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3 Steps for Marketers to Get More Out of Social Media Posts

3 Steps for Marketers to Get More Out of Social Media Posts

Capturing the return-on-investment (ROI) of social media is a challenge that's almost as old as the Internet itself. The reason comes down to basic consumer behavior. For one, shoppers engage with brands at multiple touch points, across a range of devices. And new digital technologies are lowering the barrier for startups to enter the market.

This landscape is creating a fragmented data picture, where information often lives in silos between teams. Not to mention, most of the data that marketers have access to remains unstructured, making it challenging to identify signals and patterns.

So how can you tackle the business-critical challenge of connecting brand storytelling through blogging, social media, and even offline channels to a purchase? Follow this three step process...

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STEP 1: Pick one specific business goal to track

One of the biggest challenges for marketers is the ability to transform fragmented data into a concise story. You can think of this situation as a bit of a chicken-egg dilemma: you need an initial set of data to understand what story you need to tell, but you also need a business story to structure your data.

That's why focus is key. As you begin collecting data, you can iterate your way towards a clear quantitative framework. Let's say that your company is a luxury mattress brand. Your sales process likely spans over an extended period of time with several years until the buyer is ready to make a second purchase.

Long-term engagement is key for this company to succeed in reaching its target customers. One way to use data actionably and creatively to achieve this goal? Categorize your posts.

Track how engagement signals such as replies and Reposts translate into long-term ROI by comparing these signals between the types of content you're sharing. Over time, this data will help you measure interest levels in the themes that your stories are covering.

STEP 2: Choose front-end and backend metrics to sanity-check one another

Focusing on one metric to measure engagement levels creates an inaccurate picture of how social media storytelling translates into long-term ROI.

That's why you need to align your front-end metrics (i.e. posts, Reposts, likes, etc) with sales. One simple technique is to implement a post-purchase survey. Simply ask your customers whether content and social media played a role in their purchase decisions. Then follow up with your customers for supplemental, qualitative information.

STEP 3: Simplify your analysis using net-promoter scores (NPS)

Happy customers and communities drive brand loyalty and engagement. That's why it's important to choose a metric that captures how consumers feel about your company and whether that metric is changing over time.

Net promoter scores are based on responses to one question: "How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?"

Respondents can provide a simple answer that you can use to compare with your front-end data. Calculating an NPS score is especially effective, in contrast to a conducting lengthier survey, for generating high response rates.

This can be a simple question that your brand posts. Or, your marketing team could conduct a formal survey. You can even tailor this question to your content strategy by asking whether your audience would share your stories.

After all, content is king, and engagement fuels more engagement.

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3 Steps for Marketers to Get More Out of Social Media Posts