Social Media and Business Strategy
The link between business strategy and use of social media
When getting started with social media for your business it is important to first determine a clear business strategy. Your strategy should be a “long-term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal or set of goals” (Wise, 2017, para 1). When building a business strategy you have four options to utilize.
If you can understand the big picture of where your business is and wants to go, you can then move on to developing tactics on how to get there. After the tactics are determined you can then move on to determining what social media platforms will work best for your business.
Understand the need for measurement
Measurement in social media business applications is important to gain insight and take action when needed. There are many different ways for you to measure your social media success; just to name a few, you can measure followers, posts, mentions, and redirects to your website. What really matters when measuring success using social media is the impact our posts are having on our audience directly relative to converted sales from that impact. Also, it is important to keep a measure of costs of social media for your business.
Set SMART objectives
Setting SMART business objectives will allow you to track and measure your success and help translate your strategy into specific plans and actions.
Simply stating “sell more memberships” would not be classified as a SMART objective, however, “sell 6 more memberships from January to March by running an advertising campaign on Instagram” would meet the SMART criteria.
What is Social Media ROI?
Challenges of calculating ROI
It can be particularly difficult to identify how your social media efforts are relating to sales. To make it easier your business can use the AIDA model which breaks down the steps of the buying process for most transactions. The consumer first needs to be aware of your product or service before gaining interest. After gaining interest in your product they can now move on to a desire to purchase your product. Once that step is reached they then take action and purchase.
Your business has control of many of the internal factors of the purchasing process but may lack control of some of the external factors of the purchasing process. These external factors can be defined using the PEST model shown above.
Vanity metrics are the follows your business gets through your social media pages. These metrics lack the insight needed to determine if your efforts are working or not. The metrics that affect the bottom line of your business are volume, engagement, and traffic to your website. Your business should be looking to use social media to attract, retain, and convert potential customers for your business. When creating content for social media the thing that really matters is the engagement with that content through shares, retweets, likes, comments, and clickthroughs to your website.
The cost of social media
Social media is a great tool when used properly due to its low cost of entry. The biggest cost for businesses is time spent learning, preparing content, and engaging with users. Other costs with social media are the costs of designing content, social media management tools like Hootsuite, and advertising through the various platforms. It is important to consider all of these costs when calculating the ROI for your business.
Social Media Metrics
Volume metrics are used to show how far your content is circulating, or better known as the reach of content. The larger your audience is the more reach your content will have, however, this is “only valuable if your audience is a good fit for your business” (Wise, 2017, para 1). The volume metrics your business should look at are the amount connections you have on LinkedIn and the number of followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram your business has.
Another calculation that your business should look at is the amplification of your content. This is the rate that your audience is sharing your content. To get your amplification rate simply take the number of retweets or shares and divide by the number of posts over a given time.
The engagement metrics measure the number of interactions your content is receiving. When people interact with your content it shows that they value it, and if they go as far as sharing the post it will also increase its reach. A measurement tool that can be used to measure engagement is the applause rate, which can be calculated by looking at the number of favorites, likes, and reactions a post receives. As a summary of all engagements, it is best to use the engagement rate calculation.
One of your major goals of social media should be to drive traffic to your website because it is here that you can share all the information you want the consumer to know. Using Google Analytics is a great tool to measure website traffic because it can measure how many redirects are coming from each specific social media platform.
Twitter analytics allows you to see how your Twitter business page is performing. It will group analytics into 28-day summaries that show the number of tweets, tweet impressions, profile visits, mentions, and new followers.
You can also look at tweet activity, audience insights, trending events, and conversion tracking. Using the tweet activity section will show your top tweets, and your impressions, engagements, and calculated engagement rate for each tweet.
The majority of LinkedIn’s analytics can be viewed on your profile page. It is here where you can see the number of profile views, post views, and search appearances. You can also view posts and activity to see how well your content is being received.
Your Facebook analytics page will show your posts’ reach over a given time, as well as website clicks and interactions through the learn more tabs. You can also look at specific posts to see the engagement rate with each.
Instagram analytics is a relatively new feature of the platform and can only be accessed through the mobile application. You can see your impressions for each post and over a given time period. You also can see the reach of your posts and the number of profile views you have received by using Instagram analytics.
Analyzing Social Media ROI
Define return on investment
Return on investment is “a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment. ROI can show you what is and isn’t working, and show what actions that you can take to improve performance” (Wise, 2017, para 2).
Calculate social media marketing ROI
It is much easier to calculate social media ROI if you have:
- Set SMART goals that align with your business strategy
- Used the proper social media platform for your target audience
- Measured what matters towards your objective
Using google analytics and the other analytics tools discussed earlier you can start to generate leads to customers breakdown.
If we used these numbers from the perspective of a golf professional we could determine that there were 100 lessons sold, and each lesson brings in $75 of revenue and the total costs of posting were $500.
With this, you would calculate total revenue:
100 lessons x $75= $7,500 Total Revenue
Next, to calculate the ROI you would take total revenue – the cost of social media activity and divide by the cost of social media activity:
($7,500 – 500) / 500 = 14% or 14:1
For every $1 spent there is $14 generated.
Financial and nonfinancial benefits of social media
Social media is a great tool for generating and maintaining brand awareness and can be extremely insightful for providing customer insight. It is here where you can discover who your audience is and what they are thinking, feeling, and doing. Social media also helps you learn about what’s going on in your industry and with your competitors as well as helping with lead generation, customer acquisition, and customer retention. Lastly, social media acts as a real-time conversation between you and your customers which can be extremely beneficial.
How Your Golf Course can Utilize Social Media to Increase Revenue
Golf courses have plenty of reasons to get involved in social media, whether you are looking to increase your membership, build brand awareness, showcase a new part of your course, or provide a service to your membership. The hardest part for most golf professionals and management teams will be finding the time to develop content and keep a presence through the short and hectic golf seasons that we are so familiar with here in Alberta. Using social media management programs like Hootsuite can be very useful for those with time constraints. Using the offseason to build a social media planning calendar is an effective way to stay consistent and maximize your content for your audience.
Be sure to use the information from this blog to give yourself a measurement to track your success through social media and understand your return on investment. Use the tips discussed in this blog and you will be finding success in no time! If you have any questions about anything discussed on the blog be sure to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or interact with me on Twitter/Instagram @WardoGolf.
Wise, L. (2017, January 12). Social Media Marketing: ROI [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/HootSuite-tutorials/Social-Media-Marketing-ROI/504398-2.html