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Social Media Marketing’s Value is Easy to Prove
24 Jul 2017

Social Media Marketing’s Value is Easy to Prove

When I was in high school, math was my least favorite subject, bar none. Perhaps it was because my Algebra II teacher looked like an evil Wilford Brimley. He acted like an evil Wilford Brimley, too. Once when I asked if I could sit closer to the board because I couldn’t see over everyone’s heads, I was told to just cut their heads off and that would solve my problem. Hm. Perhaps I need to explore that further.

But I digress.

The only kind of math I ever really liked and ever excelled in was Geometry. Now, bear in mind, this was basic Geometry, but still, I was pleased with myself. I liked Geometry because of the proofs that were built in to doing the problems. If the proof came out correctly, then you knew you were correct. If the proof did not come out correctly, you knew you had made a mistake somewhere. I LOVED that. I am not one for uneven endings or suspense. No x and y conundrums here. Let me know right away if what I did worked out.

I love social media marketing for the same reason. It is far less suspenseful than a print ad, a press release, or a brochure. Those marketing tactics are all supremely important, just like Algebra and Calculus are important (I have heard rumors about Calculus but have never engaged with it myself). Social Media marketing is uniquely situated to let you know right off the bat if you are reaching your objectives, though. When you post to Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, it becomes evident almost right away whether you have succeeded or not. People will either start engaging with the post right away or it will sink into the ether where all nice social media posts go to die.

You might be scratching your head at this point. One of the big topics in the world of marketing for several years now has been the “mystery” of tracking social media ROI, or return on investment. No one has been able to point their fingers directly to how to track this, and therefore the true financial value of social media has remained hazy.

Tracking the investment in social media is certainly tricky. While you can measure how much you have spent in solid dollars on promotional efforts, tracking time is much more difficult. I keep my social media platforms up on my computer all day so I can keep track of my clients’ pages and respond in a timely fashion. Should I charge each client for the 16 or so hours a day I stay alert? Probably not. By the same token, it’s hard to put a hard number to how much time it takes to think up a post or determine how you will respond to comments that might be a bit critical.

Tracking the return is easy, but there’s a twist. It’s easy if you know on the front end what you want to achieve. I think the biggest problem companies face with social media is that they’re just posting because they feel like they have to do it. They promote their products because the assumption is that if you’re posting on social media, people are going to expect to see you trying to sell your products. If you just post randomly, you’re not going to end up anywhere, and it will be easy to shrug social media off and say, “It’s just not working.”

Despite the legend that social media marketing is something that a teenage intern can drop in and do for you over a six-month period, the fact is that you need to decide what you want to “prove” before you can use a proof to see if what you’re doing is working. If you want your Facebook page to drive more people to come to your restaurant, you need to hone your posts so that they are enticing without being too pushy, and then you need to drive people to a landing page where they can make reservations, or an app where they can make reservations. That will tell you directly whether your plan is working or not. Did reservations go up? It’s working. Have reservations stayed the same or decreased? Not working.

The other thing I will throw out is that analyzing your social media should go beyond how many views and comments you’re getting. Facebook especially can give you a lot of insight into who is tuning in to your business. What age range is your audience fitting into? What gender is dominant? What times of day seem to be the best for your posts? All of these facts (and many more) should be added into the mix when your’e determining whether what you are doing is working, or how it can be improved.

We are doing more and more social media marketing with companies every day. If you feel like your company needs a little boost, or a different approach, don’t be shy about asking us for help. We can help get you pointed in the right direction. We’ll be able to prove it, too.


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