In the world of online content and social media, it is easy to get sucked into the habit of measuring how many blog comments you attract, Facebook likes you get, Twitter retweets, social share numbers, and the amount of page views. However, for you to truly gain a return on investment for social, you need to go beyond the basics, and see how you can leverage this data to make better business decisions.
What are some of the ways that social media can be used to help you make better marketing and management decisions?
Enterprise social networks and social intranets are changing how internal teams share information. These networks can be leveraged to determine what type of engagement is most popular, how teams are engaging, and how this is improving teamwork in the workplace. The deeper you can you look down the funnel, the more equipped you will be to make better teamwork decisions.
For example, how are employees connecting? Through activity streams or search? What type of content are they creating on the network? These metrics can be used to determine what strategy is most effective when implementing best practices across departments and the entire organization.
Very likely, your competitors are on social media and are doing one or two things better than you. They may be creating better engagement with their fans, growing their loyal fan base faster than you, or simply converting leads to sales more effectively than you.
Having this insight can help you craft better engagement messages or re-evaluate your online marketing approach to better align with what may attract potential online leads. Facebook, for example, can help you track and follow competitor pages that are either direct competitors, or those in different sectors but competing for the similar audiences. It can even help you track businesses with similar content strategies as you, but attracting different audiences. As you can imagine, this rich data can improve your marketing decisions immensely when done right.
Once in a while, social media data can reveal something you are doing that may not be giving you the returns you seek. It could be anything from tracking social shares when you should be measuring conversions, or it could be you are spending too much time on one platform while you should be focusing on another platform that has a better chance of converting leads.
Some of the most common mistakes that businesses make on social relate to shallow inferences from the data or a lack of awareness of social media effect on the business. This in turn, limits opportunities that would otherwise have resulted in lead conversion. Social can help these businesses see what is happening and tie back their actions and goals to the business. It can, for example, help one identify a customer journey and see where the leads are getting dropped.
You've probably heard that it costs more money to onboard a new client over retaining one. Put in another way, your business saves more from implementing customer loyalty and satisfaction programs as opposed to being on the treadmill of looking for more clients constantly.
Being where your customers are is one of the best ways to deliver superior customer service, and today, this is on social media. You can increase positive sentiment about your brand by monitoring brand mentions and engaging with customers. Being able to respond quickly, communicate in a friendly way, and following up on customer queries can all be done on social media just as effectively as using traditional media. You cannot afford to ignore social media as a customer satisfaction channel in this day and age.
Poor customer service, especially during a crisis, is one of the quickest ways you can destroy a stellar reputation.
According to statistics:
Social media is where customers go to vent their anger and frustration over poor customer service resolutions.
Ironically, it is also the best place to resolve the issue before it gets out of hand. Being aware of the power of social to improve your brand image in resolving customer queries will help you create crisis management best practices, and manage resources when that happens.
Social media should no longer be viewed as an engagement option for your business. Rather, you should allocated similar resources as you might for traditional media. In this way, it will help you make better business decisions that ensure your business remains competitive.
Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.
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