A recently published study by Dr. Rajesh Gopalakrishnan, assistant professor at the School of Business at the University of Florida was entitled “Social Media Marketing KPIs: How to Determine Them”, and this study comes as a timely reminder for all marketing managers across various verticals to adopt the same kind of strategic thinking and planning that have worked wonderfully for others in your vertical. In the past, there were many “quick-fixes”, or what we termed as social media marketing solutions, that simply did not work very well. Many companies spent significant resources on such marketing initiatives, only to see their ROI diminished as soon as the promotional machinery had left their premises. This is because no matter how well-planned, structured and executed, these marketing initiatives simply did not have the staying power that many experts in the field of online and Internet marketing and advertising believe they do.
What was lacking in those quick-fix solutions was an understanding of the true value of social media marketing and advertising. In fact, it was something that these companies had never before been able to attain as the market dynamics and trends were changing at breakneck speed. Now, however, that the dust has settled and the dust-machines that had been lying dormant in cyberspace for some years have been turned out, we can see that the same winning formula is still the most effective way to promote your business and services. Dr. Gopalakrishnan provides solid recommendations and practical guidance in this report. His research and academic background, as well as his in-depth experience with social media marketing KPIs will undoubtedly serve as a valuable resource for marketing managers of all stripes.
First of all, we need to understand what social media is and why it is important. Dr. Gopalakrishnan identifies five distinct advantages of using social media as a marketing tool. First, it allows you to interact directly with your prospective customers and target your communication, unlike any other medium. This would surely improve the chances of converting leads into loyal and ongoing customers. In addition, it creates a highly visible online presence which would instantly create brand awareness.
Second, the increased level of trust and loyalty that comes from regularly interacting with customers and clients through media channels would positively impact sales. It is also a direct reflection of the image you project to the outside world. The Internet is full of social media sites that allow people to share their opinions and experiences with all their friends and colleagues. These platforms provide a gateway to your potential customers, thereby boosting your reputation and increasing your sales. And this is where Dr. Gopalakrishan’s expertise comes in.
Third, social interaction is also crucial in building the brand identity. This is because consumers get a chance to hear and reflect on the personality and persona of the company. This is done through social media forums and discussions. Such interaction also makes people aware of the different products and services that the company is offering. This would surely help the consumer decide whether they should opt for your product or service or not.
Now that we have understood the reasons behind the existence of KPIs, let us see how they can help you achieve social media marketing success. Firstly, consider a company whose aim is to improve customer relations. Let us assume that such a company is run by a corporate manager who is obsessed with customer satisfaction. Under such a scenario, the KPIs would focus on reducing problems faced by the customers and providing solutions for them. Ideally, the company should look into three issues when planning strategies: satisfaction, learning and engagement. Let us now take a look at how such a company could use the KPI tools.
First off, it would be important for such a company to ensure that the level of social interactivity is high. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are good platforms for businesses to gather feedback on their products and services. By gathering feedback from actual consumers through their comments or testimonials, the managers would be able to understand the challenges they have encountered and come up with solutions for it. This in turn would result in enhanced levels of satisfaction amongst the users and would encourage more people to use those particular media tools.
Achieving social media marketing success is not an easy task. There are many elements that have to be properly weighted in order for KPIs to be effective. If you are looking to improve your brand reputation and take your business to the next level, then using the KPI solution outlined above would be a wise move. These are just a few of the benefits that you stand to enjoy once you implement such an approach in your media marketing strategy.