For any business, the most common goal for social media is to have it ultimately impact sales in a positive way. To get your social program there requires an ongoing process of implementation, inspection of your social media metrics, tweaking and then re-implementation of the program.
This controlled trial and error method, with metric analysis at its heart, is the best course for meeting your online sales goals.
Other than counting the number of phone calls to your office, the traditional media of TV, print and radio offers no accurate way to measure the effectiveness of your print or on-air ad. Traditional media cannot clearly answer the questions of how many people saw your ad or the actions they took afterwards.
Yet understanding the impact of the ad and the behaviors they invoke is necessary to understand how the effectiveness of that ad. Without this data, you’re taking a shot in the dark and hoping for the best.
Social media, on the other hand, can clearly answer questions about reach and customer behavior.
Let’s start with reach, the number of people who actually see the ad. It is the most important metric because it drives all the others. Reach is defined by Social Media Examiner as, “…the number of unique people who saw your content.” So, the more people you reach, the better.
Ads are created to inspire an action in those who see it. This is called a “Call to action.” That action might be making a phone call to place an order or visiting a website for more information.
As stated earlier, traditional media can’t measure the actions after an ad is seen. But social media can. The number of Likes, comments or shares a post or ad receives is easily measured and available for marketers to evaluate. If you don’t see the actions you’re looking for, you can make adjustments to your ad and try it again.
Boosting a post on Facebook should not be compared to advertising in print or on radio and TV. Yes, you’re still paying for the ad, but the cost is significantly less. In fact, rates are as low as $5.00 per day. But the real attraction to boosting a post on Facebook is the ability to target it to the demographics you want to reach.
Running ads on Facebook are an efficient way to message members of your target market who are not fans of your business page. Like boosted posts, they are targeted and affordable.
Boosted posts and advertising on Facebook both provide the data necessary to make determinations on their effectiveness. If a particular boosted post or ad did not perform the way you hoped, then try different content next time until you hit on a message that works.
Social media metrics provide the necessary data to help marketers tweak posts or ads and make them more relevant to their target market. By doing so, you increase the likelihood of those messages resonating with your audience. When you achieve that, they will be more likely to follow the actions that you are asking of them.
Following this process will not only help you improve your social media, but once you find what works well for your brand, it will also help lead to sales.
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Bob Turner is a Digital Marketing Consultant with Social Flair, LLC.