Determining success of a marketing effort comes down to looking at your objectives, measuring the metrics laid out in the objectives and then comparing the two. It’s marketing 101, but for some reason, we choose to ignore this in the realm of social media. However, determining success of a social media effort, like anything else, is impossible without clearly defined objectives.
Social media is easy to use but difficult to succeed with. It’s incredibly accessible, intuitive and free. There’s very little stopping a marketer from establishing a brand presence on social channels, and it’s easy to act now and ask questions later in this constantly evolving social ecosystem.
But moving forward with a tactic and no questions answered is like hitting the road, flooring it and finding yourself 300 away from where you started, out of gas and with no idea where you were going in the first place. Why did you start driving? Where were you trying to go? A tactic without direction will not magically turn into something worthwhile.
As much as I believe in social media marketing, it’s important to note that it does not deliver results overnight, replace traditional marketing or bring miracle results without a plotted course or strategy. Social media, like any other marketing effort, requires clear and measurable objectives and goals:
- Understand what you’re trying to accomplish in the form of objectives. Remember, social media may not be the right channel depending on what you want to get out of it.
- Tie goals to the objectives with clear and measurable metrics, timelines and alignment on accountability.
- Measure performance against those objectives that were aligned upon before a campaign began.
One should always be able to say why his or her business is investing in social media (and any other marketing channel). Don’t embark to see what will happen. Otherwise, you won’t know if anything did.