marketing insights: The measure of a friend
Michelle BriseboisFeatures Business and Operations Marketing
David Ogilvy is famous for saying, “I know half of my advertising works.
. . . I just don’t know which half.” When it comes to measuring the
value social media marketing has on your brand, it can be tough to be
sure if tweets and “friends” are valuable marketing assets or simply
trendy accessories. First you need to establish your business objectives
and then determine how social media can support them.
David Ogilvy is famous for saying, “I know half of my advertising works. . . . I just don’t know which half.” When it comes to measuring the value social media marketing has on your brand, it can be tough to be sure if tweets and “friends” are valuable marketing assets or simply trendy accessories. First you need to establish your business objectives and then determine how social media can support them. Now that social marketing is finding its groove, many businesses are looking for ways to measure its impact. It really isn’t difficult and it doesn’t require a large expenditure but there are certain areas you should focus on to gauge your social marketing strategy’s success.
Conversion rates: Do shoppers become buyers?
The moment someone who’s considering a purchase decides to make the purchase is called the moment of conversion. Fewer followers who regularly purchase are much more valuable than a large group who never check in. You’ll need to have a way to measure when a lead comes from social media. Hootsuite has integrated Google Analytics into their URL shortener to make it easier for tweeters to trace their conversions to purchase from the Twitter feed. Try sending a special offer to your Twitter followers that invites them to come in and show the tweet on their mobile device to get the offer. The number will likely be fairly low in the beginning but by looking at conversions divided by leads, you can get your conversion rate for social media leads. Compare this against other marketing channels to see if it’s higher or lower.
A steady growth rate is good because it indicates that new people are finding your messaging. Anytime your business name gets flashed in front of someone’s eyes is a chance to develop awareness of your brand. It takes time to build a sustainable social media channel so establish realistic goals.
New customer acquisition
New customers are the fresh oxygen that keeps businesses healthy. Existing customers will move away or change their eating habits so you must always be replacing them and growing on top of that. During pre-shifts, direct your team to ask the customer with each order if they are new or have dined with you before. If they’re new, ask how they heard about you and track how many mention one of your social marketing tactics as the primary source. Survey Monkey is a great low-cost tool that allows you to create online surveys. Place a sticker on your pizza boxes that invites customers to take the survey online for a chance at a prize. The prize could be free pizza every Friday for a month. On the survey, ask how they heard about you to see if your social marketing efforts are driving the growth.
If new customers are the oxygen that feeds your growth, then existing customers are the lifeblood of your business. Common sense would suggest that a customer who engages in your brand messaging is “stickier” – in other words, more loyal. You can compare customers who follow you on Facebook or Twitter with those who simply interact with you when they place their order every so often. Keep a list of all the new customers you’ve recruited via social media and track them over time. Measure recency and frequency of purchase, then compare this against the control group of those who didn’t interact with social media. Is there a difference in behaviour?
Many businesses are using social media tools to address customer feedback online and this often includes managing complaints. Measure how many times your team addresses a customer concern. Maybe someone tweets that he or she has been waiting too long for delivery? Your team could tweet back that the car is “just five minutes away” and then you could tell the driver to give the customer a free soft drink or other reward. It’s easy to set up a search for your business name on Twitter, so if someone complains online you can see it quickly, respond and correct the negative impression. Customers aren’t complaining any more or less than they always were. Social media simply allows us to know about it and deal with it effectively.
Measure the average sale for a customer obtained through traditional marketing tactics and one captured via social marketing efforts. Is the average sale greater for the social media group? Are they responding to bundled offers or enticing descriptions of your latest upscale pizza? If you place a traditional advertisement for the same offer, you’ll be able to see the difference.
In the final analysis, social media allows us to talk about pizza more often, think about pizza more often and, one would hypothesize, purchase pizza more often. It’s also a lot of fun and messages delivered with a side order of humour are more easily recalled, such as this memorable pizza-related tweet: “There should be a meat-liker’s pizza for those of us afraid of commitment.” •
Michelle Brisebois is a marketing professional with experience in the food, pharmaceutical, financial services and wine industries. She specializes in retail brand strategies.
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