Measuring the outcomes of social media campaigns should be as important to your direct sales company as measuring the outcomes of sales promotions. Did that campaign positively impact sales or recruiting? Unfortunately, far too many companies fail to measure these outcomes, because the data doesn’t get into the right hands.
The social media manager can tell you how many click-throughs a campaign generated. He or she can tell you how many forms were filled out, how many likes the Facebook Page received, etc. But the social media manager is often not given data beyond this (such as the number of qualified leads that came in who actually joined), and is therefore unable to use the data to craft better campaigns moving forward.
In order to improve your company’s social media program, it’s essential that the social media manager work with the sales team to identify the data that will be measured to ultimately determine the campaign’s success. And it’s also important that the social media manager help the sales team build the steps into the sales or recruiting process that help correlate campaigns to conversions. So for example, when someone on the sales team calls to follow up on a lead that has come in on the corporate website, one of the questions should be where the person heard of the company. If the lead can be correlated to the campaign, that lead should be flagged in such a way that the company can track that lead’s qualification, conversion, and ultimate success.
When this data is shared daily, the social media manager can often make adjustments mid-campaign to increase the effectiveness of that campaign. And through the lessons learned as a result of the campaign, over time the company can create online campaigns that are tightly aligned with the company’s overall growth goals. A “menu,” if you will, of campaigns can be created that correlate to specific company objectives.
The better the data you have access to, the better you can track and refine your campaigns. Now this is sometimes challenged by the technical setup of the company’s website and analytics. Some companies aren’t able to track a lead that comes in on a corporate site through to the point of sale on the replicated site. I have a dream that one day all of our systems will work seamlessly together to provide the kind of analytics we need to measure true social media success. But just because you may not be able to track everything with Google Analytics today, it doesn’t mean you can’t track some data, and share that with the people who need it. I think it would serve every company well to ask their social media manager what data they would LOVE to have, to help them measure the success of their campaigns. The data they’re looking for may surprise you.
What data do you track to determine the success of your social media campaigns? What information would you love to have access to? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!