This article was originally published to ABA Banking Journal.
Easily measurable results are just one benefit of a great social media marketing strategy. Analytics offer definitive information about what’s working, what isn’t, and what needs to change. Plus, the ability to accurately and clearly measure results is much greater with social media than with more traditional bank marketing strategies.
Take billboards, for instance. Depending on your location, it can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $23,000 to rent out billboard space. And once the billboard is up, how will you ever know how many people saw it or whether it helped convert any leads?
With social media, it’s easy to see these kinds of metrics. That said, not all social media metrics are created equal. Your individual goals determine your most valuable metrics, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for measuring the success of your strategy. The first step when determining the best way to measure your bank’s success on social media is to establish exactly what you want your strategy to accomplish.
These three social media strategies—and the metrics that accompany them—are some of the most valuable for financial institutions.
1. Spread brand awareness
The more people recognize your brand, the more effective any social media strategy will be. That’s why this is an important first area of focus, whether you’re just starting your brand’s social strategy or you’re preparing to launch a new campaign.
To gather data that reflects brand recognition, measure the number of likes and followers on your company’s page. Those are the people who have raised their hands and opted to receive updates from your brand. Benchmark these measures frequently—especially before starting a new marketing campaign. In general, the more the numbers increase, the more successful your programming.
2. Boost customer engagement
Page likes and follows can show awareness of your brand, but truly engaging customers is a different story. One of the greatest assets of a social strategy for your bank is the ability to bridge the communication gap between brand and consumer. Use this asset to your advantage. Simply pushing advertisements on social won’t do much to attract customers, but communicating on a two-way channel will position you as a trusted financial partner.
To gauge how well your company is doing when it comes to customer engagement, measure likes, comments, shares and messages to see how many customers are reaching out. Activity on individual posts gives you a clearer picture of why you’ve seen spikes in likes and followers. Did a story generate an especially engaging discussion? Did a promotion of a new product or service get people talking?
Whether the attention is good or bad, analyzing it will help you understand your audience better and engage with it accordingly.
3. Increase conversions and sales
Ultimately, the goal of any marketing strategy is to boost your bank’s customer base. That metric can seem difficult to measure based on social media activity—but not if you know what to look for. In this case, clicks are king. You want to measure action—which is shown by how many people actually click on an ad or a post.
By the time audience members click, it’s safe to assume that, so far, they feel favorably toward your brand’s messaging. Using your website analytics, you can determine which platforms and campaigns generate the most clicks, and that can show you which messaging your audience approves of most. You will know where to maintain momentum and where to step up your game.
Before deciding which social media metrics mean the most for your brand, look at what you want to accomplish. Different data and analytics can tell you different facets of how people are interacting with your brand on social—and you want to look at the ones that most directly impact your goals. Once you pinpoint the right data to tell you what you need to know, use that to further your successes and grow your strategy.