How to Create a Social Media Strategy - Part Six
How to Create a Social Media Strategy - Part Six
Welcome to the final edition of our six part series How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy.
If you've been following this series, we hope you have gained a better understanding of how to research, plan and execute a Social Media Marketing (SMM) strategy.
If you've missed out, you can catch up on previous articles here:
Part One - How to Perform a Social Media Audit
Part Two - How to Set Goals and Objectives
Part Three - How to Identify Key Target Audiences
Part Four - How to Plan Social Media Marketing Tactics
Part Five - How to Execute a SMM Strategy
Our final article will focus on how to review and evaluate SMM performance in order to understand which activities drive return on investment (ROI).Part Six - How to Evaluate SMM Performance
Developing a Social Media Marketing (SMM) strategy can require significant planning, research, organisation and tools. It can be a short exercise or a detailed and lengthy process, depending on your goals and what you aim to achieve.
If a budget has been allocated towards SMM advertising, it's vital that the activities are driving profitable growth.
So you've crafted a solid SMM strategy and executed it seamlessly...
- How do you know if the strategy was a success?
- Were the SMM activities effective?
What metrics should you measure to determine it's success?
Evaluation can help fine-tune tactics and build a stronger strategy in the long run.
Analysing social media metrics can help understand the type of content your audience is engaging with and why.
Join us as we cover iASP Central's 6 steps to evaluating SMM performance.
Step 1. Create a spreadsheet to record findings
When analysing SMM performance, it's important to record your findings in one place.
We suggest using a spreadsheet or SMM report template.
There are many types of SMM reporting templates available for download from the internet. For your reference, we have provided some links to SMM report template in the resources section of this article.
The data recorded in the spreadsheet will help build the basis of a SMM Report.
Set up your spreadsheet or template before proceeding to Step 2.
Step 2. Review initial strategy
Take some time to review the SMM strategy framework and what was set out to achieve.
This includes strategy goals, objectives and the marketing tactics implemented to deliver the strategy.
- What SMART goals were you aiming to achieve?
- What tactics were implemented to support these goals?
- Did you make changes to marking activities during the execution process?
If goals or marketing tactics have been altered during the process, list the most recent.
This will help you to compare your findings to the original goals set. It will also formulate the basis of a report.
Step 3. Use Analytics Tools to Measure ROI
Use Social Media Analytics Tools to measure and analyse performance.
This could be considered the most important step when evaluating strategy success!
Social Media Analytics tools track and analyse important data relevant to your social media page or profile. For example: Page Likes, Engagement levels, Sign ups etc.
Analytics tools can help to understand how well posts and ads are performing.
Tracking data is essential in helping you achieve better results with your SMM.
If you've been reviewing content throughout a campaign, you may have better understanding of how SMM activities are tracking.
So what kinds of SMM analytics tools are available?
As outlined in Part 5, we suggest using analytics tools relevant to the social media channels.
There are many kinds of analytics tools available.
Such as tools provided by the large social media platforms:
Tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite can provide analytics from multiple social media accounts in one place, however these analytics tools often come at an additional cost.
Here at iASP Central, we regularly use Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics and Google Analytics to help track our social media and website performance.
Important Metrics to Track
So what metrics should you focus on?
Measure and record metrics that relate directly to your goals and marketing activities.
Below is a list of some common SMM metrics.
Please Note - the metrics below are not common to all social media
Likes, Comments and Shares
Engagement is a measurement of how many times people have interacted with your content, posts or profile on social media.
Measuring engagement can help you understand how well content is performing. It can also help provide customer insight on your products or services.
Likes, Comments, Shares and Retweets are all forms of engagement with content.
If your goal is to raise brand awareness or promote a specific product, measuring engagement metrics can help you understand how well your message is received by your target audience.
Reach refers to the average number of people a post or ad can be shown too on social media.
It's your potential audience size.
Please note - The volume of reach is an estimate measure of potential number of people who may see the post or ad. It doesn't represent an exact number of people that view or interact with a post or ad.
A large number for reach means content is more likely to be viewed by a larger audience.
A smaller reach, can mean your content visibility is limited to a smaller audience.
If you're aiming to increase brand awareness and send a message to a broad audience, measuring reach is an important metric.
Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed on social media news feeds.
There are two types of impressions:
- Organic Impressions
- Paid Impressions (used in paid advertising)
If you're aiming to increase brand awareness, measuring impressions will help you to understand how many newsfeed impressions your content is receiving.
A Click-Through-Rate (CRT) refers to the number of people who click on a post or link that is then directed to a webpage.
CTR is relevant to Facebook and Instagram advertising, Google Analytics and Email Marketing.
If you're running a paid advertising campaign and set up Google Analytics tracking, measuring the CTR will help you understand how many exact clicks you've received directly from an ad or post.
A Conversion or conversion rate is a measurement given when a specific action or goal is achieved.
Conversions are only applicable if conversion goals have been set out.
For example, conversion rates are common to Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising on Facebook and AdWords. Conversion rates can help you to understand how paid advertising converts directly into sales.
If you're running paid ads with Google Analytics tracking, measuring the conversion rate will help you understand exactly how many set goals or conversions have been achieved.
Reviews can be placed by customers on social media or other online platforms.
Reviews can provide feedback and insight from your customer perspective.
Analysing reviews can give you important information about products, services and overall brand perception.
It's important to monitor and track your reviews before, during and after strategy execution.
If your goal is to build rapport with customers and improve brand credibility via social media, recording review data can help with this.
IASP Central Tip: We suggest monitoring the total number of positive and negative reviews, common subjects and patterns in reviews.
