But How Can I Tell It’s Working

You can’t really blame your clients for asking you, however nettlesome it may be. They are dumping a lot of money into a social media marketing campaign.

Everybody knows this by now: It can be so hard to measure the effectiveness of a Social media campaign that clients often lost hope and interest. I think the most important thing you can do is to repeatedly reiterate from the start that SMM is indirect marketing and that its results are very difficult to measure. You can’t assemble a sample study or a test group. Nobody ever answers those “How did you hear about us?” polls websites have. There are no taglines or jingles to get stuck in peoples’ heads.

The “indirect marketing” and “It’s going to take time” points really can’t be stressed enough. Even more than marketing, SMM is online branding. You might not ever know when one comment on one forum might send a client your way.

To me, sometimes SMM seems like the Internet version of “Deadwood.” But it doesn’t have to be. Think of analytics and statistics as restoring the order to this Bizarro World version of the wild, wild west. Ok, this metaphor is getting a little convoluted, but you get what I mean.

Analytics are the tangibles you can deliver your clients. Rely on the website’s host’s stats. Get Google Analytics. Use Feedburner when you can. Get several sources of stats to show your clients.

Even social bookmarking sites can help in this regard. Search Digg, Del.ico.us, Reddit and the like for your site or blog. It shows you how many people have bookmarked your content through their site or what content of yours is being submitted. This is as close to word-of-mouth as it’s going to get.

Set up as many newsfeeds as possible and check the number of subscribers. Submit any video content you have to YouTube and check that number, too.

Above all things, a SMM campaign takes time. Use every available stat and analytic service you can to keep your clients minds at ease while the campaign gains momentum and effectiveness.

The bottom line is to remind your clients that social media marketing isn’t like traditional marketing and advertising. The point is to spread brand awareness. Social media marketing still might seem a bit mysterious, but customers trust it for the same reason they trust word-of-mouth advertisement: They are hearing about it from other people like them. That can be more valuable than any tagline.

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 25th, 2008 at 11:23 am and is filed under Social Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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