Many small and medium-sized businesses today are starting to use social media as a way to advertise and promote their products and services in order to reach a wider audience. But, many SMBs are finding it difficult to track and to measure the ROI from their social media sites and it is a lot more difficult to do than tracking ad campaigns or PPC advertising.
The most important thing to do is to define your goals and what you want to achieve using the social media platforms. You can set a variety of goals using the networks like the number of comments you receive, or the number of followers you have on Facebook or Twitter and whether or not your followers are visiting your product pages or website. Also, are your sales increasing because of the increase in traffic to your site? All this data can be used to help you calculate the ROI from your social media campaign.
You can also set goals to increase communication with customers and potential customers by engaging in conversation using the comments on Facebook or tweets on Twitter, or increasing the number of email subscribers via the social media sites.
It is also possible to measure ROI by tracking data and there are some online solutions that can help you optimize and maximize your online marketing campaign. You can, for example, use Google Analytics for tracking incoming links to your site and the activities of your visitors, whereas applications like PostRank, Omniture and Hootsuite can track Facebook and Twitter metrics.
You can then use the data to analyze the goals you set out like higher sales, increase in customers or more email subscribers. Tracking the data back to your site makes it easier to see if your goals were met and you can easily see if the traffic to your website increased after you advertised a special offer on Facebook for instance. By looking for trends and tracing their origin you will be able to track your ROI easier.
If you are experiencing a very small ROI using the social media sites then this means you should look at your campaign and try to establish what you are doing wrong and how you can improve on it. You can also use the data analysis to see exactly what is doing well and what is not working and then try a different campaign or strategy to see if it improves.
By being able to evaluate the impact of social media on your business you will be able to fine-tune your strategy to engage with a wider ranging audience to help you increase your business and increase your brand awareness using the social media platforms.