• How to achieve better social media outcomes

    How to achieve better social media outcomes

    So you want to boost the impact of your social media activities? There's one key thing that you have to do which you might not want to hear. But please keep reading. Without this thing, you could well be wasting your time.

    Doing this probably won't be fun. It might seem boring. It can be a drag. But it’s essential. You need to measure! And here's some ways in which you can do it.

    Use Google Analytics
    Your social media activity will very possibly be geared towards driving traffic to your website (your site probably should be the hub around which your social media activity is based). So you need to understand what activity is working in driving traffic to your site. Google Analytics will let you know where your website traffic is coming from – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, elsewhere. It will also let you know what people are doing once they go on your site. Are they leaving immediately? Are they staying to read your content? Are they visiting just one page or lots of pages? Google Analytics can also help you understand what kinds of people are visiting your site. Where are they from? What is their language? What technology are they using? All very useful information that you should be availing of.

    Use Facebook Insights
    Facebook Insights will help you determine whether your content and engagement strategies for your Facebook page are working and help you refine them, or change them totally. It will tell you how much engagement each of your posts is achieving. It will tell you the reach of your posts and page. It will also give you good demographic information. You’ll be able to see the rate at which your page is gaining followers (or losing them). You can cross-reference this with your activity and see any correlation. You can look at all of this over a period of time. And you can export the information into Excel sheets. You might pick up something as simple as a realisation that posting at a particular time of day works best for your page.

    Use Klout
    Klout says that your Klout score is like having a social media credit score. Klout measures your influence across a range of social networks, based on how you engage with people. It’s not focused on the number of fans/followers you have, but more importantly the volume of retweets, mentions, likes, shares, comments etc that you have. Klout also highlights your most influential topics as well as the people who most influence you and who you most influence. If you have a lot of influential people engaging with you regularly, you will have a high Klout score (scores are between 0 and 100). Monitor your Klout score. If it is going up, you’ll know you’re probably doing something right. You can also benchmark against competitors. If they have a much higher Klout score than you, chances are, you have the potential to increase your social media influence too by augmenting your activity.

    Get beneath the data. And listen
    Don’t forget that you could be achieving lots of engagement and much of it could be negative. Sentiment is very important. Listen to what it is that your followers or fans are actually saying. Augment your approach based on it. And use this intelligence to improve your business.

    Use your common-sense
    Often a bit of common-sense will go a long way in telling you whether your social media activity is working. Rather than getting fixated on the number of likes your Facebook page has, look at things like whether a post you put up about an offer (e.g. two for one meals at your restaurant) has an impact on business. Did you do a similar offer a few months previously without social media activity? Was there a noticeable increase in business the second time ? Could anything else have resulted in this change or was the social media element the only new thing? Has your business started to attract more interest since you started using Twitter, or since you started doing something different on Twitter? In short, measure what matters. 49,000 likes means nothing if your Facebook activity isn’t actually helping your business.

    Ask your customers
    This is an obvious one, but some people seem to have a disconnect in their minds between the real world and the social media world. Social media marketing should be about real and tangible outcomes. Ask your customers where they heard about you, your products, your offers etc. If none of them say social media, maybe you’re wasting your time on there and need to look at changing your approach.

    Understand what you’re trying to achieve
    You need to understand what you’re trying to achieve before you can measure your social media activity properly. If your goals are clear, you can measure whether you’re actually achieving them or not.

    Some people might tell you that the impact of social media is intangible and can’t really be measured. Don’t listen to them. Yes, sometimes social media activity, done the right way, creates a glow around your business; positions your brand as cool, funny, or likeable. And this can be hard to measure. But, like everything, that positive impact on your brand has to produce a positive tangible outcome to be worthwhile. Measure it!