Creating content is a big investment for your business and like all investments it is reasonable to expect a return in some way. While larger businesses have the resources to employee expensive marketing experts and utilize advanced tracking software, smaller businesses can follow a more simplified strategy in determining the effectiveness of blog and social media content.
Keep An Eye On Your Website’s Hits
For small businesses and organizations, there is only one metric that is both effective in generating revenue and easily measurable – the number of website “hits” that are generated by your blog and social media accounts. Your website is the central hub of your online presence, and if it was developed by a professional web designer, it is likely that your website was designed with an expert focus on generating new business and revenue. Because your website was designed to generate revenue, your primary objective should be to drive traffic from your social media accounts to your website.
Measuring Your Hits
The other reason that this metric is so important to your social media strategy is the ease by which it can be measured. Your business may have a phone number or primary email inbox, but how can you accurately measure how many of your blog and social media readers were directly motivated to contact you through these channels? You could survey your customers, but that can be expensive and the results may not be fully accurate. Measuring the source of incoming hits to your website is both free and extremely accurate through the use of services such as Google Analytics.
In Order To Be Attainable, Your Goals Must Be Realistic
It is understandable that many of us have unrealistic expectations of blogs and social media. We follow the accounts of famous brands, celebrities, politicians and organizations and marvel at the millions of followers they have attracted, especially if we believe the content to be inane or trivial. However, if you or your business is relatively unknown, building an audience can be a slow and sometimes frustratingly tedious task. It is important to set reasonable expectations from the beginning. Be extremely wary of third-party companies and consultants that promise to deliver a large audience in an unreasonable amount of time – very often these third parties may employ unethical or even illegal tactics in building an audience, or they may simply have no intention of following through and delivering the results they’ve promised.
Be Ready To Change
In order for measuring the effectiveness of social media content to be worthwhile, you must be ready, willing and prepared to make changes to your content strategy. If your blog and social media accounts are not effectively driving traffic to your website, don’t ignore the results or abandon these tools entirely out of anger or frustration – by choosing not to react or by choosing to overreact, you are ultimately choosing to accept the current failed state of your social media marketing. Instead, have a plan in place to either change the direction of your social media strategy or take time off from creating and posting content and determine an effective alternative strategy.
Study Your Competition
The easiest way to make changes to your content and strategy is to study your competitors and others within your industry. Is your content similar to theirs, or are they doing things differently? If your content is similar to theirs, it may be necessary to add new tools and strategies such as contests, giveaways and polls. It may also be necessary to mold your content to better fit various platforms – for instance, you may need to include hashtags, or popular keywords, into your social media posts. If you determine that your content is radically different from theirs, it may be necessary to create content that is similar in tone. This does not mean it is acceptable to lift or otherwise plagiarize content, but it is acceptable to seek inspiration from the content of others and add your own personal “spin” and expertise, thereby making it your own.