That’s the question you should ask of any social media initiative; is anyone actually listening and how are you measuring these channels, and is what you are measuring actually helpful, meaningful? This form of media has now become an integral part of our lives and continues to evolve. A few years ago the emphasis was on B2B companies being active and creating pages on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter… now the conversation has swung and is moving towards the idea that every marketing campaign must be social.

With every month that passes there seems to be an endless stream of new channels, terminologies and the dialogue can be fascinating. But it can be very easy to get caught up with the new innovations and forget about what you’re currently doing. It seems that before you have got to grips with one channel there is another one to topple that, and it requires your undivided attention. However, in most cases the stream of new channels get in the way of making social media meaningfully measurable as we are too busy ‘doing’ social and trying to figure the best way of using them.

As the digital world keeps expanding (let’s not forget you are dealing with email, website, PPC, SEO, remarketing, and content to name a few) it is very easy to get overloaded and overlook the key reason you attempted social in the first place.

Interestingly the “social” nature of these channels are really useful for engaging prospects and customers (here’s a really useful infographic summing up the 6 major social channels). Rather than the dodgy reputation that haunts sales departments (“why are they not listening to me? Maybe it’s end of month and they need to hit their commission”), social media allows you to build a relationship in an informal, personable, low-pressured way. Sounds like a good thing to do right…?

Also social media is evolving from company-buyer into peer-to-peer influence. A recent Nielsen Survey showed that only 33% of buyers believe what a brand has to say about itself, because people view any brand-to-buyer communication as an advertisement. So peer-to-peer word of mouth is an effective way for reaching far beyond your initial database. This type of word-of-mouth is one of the most credible forms of advertising, because people who don’t stand to gain personally by promoting something put their reputations on the line, by telling other people how much they like a business, product, service or event.

However all this is pretty academic unless you have a way of measuring this engagement and have made sure your channels are fit for purpose in the first place. In our research we found that most B2B marketers fall into one of two camps when it comes to social media marketing. 1) Those not doing it and thinking it is a waste of time and 2) Those doing it and wondering if it is a waste of time.

It’s that niggling feeling that there must be a way to make social media work that just won’t go away. In our experience that uncertainty is born out of a total lack of meaningful measurement.

Social media has a whole range of self-fulfilling metrics that enable those charging for their social media services to justify their own existence. The value of a retweet to the bottom line of your business is quite intangible.

Like any marketing activity, we must be able to track and measure its ROI. What is it delivering to the business in terms of opportunities? You cannot improve what you cannot measure after all.

So we have created a whitepaper to help you get the most out of you social media and make sure you are able to ascertain what value it is providing to your business.

But before you download the whitepaper, I’ll leave you with one question. Do you know what UTMs are and do you use them? If you answer ‘no’ I would suggest you do some googling (or download the whitepaper) as it is one of the most underuse and undervalued things in digital marketing. Every digital piece of content you produce should tracked and encoded with a full set of UTM values to help you understand how much that content is being accessed, when they’re accessed, and via which (social) channel.

The paper covers the five key areas below – I hope enjoy the read and find it useful.

  • Social Profiles: First Impressions Count
  • Audiences: Follow You, Follow Me
  • Content: A Kingsize Challenge
  • Analytics: Meaningful Measurement
  • Conclusion: Managing the Marketing Mix

Take me to the whitepaper (yes, this link carries UTM values!)