How do you measure your social media marketing efforts? How did you measure that billboard you paid someone to put up at the local hockey arena? How did you measure your last radio spot?
At a time when the average person faces more than 400 advertisements daily, the modern marketer’s ultimate challenge is making a message stick—the one people remember. It might be hard to measure the reach of that billboard, but social media is different. Very different.
When people “like” or “follow” you on social media, they’re giving you permission to join their online conversations. But how do you know if you’re doing it right? Start by measuring sentiment rather than numbers.
Measurement #1: Track likes versus unlikes (follows versus unfollows). If you lose followers faster than you gain them, you’re doing something wrong.
Reality check: You’re dealing with human feelings. People want to talk to other people—not corporations—and your newfound community controls the like button. The moment your messages become annoying, corporate and too marketing-oriented is the moment the like button becomes an unlike button.
Measurement #2: Record complaints and kudos and act on them quickly. Complaints are actually more important, signaling that your community is listening when you make a promise. When you’re given permission to follow up, it’s a delicate trust. Not following up can indicate you’re not serious about your online community, which can devastate your online reputation.
Reality check: You need your community but they may or may not need your product. Recognize that you’re here to be of service, not the other way around.
Measurement #3: Are you doing what you set out to do? Whether it’s better customer service, increased sales or brand awareness, is your return on investment paying off?
Reality check: If you’re not moving the dial on your goals, what do you need to change?
Whether you call this new way of communicating permission marketing, social media marketing or social networking, it’s effective and demanding in equal measures.
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