How to Confirm if Your Social Media Marketing is Actually Working or Is a Waste of Time
You can be pumping out Tweets, Pins, and Facebook posts all day – but are they generating the results and the value that you planned for?
Social media is undoubtably a cheap and effective way of promoting yourself and your business to your target audience. For this reason businesses of all sizes, and SEO companies alike, have turned to social media to achieve any number of their online goals, from acquiring new customers to generating more brand awareness.
Sometimes there isn’t an over-riding strategy or goal in mind.
Much of the time the overall strategy will boil down to posting, or tweeting to anyone who will listen; gaining followers, likes, and interactions, almost for the sake of vanity.
But without a clear objective, many businesses fail to ask themselves a few important questions about their social media campaign:
Am I reaching the correct audience?
Are my social media efforts generating revenue for my business?
Having 5,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest is a great achievement, but unless those followers are monetised in some way, by turning them into clients/customers – is our social media campaign worth the time and effort that we are spending?
Defining Our Objectives
Before analysing the success of our campaigns, it is worth defining what our objectives are, as they will be the basis by which we measure the success of our campaign. Metrics we measure for a campaign which is intended for generating new leads for example, is going to differ greatly from one which is intended to generate brand awareness.
Are You Attracting the Correct Audience
Having an ever-growing number of followers could mean that you are moving towards your objective (for example attracting new potential customers), but if those new followers are not interested in what you’re selling, you might be wasting your time.
So before you start celebrating over the size of your reach, first define who your target audience is, and compare this with your actual audience to see how closely they match.
Description of Your Target Audience
Here are some key details of your target audience that you should look to define:
- Geographic Location
Analysing Your Social Media Audience
Now that you have a good idea of who you need to be targeting in order to achieve your objectives, its time to find out how much of your audience actually meets your criteria:
Twitter allows you to see where your users are located around the world, their gender, age, and interests – all the information that is useful:
Facebook give you an insight into the demographics of your fans, the people that you have reached, and the people who have engaged with your posts:
If you have set up a business account, Pinterest will give you access to information pertaining to the demographics and interests of your audience.
If when comparing the data on your audience to your defined target audience, you notice that:
the interests of your audience do not match up with the interests of the people you want be targeting…
the majority of your audience are much older/younger than the people you want to target…
or that most of your audience live outside of your target geographical location…
then you know that you need need to change your strategy.
Are Users Engaging With Your Content on Social Media?
Having masses of followers is great, and they might even be from your desired audience, but if they aren’t engaging with your content then they aren’t much use to you. Having 800 highly responsive followers who regularly share and engage with your content is far more valuable than having 6000 followers who rarely take the time to read with you’re posting.
Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest analytics all provide data on the level of engagement within your content:
This information is invaluable, giving you an insight into which types of content your audience responds most to, allowing you to create more engaging content (posts/tweets/pins) in the future.
Are Your Followers Converting into…?
Depending on your objectives, you will be measuring different metrics in order to gauge whether or not you are succeeding.
|Acquiring Customers||Number of Leads contacted through social media|
|Brand Awarness||Reach/Impressions from target audience|
|Site Traffic||Clicks on content that links through to main site|
Tracking lead enquiries/sales is not something you can easily do through Facebook or Twitter analytics, but by using Google Analytics in conjunction with your social media tracking you can gain an insight into where you are generating your leads from:
Google Analytics allows you to track up to 25 separate conversion goals, along with E-commerce tracking, which could be anything from an email option to playing a video on your site. The setting up of Google Analytics is another subject and beyond the scope of this article, but it is a key ingredient in measuring the success of your social media campaigns.
If you’re not sure if your social media marketing is working for you, first work out what your objectives are and what you expect form your campaign; define the audience you need to reach in order to accomplish your objectives; compare your target audience to the audience you have accumulated and see how well they match up; see if you audience is engaging with you by using analytics; and lastly see if your audience is converting for you.