All marketers understand the effectiveness of social media for increasing positive brand sentiment and customer relations. But when it comes to measuring leads and revenue the majority of businesses are falling short.
The fickleness of impressions means that tweeting can often feel like a shout in the dark. Wouldn’t it be great to know when your social media posts are attracting real customers? For companies that rely on telephone conversions for the majority of their customer acquisition there are a number of techniques marketers can use to track the reach of their social media posts.
These techniques typically allow marketers to see directly where their customer conversions are coming from, without intruding on the customer experience and compromising the integrity of the campaign (i.e. by getting call centre staff to ask, ‘where did you hear about us?’).
They also provide marketers with information on the right social media channel for their brand, as well as the metrics to create much more sophisticated campaigns in the future.
Here are three methods for tracking the ROI on your social media campaigns.
Coupons are a great method to encourage conversions and can also be used to track where those conversions are coming from. 66 million people redeemed digital coupons in 2013 and their usage is becoming ever more ubiquitous. Offer a different coupon across your various social platforms to see which one is performing best.
Tim Schmidt is the digital operations manager at Tier 10 – an agency that works with a number of car dealerships. He tracks things like coupon prints, driving directions requests, specific goal pages, etc. through their social media advertising campaigns to see which are the most effective.
Tim observes that, “social media has evolved from an engagement platform to a direct response beast in the last year. With the addition of custom audiences, retargeting, behavioural targeting based on in-market data, offers, etc., marketers now have a tool kit to drive real business via social media.”
Benefits of coupons:
- very simple to run and track using your eCommerce or POS system – no elaborate analytics software required;
- both an effective marketing and tracking technique: attract more customers and understand their behaviour;
- coupons generate discussion on social media, which in itself fosters engagement and potential conversions.
You can see some other successful Twitter coupon campaigns here.
Having unique custom numbers for each media platform allows you to see where the majority of your calls and customers are coming from. By attaching a virtual phone number to each of your social accounts you can see which ones are performing and which need to be changed.
An important point made by Sarah Bradley, Head of Social Media at Receptional, is that if you have a unique trackable number for all your social media channels, or for example, one specifically for Google Places, be sure to have that number displayed in the SERPs along with map data and galleries. This ‘poaches’ traffic from the top position simply because it’s more convenient.
Benefits of virtual numbers:
- makes something that was previously untraceable much more transparent;
- helps businesses to know where their fan base lies and therefore the quickest way to reach their customers;
- helps marketers understand which is the most effective channel for their campaign.
For industries who rely on telephone conversions, call tracking can help marketers understand the role of the phone call in the customer journey.
Bhavesh Vaghela, CMO of ResponseTap, outlines the benefits call tracking can have on a campaign: “by analysing the digital journey as a customer moves offline, brands can understand the role different channels play at different stages. For example, when buying a holiday, social typically plays a part later in the customer journey, whereas when purchasing a financial services product it is usually much earlier.” 65% of businesses still consider the phone their strongest lead source and so it pays to understand the role the phone has in the customer journey.
Benefits of call tracking:
- recognise at what point in the customer journey your social media efforts are going to have the most impact;
- understanding when your customers are engaging with you means you can time to perfection the three stages of the social media ROI cycle;
- connect online and offline marketing efforts in order to create a much more sophisticated campaign.
Tracking social media ROI is still not an exact science, however there new techniques being developed in order to account for changes in the way brands market themselves. Coupons, virtual numbers and call tracking are three ways for companies that rely on telephone conversions to measure success.
Also be sure to make use of these tools to increase your social media ROI.