As an entrepreneur it can be easy to fall into just working in your business instead of working on your business and one of the symptoms of this is dedicating yourself to a marketing routine – especially a social media marketing routine – without ever tracking its success. Because social media only costs in time and not in clear, clean dollars, the ROI is a little more slippery and so many business owners just don’t even bother to track if their social media strategies are succeeding or not. However, your time is money, so you shouldn’t spend a large chunk of it plugging away on Twitter and Facebook if you don’t know if those efforts are bringing you real live paying customers. With that said, here are a few basic ways to track if your social media efforts are being successful or if you need to reevaluate spending your time there. First up is the most basic: followers. If you’ve been plugging away at Twitter for 18 months and still only have 13 followers, that may not be the best place to spend your time and energy. Not every social media channel is right for every business, so if you give one a fair shot and just can’t get any traction, it may be time to try something new.
You also can’t expect to have 30,000 followers in the first month, but you should have continual growth in followers over time. You also make sure to take note of any big spikes where you added followers or any times when you lost quite a few – if either happens go back to see what you posted or tweeted that people either really loved or really hated. Next you need to pay attention to engagement. While followers are great, it’s more important to have followers that actually interact with you and what you post than to have a huge number of followers that just ignore you. Do they like and comment and share and retweet? The more engagement the better because this means that you’re actually in a conversation with these people and that they feel some sort of connection to you or your brand – which means you have a better chance of them becoming customers.
Take a look at what posts and tweets generate the most interaction and see if you can find a pattern to what your potential customers want to see and what they ignore. Finally, and in my opinion the most important, does your social media presence actually send people to your website – or wherever it is that a client might actually pay you real money for your product or service? You can use tools like Google analytics to see where your website traffic is coming from and you should take a look to see if people actually arrive at your site from Facebook or Twitter or Linkedin or whatever other social media sites you use for marketing. At the end of the day, you don’t truly succeed with social media until you get potential buyers off of social media and onto your website or into your store.
The point of all of these metrics is to make you aware of what is and is not working so that you can adjust your strategy. Remember, this is about taking a step back so you can improve your strategy, i.e. work on your business instead of just working in your business.
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