Are the social media strategies that you’re implementing producing higher ROI for your business? How can you tell? Where are you going to look? What metrics are you going to check? How do you determine its impact to your business goals?
Most of the time, it’s easy to lose our focus in the crux of the social media strategies that we implement. There are many aspects that have to be carefully considered. The market research, content research and preparation, and content development and presentation, are enough to suck up all the energy that we may have to create campaigns that matter to our audience. But the to-do list continues. You need to creatively run your social campaigns based on the time framework you’ve set, evaluate it, modify accordingly and run again, until it produces the results that we want. And then we go back, and ask, how do you actually prove that they move your business forward?
“Lead people with what they want. Lead with what they’ve already said. Lead people from where they’re at. Lead them with the things that concern them.” – Sandi Krakowski
Social media has become a part of people’s everyday life. According to a recent social media statistic, internet users spend about two hours and twenty five minutes of their time per day in social media. Truth is, each one of us spends a significant amount of time on online social activities. This is enough of a reason for businesses to initiate strategies in 2018 that adapt to their customers’ online behavior.
With a proactive approach to an information-seeking crowd across different social media channels, many brands have already succeeded in growing their businesses online. It’s not surprising that they’ve made it to the top, when you know that they basically followed the old business principle of finding a need and filling it with their products or services. However, don’t be mistaken, these businesses have done their homework well. They persevered in getting creative in reaching out to their audience, and it paid off!
Case Studies for Higher Social ROI
Let’s pull back the curtains, and have a sneak preview of three case studies of online businesses, where we can learn the social media strategies they implemented that led them to online success.
Case Study 1: Coke
Recognized as a top social media brand and asserted to be “doing social media particularly well”, Coke gained 20% of the trust of 181 agencies and brands surveyed in a current research study. It overtook the Nike brand which garnered only 15% of the overall recommendations, and also, the Virgin brand which had 12%. The nearest similar industry that had the next highest ranking in this study was Starbucks, which got the 7th rank at 5%.
Coke may have consistently spent substantially on its advertising throughout the years, but still, its efforts on building its social media presence is something worth noting. There’s much to learn from its social branding footsteps.
This social media research pinpointed four core qualities that made brands a success in social media. First, they acknowledge relevancy. Then, the ability to set clear social media goals early on, next is a focus on authenticity and credibility and, finally, valuing going all out to adapt to a shifting social environment.
What sets Coke apart from its competitor brands? In the case of relevancy, Coke’s endeavors to generate social content that matches the needs of its followers, while establishing the brand’s purpose in the daily life of its customers, has impacted how Coke is still warmly received in the market.
How have they done it? Remember the “Share a Coke” social campaign they did? They printed so many different nicknames on Coke bottles and asked their consumers to share theirs on social media. The result was a phenomenally big hit. The campaign started in Australia. There, Coke grew its sales volume by 4% in a down market, and Coke drinks were patronized even more by 7% of young adults. It was a great social media strategy that involved building up of its social media presence by boosting brand awareness. Consequently, there was a high response by the young market consumers.
Coke may have had a remarkable social ROI, should they have measured it. The research study mentions that half of the brands included in their analysis don’t measure social media ROI, because they find the process complicated. Social ROI is an important data for companies, briefing them of what they’re getting from their social media marketing.
Take Coke’s social media strategy on brand awareness. It may be difficult to determine how brand popularity can be translated into sales growth and gaining more loyal consumers, but only if you don’t use the right social media tech tools to run with it. Through these metrics, they can be used as growth indicators that need to be tracked, so that in the end, everything can be broken down into units that matter to a business.
Case Study 2: 6 Pack Fitness
Creating brand advocates out of your existing customers is a proven successful strategy to increase your customer base, in this social media age where everyone is sharing their consumer experiences with various brands. Social media strategies for business that involve customer relationships effectively expand business marketing efforts, instead of single-handedly relying on social content to reach out to them.
However by adapting a social media program that requires customer participation through submissions of user generated content (UGC), you may need to add to your marketing budget a bit. You may have to consider the cost, and estimate whether your social ROI will be worth it. And it can only be worth it if you can measure it. The business value of your social media tactics can be objectively accounted by tapping into social ROI software that help you see the real returns for your social media efforts.
Like the 6 Pack Fitness brand, whose social media strategy involved launching and managing of UGC campaigns in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 6 Pack Fitness is a brand that creates iconic bags, luggage and meal management travel gears. It started a #LeadThePack campaign that gave away free bags each week. It aimed to also boost brand awareness among its target market. The brand invited customers to submit their photos with their products, and in return, the photos will have a chance to be shown on the website. They can win a new 6 Pack Fitness bag, with their choice of design, if their photo is selected.
The brand also featured the best customer photo submissions on their product pages. This social media marketing strategy created an immediate outcome of more sales, by 2.7 times from active participants, and increased orders of larger products, by 12%.
