Social is great and to be involved in Social most people think about analysing the number of fans they have on Facebook, or the number of followers they have on Twitter etc, and they like to measure the level of engagement they have with these individuals by the ‘reach’ of their posts, and the ‘engagement’ with people from these online conversations.
This is all well and good, but let me pose a small question with regards the companies that use Social. Why? Why do you use Social Media? What’s in it for you? Why all the effort?
My answer to this would be that the main aim of using Social will be one of two areas.
- The first will be to build brand awareness, and this is certainly done by engaging with our followers and fans and getting people talking about us in many different ways.
- The second, however, is the one that for some reason seems to be overlooked in a number of cases, and that is, to drive people to our website, or stores, and get people to buy our goods or services.
Social analysis should be looked at in a number of ways, and the way that frequently gets overlooked and ignored is the final interaction with the website.
Okay, so most people probably run a series of reports and analytics that allow them to see how many visitors have come to their website from the various different Social Networks, and some of the more aware companies may even add tracking codes so that they can see just how many people are coming from specific links, but there is a lot of information out there that companies are missing simply because they are unaware of what is available.
So we can see how many people come to our website through Social, and we can track our own links from Social to our website, but how about tracking to see which of our followers or fans are the most influential? Which of our followers or fans are creating their own links which are driving people to our site and progressing sales?
If we look at YouTube and Tumblr, we can do the same thing and see who is driving sales to our site, that we have no direct control over. We’re going to come back to Tumblr again in a short while as there is even more potential that we have there.
If we look at our website, we may well find that we have links here to allow users to share our content on the social networks. We can see how many shares there are by looking at the page, but we can again capture the information directly at each share, and then analyse our most popular shares to help optimise our site further. If we are clever and include a form of tracking on each share, we can then do a ’round’ track to see how many people come back to our site from the individual shares.
There is a whole area of additional information that is available here if people would just stop, and take a minute to think about it. Social should have an end result, and that end result should be to drive sales. Unless we consider how we can measure that from our final website point of view, we can’t get a full understanding of the effectiveness of the social media strategy.