Increase the ROI of social media? Media monitoring offers a solution!

• 13 minute read
Online customer service
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Social media channels are becoming increasingly favoured by many people for coming into contact with organisations. As an organisation, you can’t ignore the importance of being active alongside traditional channels such as telephone and e-mail, on, for example, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp. International research carried out by The Social Chain shows that more than 58% of social media marketers consider social channels important within marketing, while only 20% know how to measure the effect of these social media efforts.

Social media channels are becoming increasingly favoured by many people for coming into contact with organisations. As an organisation, you can’t ignore the importance of being active alongside traditional channels such as telephone and e-mail, on, for example, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp. International research carried out by The Social Chain shows that more than 58% of social media marketers consider social channels important within marketing, while only 20% know how to measure the effect of these social media efforts.

It starts with a good social media policy

Are you just beginning with social media within your organisation or is your current strategy in need of a little freshening-up? Then start with developing a good social media policy. This is where you describe your vision and strategy regarding social media within your organisation. For example, it should state how, and through which social media channels, you will communicate with your community.

The social media policy should also include objectives and KPIs that are in line with your marketing and organisation objectives. You can determine the social media guidelines for your organisation on the basis of a number of steps. We have defined 8 simple steps that will help you to meet all the requirements of a fully-fledged social media policy.

NEWCOM Gebruik van social media

Step 1: Define goals and determine KPIs
Step one is to determine the social media objectives and KPIs, per channel, and to investigate how you can measure these objectives. These can vary from creating more brand awareness to increasing engagement, and with the ultimate goal being lead generation.

Define achievable goals and then link KPIs to them. You can choose a specific period for this (for example a month or year) and divide the overall goal into smaller subgoals. Make your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and achievable within a certain Time. Perhaps an open door; make sure your social objectives are in line with the organizational objectives.

Step 2: Analyse the social platforms
Once you’ve set your goals, you’ll need to make an analysis of the social networks and platforms on which your organisation operates. Perhaps certain channels have changed over time; do they still offer new possibilities? Determine the capabilities of each platform. Also look at recent developments and trends in the social media field. For example, Facebook and Twitter have been showing a downward trend in users for some time, while the number of Instagram users is still growing.

Do you know who your (potential) customers are? Then actively involve them in the development of your product, brand or service. By asking for feedback and letting the community think along with you, you can sometimes get some very surprising insights. Marcel Vergonet is a Client Consultant and Social Media Expert at Spotler Engage. He advises not only to send, but also to receive feedback on social media:

“Social media is the perfect place to request feedback and let your community think along with you. Collect the feedback received and use those insights to optimise a service or product. Is it a success? Then you can ‘return’ this news to your community by sharing it on social media.” – MARCEL VERGONET, CLIENT CONSULTANT AT Spotler Engage.

Stap 3: Respond to questions, complaints and compliments
What kinds of messages do social media employees respond to and what kinds not? Research by the Network is the Message shows that some organisations don’t even respond to compliments at all. What a waste! Give just as much priority to compliments as to complaints.

Reageer op vragen, klachten en complimenten

A good workflow ensures that all steps are followed correctly, the necessary tasks are performed and you don’t forget important steps. A planning tool such as Trello or a publication tool such as Engage also helps with the planning and execution of social media posts.

Stap 5: Be flawsome!
All answers to questions, complaints and compliments on social must take the stakeholders into account. Never blame a stakeholder for mistakes, this is unprofessional and can damage your relationship with the stakeholder. Remember that on social media everything is public and can be read by anyone. Sometimes it can show a certain amount of strength to be able to admit your mistakes and dare to be “flawsome”. Marcel explains:

“What many social media managers don’t dare to do is to be ‘flawsome’. This means that you are able to admit your mistakes ‘in public’, meaning, on a social media platform. The positive effect of this is your credibility as a professional or organisation, and this can be positive for your reputation.” – MARCEL VERGONET, CLIENT CONSULTANT EN SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERT BIJ Spotler Engage.

A good example is this Air Europa tweet, which explains that the “plane hijacking” at Schiphol was actually a human error made by the pilot:

Tweet Air Europa

Stap 6: Determine the tone of voice
The tone of voice describes the way in which you communicate with your community. In addition to a certai flexibility and creativity, it is necessary to agree on a uniform tone of voice with everyone within your organisation. Do you use a more formal, or informal, tone when you address people on social media? Use the core values of your company as a basis to determine which words and sentences match the values. Adjust the tone of voice for positive, neutral and negative situations. Where a humourous, relaxed response in a positive situation can create a good feeling, humour in a negative situation can seem out of place.

In addition to the tone of voice, you will soon also be able to measure the conversational human voice (CHV) that you use on social media. Tilburg University is researching this, together with Spotler Engage.

Tweet Rabobank

Stap 7: Create guidelines for colleagues as brand ambassadors
Not only marketing and communication employees communicate on your social media accounts regarding your organisation. Enthusiastic colleagues from throughout the organisation many times also like to share news or nice updates from their employer. This is often highly appreciated and encouraged by organisations, however, it is still important to coordinate certain guidelines here too. Inform your colleagues about the dos and don’ts when it comes to social media.

