Social media marketing can be an indispensable tool on your journey to grow revenue and your customer base.
Businesses that regard digital marketing as non-essential will quickly find themselves left out of the conversation and outpaced by their more social media-savvy competition.
CEO of Web Marketing Therapy, Lorrie Thomas Ross, says that when done right, “social media marketing works to boost credibility, visibility, and sellability”—all of which are integral components to growing your revenue and customer base.
In this article, we outline three best practices to help you put together an effective strategy for social media marketing and analysis so you can achieve these goals.
1. Build your brand, then focus on increasing revenue
Defining your brand means you have identified the type of business you are, the type of customers you serve, and how you serve them. You’ve also directly tied the type of voice you will use to present your brand to consumers to your marketing and social media marketing strategy.
If you haven’t already defined your brand, that should be your first priority. Ross advises small to midsize businesses (SMBs) start with the “three V’s”:
- Values: These are the core values shared by your organization and those you seek to engage.
- Value: This is the value your organization delivers.
- Voice: This is the voice you use to present your brand and values to the world.
Your brand is central to garnering loyal customers, which in turn grows your customer base.
You achieve brand loyalty by improving brand recognition and recall so consumers are more likely to choose your product or service over your competitors.
You might have short-term success if you skip defining your brand, but you’ll never enjoy a higher degree of customer loyalty without it.
The two biggest influencers of brand loyalty are brand consistency and brand authenticity. As such, maintaining consistency and authenticity with your brand’s message should be central to your marketing strategy.
“Brands that know how to be human, relevant, and engaging are the ones who win.”
Lorrie Thomas Ross
CEO, Web Marketing Therapy, Inc.
2. Connect social media data analysis efforts to revenue and customer growth
To ensure your marketing strategy is effective at growing your customer base and revenue (i.e., the “return”), you need to measure brand awareness and justify your marketing spend (i.e., your “investment”).
As such, it’s important to measure the “success” of each campaign. To do so, you have to track what resonates with social media consumers and what doesn’t.
If increasing brand awareness is your primary marketing goal, Ross says you should be tracking a number of metrics, such as:
- Increases in positive reviews.
- Increases in social media followers.
- Increases in engagement on/from social media (e.g., comments, likes, shares, website traffic).
- Increases in sales/conversions from social media channels.
Note: It’s important to consider the scalability of a campaign when calculating ROI.
Ross says that investing in a video, for example, might feel expensive and time-consuming. However, if it’s a message that resonates with your audience and creates a powerful connection, it will elevate sales, credibility, and visibility.
“A video can be used on a website, and shared on a blog, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and even broken up into multiple small videos for other social media,” Ross said.
If you’re looking to compare campaign success, look for social media analytics tools that focus on diagnostics. If you’re looking to calculate the ROI of campaigns, look for descriptive analytics tools.
3. Invest in tools that support your current processes
There are a variety of tools available that can help small businesses perform social media marketing and analytics—from marketing automation software, to campaign management and business intelligence tools.
It’s important to invest in tools that support your needs now, not a solution you hope to grow into. Small businesses especially can’t afford to pay for features they aren’t using.
Ross says she often gets asked to consult for small businesses that bought a stellar service, but don’t have anyone available or trained to use it. In addition to investing in tools that support your current workflows, she recommends making sure end-users are involved in the software selection process and trained on how to use the program.
Capturing data about social consumers can help you better understand your audience so you can target your brand’s message to their needs. And of course, keeping an eye on brand mentions over social channels allows you to make more informed investment decisions regarding future marketing efforts.
Use social media to meet your goals
Your social media marketing and analytics strategy can have a profound impact on your small business goals of growing revenue and your customer base.
When used correctly, the data you glean about social consumers can help you craft more effective brand messaging, measure the ROI of various campaigns, and improve your sellability. And these best practices are a good jumping off point for doing so.
To learn more about social media analytics tools, head over to our buyers guide. Once there, review common capabilities, compare solutions, and read reviews from real users.
Software Advice conducted the Email and Social Media Marketing Survey in January of 2022 among 299 full-time marketing professionals. They must have been working within roles including advertising, brand management, customer experience or service, data and analytics, IT, marketing, product marketing and management, sales or strategic planning and be current email and social media marketing users. Eighty-three percent are from small to midsize businesses (SMBs) with 2,500 employees or fewer.