Do You Worry That Social Media Marketing Is Not Worth Your Time or Money?
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Do You Worry That Social Media Marketing Is Not Worth Your Time or Money?
Kate Gingold
/ Categories: The Sprocket Report

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Do You Worry That Social Media Marketing Is Not Worth Your Time or Money?

While you read all the chatter on social media marketing, you might be wondering if it's all just hype. Regardless of the various “expert” opinions, what’s most important is how YOUR bottom line is doing.

Running a small business can be a rollercoaster of hard work and on-the-fly decisions are just part of the game. But before you make a quick judgment on whether your social media marketing is a worthy investment or just money down the drain, take the time to fully evaluate where you are now, where you have been, and where you want to go.

There are many free and budget-friendly tools out there to help you make a well-informed decision rather than just throwing in the towel. Choosing and setting up the right one might be an initial hurdle, so don't hesitate to seek a little help to get past the set-up stage and learn how to assess the data. Individual social media platforms usually have their own analytics reports you can access, although the paid tools make it easier to look at the reports from all your platforms at once.

These tools can show you what kind of following your business has and which posts are getting the most engagement which will help you figure out what you should be doing more of or stop doing. But the activity on individual platforms is not really your end goal. What you need to determine is if your social media engagement translates into action in your store or on your website to provide a boost in sales. Don’t just rely on your gut feeling. Compare your actual financial statements with your online analytics to see if there is a correlation.

One way to track how sales directly relate to your social media efforts is to offer special coupons and deals exclusively for your social media audience. Using a link or code that sends them to a unique landing page is an easy way to track leads. And don't be shy when you do make a sale. Go ahead and ask your customers, "How did you hear about us?"

Of course, even the best social media marketing doesn’t guarantee that sales will follow. There are many reasons why a customer might not complete the entire journey to the cash register. It could be that the price point is too high or they got distracted by something else. Fine-tune your process by evaluating the entire sales funnel on a regular basis.

While social media companies are continuing to make it easier for people to buy straight from their platforms, social media marketing’s main strengths are still branding, buzz, and lead generation. Use this power to fill the funnel with more – and more targeted – prospective customers. It only makes sense that proportionately more prospective customers should equal proportionately more sales.

If you haven’t done any social media marketing before, don’t be tempted to quit too soon. Activity may start slow and will need time to build traction, but those first results can be exciting. After all, if you engage 5 responses during the first period and add 5 more during the next, you’ve increased 100%! Sure, adding another 5 is only a 50% increase, but the important thing is to keep growing. Being consistent in your social media efforts is vital. You will be shocked to see how quickly you lose ground if you slack off.  

Sprocket Websites advocates using social media, but we want to help you do it right. It’s too easy to become disillusioned when you can’t tell if the work you’re doing is paying off or not. Let us help you choose marketing goals, set up a way to measure your progress, and find guidance through the best practices maze that is social media marketing. Give us a call today to find out how we can be your business’s partner.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

This article is an update to “How Can I Tell if My Social Media Is Working?” dated 8/17//2015.

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

Other posts by Kate Gingold
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Full biography

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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