The 21st Century has welcomed the rise of social media with open hands. We are living in an era of rapid digitization and place where we are getting constantly more dependent on technology. Social media is a mix of both internet and technology converging at the single point. Large amount of data is been shared across various social networking sites. This data is in the form of different content like text, slides, audio, video, animation and even info-graphics.
The social activities like dating, matrimonial, meetings, and discussions now require no more meeting physically at a single place.
Now we have live hangouts, live chats, live video streaming, real-time discussion and real time sharing of the content through various digital platforms. The social networking sites are the platforms which are meeting place to carry out these activities. Even new apps are entering into the market each day to fulfil the needs.
The number of people using social media platforms is very rapidly reaching 3 billion which is almost half of the world population.
Due to these reasons online marketers consider social media marketing as one of the key tools to promote the products and services. Among the people globally social networking sites are places to display ones talent and meet up with like minded people across the globe.
Similar to any strategy implementation, one needs to evaluate the benefits from it on each ounce of labor and money spent on it. By setting key performance indicators (KPI) marketers determine the return from these investments.
In social media, objectives or the key performance indicators and the level of success into achieving it, determine the return of work and money invested into it. Following are the important key performance indicators:
- Building Brand Awareness- The main aim of any business is to build a globally recognizable brand. Thus, branding forms a crucial step into building the business to achieve its ultimate objective of making profit and reaching the masses. Social media marketing is a great tool to reach these audiences. Due to heavy market penetration rate social media marketing ensures better reach to the target audiences and brings in more traffic to the website when properly connected with it. If your aim was to create brand awareness then higher reach and traffic are good indicators that your strategy is working.
- Lead Generation- Similar to any marketing strategy social media marketing too requires generation of quality leads which will help the sales team to sell the products. Thus active lead generation means bringing prospective customers to your website or your office, who want to buy your products or services. It is the responsibility of the marketing managers to differentiate the ripe leads from the still need nurturing leads. It is important part of the lead generation as ripe lead means most of the time they will end up buying the product. Whereas the leads which still need nurturing at the customers who are just enquiring or are in confused state of mind.
- Corrective Brand Misconception- Sometimes competitors spread false words about your brand into the market which mars your customer base. Even there are cases where your customer services are not up to the mark which brings bad fame. At this time the businesses set up special campaigns to correct this and regain the lost trust from its customers. Social networking platforms are great place to show that you care, you can comment on the complaints and accept the problems if it genuinely exists. In case it’s false news spreading into the media then you can share the testimonials of your clients who vouch for your services. Regaining of the old customers after this campaign is a great indicator of the success of the campaign. Sometimes it also results into addition of new customers to your list.
- Customer Engagement- Getting the customer to buy the products and still get them stick around is the most difficult part of the customer cycle. It is the duty of the marketers to keep reminding the customers that the present products or upcoming products are of value to them. The most common methods used are discounts, offers or competitions to keep the customers engaged and keep returning back to buy the products. Social media gives a full range of freedom into creativity to create variety of engaging content for the customers. Also, people today are relying more on the reviews and information shared online to make their decision on product purchasing.
- Customer Retention- If you manage to retain the customer you have won yourself a jackpot as then you have won the trust of your customer who believes in your product quality. He has become you business advocate promoting your business in front of audiences in his contact. The ultimate objective or the performance indicator of any strategy is how successfully it has managed to keep the customer loyal to its brand. Often the most successful brands are those which have learned this art of retaining their customers. Yes there is no 100% retention but to compensate for it new customers joining are the key indicators to keep an eye on.
- Feedbacks- It is the ultimate power that any brand can give to its customers. It is also necessary to find the problems associated with the products and services in order to rectify them. Social pages and campaigns provide opportunity to reach the customers on their social profiles. Here the number do feedbacks determine the success of the campaigns and gives an insight into the customer thought process.
Conclusion: For any business keeping the track of the expenditure and return from it, is as important as building a product and selling it. Marketing is a very important tool which helps take your product and services out in front of the customers. It also prepares their mindset into buying your stuff. Digitization and influence of internet are the driving forces in the present world. These two have given a greater power in the hands of the marketers with wider range audience coverage. Hence, a proper method to evaluate social media and calculations of returns from it helps give a clear idea about the strategy.