Why every social media marketer needs a measurement plan

12 May 2017

Social media marketing has grown up.

Organic social marketing has become business hygiene for B2B marketers – akin to publishing press releases to their website.

“[Generating] sustained success in social marketing now requires paid advertising.” That’s a quote from Gartner by the way – so it’s not just us saying this.

Marketers understand that social networks are now pay-to-play, and they’re investing on a massive scale.

Our B2B social media advertising report from last September highlighted the scale of this investment, with global spending on paid social media marketing forecast to reach £36bn this year – that’s 20% YoY growth.

If you’ve invested in paid social media then you’ve likely made a good decision, but you need a strong measurement framework in place to demonstrate the returns on that spend.

2016 research by The CMO Survey found that only 11.5% of senior US marketers could prove the quantitative impact of their social media marketing spend, and while many marketers are still operating in the dark, these days are surely numbered. An inability to demonstrate ROI in social media marketing is no longer acceptable.

Building a measurement plan is a key first step in this process. Only by defining KPIs in advance can you identify and fix potential issues with your reporting before your campaign runs, and be confident you’ll have what you need to optimize your activity and demonstrate success.

With that in mind, here are our 7 tips to building a successful reporting strategy:

  1. Agree your objectives up front (and get management buy-in).
  2. List out your tactics (if there was ever use for a whiteboard, this is it…)
  3. Identify the KPIs through which you can demonstrate the success of each tactic.
  4. Select the tools you need to measure each KPI.
  5. Set SMART targets for each KPI (and don’t shy away from them).
  6. Agree and commit to a schedule for reporting and improvement.
  7. Don’t forget to test your tracking before you start your campaign (otherwise your good intentions may count for nothing).

To help with this process, we’ve launched the B2B marketer’s quick guide to measuring social media marketing. The guide expands each of 7 tips above, with practical advice for building a comprehensive reporting strategy that demonstrates ROI for your business.

Understand which measurement tools to use, and which to avoid. Learn how to tell a Key Performance Indicator from a pointless vanity metric, and understand the challenges of converting your data into insight.

Click below to download the report.

If you decide to test these ideas, make sure to get in touch. This guide is based on our experiences using these platforms and tools on global programs for major brands. As such, we have a host of case studies that illustrate our points, and we would love to talk you through them.