there are three main types of analysis used to measure a campaign’s success: financial, reach and frequency, and affinity analysis. These measurements are easier to define, readily accepted, and most importantly add credibility and trust to Social Media initiatives.
Basic reach and frequency
This measurement relies solely on social media data. It requires little integration into the overall business making it the easiest to obtain. This measurement focuses on depth of message dispersion (reach) and impressions an individual may have been exposed to (frequency).
Reach and Frequency analysis may go so far as to assign an arbitrary currency (£) value to the active audience – or your fans, followers etc. In addition to these volume metrics, a good reach and frequency analysis should explore sentiment and share of voice (in comparison to competitors), pre and post social media efforts. This analytic approach is similar to that used for media forecasting e.g. TV, radio, and print – where direct attribution of sales is complex.
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