Agree, for example, that privacy-sensitive information about customers is never brought out, but instead involve your employees in (sharing) interesting news, blogs or other updates from your organisation. You can do this in an internal newsletter, for example, or update to the team, in which you encourage your colleagues to share the latest news. Make it as easy as possible!

Stap 8: Analyse and review the social media plan regularly
Social platforms and customer expectations are constantly changing. A social media platform that was successful in communicating with customers a year ago will most likely no longer be effective today. Even after a rebranding or repositioning of your brand, the guidelines for social media must always be revised. This way you as an organisation can ensure that corporate values are correctly communicated.

Find your target group and analyse your competitors

Media monitoring tools help you determine when your target audience is online and is talking about your brand. In the example below, you can see when the target group of the Dutch Railways starts a conversation on Twitter. It’s helpful to see, for example, that there is more activity around the morning and evening rush hour and that activity is lowest on Sunday.

You can analyse topics and competitors in the same way. When do people talk about your core business? And how does this relate to the times during the day that you publish your content? Take a critical look at the times when your competitor publishes and make a choice to either go along with those same times or to catch the less busy moments, which may help to make the content more visible.

Thanks to a publishing tool with which you can schedule messages via social media, you, as an organisation, will also be able to be present on social media outside office hours, and you can distribute content in a structural and well-organised manner throughout the week. In addition to distributing the regular content that is already in the content planning, there are the annual pick-up moments at which you can make yourself heard. Annual holidays or major events are a good opportunity for thinking in advance and planning what you want to do (or intentionally not) on social.

Mentions aan NS op Twitter

Mentions about NS on Twitter (source: Engage)

How do you measure the ROI of social media?

Of course you’re going to want to know what all your efforts on social media are worth! In addition to engagement and reach, you, as a social media marketer, will also want to know how your campaigns are performing with regard to generating leads and income. In short: what is the Return On Investment (ROI) of your social media efforts?

There is no fixed way of determining ROI – it’s not a fixed metric – and that often makes it difficult. Nevertheless, in social media marketing there are generally five ingredients that determine the success of social media communications. Hubspot defines them as follows:

  1. Reach
  2. Traffic
  3. Leads
  4. Customers
  5. Conversion

1. Reach
The number of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers and LinkedIn group members that your organisation has as a company is often related to your social media success. Also known as ‘reach’. You achieve greater reach through the higher relevance of messages to specific target groups and more engagement (likes/ comments and shares) with regard to your messages. You can measure the social media statistics for each channel as to what extent your reach increases or decreases.

2. Traffic
With social media marketing, an important goal to have is to be able to generate traffic from social media to your website and/or blog. Depending on the marketing goal, traffic to your website can, for example, generate more leads or attract visitors to your webshop. Traffic brings more people into contact with your solution or product. With the help of Google Analytics, you can measure how many visitors come from social media sites. Measure the number of visitors daily, weekly or monthly in order to be able to monitor whether your efforts are effective. Do you notice an increase in social media traffic as your reach increases?

3. Leads
This is perhaps most important when measuring the ROI of social media marketing. Look again at the traffic you generate from social media sites. How many of those website and blog visitors are being converted into leads or customers?

4. Customers
Now go one step further with that lead data. Will your social media leads actually become customers? And how many exactly? Being able to attribute actual customers can be a powerful indicator that the time you spend on social media marketing is worth it.

Bezoekers vs orders

5. Conversieratio
What is the visit-to-lead conversion of your social media traffic? In other words: what percentage of the social media traffic that you generate from those visitors becomes actual leads? While this may seem like a somewhat useless metric in itself, the conversion rate can be very useful when comparing one channel to another. For example, you can compare your social media conversion with your blog conversion to analyse the ROI of those channels in relation to each other. What’s more, the conversion ratio can vary enormously per branch.

Analysing your social media marketing efforts can help you sharpen your strategy. Use the data you collect to become as efficient and effective as possible for your marketing purposes!

The next step: increasing your ROI

You now know how to determine the ROI of social media. But of course it doesn’t end there. It gets even more interesting when you gain insight into how you can increase your ROI. You can do this, for example, by creating reports in a social media monitoring tool, so that you can recognise patterns. For example, a report shows at what time of the day your target group is most active, or what topics are current in certain communities. If you’re aware of this, you can conveniently respond to current events so that ultimately both your reach and your conversion rate becomes even higher. Depending on your predetermined goals, you can turn the knobs by means of monitoring, so that you achieve your goals.

Which tool is suitable for my organisation?

Which tool is suitable for you depends on your role within the organisation and the goals that come with it. Do you want to get in touch with your target group and respond to listings, comments and messages on social media that relate to your brand? Do you want to plan and publish your content on multiple social networks all from one platform so that you’re able to work in an efficient and timesaving manner? A social media monitoring tool such as Engage can easily help in this.

With Engage you’ll stay up to date with what’s happening in your company and you’ll be able to respond proactively to reports using the integrated monitoring tool. You’ll write, plan and publish posts via social media channels. With the help of integrated social analytics and comprehensive reports, you’ll be able to measure, and increase, the impact and reach of your messages on social media.

Ready to increase the ROI of social media? Want to improve your social media policy and strategy so that you’ll be able to increase your ROI? Then talk to one of our experts! We’d be happy to come by to discuss your objectives with you.

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