Social Media & Business Strategy
Social media on its own is not a strategy; however, usage of social media should be paired with a business strategy to ensure alignment to the company’s goals. When beginning conversations about social media, be sure to discuss the goals and strategies first, and the specific tactics, such as social media platform and technical aspects, afterwards. (Wise, 2017).
4 Options for Business Strategy
Retrieved from http://www.bluedonkey.co.uk/applying-ansoffs-matrix/
Once we understand our company’s direction, we can set goals and make plans to get ourselves there. Once we begin, then we can start measuring our tactics to see how well we are performing. This is the same with social media. First we need to understand our goal, determine which platform and type of content will help us achieve that goal, and then measure how well we are reaching our goal. (Wise, 2017).
Measurements can be used to let us know if our business and marketing activities are on track, and allow us to see where adjustments may be necessary.
“It’s not just about the words, images, and videos we post online. It’s about the impact they have on our audience, and it’s about the impact they have on our business sales.”
The SMART goal framework is an acronym that helps us develop solid goals and give us tangible direction on how to reach our goal.
The below image explains what each letter of the SMART framework means:
Retrieved from https://fitsmallbusiness.com/smart-goals-examples/
Social Media ROI
Social Media ROI is hard to determine because of soft benefits, such as brand reputation, recognition, and connections, are not easily measured. There are many touchpoints with social media and it is hard to determine which one specifically generated a sale.
With social media, most people focus on likes and followers because it means popularity, but these are not considered actionable insights. Just because someone likes your post doesn’t mean they will buy your product.
The three most important metrics to take into account when determining social media ROI are:
Volume: Volume is defined by reach. Sometimes referred to as impressions, these are metrics that show you how far your content is reaching and is determined by likes, followers, fans, and how many of these people actually view your posts in time.
Reach Figure = # of Impressions / Total # of Followers
Amplification can also be useful to measure, and it is the amount of people who are sharing your content.
Amplification = Number of Shares / Total Number of Posts Over A Given Period
Engagement: Engagement is based on reactions and responses to social media posts, such as likes, comments, shares, reactions, replies, retweets, re-posts, and more depending on which platform you are using.
Traffic: Traffic refers to the amount of people who are visiting your website, and how they came across your website. There are a few common methods used to access websites:
Organic Search: User clicks the link after using a search engine
Direct: User types the URL into the address bar
Referral: User clicks the website link on a different page.
Social: User clicks the website link on a social media platform.
To measure website traffic, you can use Google Analytics, or if you use a website platform that supports analytics you can use data generated directly from there.
Social Media Measurement Tools
Most social media platforms automatically generate data for users, especially if you have set up a specific business account with them.
Twitter: Twitter displays data for every individual tweet that summarizes how that specific tweet is performing, and also features Twitter Analytics, which displays data for the last 28 days prior if you are an advertiser.
Your goal should be to check in on these analytics regularly and to see a continuous improvement.
LinkedIn: The best way to determine analytics on LinkedIn is by seeing how many profile views your profile received, or if you’re posting, how many people are viewing your posts.
Facebook: At the top of your page there is a small dashboard showing a summary of your page’s performance. For more detail, click “insights,” to examine data over various spans of time.
Instagram: By clicking the graph icon in the top right (available on a business account only), you can view data on how many impressions your post has had, interactions on your profile, and audience information.
How to Calculate ROI
Return on Investment (ROI) = Revenue – Cost / Cost
Cost is the time, money, and other resources dedicate to each social media post, while revenue would be determined by how many sales were generated as a result of social media activity.
To show how analytics are views on various social media accounts, I will apply this knowledge to a local company, BML Homes, Facebook and Instagram profile. BML Homes is a small custom home builder and renovation located in Edmonton, Alberta and has a small social media presence but is determined to grow.
On a recent Facebook post by BML Homes they share a progress image of one of their current full builds. They have reach 117 people, and received engagement from 27 people, including 1 comment, 2 reactions, and 24 likes.
Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/bmlhomes/
This same post was posted to Instagram. Here we can see the post’s performance, and its comparison to other posts by the company. So far, this post has not outperformed others in terms of reach, but has generated an equivalent number of likes and comments,
Retrieved from @bmlhomes on Instagram
Instagram also shows interesting demographics of BML’s followers such as location, age range, and gender of followers.
Retrieved from @bmlhomes on Instagram
ROI of BML’s posts
At this time, none of BML’s posts have lead directly to a sale or revenue, however, the posts do have other benefits such as showing potential clients the quality of work performed and the company’s experience in their industry.
The above featured post cost the company roughly 2-3 hours of labour, including time to take the photos with a drone and to draft the post.
Wise, L. (2017, Dec 1). Social media marketing: ROI. Lynda.com. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/HootSuite-tutorials/Welcome/504398/575521-4.html