5 Reasons Your Social Media ROI Sucks

social fish
social fish

This post by Brian Carter is so awesome, I’m reposting it here in its entirety with permission.  It originally appeared here at the Brian Carter Group blog.


There are several failure points you need to watch out for:

1. You Have Lame Goals. Choose Better Ones.

Without a clear goal, you won’t know what to measure or if you’re successful.

Sometimes your social media goal doesn’t relate directly to bottom line revenue or profits, so you aren’t able to tie social success to a bottom line number. Because of theat, we recommend making your goal something closer to the bottom line, like lead gen or sales. Go beyond engagement and get them to your website.

Also, we recommend getting emails rather than more fans or followers. Emails are portable and cost less later on, given the need in Facebook to pay to promote your posts to your fans.

2. You’re Using The Wrong Metrics. Choose The Right Ones.

Without a key metric, you’ll get caught up in looking at the wrong numbers.

If you follow my goal-related advice above, your metric is going to be closer to the bottom line than reachor fan growth or post likes.

I’d like to see you use cost per lead or lead per impression or revenue or ROI.

3. Your Tracking Is Inaccurate. Go The Extra Mile To Track Accurately.

This is a problem everywhere. Almost always, you have to do something custom to track social media accurately. That can be as simple as adding URL Builder parameters to your URLs. It’s an extra step, but it makes a huge difference when you look at your analytics.

Otherwise, you’re probably only seeing 20% of your actual social traffic come up as “social”. It gets stuck in that “direct” category instead. That means 80% of your social traffic may not be visible in your analytics as “social”. That makes everything you do look bad.

It’s frustrating. Use the URL Builder tool.

Another option is to post to social with tools that track your results, such as BufferHootSuite or Rignite.

4. You’re Stuck In The Old “Big Idea” Mindset. Switch To Scientific Testing.

You need to have a scientific mindset, and rather than launching one campaign, test a bunch of smaller ideas. If you put all your eggs in one basket and fail, you have nothing else to rely on.

You wouldn’t put all your investments into one stock, you’d diversify. Do the same thing with your marketing.

5. You’re Ignoring Your Analytics. Evaluate and Adjust Your Direction Regularly.

Nothing you do matters much if you don’t review what works and doesn’t. If you never improve, your competition is going to crush you. The data you’re accumulating every day is a goldmine.

Once per week or month, go back and see which ads and posts and tweets and blog posts are working (in terms of your key metric), and which aren’t. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Also, make sure you’ve Facebookized Your Marketing.

Here’s an awesome infographic from Quick Sprout.

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