Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Effectiveness, Measurement and Conversion in Social Media: Do On-line Marketers Get It?

Not many marketers of blue chip companies in Kenya understand these important aspects of social media; effectiveness, measurement and conversion. This is the reason why many leading brands in Kenya’s corporate sector have shied away from playing their game in the social media space. Yet, to justify why a brand should join social media, a marketer should be in a position to show how every marketing dollar used in social media would bring a return on investment.

Many brands only have a mere presence on social media, but no one can clearly demonstrate how it is adding value to the business. That is why you’ll find many companies have a twitter or Facebook page which is hardly updated.

Let’s delve into the issue of the effectiveness of social media in a business. Social media is effective for on-line surveillance, data mining, communication, reputation management, marketing and customer care among others. There’s a lot of value that a business can derive by actively engaging customers on Twitter by quickly solving their problems. Not only is it cheap, but saves time. If your brand is not doing it, the question is why?

How many brands have considered the amount of business intelligence and the data that they can mine by analysing customer’s online conversations about products or services? Data mining is today’s internet gold. How come the US government knows almost everything happening in every part of the world? The reason is because they’ve invested heavily in intelligence gathering.

For a brand to do data mining, it will require an on-line surveillance system and a dedicated data analyst whose work is to interpret the data collected to ensure it makes sense.

One of the greatest headaches for most on-line marketers today is the inability to convert followers, fans or site visitors into buyers. The best strategy when using social media is to ensure that your social media sites are not stand alone platforms, but should drive traffic to your website. In other words, your social media platforms and website must be integrated and shouldn’t appear to be doing separate things.

Once visitors land in your site, you can deal with the issue of conversion by setting a well-optimized landing page. To have high traffic in a website is useless if there is no call-to-action that will prompt people to do something once they land into your site. A good tactic is to request your site visitors to fill a form, buy a product or download a PDF file. That way, you are able to collect and build a database with contacts of your site visitors.

In conclusion, social media should be used to complement other marketing channels and not necessarily to be used alone. There are import parameters that can help you measure the impact of your social media marketing by looking at leads, site traffic, impressions, customer satisfaction and the level of conversion among others.

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