Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Measuring Social Media ROI in Real Life

The other day, someone impressed the heck out of me by doing something that few businesses do well: he asked how I heard about his company. This is an essential piece of the social media strategy puzzle, especially for brick-and-mortar businesses, and often a missing piece. When a retail client asks me how their social media strategy is doing, my response is usually, "Well, you tell me?" I can track and report from my end what kind of reach and engagement their posts are getting, but success for them is most often measured by an increase of foot traffic and physical sales. If businesses aren't asking customers where they are coming from, they will never know if their social media efforts are paying off.

"But won't that seem weird?" No one is going to be put off by being asked how they found you. (Well, there are always exceptions, but they are few and far between!) If someone is browsing your small retail store, a simple "Hey, welcome in! How did you hear about us?" can work wonders. Another thing to keep in mind is that you don't have to wait to ask them until you close a transaction. But if chatting them up is out of place, your point-of-sale system may give you a short survey option for them to fill out as they're checking out.

To make this process worthwhile, make it more than just anecdotal evidence. Create a way to track it systematically, whether it's a spreadsheet, a physical piece of paper, or a relationship management software.

If it's overwhelming for you or your staff to work this type of tracking into your everyday business routine, simplify it. Try it once a week or once a month. Something is better than nothing, so even an occasional snapshot will give you an idea of how effective your social media efforts are.

This post is an extension of a quote I gave to fellow Social Media Today contributor Steve Rayson for his post about social analytics. Kudos to Steve for getting my creative juices flowing on this topic.

As always, if you have questions on social media best practices, I'd love to hear them. Please get in touch via my website.