It’s a well-known fact that being active on social networks can be advantageous to building your business and your customer relationships. Your marketing strategies should therefore include networking as a significant factor in marketing your brand. However I can’t put enough stress on the importance of Social Media Tracking because sooner or later you need to take a look at the return on your efforts. Participating is all very well but in the end it all comes down to revenue generation versus the cost to your business.
Here are a few tips to help you decide on the best strategies for your business.
Are you in the right place?
There is only a limited amount of time that can be made available for your online activities and hence it is vital that you don’t waste time that’s better spent elsewhere. Almost every business needs to be online but there is no need to be everywhere. You only need to be in the places that are right for you. Look at it this way, if you’re at a party where the guests are devout vegans then talking about your interest in the latest beef barbeque recipes would well and truly fall on deaf ears. So ask yourself these questions:
Is the site relevant?
There are numerous free sites that you can join but they are not necessarily all relevant to your business. For example, there is a plethora of free blogging sites but you only need one or two to promote your business. It’s much better for your business to have a strong presence on one or two relevant sites than to be one of many everywhere.
Can you beat the competition?
There are millions of businesses with an online presence and getting noticed can be difficult, particularly if you’re new to the game and are still trying to introduce your startup business ideas. A perfect example is YouTube. Yes millions of people do indeed watch the videos but will you be able to make your business stand out from the competition? Do some planning before you decide to jump in.
Is your time well spent?
Keeping track of the cost of your offline marketing activities is simple. One look at your bills will tell you exactly how much you’ve spent. What’s often overlooked however is the hidden cost of your online marketing activities. As the saying goes; time is money and what you need to measure is the cost of the time invested on your social media marketing versus the return on that investment.
Putting a price on your online activities.
You will need to make a budget allocation for the cost of your time invested in your online activities as much as you make a budget allocation for your actual marketing costs. A few simple steps can help with this.
Quantify your online time
Start by analysing the time spent on your various online activities over the past year and note them in order of your most profitable business ideas to the worst results achieved. Based on this analysis estimate the time that you are likely to spend on various activities in the next twelve months and allocate it to individual projects.
Cost your effort
Put a realistic hourly rate on your time. You can either vary this rate depending on the complexity of a task or use a base rate and vary the duration of a task. The latter tends to be the simplest approach.
Tracking your costs versus benefits
As I’ve said in the introduction; Participating in Social Media is all very well but in the end it all comes down to revenue generation versus the cost to your business.
Budgeting for a Social Media Presence
Divide the time allocated to each one of next year’s projects by task. A simple but effective time allocation principle is:
25% reading – keeping up to date by reading online material, including what’s being said about you and related or competing businesses.
50% communication – replying to comments on your blog, emailing, re-tweeting interesting articles, etc
25% creating content – writing blog posts, Facebook updates, creating videos, etc. Creating regular new content is vital to being found by the Search Engines.
Now apply your base rate to each task within a project.
Monitor your progress
Track your results for each activity e.g.
– use Google Analytics to check the performance of your blog
– calculate the conversion rate for your Facebook ads
– monitor the views of your YouTube videos
Check the ROI of time invested on your Social Media Strategies and make regular adjustments to your budget projections as needed.
I hope this article is of help to you. Do you use any form of Social Media Tracking to measure the results of your efforts? I’d love to get your feedback. Please participate in the discussion by leaving a comment on the contact-us page of my website.