The brand experienced a quick social media ROI, just by tapping into the interests of their audience. Of course, factors such as creating quality products and reaching out to the right market, make perfect sense. But then, the role that social media played to make their brand known to a wide array of potential customers paid off, they reached a higher social ROI.
Case Study 3: Uber
Have you heard of the phrase “I’m going to Uber it home tonight.”? If you know any university students, career professionals or outdoor night owls, you’re probably familiar with what they answer when you ask them how they’re going to get home. But do you know that the phrase didn’t originate from Uber itself? It came from social media.
Uber’s social media strategy created a huge impact among commuters and their friends. They tapped into the power of word-of-mouth marketing by rewarding Uber riders with free rides in exchange of a social media share. It’s a proven fact that people make purchase out of their friends’ recommendations. Research studies even show that 84% of customers decide a purchase through a friend’s referral. Uber heavily encouraged their customers to share their Uber codes on social media. The outcome? “Uber” turned into a commonly used verb.
Social media strategies like this gained huge social ROI, considering the minimal social investment. What all of us can learn is finding out the strength of your chosen market and leveraging massive social media sharing. Uber is all about transportation, and the power of people relationships can be harnessed here, as we all care that the people we know are able to take their commute safely. Uber reached out effectively to the commuting market and their social relationships. In return, they got a huge social ROI.
It’s amazing how Coke, 6 Pack Fitness, Uber and other successful brands were able to diligently keep an eye on their audience and actually see what their needs are, and were able to fulfill it, to the point of overdelivering, which wowed their audience, produced great impact in their company and eventually led to more product sales. It helped them achieve higher social ROI.
How to determine if your social media strategy is working or not?
To be able to say that your social media budget is money well-spent, you’ve got to have data that points to a higher social media ROI. When you work out your social ROI backwards, you’ll realize that it’s backed up with a great social media strategy. It works both ways.
But if you’re doing it the first time, you have to do your research, implement and watch your metrics as it gives you back your social ROI. Do it in a short period of time, and evaluate. As you check your ROI, you can come up with what to do next with your social campaign.
If you see that running a Facebook video contest worked well in increasing brand awareness and sales, then go ahead and tap that information to create a new campaign or an extended version of your existing campaign. Your social ROI report will tell you what’s the next best thing to do for your social media goals.
If your social media strategy is working, it will show up in your metrics. They will increase in number, either as a spike for a short period of time or a slow progression of a climbing-up curve across a timeline. And so, you need to understand what your metrics actually tell you about your business. Here are some examples:
1. Defined Metrics
Your defined metrics are the measurements that you set to figure out what success is, in terms of units. It could be the number of fans, followers, likes, favorites, shares, or retweets.
When your defined metrics increase, it signifies that your audience are drawing more interest in your brand in social media.
2. Sales Report
Your social campaigns should produce more engagement with your customers, such that the number of sales should increase.
A boost in sales is the evidence of an effective social media strategy.
3. Website Traffic
Your social media channels should point visitors to your website. When your social media strategies create interest among your followers, they should be doing what you ask them to do in your social posts, which is usually to “Click the link.” That link goes to your website, producing more traffic for your e-commerce store or B2B site.
Effective social media strategies result in an upsurge in website traffic.
4. Social activities
When more followers reach out to you in social media, as a result of a successful social campaign, your social media activities also tend to add up. You need to respond to inquirers, join the conversations, comment back to those who leave comments on your social posts, etc. Basically, your social response rate will become more frequent and higher in quantity. Conversely, if there’s not much activity in your social channels, you may need to do something to spur your audience to participate and interact with your community.
Your social media strategy is working when you notice that you’re experiencing a busier social media activities.
How to Make the Best Business Decisions Through Social Media
Do you want to have the social insights that will help you make business decisions that can put you at the right place at the right time, with your audience already waiting for whatever it is that your business offers?
You can have information on your revenue-generating social posts. You can find out what time is best to get your social messages published across specific social networks, so that they’ll produce the highest conversion rate for you. You’ll also know the number of leads, sign-ups, downloads, etc.
What you need is a sensible social marketing software that will help you track all your social activities so that later, you can get intelligent analytics that will report back to you the results of those activities. You’ll never miss even a single social post when it comes to counting your social ROI.
Without the help of smart social tools, you’ll be left unaware, indecisive and uncertain of what’s happening in your social marketing efforts. Don’t guess about your online business. Get the details and work it out from there! Your competition is already doing it to get ahead of the industry. But you can get ahead of them if you know which social media strategies work best for you. Are you going to let opportunity pass you by?
Implement social actions that help you get higher social ROI. As you do, you can watch your business accelerate from one success to another. Your customers are already out there in different social networks advocating the very products or services that you have. You can tap on them if you can reach out to where they are. And you’ve got the social insider tool that you need, to find out where they are and who they are. It’s your move. What are you going to do next?