How can you tell if your company’s social media efforts are worth it? Tracking the return on your company’s social media efforts can be elusive, disheartening and time consuming. That is, if you don’t know how to properly track your efforts. Worst mistake ever? Not bothering to track at all.

Social media platforms are constantly shape-shifting with algorithms that a savvy marketer must always stay ahead of. With a little targeted effort, businesses can effectively learn where to place their resources when it comes to maximizing their return on social media marketing.

Huge Mistakes: Not Tracking or Tracking the Wrong Numbers

Utilizing analytics in your social media marketing plans is a crucial piece to the big picture plan. If your company does not have Google Analytics set up on your website, it’s time to immediately do so. The data is invaluable and will begin to accumulate, showing you a diverse set of trends which you can immediately tap into.

Another mistake is tracking the “wrong numbers.” So, what numbers should your company be tracking? First, define your goals. Do you want to collect email addresses by advertising a free report or allowing prospects to sign up for a free consultation? If so, create a landing page on your website specifically for that purpose. Next, review the section of Google Analytics relating to “referral” traffic to that page. You’ll see that Google Analytics creates a list of the top places online that your prospects found that specific page. If the social media platforms you advertised or promoted on led to that landing page, you can start to see where your efforts should be directed.

Finally, add up the total cost of your social media efforts including employee costs, your personal time and company resource expenditures while comparing that to the number of prospects you were able to funnel into your free product. Finally, compare those figures to the number of prospects who later purchased a product from you. If that final dollar amount is greater than the loss of the effort used to create the social media campaign, then your marketing efforts are returning a positive ROI.

Track regularly and tweak your efforts toward those results. Soon you will be an effective, streamlined social media machine.

Tools of the Trade: Technology for Social Media ROI Tracking

Google Analytics are incredible intuitive and necessary for every website to really see how your business is checking out online. Besides monitoring bounce rates and popular pages, the potential of Google Analytics to give you the view you need on your online performance is incredible.

Once you have it set up on your website, another advanced social media ROI tracker can come into play. LiftMetrix is a program that reads data, translating it into various comprehensive reports to be able to capture the best of your content marketing and drive you towards what your audience wants to see.

Not sure why one post performed better than another? Want to test two sets of content to a split group of your Facebook followers? Need to be up to date on the constantly changing social media algorithm landscape? Get information on best content for your industry, perform split testing and get immediate advice when a social media platform changes by using LiftMetrix in addition to your Google Analytics tracking.

Using the best tools of the trade to monitor your company’s social media marketing is the best way to systemize and make sure that you are allocation resources properly in your social media plan, and that the money you are investing into it is coming back to you at a higher rate.

Best Practices: What are the Most Useful Social Media Platforms

The answer to figuring out which of the plentitude of social media platforms to use for your company varies by industry. For many B2B businesses, LinkedIn is a great tool to use for relationship building and prospect targeting. By locating and connecting with people who match your company’s demographic, you begin to tap into a database full of eligible prospects.

In addition to online conversions via LinkedIn, the platform can also be used to make valuable relationships that increase your personal, local network and allow you to meet even more of their connections through their online profile and affiliated groups.

After LinkedIn, for many industries, Facebook is the leader as one of the best platforms to direct traffic back to website landing pages and online sign-ups. According to the latest numbers, there are over 968 million daily active Facebook users. The mammoth player in the social media world is certainly an important platform for all businesses.

Finally, your company’s best practices when it comes to social media should always involve a strategy that aligns with business goals, rather than simply posting content. Remember that social media is a social platform above all things. One-way conversations with your audience, such as blindly posting content, or worse, blindly posting promotional pieces, is never going to work on social media. You must create a strategy that inspires and engages your audience. A strategic plan, combined with an intuitive tracking system equal the keys to enhancing your company’s ROI and ROE, crucial to making sure your company’s social media marketing efforts are right on target toward success.