All too often I see businesses carry out social media marketing and “hope” that it will “work”. One of the problems with social media marketing is that without clear metrics to measure your activities, it can be a bit hit and miss with results. In this article I discuss how you can start measuring the KPI’s of your social media marketing.
Why Should You Measure Your Social Media Marketing?
In order to measure the effectiveness of your baseline activities or your quarterly campaigns, it is critical that you know your objectives and the outcomes you are looking for.
Social media marketing, albeit free to use, costs in the form of time and effort, and no ones time is free.
It is for this reason alone that you should be making sure that your social media marketing activities are not just eating into your or your teams time, but that you are actually getting a return on investment for the effort.
Of course, the ROI is dependent on what your social media objectives are. Your KPI’s.
Many accounting firms I come across don’t actually even have objectives or a strategy in place. Accounting firms know they need to be on social media, but neither understand how to maximise its effectiveness or even why it is such a powerful tool when used properly.
Before we go into the metrics you can measure it is important to understand the overall goals of your accounting firm. You will need to measure metrics that are in line with your company’s overall objectives.
The brand awareness that social media can create (such as likes, shares or retweets) is valuable but not enough. According to Altimeter only 34% of organisations feel that their social strategy is connected to business outcomes. I believe that with accounting firms this percentage is even lower, as many accounting firms are still using the same social media content that their competitors are using, as it is all aggregated and distributed through the same source.
An example of this is with a well known UK Accounting franchise. It is clear that as part of the business package social media updates are provided. The problem with this is that all firms in the franchise are posting the same update at the same time. Nothing is unique, insightful or even very helpful to their end client.
This is evidence of the thinking that being on social media is “enough”. It is not. You have to do it well, and “with purpose”.
Your Marketing Objectives and Metrics
Whilst these are largely dependent on your firm’s strategy here are the metrics most businesses should be focusing on:
1. Increased Exposure
This is where you are increasing your social reach: impressions and number of views on your updates/articles.
2. Increased Traffic
This is where you are measuring certain metrics to your website from your social media activity: increase in number of page views, visitors, unique visitors, length of visits, bounce rate.
3. Increased Engagement
Here you will measure metrics such as number of likes, shares, comments, retweets and favourites.
4. Increased Marketplace Insights
Creation of surveys and questionnaires will enable you to gain insights into your industry. You can garner insights through using your social media platforms to share these surveys/questionnaires.
5. Development of Tribe/Loyal Fans
Creation of “groups” on LinkedIn or Facebook will enable you to start a community online. You can measure the increase in the numbers in these groups. If you do not create a group online you can also measure the number of followers you have.
6. Lead Generation
Here you will measure the number of new people added to your email list/database, enabling you to nurture them to become clients/other opportunities.
7. Joint Venture Opportunities
The metric we measure here is the number of people we connect with that builds JV opportunities or referral partners so you can reach more prospects.
How often is your phone ringing/are people reaching out asking for a call. This is a key metric. Activities should be about driving people to have conversations with you.
How many new orders do you get from social media, how many new customers, what is your sales revenue.
10. Customer Relationships
Customers don’t just communicate via email or phone like they used to. Now they will message you on LinkedIn, Tweet you or FB message you. You need to measure how clients are using social media and measure their satisfaction when using these mediums to communicate with you.
11. Client Retention
Is social media driving client retention? If you have a strong brand online, and are supporting your clients through the social media mediums you are likely to retain clients for longer. Whilst this metric may be hard to measure in the first instance, it is clear that as your competitors get social media savvy you will start to lose your clients to more progressive accounting firms that communicate via social.
12. Reputation Management
Are you being spoken about on social media yet are not aware of it? This metric is used to measure your reputation, and what people are saying about you online.
Measuring your social media activity should not just be done in pounds, shillings and pence. However, measurement should also not just be about reach and followers.
Setting up measurement tools like Buffer.com and Google Analytics will enable you to get an overall view on how well your social media activities are hitting your company objectives.
Talking to your clients and getting feedback from them will also enable you to measure your customer service and reputation online. I for one know that the articles I write are as helpful to my clients as they are to my prospects.
When the CEO of Zappos was asked how he measured the impact of Twitter on his website his answer was refreshing “We don’t really measure it, it’s just another relationship building tool”.
Whilst this attitude is OK for a big brand with time to just “go for it” on social media, for the accounting industry I suggest that you be constantly measuring the KPI’s of your social media marketing, as well as the brand/customer relationship building that it can offer your firm.
Which of these metrics do you use in your firm, if at all?
To download our ebook and get a list of 100 marketing ideas for your accounting practice click here for the 100 Ways To Market Your Accounting Firm
What do we do at TwentyTwo?
At TwentyTwo Agency we specialise in helping you create a strategy, attract ideal prospects, convert them into clients and get remembered and referred. Our specialities include content marketing, blog writing, email newsletter management and social media management. We are a content marketing and digital experience agency for accounting firms. We ensure you get remembered, recommended and referred.
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