Mentions are when a company or brand is 'mentioned' or referenced online.
Mentions can be found on social media, Google and other community forums.
If your goal is to build brand awareness, strategic partnerships, sponsorships or influencer marketing, then reviewing online mentions can help you understand what people are saying about your brand online.
iASP Central Tip: We suggest using Mention, a free tool to help monitor online mentions.
Visits refers to the number of visitors on a profile or page.
Video views refers to the number of people who have viewed your video for 5 seconds or more.
Once you've identified the most important and relevant metrics to record, list them down on your spreadsheet or template.
Below is an example of an iASP Central SMM goal and the metrics relevant to the goal.
iASP Central Example:
Strategy Goal: To increase website traffic and sales to ecommerce website through SMM campaign.
Objective: To run a targeted Facebook Ad promoting a product that includes a direct link to a product page on the website.
Action steps taken:
- Facebook Pixel tracking set up - This will help to monitor how many clicks received directly from the Facebook Ad to the website. In order to create set up Facebook Pixel, we must convert to a Business Manager Page.
- Facebook Custom Audience set up - to display remarking ads to the visitors who clicked on the product website page and didn't purchase the product. The remarketing ad will act as a subtle reminder.
- Facebook Remarketing Ad Set up - design a custom ad and select the customer audience created in the previous step.
Metrics to measure:
- Click-Through-Rate - The CTR will help us establish how many clicks the ads received.
- Conversion Tracking - this is an accurate way to measure website traffic and sales directly linked from the Facebook Ads. We can see how many sales were converted from the ad.
- Facebook Ads Manager Analytics - to track Ad results including Click-through-rate (CTR), Engagement and Reach. Measuring the number of Likes, Comments and Shares can provide insight on key target audiences and how they interact with the Ad.
Using these metrics we can establish how many sales, clicks or actions were taken as a direct result from the Facebook Ad.
For more information on Facebook Fixel please refer to the resources section of this article.
Step 4. Prepare a SMM Report
Now it's time to analyse and report on the data collected.
Evaluate your findings and create a summary.
- Which SMM activities received the highest level of engagement?
- What is the best performing type of content ? Video, Images, Links?
- What goals did you achieve? E.g. Product Sales, Brand Awareness, Website Traffic
- How would you improve your efforts for next time? What would you do differently?
- Which activities provide the highest return? Which drive profitable growth?
- How would you rate your SMM strategy in terms of success?
- Did the activities provide return on investment?
Calculate Return on Investment (ROI)
Social Media ROI is the return generated for the time, money, resources and energy invested into this exercise.
To calculate ROI, follow this formula:
Return - Investment
Where Return is what you received from the exercise, and Investment is what you invested into the exercise (this can be money, time, efforts etc.)iASP Central Example ROI:
- iASP Central's Facebook Ads directly sold 50 x products worth the value of $50 each. Total value of $2500.
- We set a budget of $2 per day for 30 days, running targeted Facebook product ads. Total cost of advertising was $60. Plus approx 4hrs of employee time, to create and set up Facebook Ads and monitoring. Total cost of employee time was approx $120. The total investment cost to iASP Central is $180.
- ROI = $2500 - $180 = $1020 profit. Therefore this exercise is considered very profitable with high ROI.
This report can also be used as a reference for future SMM planning.
Step 5. Set up Touch Points to Communicate with Customers
The next step is to focus on your target audience and what you learnt from this experience.
- What did you learn about your customer?
- What feedback did customers provide?
- How did your customer like to communicate? (E.g. Facebook Messenger, Chatbot, Website Enquiry Form, Phone Call)
- What social platforms do they use most? (E.g. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat)
We recommend setting up touch points to help you reconnect with your customers.
Below are some ways to continue communicating with your customer:
- Regular Social Media posts
- Blog Articles
- Email Marketing or Digital Newsletters
- Facebook Re-marketing Advertising
- Phone Calls
- Split Testing
- Customer Surveys
- Paid Advertising
Step 6. Forward Planning
Reporting on findings help improve future SMM efforts.
Refer to the report when revising and making changes to a SMM strategy, campaign or advertising.
When revising a SMM strategy, be sure to focus and grow exercises that generated ROI. This will help build a well performing, solid strategy second time round.
When planning future Facebook marketing, be mindful of the planned algorithm changes that will focus and "prioritise posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people" as announced by Mark Zuckerberg recently. Incorporate changes like this into future strategy planning. As the social media landscape is constantly changing, it's important to dedicate regular time to reading and researching social media updates, changes and new tools. This will ensure you get the most out of your marketing activities and keep you ahead of the game.
iASP Central recommends the following resources for social media news, articles and updates:
We've reached the end of our journey...
Thanks for following the iASP Central How to Create a SMM Strategy series.
We hope this series has helped to grow and fine-tune SMM skills in strategy development, content planning and marketing execution.
Building a targeted SMM plan can help reach the right customers, increase brand awareness, sales and performance. Once an initial strategy has been created and tested, use this a sounding board to improve on.
Have you planned and developed a social media marketing strategy before?
What SMM activities did you use?
Let us know on the iASP Central Facebook Page or Get in Touch.
- Using Facebook Page Insights
- 5 Ways to Analyze Your Social Media Marketing Performance
- 5 Essential & Easy Social Media Metrics You Should Be Measuring Right Now
- News Feed FYI: Bringing People Closer Together
- The Delightfully Short Guide to Social Media ROI
- 7 Steps in Creating a Winning Social Media Marketing Strategy in 2018