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Do you know how to measure the return on your investments in social media? Every day we measure returns on our marketing investments. We create e-mail campaigns, attend trade shows, hire SEO consultants—and measure results. Social media are no different. Social media have many uses, including brand building and customer acquisition and support, all of which are of great importance. If you’re not measuring success, you won’t know whether you are wasting time and money.
Here are ways to measure returns on your social media efforts.
1. Don’t get trapped in jargon. Each social site is different. Facebook "likes" and Twitter followers are important numbers. But don’t just track those. Track business results. Did you generate leads? Traffic? Did you turn detractors into promoters?
2. Quality matters. Who are your Twitter followers? Are they relevant? Spammers? Lots of people may follow you quickly, wanting you to follow them. If someone looks irrelevant, you’re not obligated to follow back.
3. Measure the conversation. When was the last time you forwarded a vendor e-mail? Measure the rate of shares, "retweets," and comments as a way to gauge your reach.
4. Not all social media count. Not all sites are equal. Are there critical influencers in your market? Have you built relationships with them? Are you reaching out to Yelp commenters?
5. Know your visitors. Measure and score those who come to your site, and watch what they are doing. If you do this across all channels, you’ll know what’s working. If you do it right, social media will power your business to the next level, one customer at a time.
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