What Is Engagement Really Worth On Social Media?

Measuring Social Media EngagementYou might ask “What is Engagement Really Worth On Social Media?” or even “What Is A Retweet or Like Really Worth To Your Business?”

The more common question I am asked is always “What is the ROI and Social Media or How do you measure the ROI on Social Media?”

Short answer to that question – if you have not established a marketing plan with SMART goals then you cannot measure your ROI on social media, or anything else for that matter. This is an important topic, which we answered in a little more detail here in a previous post: When will I see results from social media marketing?

But, for now let’s talk about the value of social media engagement.

The Value of Social Media Engagement

If you’ve set up a Facebook and Twitter account for your small or medium-sized business, you have the potential to become fixated on getting “likes” and “retweets.”

A “like” allows a Facebook user to indicate support for a comment you made. The reader can tell you they appreciate what you said without having to write an actual comment.

The great thing about likes is that once a user likes something, their news feed lets their friends know that pages they liked.

When you are retweeted, it means that a Twitter user has repeated your original message to their followers. It is a simple endorsement of your message, a compliment that the user finds what you are saying is relevant and they want others to hear it.

You know there are great benefits to relationship building, and these responses from your readers are encouraging and reward the time you spend creating content for your sites.

But what are they really worth to your business? How does a “like” or “retweet” translate into actual business and dollars and cents sales?

Does all social media just fall into some “out there” field of marketing where you scatter a lot of messages and hope some get heard and generate sales? Or is it something you can measure and compare and learn to do better?

If you are confused about whether your time and financial investment in social media is contributing to your bottom line, you are not alone. According to the data visualization and analytics company SumAll (www.SumAll.com), 52 percent of marketers have trouble measuring their Return on Investment (ROI) from social media.

Some starting numbers for retweets

The same firm suggests that the overlap between followers and customers for business is less than four percent.

So what is a Retweet really worth? The range offered by analytics experts ranges from $25.62 all the way down to $0.005.  In other words, it varies greatly from business to business. The general rule in social media marketing is that a successful Twitter campaign can add about 1 to 2 % to your business revenue each year.

Surveys conducted by Twitter indicate that about 60 percent of Twitter followers make a purchase from a small or medium sized business based on something they saw on Twitter, and 86 percent of survey respondents indicate they plan to purchase something in the future. A total of 43% of respondents said they plan to make multiple purchases from businesses they follow on Twitter.

A survey of 2,000 Facebook users who “liked” brands on Facebook concluded that translated into dollars and cents. A “like” is worth about $116 a year in sales to a company.

The survey, conducted by the social intelligence company Synapse, concluded that Facebook fans spend more money on brands they like than those they don’t bother to like. As an average, a Facebook fan will spend $136.38 more on a company a year than a customer who is not a follower on Facebook who “likes” the brand.

Those who liked brands on social were also 18% more satisfied with the brand and 11% more apt to continue buying it.

Not for profit agencies who use social media heavily as they often need to market without any actual marketing budget also offer insight into the value of a “like.” According to the Nonprofit Social Networking Benchmark Report, the average value of a like in donations from a supporter in the 12 months that follows the like iy s $214.81.

Can you take these figures to the bank? Of course not; there are so many variables between businesses and products that you would have to use your own analytics to figure out your own unique situation.

But there are things you can start to do now to get more retweets and likes.

Ways to optimize your social media responses on Facebook

Create enticing calls to action. Develop a series of giveaways from ebooks to infographics to coupons and tailor them to each content offering.

Make those calls to action precise and short. The best calls to action, according to studies should be less than 150 characters.

Make sure your company has also taken steps to nurture your connections into clients. According to Marketing Sherpa, 79% of marketing leads are never converted to sales because the company does take the time to reach out to try and build a relationship and establish closer connections.

It’s pointless to create content and use strategies to get retweets and likes and have no follow-up strategy to reach out and bring these new followers closer into your community.

If you want to get your participation numbers up, offer your followers incentives to like you or retweet you. For example, a basic contest can achieve some amazing results. This can be used very effectively to promote sale items or tickets for an event.

Suppose your business is sponsoring a public event. You offer a chance to win two tickets to the event to anyone willing to retweet the promotion for it. You not only generate a great response, but in the process, you will reach thousands more potential buyers.

Then you have a chance to retweet with the name of the winner, and possibly even another retweet of a photo of the winner at the event. You can see how a simple thing can escalate into a major campaign.

How to generate more retweets on Twitter

Some suggestions to generate more of a response to your tweets include making sure that you talk with people, not at them. Keep your voice conversational and professional, but let your tone vary to match the occasion. It can be excited if you are launching a contest or sympathetic if you are responding to negative criticism.

Steer far away from the jargon of your business. Keep your words clear and understandable. Think about what would make you want to share something with your own friends. It would have to be relevant, clever, funny or topical, so your business content should reflect that.

Twitter’s resource guide for business offers some great suggestions as to how to succeed using Twitter for business.

Be sure to add links to great blogs, including your own. Remember that “link clicks” are the biggest way that Twitter users interact with content and account for the highest percentage of content shared.

Ask a question. Many followers feel compelled to respond. If you can make it provocative or pertaining to something everyone is talking about that day, your response will go through the roof.

Always Be Testing and Measuring

Social media is an ever changing, fluid creation of words floating over the Internet on a variety of sites and in a variety of formats.

There is no way you are going to get it right every time, but with persistence you will get it right more often than not.

Experiment with your messages and strategies and watch your analytics. If you get a surge in “likes” or “retweets,” analyze what you did, evaluate the type and topic of the content and why it worked and then develop a template to do it again and again.

Stay social. Until next time. I wish you continued success.

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