Sunday, March 22, 2015

Small Businesses Should Not Be Too Obsessed With the Number of Social Media Likes or Followers

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Social media strategies come in a variety of shapes and forms.  All too often the success of social marketing is measured in the number of followers, likes, and shares.  While those elements of social media are important, they are not the be all and end all of social marketing.  After all, small businesses do not increase profits no matter how many likes their page gets.  Conversions matter, customers matter, and awareness matters.

So how do you measure the success of a social selling campaign if you can’t rely on the number of shares, likes, comments, or tweets?  Well, that’s actual the tricky part.  A small business has to listen, analyze, and learn.  The specific event or inventory item that is being promoted is the chief tell-tale sign. 

For example, if a company has been promoting a special coffee drink and that drink does not increase in sales, there is a pretty good chance that the strategy is not paying off.  When customers come in are they talking about “I saw that on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter?”  Awareness and sales are what drives a social media campaign, and gauging effectiveness in a measurable way involves watching the sales data.

For this reason, the goal of the social campaign has to beclearly stated.  Is the goal to create awareness of the brand?  In that case, likes and follows matter a great deal.  However, if the goal is increase sales then engaging with customers via social media has to have some positive results.  For that a sound plan with a clear direction is necessary.

One big asset of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more is that they are extremely flexible and can be altered at a moment’s notice.  Therefore correcting campaigns on the fly and evaluating as the process occurs is extremely possible.  That makes social marketing a big asset.

Listening to what customers are saying and watching the inventory, or web page hits, reveals how effective the process is performing.  After all what good is 100 likes or 1000, if nobody is buying what you are selling.

In short, analyzing data is just as important as putting a great photo out there.  Those follower numbers and other social data mean something, but the only true way to measure social media success is watch the bottom line.  Followers and likes get the message out there, but closing the deal via conversions are what truly makes it worth the time of a small business owner.

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