By now, you already know that your business needs a social media presence. But if you aren’t aiming for the right goals, you might as well shut down your page.
What purpose do your social media posts serve in your overall business plan? Are “likes” an end unto themselves? Or are you aiming for something more?
Sure, it’d be nice to have a million followers. But if that follower count isn’t translating to an increase in business, what does it matter?
If your social media strategy isn’t leading to an increase in offline social media conversions, it’s time to turn the ship around.
Let’s talk about why it matters.
Before we get any further, let’s define exactly what we’re talking about.
As business owners, we’re all familiar with conversions: the moment when someone’s interest goes beyond mere curiosity and converts into action—usually a transaction.
Most of us probably have conversion points on our website.
We have online stores, contact forms, and the like. And that data is usually pretty easy to keep track of. We can see which ads got clicks to which landing pages and where customers went from there.
It’s incredibly important to keep track of these conversions—but they only show part of the story.
Because unless your business only exists online, you also have a fair share of offline social media conversions. Someone sees an ad on Facebook and they give you a phone call, or they come into your brick-and-mortar to buy it in person.
And if you aren’t keeping track of that data, that’s a huge part of your business plan that you’re not analyzing.
One of the most important parts of analyzing your conversions is by mapping out the customer journey.
The Customer Journey is a fancy term that refers to all of the touchpoints that a customer passes through when they interact with your business.
Put yourself in the customer’s position. Imagine seeing your company’s social media campaign. What motivates you to click through? What are you looking for? Do you find it when you click through?
Or imagine walking into your business for the first time. How’s the curb appeal? What do you see when you open the door? What grabs your eye?
There’s a good chance that you’re already thinking about this. But we tend to map out separate customer journeys for online or physical shoppers.
When we do that, we miss the impact of certain parts of our digital marketing strategy—and that impact is important to track.
So how do we find that data? After all, it’s a lot harder to run analytics on a flesh-and-blood human in your store.
Luckily, there are a few valuable tools that you can use.
Quick: what’s the easiest way to figure out what brought a customer to your business?
You ask them.
Customer surveys are nothing new in the world of business. But their value hasn’t diminished at all through the digital revolution.
Customers will willingly give you valuable data just because you asked.
Ask customers how they heard about your business. Ask if there was a particular post or advertisement that brought them in.
There are different ways to ask them too. You could ask for an email address and send out a digital survey. You could print out postcard size surveys that you hand to customers as they’re checking out.
Or, you could just ask them.
Strike up some small talk at the register, and you might be surprised how willing they are to talk to you about how your social media ads hit them at just the right time. Just remember to keep a record of this information somewhere.
Apps like FourSquare may not get much use these days, but checking in on social media is just as hot as ever.
When people go out and about, it’s common for them to check in on Facebook or Instagram to let their followers know what they’re up to. You’ve probably had a number of customers check in at your own location.
But have you considered that those check-ins are a result of your online marketing?
Think about it. When someone checks in to your business, it’s because they saw something about your business and decided to take action. They got off of their butt, went outside, and actually visited your store.
Check-ins are a tangible way to track a return on investment.
So start tracking them. When you start a new campaign, pay attention to the number of check-ins. When they go up, you know your ads are working. When they go downwell, you get it.
Facebook recently introduced a new tool specifically designed to help businesses track their offline conversions.
When you start a new campaign, you can add an offline event set. As the campaign runs, you can add offline customer data to the online campaign to see how it performs in the real world.
If you think of your own buying habits, it might be a little more complicated than simply seeing an ad and then walking into the shop.
You might see a great pair of jeans on your Instagram feed from a local boutique. You double tap it to give it a heart, but you don’t go any further.
A couple of days later, you’re reading one of your favorite blogs on your lunch break and see an ad for the same boutique. The targeted ad algorithm knows that you interacted with that boutique previously, so they show it to you again.
You’re still interested in the jeans, but your break is over, so you put your phone in your pocket and forget about it.
Two weeks later, you notice, to your horror, that your favorite pair of jeans have a hole in the inner thigh, and they won’t be decent for much longer. You need a new pair.
You remember that pair of jeans you saw on Instagram and search Google to find the boutique’s address. You walk in, try on a few pairs, and make a purchase.
Last-Click Attribution might give Google the credit for that sale. You searched for the store and made the purchase. But in reality, your customer journey started over two weeks ago when you first saw that Instagram post.
Using the Offline Events tool, you’d be able to trace your customers’ journeys through those long and winding roads, which would give you a much better picture of how your social media campaigns are performing.
Facebook has a helpful how-to page here.
We all want to make sure that our digital marketing is getting us a good return on our investment.
But if you aren’t keeping track of your offline social media conversions, you might be shooting in the dark.
Tracking how your social media followers interact with your business in the real world can give you a much better picture of the impact of your ad campaigns.
If you’re in over your head, don’t worry. We’d love to chat about helping you maximize the ROI of your social media marketing. Contact us today!