Is Social Media A Measurable Investment?

It’s important to understand what sort of goals you want to achieve for your company before you set out promoting it.  Otherwise, there’s no way for you to know when you’re succeeding and when you’re failing – something everyone in business needs to know so they can change tactics rather than get swept away because what they’re doing isn’t working.

There are times when keeping track of the effectiveness of something like social media can be overdone to the point of being more detrimental than helpful, but even then you still need to be able to tell whether or not your efforts are being wasted.  It gets delicate in social media, admittedly, because of how much less inclined people are to identify themselves when subject to an audience – that’s what’s behind feelings of stage fright.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t negate the fact that you need to know whether the money you’re putting into a social media campaign is actually worth it.  No matter whether they’re big or small, companies can’t afford to invest hard-earned money on intangible benefits.  There has to be a real payoff in order to justify the expense.  Fortunately, this doesn’t have to involve any kind of “pop quiz” where a company’s clients have to say whether they decided to do business because of something like a page on Facebook.

Part of the complication is that more people are going to see your website than just the people who “like” it on Facebook.  The friends of anyone who interacts with your site are going to see them doing it, which may inspire them to give your company a chance even if they don’t jump on the bandwagon on social media.

There are other ways to learn whether an SM campaign is successful or not, though.  Tracking cookies are an obvious step, although they can be hampered by people deleting their stored cookies after a while.  Modest coupons, published only through a single SM outlet, can be another way to learn what you need to know – people love bargains, and they’re sure to use the coupon next time they do business with you if they’re following you on that particular SM site.

The point is this:  if you want your social media efforts to be a success, you can’t pressure people into giving you the assurance that it’s working; but you also can’t ignore all methods of confirmation, because that risks bankruptcy if your SM isn’t working at all.  A balance in between is what you need in order to use social media successfully.  That way, you can keep what’s working and replace what isn’t and benefit from social media and what it has to offer for businesses.

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