For anyone involved in marketing, the key question is always “are my efforts paying off.” However, marketing is also one of those activities that is incredibly difficult to quantify. Are you making a return on the investment or is that money just going down the drain? Social media has added another dimension to this question, enabling access to analytics and data that provide insights that are invaluable when it comes to defining – and increasing – marketing ROI.
Do you have goals?
The key to using social intelligence as a way of monitoring whether marketing efforts are paying off is with the setting of goals. If you don’t define these objectives up front then you have nothing to measure progress against. Create goals that support your business aims and then map out a strategy that drives them. Do you want to increase web hits, reach influencers or boost sales? You’ll be able to use social media to track whether these goals are being met.
Are you listening?
Social media is a rich source of market research thanks to the function it has as a forum for airing opinions, thoughts, complaints and needs. You can discover so much about potential and current customers via social media. It is information that you can feed into marketing strategy, such as opinions about your brand or what your customers feel about competitors. Social listening involves tracking specific phrases, words or brands to gather data and then analysing it.
This data can be fed back to you marketing team to be used to create content and campaigns that are directly aimed at the social audience being tracked – offering a unique opportunity to increase marketing ROI by making it almost personalised.
Have you set up social monitoring?
There are many ways to gather social intelligence, from simply monitoring @mentions and the use of company hashtags, to social listening tools that will capture every time your brand name is mentioned. This data is invaluable when it comes to defining an ongoing marketing strategy.
Social monitoring tools will track URLs, hashtags, keywords and @usernames, show demographic and geographic information, as well as flows and spikes in posting and engagement. You can also track blogs and review sites, as well as measuring analytics such as audience interests and gender ratio.
If the basis of successful business is knowing your customer, social intelligence opens up a whole new world of insights that without social media we simply wouldn’t have access to. It’s these insights that are so fundamental to increasing marketing ROI.