Since the onset of social media in 2007, brands have known there is value to be extracted from sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. At the same time, they’ve struggled to measure the return on investment of their social marketing efforts and justify their spend in these channels.
Even still in 2016, proving social media ROI remains the number one challenge for brand marketers, according to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.
During my 12+ years working as a brand marketer, I have worked for large Fortune 500 companies who used light metrics to measure social media efforts – such as followers and the total reach of a campaign. I have also worked for high-growth startups who wanted to drive accounts using social media, utilizing social media as more of an acquisition channel.
Which approach is correct? The truth is, they both are. Social media should be seen as both a brand awareness and acquisition channel, and metrics should be associated accordingly. Here’s how to use and track social media within these two important marketing metrics: