How Social Media Literate is your Company? January 12, 2012
In the 1990’s businesses flourished if they successfully became computer literate in their marketing campaigns. Television ads, billboards and newspaper ads weren’t going to cut it in the new century. Creating, or updating, your business to become computer literate was a necessity that determined whether your business is still thriving today. Nowadays the big push is to become social media literate.
The big question: Is my business social media literate?
The big answer: probably not.
There’s more to social media than simply having a Facebook page or Twitter account. Many companies are still pondering whether social media can really affect their bottom line before they join a social network. Understanding the practical, applied skills that allow a strategic plan to form in your social media communications is necessary for any growth and success.
The first step in becoming social media literate is to know what you want out of a social media campaign, and then understanding how you are going to accomplish those goals and how you are planning to show your boss or colleagues that you accomplished them.
- Traffic to your company website
- Higher sign-up rates for a contest/newsletter/service/etc.
- Acquire clients
- Raise awareness of your company and services rendered
- Increase revenue
- Social acceptance in the market place
- Accessibility from a (public) communication perspective
Choose one of these goals before even beginning to think about creating a social media campaign. Don’t touch Facebook or Twitter until you have your goals clearly in your mind.
The Typical Business Model Changes
As Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton wrote in her Social Media Today post, “the lines between business and personal life have blurred in the 21st century. [Some businesses] do not understand that social media has challenged us to accept the complexity of human identity that includes work, family, volunteer activities, school and personal interests.”
However, older CEOs and presidents of companies may not be sold on social media yet. How would you pitch upper management that social media can raise awareness of promotions your company is advertising? Do you know how to track ROI and performance of social media campaigns to prove it’s helping your bottom line?
If you don’t know the answers you’re not alone. The problem is that the ROI for social media is still difficult to determine.
Understanding and Measuring Social Media ROI
Scenario: Your small business decided to create a Facebook page and Twitter account in an effort to form a more personal relationship with current clients, and hopefully gain more clients. You tweet two to three times a day, follow leaders in your industry, “like” your clients pages on Facebook and update your status once or twice a week. You’ve had these social media channels for about two months. Now what?
You need to measure your social media performance. How? The first thing you need to know is what to measure. Social media key performance indicators (KPIs) focus primarily on: percentages, averages and rates/ratios. Percentages of what, you might ask. Well, here are some useful measurements to determine if your social media campaign is effective with respect to your company’s goals:
- Conversational exchanges – number of replies/comments to your posts. Although not truly a measurement, this will help to better understand the topics your followers are interested in so you can share more content on those topics in the future, thus gaining more interactions
- Reach – your primary audience, consisting of people who directly interact with your brand or take on call to actions
- Content amplification – getting your tweets or posts to other facets of the web. For example, retweets, sharing on forums, social bookmarking sites, email, etc.
- Content appreciation – likes on Facebook, placed in Favorites list on Twitter, or +1ed on Google+
Once you understand what to measure, how to measure, and the strategies involved in maintaining a successful social media campaign, the ability to create a long-term social media strategy will become easier as expectations can be defined and KPI’s.