How to Measure B2B Social Media Marketing

February 15, 2013 by

Measure Social MediaWe know social media is the “it” thing. We all need to be there. We understand that social media is about engaging in conversation with current or potential customers (versus traditional marketing which is talking at them), but for B2B companies it's sometimes hard to define who is talking about your product and where.

It's easy to think  - my product isn't fun or sexy, so why engage in social media? Really, nobody wants to read about {insert your product here} - I'm here to explain what success you could have with social media in a B2B landscape and give you the exact ways on how to measure it.

Over the last few years many companies jumped into social media because it was the next big shinny object. After claiming their brand page, they started shouting out marketing messages better suited for traditional media. Not much thought was put into defining objectives or creating success measurements. These same companies are still struggling to realize how social media works to increase leads and sales, especially in B2B industries.

1. Establish Goals

The first step to realize this is to define your goals and objectives. Overall, most companies have three main goals regardless of your industry or what you sell:

  1. Increase sales - or for many B2B companies this means increase leads which will increase sales
  2. Decrease cost - which is achieved by increasing the number of leads at the lowest cost
  3. Improve customer experience - the easiest sale is the repeat sale, so keep your customers happy and you will be happy too

2. Define Metrics

Once your goals for social media are established, a few of the many useful metrics to track social media success are as follows:

  • Amount of reach based on impressions
  • Shift in buzz over time
  • Social mentions of competition's brand vs own
  • Buzz by social channel
  • Growth of fans, followers or friends
  • Rate of sharing/re-tweeting
  • Embeds or installs of apps/programs
  • Downloads
  • Views of videos
  • Comments
  • Social bookmarks
  • Increase in branded organic traffic
  • Referral traffic to your site from social media sites
  • Registration for webinars

Now that I’ve cleared up the misconception that you can’t measure anything within social media the question is how do you decide what to track?

RELATED CLASS: 10 Essential Elements of a Mature Social Media Marketing Strategy

Goal: Brand Awareness

Increase your brand awareness and establish your company as the B2B industry leader in your market, which will help nurture leads and increase sales

1. Do this by creating content that helps address your prospects' concerns and publish it on your blog, send it out in your email newsletter, tweet it, post it on your LinkedIn & Facebook page as a status update with a link to read the full article on your blog. One piece of information can go a long way.

2. Comment on forums and answer LinkedIn questions about your industry to be seen as a B2B industry leader without selling or pitching your company or product. Present yourself as a thought leader and people will naturally want to learn more.

Best Measurements

  • Increased traffic to your blog articles
  • Increased branded searches
  • Increased fans, followers
  • Shares & re-tweets
  • Increased engagement with emails

Goal: Increased Customer Satisfaction

Increase customer satisfaction by staying in front of customers & creating an open dialogue

1. Stay connected by sending out a monthly newsletter with industry and company news so people remember your company and what you do.

2. Respond quickly to any questions or concerns posted on Facebook. Every company has an issue now and again. It shows your commitment to customer satisfaction if you respond quickly (Bonus tip: Setup Google Alerts to receive an email anytime someone mentions your brand name).

Best Measurements

  • Increased engagement (forwards, opens and clickthroughs) with newsletter content
  • Increased campaign traffic to website monitored in Google Analytics by UTM coded newsletter links.
  • Increased positive comments on social sites

These two goals can really help any business whether B2B or B2C business get started in social media regardless of your product or services. Just remember even though one of the best aspects of social media is that most of the marketing efforts cost little upfront to implement, they demand time and effort from employees - who often have a lot of other responsibilities. If you start marketing on social media channels, make sure to secure the mind-power to make it grow.

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