How to Grow and Measure Your Social Media Influence

written by Anna Marie Imbordino, CEO Chicago Buzz Marketing

From Facebook to Twitter to Linkedin to Pinterest, social media platforms are taking up a bigger percentile of the marketing mix then ever seen before. Social media provides businesses with unparalleled opportunities to educate and interact with their target audiences. What once used to take 7 or 10 phone calls or coffee meetings, now takes a fraction of the relationship building time because of these fast and effective digital platforms. However, there are many misconceptions about how to use and measure these digital tools. And even though it is possible for page to go viral, and some pages may naturally grow faster and easier than others, it is important to remember that social media works as hard as you do. There are no magic wands, pills, or secret sauces to help you grow your page without effort, relationship building, and consistency. Sorry to say, but there are no magical “programs” that can automate likes and follows…plus, would you really want them if they existed? Your business does not grow because 100 people liked your facebook post. Your business grows because a percentile of those individuals received and acted upon the call to action (that should be) attached to your content. Worrying about the amount of followship, will only lead to empty vanity likes and no real action in return. So what should we look at to determine if a page is on track and converting well? Use these 7 techniques below to help grow and measure your social media influence.

  1. Become an analytics geek! Learn to utilize your built in page analytics. Every social media platform offers free, built in analytics to help track everything from page growth, to page interaction, to even call to action conversions. Using these free tools is the best and most consistent way to see if content is landing with your audience.
  2. Ditch the build it and they will come attitude! Do not wait for followers to come to you, actively both verbally ask and digitally request your network to like and follow your social media platforms. Programs like Facebook and LinkedIn are helpful in this as they allow you to directly connect and invite people through their invite share tools.
  3. Content is King! Focus on creating high quality, sharable content on your pages. All content is not created equal, and bad content may do substantial harm to your algorithm score if the platform feels it is “thin” or worse, marks it as spam. Not to mention consistently bad content either because it is not engaging or intrusively too frequent or sales driven, may result in that user unfollowing or even blocking you indefinitely.
  4. It’s all in who you know! Learn to leverage your activities and relationships within your social platform content. Something as simple as remembering to tag people, events, and movements, follow and follow back as your platform page, and offer links to brick and mortar places can help strengthen your content and reach new audiences. By connecting yourself to another person, place, or thing digitally, you gain passive access to their networks of followers.
  5. Be a goal setter! Set personal (realistic) growth goals, and measure effectiveness by quarter. Thinking in business quarters is in easy and measurable way to track marketing efforts on social media platforms. Analyzing heavily by week or individual post is not as beneficial as tracking quarters due to many factors. Primary factor being marketing simply does not work like that. Social media platforms do not function like a single advertisement you would see in a magazine or newspaper. They work on the premise that the content collectively over a period of time weaves a message that helps you understand the who, what, when, where, why of that business so the user can convert to a client or refer. In other words, your social media campaigns should be developing over time, with your call to actions needing numerous touches to convert, so it is important to remember that a single post will not be indicative of the success of the content.
  6. Be a brand, not a page! Keep your pages professional, but as personal as possible. Although users can get turned off by overly personal unpolished posts, they do enjoy seeing the personality and team behind the business or organization they are following. Do not be afraid to share team biographies, public relations materials, awards or networking fun, philanthropy projects, and other content with your networks. People want to work with people not “businesses.” So personify your brand as much as possible, helping your networks know and feel that YOU are there, not a bot or scheduling tool. Remembering to also share, retweet, like, and mention clients, partners, and community members helps encourage that personalized fuzzy feeling with your users.
  7. Create your own accountability tools! Develop your own market research experiments. You do not need to be with a fortune 500 company to run and analyze market research. Even a solopreneur can keep an excel document containing basic information about converted leads measuring information such as…How did they hear about you? If referred, by who and how long did it take for them to act? How far did they get in the sales process? Have they seen or heard about your current marketing campaigns? Are they actively utilizing your social media, e-blasts, blog, or other website tools? Have they provided any feedback to improve their purchasing behaviors; what type of content do they wish you offered?