It’s the buzz term of 2011; social media, that is. I can’t stop hearing it, everywhere I go. It’s as hot as the term ‘Beanie Babies’ was nearly 15 years ago and people can’t get enough of it. While the core focus of my clients’ campaigns is SEO, many of them are refocusing their efforts and budget towards social media. Simply put, they want to be a part of the game and I am here to get them in.

As an advocate of social media, I tell my clients that simply having their social accounts set up is not enough; they must engage and participate. However, they just don’t have the time to be involved, the care to know how, or the concern to participate, which is why they hire me to manage their social media campaigns. It’s important to note that social media doesn’t have the same type of quantifiable results that SEO does which makes measuring a client’s performance a subjective matter. Sure, you can report on the number of followers and fan base from week to week, but in the long run, how can you measure the success of a social media campaign? How do you guarantee your efforts will produce results? With SEO it’s highly probable that if you adjust META tags properly and add relevant content to your site you’ll likely see an increase in traffic. In fact, it can be substantiated by Google’s algorithm. 

The traffic generated from search is usually from someone looking to take action on their search. For example, a person who is serious about buying a Pilates mat will search for “Pilates mat.”  Whereas with social media, a “Like” is one’s vow of support for that brand, product, or service and doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be taking action. Have you ever gone to like someone’s Facebook page just so you could buy a product?

Measuring Performance and Delivering Results: What to Use

  • The Klout Score measures your true reach, amplification probability, and network influence. This can help show clients their influence on the web.
  • Twitter Counter provides a wealth of statistics for your Twitter accounts and can give insight on your campaign’s success, or lack thereof.
  • Wildfire helps users create engaging social media campaigns through promotions and giveaways also providing a plentiful array of statistics.

Several tools are out there to measure the success of one’s social media participation based on their “reach” or “social authority;” however, the end result still remains the same: to turn these followers into customers. Delivering your clients a higher social authority would be the primary focus of a social media campaign; however, the other equally important component is then taking that audience and converting them. It is important to distinguish between delivering social authority and delivering conversions. I am very careful to explain to my clients that just because they have a successful social media campaign doesn’t always mean there will be a direct correlation to their bottom line. Just remember, ‘success’ can be a subjective matter in the realm of social media. When used wisely, and with a proper understanding of how it relates to and is a component of your overall success, social media can boost your business greatly. 

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