Post 4 of 5 in a series
Connecting Social Media Marketing Objectives and Analytics – First, let’s define marketing objectives. Simply stated, these are measurable outcomes that indicate progress toward goals. In this case, they may be either corporate or marketing specific goals. Applying this within the confines of social media, analytics should consist of metrics that support the tracking of progress toward the aforementioned goals.
The Rule of Engagement – Essentially, social media engagement is the many different ways a customer interacts with your brand or company across social media sites. The metrics associated with engagement are often those that become the measurements for objectives. As an example, if a company has an objective to increase the retention rate of existing customers, they may want to measure response levels to various types of customer service opportunities that arise within social media. If a company is able to monitor what existing customers are saying within this channel, it becomes possible to identify issues and provide resolutions in a timely manner in a forum preferred by the customer. Effectively, an organization needs to concentrate their efforts for measuring results by choosing parameters that accurately reflect success within their objectives without missing key metrics that are secondary, but critical. For instance, driving a car requires the monitoring of many imperative indicators, such as speed. Other indicators such as RPM and engine temperature are also important, but during the typical drive in a well maintained car they are referred to less frequently and become secondary to speed. The point here is that you may need to track metrics that are secondary to your stated objectives and then determine what audience within the organization needs access to each and when.
A Marketer’s Perspective – A marketer needs to identify all the necessary metrics to support the accurate and comprehensive tracking of the agreed upon objectives as this becomes the basis for their social media dashboard. For instance, if a company wants to acquire new customers, then social media analytics could support the measurement of this objective by monitoring actions along the way, such as social media views, clicks and follows.
A B2C travel site selling air, hotel and car products may emphasize destination searches and product views on their site, but rely on likes, follows and clicks to their website from social media pages to better understand a consumer’s purchase intent from a social analytics perspective. Furthermore, engagement in the form of views and clicks with selected content within social media may be indicative of a consumer’s dream destinations for future vacations.
A B2B site selling business services on the other hand may find inquiries, blog follows and pricing requests more relevant to understanding purchase intent while follows and clicks to a website are more important when evaluating progress toward objectives with respect to social media sources.
Therefore, alignment occurs when a company correctly identifies the metrics that support its objectives and goals. Diligent progress toward achieving success in these metrics should create an opportunity to reach the marketing objectives of a company.
Planning for the Return on Investment – While there is an innate form of return with regard to social media analytics platforms since they enable the measurement of essential metrics, this by itself may not be enough to prove value to a company’s executive team. A company may want to consider if the solution allows it to better measure:
- The key metrics associated with social media programs
- Progress toward strategic marketing objectives
- Responsiveness of the Company to the inquiries of Customers and Prospects
- Market opinions from a market research perspective
This list of benefits, and many others, provides the return part of a Return on Investment calculation. ROI will be explored further in the next post on this topic.