You know what you are doing with your social media marketing. I know you know what you are doing. Even though the senior management at your organization knows you know what you are doing, too, there is often a disconnect between the way a digital marketer talks about success and the way the board views the success of the business.
The goal of this article is to make your job a little easier by helping you frame your digital marketing successes in a way that even the most skeptical CFO would want to support you.
Let's start with defining what is truly important to the success of any business. It can be boiled down to three things:
- Increase revenue
- Decrease costs
- Increase customer satisfaction
Finally, what could you easily modify, add to, or remove from your current efforts to better achieve one or more of the three primary business goals? After going through your checklist, go back through the metrics that were not so easy to relate to and take them one step further to see if that helps.
Let's take Twitter followers for instance. You could relate Twitter followers to a sale as long as you can track them by username or by their trail to the conversion page on your site. Even if you cannot do this (or your organization lacks the analytics sophistication necessary to do this), think about the other two objectives (decreasing cost, increasing customer satisfaction). Does your Twitter account also serve as a point of customer service? If so, it could be fairly simple to calculate the cost savings a public Twitter customer service portal provides versus other methods. Even if that calculation is difficult, the estimated number of people helped by your interactions is a great benefit to increasing customer satisfaction. Hopefully you see where I am going with this and can already see how to apply this to what you are doing. The goal is to focus on what is meaningful to the business and to report on how it is meaningful.
- Tie your metrics to a conversion with a specific target audience. You cannot go wrong if you are able to do this.
- Make sure the numbers you report are examples of true success. In the negative press example above, it could be tempting (in less extreme cases) to gloss over the details of why exactly there was a boost in Web traffic that month and just claim a successful month for the website and related marketing efforts. However, it may not be an intentional oversight at all – you simply might not have the tracking and reporting in place to detect subtle changes in who is visiting your site and how.