This post is sponsored by Facebook.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a small business owner who doesn’t agree that social media marketing can be vital to success, but determining and measuring online performance isn’t always as cut and dry.
In fact, 56% of marketers don’t know how to or simply can’t measure their ROI on social media, and only 10% feel confident that they can measure their social ROI, according to a report from Social Media Examiner. Meanwhile, local businesses often have limited marketing budgets, yet they still want to make sure they get the most bang for their buck when it comes to investing time and money in social. But there are steps businesses can take to learn from their social marketing and ensure future social strategies build on the practices that have worked in the past.
For instance, consider the growing number of online tools that can help your small business.
Small businesses using Facebook’s Pages tool don’t have to go far to measure their success. Using the Insights tab, they can find out how many people are reached by their posts, how many people engaged with posts by liking, sharing or commenting on them, how many customers called their establishments using Pages and how many people checked in at their businesses. Page Insights also provide information about customers and audience: how many people view business Pages, what sections of the Pages they spend time looking at, how they found the Pages in the first place and more.
Most importantly, Facebook’s Page Insights help businesses hold themselves accountable to their customers. They can use the tool to assess the number of responses they’ve sent to customers, as well as their average response time. Businesses can also get a sense of what kind of content is and isn’t working for their audience. Insights can break down what actions people take on business Pages, giving businesses a sense of how to get followers to take the actions they want. Insights can also break down the performance of each post made via Facebook Pages, meaning that businesses can analyze what types of posts have worked for their audience and what types have not.
For Canada’s Terre Bleu Lavender Farm, leveraging the Insights tool on its Facebook Page has helped the business better understand its audience. The company first created a persona detailing its core customer, and then used its Page Insights to dig deeper by learning about who likes, shares and comments on its posts. Today, Terre Bleu chooses what content to post based on what it has learned. For instance, the Terre Bleu team focuses on non-promotional content that provides its audience with value, such as recipes, images of lavender fields and the company’s views on environmental issues, all of which drive engagement for the brand and visits to its facility.
Additionally, small businesses should make time in their schedules for regular thorough examinations of their social media and mobile strategies, being sure to develop a specific auditing process like the one outlined by Lisa Buyer in Search Engine Journal. Business owners should also examine what at least two competitors are doing on social media and create checklists to evaluate their presence on each social platform to help make comparisons. Audits should also include a review of content. Does it reflect your brand’s voice? Are you using hashtags in a way that is reflective of your followers? Are you including a mix of written, image and video content that is appropriate for your audience?
Ensuring your small business has an effective and successful mobile presence is all about doing your research and being prepared to take advantage of the tools and resources available to you. And don’t forget to be flexible and try new and different things to make sure you’re truly connecting with your customers.