About Social Networking 5 Simple Steps

Marketing Consultants

Perhaps the hardest concept to grasp about social networking is measuring its impact on your marketing strategy.  If you are using the social networks to market your business, then you better be tracking the effects.  Otherwise, you wont be able to learn what is succeeding, and what is not. 

The effects of social media marketing are measured in a couple of ways.  Ongoing analytics internet marketers measure activity over time.  This is needed to stay aware of the conversations that are occurring about your company and your brand.  Campaign focused metrics measure the effectiveness of the marketing initiatives that are targeted towards a specific market.  Measuring the impact of your social marketing includes assessing both factors

Learning how to social network market your brand means also learning how to track the impact of your campaigns.  Here are five simple steps you need to take to succeed. 

1. Goal Setting If you know anything about social networking, you know that without a goal you are doomed.  Determine first what you want to accomplish.  Know what impact you want the marketing initiatives to have, and then set your sights on the social media channels that will most effectively achieve your goals.  You might want to disseminate news and information about your products and services, answer questions from current and potential customers, or engage in a relevant online community.  Then, determine what you want the audience to do when they receive your message.  Are they to share it with others?  Or do you want them to make a purchase. 

2. Determine the measurements of success Your goals must be measurable, or you will never know if they have been achieved.  Do you want people to buy more of your stuff?  Do you want them to spread the name and good reputation of your brand?  Do you want tweets, retweets, posts, reposts, likes, comments or clicks?  Here are some behaviors you should consider measuring.

  • Awareness through volume and reach, how far is your message being spread?
  • Engagement are people participating in discussions concerning your goods and services?  How many people are participating, how often are they participating, and in what form are they participating?
  • Traffic are people going from the social sited to your website, and what are they doing when they arrive?
  • Fan building Who are your social contributors and how are they impacting the perception of your brand?

3. Measure your success There are numerous tools available to help you do this in many forms.  Most social channels provide their own analytical tools for you to use.  There are also many useful third party tools available, or you can build your own.  Use whichever tools you wish, but you have to measure success to gauge effectiveness.  If you are unsure which tools to use for each channel, search for them online.  Or, you can go to a service like SocDir, which hosts a listing of over 300 different tools for measuring and analyzing social media metrics

4. Monitor and report your results Use initial measurements to set your baseline, and share them with our colleagues.   Constantly be comparing your actual metrics to your expectations.  Did you reach your goals?  If not, what should you have done differently?

5 Adjust your strategy Using the information you have gathered, determine what you need to improve, and working well. Your metrics can reveal how to social network more effectively.  Keep checking and comparing results to goals.  Make the necessary changes to your strategy, and start again. 

Learning about social networking means learning how to measure your results.  The best content in the history of social networking won mean anything if you cant show that it is effective.