What benefits can you expect from a social media marketing campaign? 391713643_2dc4012d7b_m   So, you’re on board with social media marketing, you can understand why you have put it in your marketing strategy, you’ve set up your business Facebook page, you’ve got a Twitter account, and you know how to find your target market through LinkedIn, you’ve got your YouTube channel all set up, you’re blogging and you’re either spending time engaging with potential customers on social media, or you’re paying for someone else to do it for you. Now, how do you know that your efforts are worth it? How can you measure the success of your social media marketing campaign and what can you expect from your efforts? Increased website traffic = more leads, wider audience, and more focussed target market traffic An increase in traffic to your website will be an inevitable result of social media marketing (as long as you’re sending people there!) however, I would also expect to see an increase in the number of unique visitors, and an increase in the percentage of new visitors to your website.  If you focus on your target market carefully through social media, you can also expect to generate pre- qualified (to a certain extent) traffic to your site, which will encourage more leads. You will be able to measure the effectiveness of this element of the campaign through Google analytics, along with the increase in inquiries. Please note that some instant wins are not uncommon, however, social media marketing campaigns tend to burn more slowly to start, as a lot of it is down to building an online relationship with your target market, and hence why it is imperative to give it a few months to see real tangible results. Facebook Insights provide detailed reports as to how your Facebook page is performing for you. Capture of potential customer details = more leads and enquiries I would suggest providing a means on your website/Facebook page to capture potential customer details with Mailchimp (there are a variety of free autoresponder providers available). Potential customers are unlikely to provide you contact details without something in return, so consider what would be useful to them (information/promotions) and offer that in return for their name and email address. This will ensure that you are making the most of additional traffic to your website/Facebook page    You can measure success by the number of additional sign ups to your monthly marketing email database, the bounce rates of the email marketing, the increase in number of emails opened. SEO benefits = higher page rank Google loves fresh content on site, so a blog post per week will help for SEO purposes. By posting the blogs out on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it will increase traffic back to your website, and more clicks is also a good thing for Google page rank. Google just changed their algorithms again, so it’s not yet clear if the page rank of the backlinks to your site make a huge difference at the moment, however, the blogging for fresh content,  putting that content out onto social media channels will have an undisputed benefit to SEO and page rank for you, which you can measure directly by performing a google search. Brand awareness This is a difficult element to measure, however, undoubtedly, as your business will appear on sites where people spend over an hour a day, your brand awareness will absolutely increase. Customer benefits Through social media you are able to develop relationships easily with your target market. They can see how you work, how you communicate, and can watch your timeline on Facebook/Twitter and your blog to see whether what your business offers matches their needs. When you receive inquiries, they will be more ready to do business with you (pre-qualified leads), and not so interested in doing business based purely on price (always a major bonus in business!), as the relationship is already formed before you meet them in person. Sure there may be some negotiation, but they will already feel like they know and trust your business, which is invaluable. They also feel that you are far more accessible (this does need to be managed, as we all have customers that like to over communicate) and again this increases supplier/client trust. Customers that use social media are also far more likely to market on your behalf and recommend you if you have a social presence, which can be measured by interactions and mentions. Facebook insights is a great way to measure interactions, and twitter stats that you can get through Hootsuite will include mentions, so that you can see how active people are at engaging with your brand. You can also use social media to test customer opinion, and this is one of the more powerful messages, and is measurable, as you will see real time feedback. Competitor awareness Knowing what your competitors are up to is a major benefit in business. There are a lot of businesses that are not yet engaging on social media, so this will give you competitive advantage, as you are promoting your brand/products/services to your target market in a far more visible way, however, knowing what your competitors are up to/offering (lots use social media to broadcast offers, and whilst you can do this from time to time, it is all about engagement with potential customers, so if they are using it, most are doing it wrongly at the moment) allows you to benchmark your own business in the eyes of your customer to ensure that you are providing best solutions for them at the best value (not the cheapest price) Happy interacting! Caroline Thomas will help you to increase sales by providing sales and marketing strategies and social media marketing solutions  – to find out more or to book an appointment, please call 0844 556 5116 or email [email protected] – Caroline is also easily found on Twitterand FacebookCaroline on Google +  ]]>