Five Tips for Achieving Social Media ROI

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Social media has become an essential marketing tool for connecting and building relationships with current and future customers. Like all your other marketing tools, it’s good to measure your return on investment. Here are five best practices for attaining social media ROI – a hot topic worth discussing.

1.     Listen to your buyers to determine their needs and preferences for consuming content. When you know the channels and timing they prefer, it’s easier to be on the same page as your buyer, so you can be there with what they’re looking for.

2.     Align social media efforts with traditional marketing activities. Social channels are discrete, but should always be aligned with bigger, measurable marketing strategies in order to achieve more effective and calculable overall results.

3.     Map social media efforts to business goals and determine metrics of success. First define what you’re trying to accomplish. Leads and conversion often lead the list, but your business goals could lie in other areas, such as customer service or reputation management. Goals can only be achieved when they are made clear and measurable.

4.     Don’t neglect qualitative results. Spreadsheets don’t always tell the whole story. Qualitative benefits from social media could include business  intelligence; customer feedback; market insight; new ideas for  products or services; publicity; brand awareness;  solutions to problems; connections to new partners and suppliers; cost-effective customer service, and recruiting. (Not many of those fit into a standard control-chart or spreadsheet!).

5.     Become so useful customers turn to you first, out of habit. Blog, tweet and post on social media channels to solve customers’ problems, not just to offer discounts and gain attention. Stay in touch with customers so they will feel comfortable coming to you with questions and concerns; this could result in retention and advocacy.

Got more tips for achieving social media ROI? What’s working for you? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

“Return on Investment” image by Ewan McIntosh used under a Creative Commons 2.0 license