When deciding to pursue social for a brand it is important to first understand three basic things: Why do we use social, who is best suited to manage the task and how can we prove its impact.
Why do you use social?
It is undeniable that social media is a growing force that cannot be ignored, but in case you need quantifiable proof here’s a look at the social landscape in the United States:
- 86% of the U.S. population is active Internet users, and 59% are active social media users. This number continues to climb annually. We are social. That cannot be ignored.
Who is best suited to manage social?
To be a good social manager you have to take the time to be a real person when managing an account. This role should be carefully considered. When evaluating potential candidates or current employees consider these four traits in order to successfully execute everything from a social campaign to a single tweet:
- Logic - Does this strategy accomplish the goal?
- Intuition - Will the audience react expectedly? Positive? Negative
- Imagination - Be creative in your solution.
- Wit - Delivery is key. Be smart, creative, and accurate.*
How do you prove Social Media Impact and ROI when it can mean so many things?
1. Analyze what your audience wants and needs
- Use tools to listen
- Join conversations
2. Create assets and build social strategy to reach your target audience/goal
3. Track all of your activity, analyze your results, find your benchmarks, optimize campaigns and do it again
- What to measure: engagement, reach/impressions, referral traffic, sales, customer service
- How to measure: social analytics tool or native, tag everything, analytics team, sync with sales, retention, find current and new benchmarks
- Repurpose content*
These steps will set any social initiative up for success from a quantitative ROI report, but at the end of the day do not forget that the single most important ROI is qualitative.
ROI results in one-to-one contact with people. Social allows you to talk to and with your customers - that in itself is the biggest return. Brands that do not understand or accept this key performance indicator can execute the aforementioned strategy and achieve success, but not value.
*Source: Gavin Donovan, Sr. Social Media Program Manager at Trend Micro