The ROI of Organic Social Media
One of the most discussed topics at nearly every marketing or franchise conference revolves around how to measure the ROI of social media. While companies have been using social media for some time, it seems that they are just now getting to the point of trying to find tangible ways to be able to measure their results. As a company who focuses solely on social media marketing, ROI has been at the center of our focus, so we want to shed a little light on some of the things we look at on social to measure the value that companies are receiving.
There also seems to be a very poor understand of organic social media as many “experts” are saying that the ROI is simply not there. What we have found is that many companies who are working in social media have not taken the time to understand strategy and only ever spend time developing their ad strategy. Their “organic strategy” consists of infrequent posting and content that is only self promotional, which any social media company will tell you is weak at best. While there is no question that social media advertising is extremely powerful, ignoring organic social media is an major misstep. When done correctly, an organic social media strategy mixed with a basic social media advertising strategy can still be an extremely powerful tool.
Over the next few blogs we are going to talk a little bit about how many companies measure ROI and how many of them are making crucial mistakes in measuring their social media ROI, and today we are going to look at a few of the basics.
#Likes and Followers
One of the most basic things people look at on their business’ social media channels are the number of people who “like” or “follow” their account. This is obviously one of the most important pieces to building your presence, because if no one follows you, no-one sees your content. Now many companies fall under the illusion that need tens of thousands of likes for social media to work, however, your follower count should always be relative to the number of potential customers you may have. If you are a local business, you should only want likes from your local market, anything else is a waste of your time. While having 10,000 likes may look great, it can actually hurt you if these people are not actively engaged with what you are posting.
One of the things Facebook’s algorithm looks at to decide how many people to show your content revolves around the amount of engagement your posts are getting, so if you have a huge following with no engagement chances are Facebook is not showing your content to your audience because no-one is engaged. It is much better to have a smaller, more engaged audience than a huge audience who never sees your content. So when you are measuring your ROI and looking at your likes, be sure your are looking not just at the total number, but rather at the quality of the people liking your page.
Another basic element of measuring social ROI is engagement. Engagement refers to the number of people who are liking, sharing, commenting on, retweeting, or +1ing your posts on social. Now many people attempt to manipulate this statistic by liking all of their companies posts or having their grandmother like all of their posts, but this is actually very damaging to your brand. When Facebook sees someone like your post, they are analyzing the demographic information of that person and pushing your content to more people like them. So if grandma is not in your target audience her “like” is actually skewing your content toward a demographic that is not actually going to help your brand.
Engagement is meant to help Facebook determine the best demographic of people to continue to deliver your content to. When you are looking at your content, if you are getting no engagement, it means that your content is not resonating with your demographic, and you should consider changing your voicing or strategy to be more relevant to your audience. The other thing to keep in mind when working to build your engagement is that people are not on social media to be sold to. There is definitely a time and place for that, but doing this every day on social media is a great way to ruin your Facebook page. Your strategy should be built around providing links, videos, and images that your audience want to see, click on, and ultimately engage with.
This is probably one of the most undervalued and under measured organic stat by businesses because they rely solely on ads to get people to click on their content. What many businesses do not realize is that organic link clicks also count as engagement, and have the same effect on Facebook spreading your content to more people as likes on a post. When businesses share helpful, relevant, and timely articles that are not linking back to their website all the time, Facebook is measuring the demographics of the people clicking on those articles and sharing them with more of the same people.
One of the best ways to see this is to use a URL shorter like Google’s goo.gl or bitly. These companies provide a vast amount of detail beyond just numbers of clicks that can be extremely powerful for furthering the development of your content strategy. They also allow you to analyze which links are getting the most clicks which will allow you to know what type of content resonates with your audience the most. Having a solid strategy of sharing third party content is an incredible way to separate yourself as an industry expert and keep a fresh stream of content flowing on your social channels.
Being able to properly measure your effectiveness on social media is crucial, and having the right tools and understanding is where you have to start. At Social Joey, our team has taken the time to understand the best strategies and measurement tools to ensure your businesses social media strategy is as effective as possible. If you are struggling to understand the effectiveness of your social media strategy or just need help creating content on a regular basis reach out to our team today to learn more about our solution for getting the most out of your companies social media accounts.