Measuring social media for small business can be challenging. Without a direct return on investment, social media can seem like a time-consuming and pointless task at times. Yet there are major benefits for small businesses for creating and maintaining a presence on social media. Measuring social media the right way can help determine and prioritize social media tasks. We talked to Scott Lipow of Six7 Marketing , a digital and social media marketing firm, about the best ways to plan and measure social media for small business.
EX:What is the most important factor a small business should know about social media marketing?
SL: Building your social media identity takes a lot of time, years. There are no short-cuts to generating an authentic audience. The relationships must be nurtured. Deliver worthwhile, meaningful content and the engagement will follow.
EX: Explain customer acquisition value in terms of social media for small business and why it’s important.
SL: Measuring return on investment is the holy grail of marketing. Every business seeks to justify its marketing budget. To do so, you must pinpoint what a new customer is worth — in dollars — for your business. This becomes tricky when the acquisition value of a new customer can vary depending on different purchase behavior. For example, one customer may purchase $500 in goods or services while another purchases $1,000. Here, the average acquisition value is $750 — however what does that mean for your marketing decisions? Clearly the $1,000 customer is worth more to your business, so more budget should be allocated toward promoting that aspect of your business. With the aggregation of reliable data, you can determine a ‘lifetime’ customer value. What if you’re able to confidently forecast that the $500 customer will remain a customer for the next 5 years and you are much less likely see the $1,000 customer after that first transaction? Where should the marketing budget be focused then? A more sophisticated approach is required. This is what separates the marketing winners and losers.
EX: Why should small businesses consider social media just for brand awareness?
SL: Brand awareness leads to brand loyalty — which is the lifeblood of a healthy, thriving company. Repeat customers translate to dependable revenue, but also word of mouth referrals which is a most precious marketing achievement.
EX: How much time per week should a small business plan on for social media?
SL: It’s important to remain active for your users to stay top-of-mind, but don’t post just to post. Remember that each interaction should deliver value.
EX: Explain how social media for small business helps SEO?
SL: The search engines — particularly Google — do not publicize how they determine where your website is positioned in the search results. There are many different factors and it is believed that consistent activity on social media is beneficial for search optimization. By frequently interacting across various social channels in a meaningful fashion, your business signals to search engines that it is active, legitimate and credible.
EX: When should a small business consider outsourcing social media?
SL: Many businesses do not possess the in-house resources to dedicate a team for maintaining a strong social media identity. In these scenarios, an outside agency (like Six7 Marketing) should be considered. Typically, our clients reach a pivotal point in their growth and ask themselves: should we hire a full-time marketing staff, or partner with Six7 Marketing to serve as an extension of our brand for a fraction of the cost?