Social media is a crucial channel for B2B marketers.
Can you demonstrate the results of your efforts in plain English?
While social media is a prime place for content dissemination and lead generation, only 23% of marketers use social data to measure their ROI.
As with any other marketing channel, you need to be able to explain why it is worth investing in social media. This can ultimately increase your social media budget and secure more resources for future campaigns.
In this guide, you will learn exactly how you can measure and increase your B2B ROI for social media in the long term.
How to measure your ROI in B2B social media in 5 steps
The first is the first: you need to be able to highlight what you are getting out of your B2B social strategy.
To prove the value of social media as a marketing channel, you need to pay attention not only to how you are tracking your efforts, but how you are approaching your content strategy.
1. Focus on the appropriate metrics and KPIs
While we all know metrics are important, it is easy to get lost in the weeds with so many numbers to keep track of. Below are the top B2B marketing metrics associated with your company’s goals:
Attribution modeling enables you to determine and track how many of your social media clicks lead to leads elsewhere. This includes web traffic, e-book downloads, webinar registrations, and more.
In short, B2B marketers should not only keep track of how many clicks they are getting, but also what happens as users click through. You can then determine if your social content is leading to legitimate leads.
Comments, approvals, and mentions are more than just vanity metrics. In context, interactions can point out the following:
- Whether or not people are actually interested in your content
- What your customers like (or dislike) about your product and service compared to your competitors
- Conversations around your brand (and ways to close leads)
Undoubtedly @SproutSocial. Makes content planning and management a breeze and has the most visually appealing and accurate reporting tools available. Can’t recommend more!
– Anna Laura (not Anna) (@annalaurahhh) February 19, 2021
For example, a flood of interactions can be due to positive excitement or concerns about customer service. The way you engage with social customers has a direct impact on your ROI as customers are held or lost depending on the interaction.
Share of votes
The main part of measuring B2I ROI on social media is to see how your campaign is performing against your competitors.
The percentage of the vote depends on how often your brand is mentioned, how you hold up against competitors, and whether or not those mentions are positive. Social listening tools like Sprout Social can help you see where you stand when it comes to conversations in your industry:
2. Measure your social media performance against other marketing channels
Here, too, B2B companies have the choice between marketing channels.
E-mail. SEO. PPC. Chances are, social media isn’t your only focus.
Because of this, it’s important not to look at the ROI of your social media in a vacuum. Instead, compare the resources and results assigned to social media with those of other marketing channels.
For example, track your social media traffic through Google Analytics to see how many leads are coming to your website from social media and how they are behaving. How is your social traffic changing compared to email traffic? What content are you most interested in?
You may learn that social leads require more nurturing. Maybe they are only interested in certain types of content. Either way, monitoring your social traffic behavior can give you a deeper understanding of your customers.
3. Define your performance benchmarks
Before you can improve your B2B ROI on social media, you need to have a foundation of what is “good” for your business.
Because what a high-performance post or campaign looks like in terms of clicks or conversions differs from company to company. This again underscores the importance of keeping track of social data and other channels side by side so that you can create some basic data.
1,000 clicks? 5% conversions? 2% engagement rate? They don’t mean much without a baseline.
Take that away? You should compare your B2B social data over time to see what is typical of a campaign and if your efforts are having an impact.
4. Publish content that clicks with B2B audiences
The fact is, a staggering 84% of B2B marketers use paid channels for advertising and content sales, and 72% of those marketers use social networks.
Perhaps the easiest way to increase your B2B social media ROI is to fine-tune your content strategy. If you post the right content, you are more likely to move the needle on all of the metrics discussed above.
As a refresher, try prioritizing the following types of content that are performing well for businesses:
- Thought guidance pieces
- Original research and infographics
- Short-form videos with instructions
- Questions and community discussions
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5. Run paid campaigns and creative tests
More and more B2B brands are investing in social media advertising for a reason. A key benefit of doing this is that you can directly link your social endeavors to results such as sales, signups, and downloads.
While ads may not be on the table for brands with tighter budgets, smaller paid campaigns and creative testing can help you understand how to encourage your social audience to convert.
If nothing else, you can measure your organic social efforts versus your paid ones to see if there are ways to scale the latter.
Overcoming the top three biggest challenges in measuring B2I ROI for social media
To conclude, let’s explore ways you can address the most common challenges related to measuring and improving social media ROI for B2B brands.
Challenge # 1: Translating the results of top-of-funnel marketing efforts
We’re Going to Bite: Defining the success of your top of funnel marketing campaigns can be tricky. Many social metrics do not correlate directly with dollars and cents (at least not immediately).
Solution: Find links between your social metrics and performance data
This cannot be stressed enough: keep track of your data!
Is there a correlation between more clicks and shares and sustained sales over a period of time? What about traffic and on-site conversions?
For example, you can set a conversion target on a social-specific landing page in Google Analytics to see how your traffic is behaving. We also recommend UTM tracking to tie your social efforts to your business results over time.
Also note that the B2B buyer’s journey takes months. Just because a social lead doesn’t make a purchase as soon as possible doesn’t mean they won’t later.
A combination of URL tracking and full funnel analysis can help you determine how your social efforts are contributing to your other campaigns.
Challenge # 2: Stakeholders don’t always understand B2B social media
Social media isn’t breaking news, but many stakeholders still don’t understand it. There are many critics of social media as a marketing channel who do not see or understand its value.
As a marketer, you could find yourself in a situation where you need to justify your social spending or create a social media business model. So what?
Solution: Present your performance data in context
Marketers need to be as simple as possible to attract stakeholders. To do this, you need to highlight your goals and explain how you achieved them. It all comes down to data.
For example, let’s say you’re using social media to support a new product launch. Using the custom reporting options in Sprout, you can get the metrics and KPIs related to the buzz you have created.
Do you see how that works? Be your own advocate when it comes to the value and ROI of social media. The better your data, the easier it is to sell it to stakeholders.
Challenge # 3: Your social media efforts are isolated
You can’t afford to be an island when you’re in charge of B2B social media. Achieving an ROI is a complete corporate effort that should not be the sole responsibility of any individual.
Solution: Share your data and communicate your expectations
In short, you need to take the time to speak to other marketers and departments in your company to ensure that your social efforts are aligned with your company-wide goals. Your teammates should be ready to do the same for you.
Again, being able to quickly capture social data and ROI and report it to your team is an important point for you. Data related in Sprout is easy to understand and easily shared with anyone you go back and forth with.
How do you measure your B2B social media ROI?
To find out what social media is worth to your business, you need to track your efforts and put them in the context of your company’s goals.
This doesn’t have to be a guessing game, especially with the help of reporting tools like Sprout. The more robust your reporting, the easier it is to understand the overall ROI of social media.
If you haven’t already, check out this guide on how to turn your B2B social data into actual revenue.