Emma Vince posted on 21 June 2017
When it comes to your social media marketing, are you aware of whether or not it’s working? Do you know the signs to watch out for?
You’ve spent the time planning the strategy and setting the goals. Now it’s time to turn your attention to the impact of your social media marketing. Here are signs your social media marketing is working, according to social industry experts.
Nora Leary, Co-Founder, LaunchwayMedia
“My company works in social media marketing and to know it’s working, it’s important to use metrics. We always track clicks from social media to the website, but, more important, look at conversions from social media. So how many downloads, sales, etc., depending on the type of client. Those metrics really matter because then you know what works and what doesn’t.”
Sam Alexander, Social Media Manager, cThruMedia
“There are many ways to determine whether or not your social media strategy is working. First, examine follower growth to identify anomalies in audience behaviour. It matters how many followers you have on social media because larger numbers usually translate to more engagement and increased traffic. Use your social media analytics to pinpoint any irregularities in the data on the graph. From there, you can start investigating why the spike or dip occurred. You can look at what you posted that day or figure out if someone tagged you.
Another way to determine if your strategy is working is by looking at impressions to spot irregularities in reach. Impressions are the numbers of times people have seen your social media updates. Most social media networks have built in analytics where you can view your impressions. For example, on Twitter you can look for spikes in impressions on specific days of the week, and then figure out what caused them. When comparing total impressions in two given time periods, also take into consideration the frequency of your posting during each period. You may receive more impressions if you post more frequently. This is why it’s usually a good idea to stick with a fixed number of posts per month.”
Christine Cummings, VP of Marketing, All Set
“In my opinion you know that your social media marketing is working when you see a growing number of followers, post likes and engagements. Simply looking at the follower number is no indicator for success anymore. It is too easy today to buy or acquire fake followers. A good indication that your efforts on social media are working is an increase in the number of post likes and engagements (comments or shares). We had great success lately on Instagram growing our follower numbers and the engagement levels. We grew our followers from 30 to 8000 with great engagements and shares for example, from brands like Tempo.
Other indicators of social media success are conversions/ sign ups or actual purchases from your organic social channels as well as paid social ads. We are running paid campaigns on Facebook and Instagram but are also posting frequent content updates on these channels as well as Twitter. We see actual sign ups whenever our content gets retweeted or shared by other brands or influencers.”
Jessica Nath, Social Media Manager, CanIRank
“You will know that your strategy is working when you see your number of followers increasing and regular engagement – comments, likes and shares – on your posts. You want your paid promotion to do this for you. Your on-page posts provide a great way to get an idea of what your existing fans like to see and appreciate about your brand. You want to stay true to this, but your paid promotion is a way to reach a new audience.
Take some time to map out your target audiences – what are their interests, dislikes, etc. Once you figure out exactly who you want to reach, create or find various pieces of content that you can use to test the waters with this audience. Maybe you think certain images or blog posts will resonate with that audience – use paid support to test your theory and refine your strategy according to the results you see. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money – just enough to get a good sample. When you find, your audience becoming more well-rounded and growing consistently, you know you’re on the right track.
The best part of social media is the fact that it is a conversation instead of one-way messaging, so if your tested paid support posts are resonating, your target audience will tell you.”
Chris Madden, Founder, Matchnode
“To know if your social media marketing strategy is working, you should expect to see a big spike in your website’s traffic along with good social media engagement on the given piece of content.
Not only are you looking for a spike in traffic from social referrers, but you need to make sure that this is quality traffic. Quality traffic will have longer time spent on page, more pages viewed per session, and a lower bounce rate – all of which can be seen in Google Analytics.
To really understand which content or campaigns resonate the best with your audience, be sure to use appropriate UTM tracking.
Paid promotion is generally a good idea for most businesses, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. One company may see a lot of success using Google AdWords, while it would be a total waste of money for another.
The key is context. For example, a home services client that we work with does really well with AdWords because it’s a highly-searched service and an urgent need for the customer. Running a Facebook Ad at this audience would not be a good way to nail the “right time, right place” aspect of ad targeting. On the other hand, if your product/service is more social by nature then a Facebook campaign is likely to do well – as long as you have the proper targeting strategies in place.
Facebook has different objectives which can be used depending on your call-to-action. To simply drive website traffic, you will optimize for link clicks. For a lower in the funnel goal, you will optimize for the final conversion or purchase goal.”
Victoria Sollars, Digital Marketer, Her Digital
“There are a few simple and easy ways to check whether your social media strategy is working. Firstly, you’ll notice that your likes, shares, comments and followers start to increase and your website analytics will show that you’re getting more click throughs from your social media posts. Then, you’ll start to see sales as a result of your social activity.”
Elizabeth Kuka, Social Media Manager, One Click Ventures
“The biggest and best indicator that your social media marketing is working is engagement. It is a common belief that the more followers you have, the better your social marketing is. That may be true to an extent, but if your followers aren’t engaged, you’re talking to a wall. Strategically growing your following by attracting relevant followers from your demographic is key. The more conversations you can facilitate and participate in, the stronger your brand voice will be.
If your social media marketing is effective, your brand will be recognisable to your audience. Your audience, in turn, will promote your brand for you in a way that mirrors your own social marketing strategy!”
Alyssa Dannaker, Content Marketing Associate, Sagefrog Marketing Group
“Typical signs that point to successful social media marketing efforts include likes, shares or reposts, impressions, mentions, comments, and referral traffic. But it’s important to track and adjust your social campaigns using the right metrics, not all metrics. As a rule of thumb, engagement is the best metric for success, so smart marketers tend to prioritize these interactions by shares and reposts, comments and mentions and finally, likes. Of course, every business is different, so decide on the measurable that are most relevant to your business and target audience and focus on that data alone as you tweak your efforts.”
Michelle Vroom, CEO, Vroom Communications
“Many will focus solely on whether social media is driving sales. This is the wrong approach. In order to gain customers/clients, you need to first build trust and loyalty. Social media is the gateway to sales. It’s where people go to learn more about your business and decide whether you have something to offer them.
I always tell my clients that social media marketing is working when you see traffic to your website from social media. For example, if you’re focused on building a presence on Facebook and your website analytics show that Facebook is one of your top traffic referrers, then your efforts are working.
Frankly, it’s not about likes anymore. I’d rather have more traffic to my site than more likes on a social media post.
Additionally, I’ve found Facebook advertising to be effective if you have honed in on your target audience. It’s not enough to target women ages 35-50 – what type of lifestyle do those women enjoy? Do they prefer to travel, spending time with family, etc.? What challenges do they face? Once you can answer those questions, then you can develop an effective social media advertising approach.”