Sometimes maintaining personal and corporate social media accounts can seem like a time and money pit. It's true. Too often, people and brands sling social posts like proverbial spaghetti at the wall.
Yet, authentic individuals and companies investing time and money participating, peer-to-peer, in communities and via ads often reap rich rewards. So how can entrepreneurs determine if they're losing or winning?
It's pretty easy to ID a losing social media game.
- No clue how the social media investment makes money
- Social ads don't sell squat
- Company website doesn't control most of page-1 search engine results for brand keywords
- Company and personal social media connections don't yield leads or sales
- Nobody reaches out via public or private social
Either stop now or change your social course.
Determining what wins in social is also easy, but requires some know-how and technique.
1. Attributable revenue
There are many pathways to drive social media users into the conversion funnel. Here are some common ones:
- Post content on social profiles linking to your company website. Append an easy tracking code to the website link. Set up Google Analytics to measure on-site behavior, leads and sales from inbound social traffic.
- Retarget website visitors with a Facebook post, Tweet and/or LinkedIn Ad. Market again via a social post to website visitors. It's also easy to install simple code called a Facebook Pixel on your website, making it easy to build a Facebook Custom Audience of site visitors. Finally, retarget website visitors with Tweets and LinkedIn Ads. Use tracking code and Google Analytics again to prove goals, including revenue.
If website traffic, trackable from social posts and retargeting, contribute to revenue and other goals, #WINNING!
2. Direct orders and pre-orders
Social sites are powerful person-to-person and person-to-business communication channels. In Aimclear's ten-year history, we've earned millions of dollars from business contacts who reached out to us and/or me personally via social to set the sales process in motion.
I meet tons of interesting entrepreneurs at speaking engagements, workshops, trade shows and networking events. New and existing business contacts frequently choose a social channel to stay in contact. LinkedIn messages, public tweets requesting information, messages via our company Facebook page and all sorts of public and private interactions can become crucial lead acquisition opportunities.
If your business fosters leads and takes orders directly from prospects who connect via social, you're on FIRE with social media. BOOM!
3. Valuable, expanding community
"Make new friends but keep the old" - still a powerful lesson from an age-old children's song. I only accept and keep friends in LinkedIn if I believe there is a business reason. I use Facebook primarily to build community and shape my personal brand. Twitter for me is all business. A huge chunk of Aimclear clients come from communities the agency has built or culled from personal networks.
Sure, ideal outcomes are attributable revenue and order taking. However, a good deal of business can evolve from well-developed social media friendships. Discreet, direct messages via social can break the ice before pushing the deal.
If connections portend leads and sales, you're golden.
4. Google/search engine ranking on your brand terms
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social pages often rank prominently in Google. Search engine results for social pages can bolster your company's reputation, enhance a buyer's perception, or scare people away after checking your Facebook business page.
If the combination of your website and social media accounts dominate brand search keywords in search engines your social media program is slamming!
5. Great PR
When coupled with paid amplification to reporters, podcasters, morning show hosts, editors and influencers, social posts linking to your site content can result in earned media. In many instances, paid social posts highlight content that can result in links, interviews, major media coverage, speaking gigs and other essential PR goals.
When social fuels earned media, a company deserves a well-earned fist-bump.
6. HR and recruiting
It's no secret headhunters use social media for recruiting. Your company can too. I once received an inquiry via LinkedIn, followed in Facebook, resulting in a fabulous employee moving from a top San Francisco agency, with his family, to Duluth, Minnesota. Post positions on your firm's social accounts and watch the magic. Amplify posts to competitors' employees, new graduates, specific job titles and industries. Also, a strong social presence can tout your city, highlight your Lake Superior office, celebrate lifestyle and values.
Successful social media head hunting is a great sign your social media is integrated and contributing to the overall mission.
While may seem keeping up with personal and corporate social media profiles is a waste of time, setting the right goals can bear fruit. Keep a keen eye out for what works and what doesn't. Set priorities on actual business goals and learn to measure results.