How to Determine What Social Media Interactions are Valuable - dummies

How to Determine What Social Media Interactions are Valuable

By Aliza Sherman, Danielle Elliott Smith

Social media engagement requires metrics that are different from online advertising, which measures in costs per click (CPC) or costs per action (CPA), because the mechanics of engagement involve a variety of activities and responses.

With more interactions happening as you engage via social media channels, you have many more numbers to track and even more ways to interpret them. How do you determine which numbers are the most important to you and your company?

Go back to your business goals, what you’re trying to achieve, and what you hope the target audience does in response to your actions. Then match up the numbers that reflect how people are responding to you and the actions they are taking with your goals.

If you’re seeing activity in your social networks that you can tie directly to supporting your business goals, you’re on the right track. If not, re-evaluate what you’re doing. Also consider whether the goals you’re focusing on are best supported through social media engagement.

Though the ultimate goal of a business is usually to make a sale or a transaction, social media engagement offers layers of value leading up to, and surrounding, an actual sale. All these seemingly ancillary aspects of engagement in your online channels help to build brand awareness, strengthen customer loyalty, and facilitate brand evangelism.

The benefits of social media engagement may seem difficult to measure or even appear to be intangible, but they eventually lay the groundwork for selling in more personal and lasting ways than advertising ever will. To reach the mobile consumer who’s now connected and engaged in social networking, look at the whole picture of how they communicate and how you can reach, and engage with, them.

Social media engagement is not a silver bullet to achieve every marketing objective or solve every communications challenge. Just because you’re reaching out to an online audience doesn’t mean that they’ll respond consistently. Take the time to cultivate relationships and make genuine connections to see more tangible results.