Most retail businesses, large and small, now include social media marketing – aka SMM – as a part of their overall marketing strategy. And many will admit – if pushed – that they really don’t know how well it’s working or if they are getting a decent ROI from their efforts.
There is a way to begin to understand how well your SMM is working that is relatively straightforward, if a little time consuming; a social media audit. A social media audit will help you analyze the impact of your social media tactics and allow you to make adjustments as necessary.
Here’s a basic guide to just how it’s done
Gather the numbers
The first step of any social media audit is begin gathering the numbers you need to analyze your social media campaigns performance. Most platforms do have some form of built in analytics capabilities – with the exception of Snap(chat) – but if you, like most, maintain a presence on a number of different social networks these can be hard to pull together. Sprout Social, Agorapulse, and Hootsuite all offer social listening, analytics, and social media reporting tools that make it easier to find the data you need for your audit at very reasonable prices and so this is an investment well worth considering.
Whatever method you use, you should work towards gathering all of the following metrics:
- Number of followers
Number of followers
Number of mentions (Twitter)
Again, this will be far easier if you use an aggregator service, as putting all of this information into a spread sheet can be a lengthy process.
Interpreting Data: Engagement
When looking at the numbers you have gathered, take a close look at how they compare on different types of posts, too. Do you get more engagement from Facebook when you tag people or other pages than when you share blog posts? Do your videos get more views on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? Are they steadily increasing over time? On which platforms are your product posts gaining the most traction? All of this information can be used to better target the right messages on the right platforms.
This is also an important step because sometimes assumptions about social media are wrong. For example, you might be disappointed with comparatively low on-platform engagement on Pinterest compared to, say, Facebook. However, after an audit, you may discover Pinterest actually sends you the most site traffic and that your FB users engage with you there, but don’t leave the platform, making Pinterest more valuable to you than you had imagined.
Interpreting Data:Platform Audiences
If you do maintain a presence across a number of social networks the chances are good that you have audiences with different demographics across them too. Snap(chat) for instance is a platform dominated by young millennials, so you probably won’t have many older engaging with you anywhere else. Fewer men than women make use of Pinterest, so your male audience there is probably small. These make sense. However, if you are missing out on certain audiences that have a very wide appeal – primarily Facebook – you will need to figure out why.
To take a deeper dive into the make up of your audiences most platforms – again, with the exception of Snap – offer native insights or you can make use of a service like Social Oomph to gather a snapshot of audiences across various different platforms.
Review Your Budget and Calculate ROI
Now, to the nitty gritty, the actual calculation of how much social media is making for you. And no, it’s not easy. You may have a firm grasp of money matters in general, but calculating the total ROI from SMM is more complex, especially when you’re looking at purely social ROI instead of financial ROI.
For this part of the audit, pull up all of your records and look at how much you’re spending on social media. Everyone has different costs associated with their unique social media campaigns but yours may include any of the following:
You time (or that of your employees) Determine how long you spend on social media and how that translates in terms of an hourly rate.
Analytics tools (like Hootsuite)
Softwares you use to create posts (Canva, GIPHY etc.)
Money spent on stock photography, or on photographing your own products.
The goal is to begin by determining exactly what social media costs you and then using your data to measure the return. For example. Let’s say you spent $200 to photograph a small selection of your products and then used a subscription service like Canva to create social images. Those images then generated 404 leads and 202 conversions. That ROI is probably easy to see and a note can be made to repeat the campaign again for the next product launch.
Running a social media audit is a slightly daunting prospect and it will take time. But it is worth repeating on at least a semi-annual basis. The audit will let you find out what’s working, what you can improve, what you should eliminate altogether and exactly who your audience is. This will allow you to make sure that all of your SMM efforts going forward are more efficient, better targeted and will begin to generate even greater ROI for you than ever before.Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at KoehlerHomeDecor.com and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.