Social Media ROI – What’s That?

Mike MarchettiEnrollment Communications, Social Media Strategies

By now you likely recognize that social media isn’t a passing fad and that, yes, you do need to have a social presence. But hopefully you’re not still at the point of simply creating a presence because everyone else is and measuring your success only by the number of likes and followers. Having an effective social media presence is much more than that and the rewards are much more fruitful as well!

So what goes into an effective social media presence? The answer isn’t simple and it starts with your overall marketing, communication, and recruitment strategies. Here are some basic principles to help you get started.

Start With Broad Strategy Considerations
In a rush to get some sort of social media presence out there, many institutions and departments within have created social media pages and profiles with no direction, no thought about who the real audience is, and no way to measure results. That”s a sure path to wasting a lot of time and resources and missing out on some great potential engagement opportunities. Start your social media plan by considering your overall marketing, communication, and/or recruitment strategy. If you have a social presence now but you’re not sure how it fits in to the big picture, it’s time to figure that out. Consider first what you”re trying to accomplish and then how social media might help you accomplish that.

Set SMART Goals
That’s right – social media is measurable! And not just by likes and followers necessarily. If you have a clear direction and set SMART goals you can measure your success in social media based on specific campaigns and objectives. And your social campaigns and objectives don’t just have to be general awareness or intangible engagement. On the contrary, unless brand awareness and reinforcement is all you’re trying to accomplish, then the more specific your campaigns and objectives are the better.

Track and Measure
Have you looked at your Facebook Page Insights lately? By doing so you can figure out your audience profile. You may be surprised to find out that you’ve been posting content that’s geared toward prospective students when your largest audience falls into a much higher age demographic and is actually prospective student parents. On Twitter, you may have a large contingent of high school counselors and personnel that you”re missing an opportunity to engage.

Invest In Paid Campaigns
Spending time and effort on a social media presence with no paid ad investments is likely to insure an inefficient use of resources. The difference in reach, engagement and conversion numbers between paid and organic campaigns is astronomical in most cases. If you have a strong message to send and you post it on Facebook, boosting it with even a $10 investment will not only enable you to target a very specific audience but could be the difference between your message reaching hundreds of people and your message reaching thousands of people.

Be Disciplined and Consistent
Being successful in social media doesn’t happen overnight. And taking a dart-throwing approach to find the next “viral” campaign is unlikely to get you very far. Instead, stay focused on your goals and objectives, have a plan in place to ensure that you”re actively posting to, responding to, and engaging with your audience (in most cases at least once a week), and constantly review your data to maximize results.

To learn more about what a successful social media campaign might look like at your institution contact Campus Share today! We look forward to helping you Engage Your Audience!

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About the Author

Mike Marchetti

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Mike Marchetti is President and Lead Strategist at Campus Share, a marketing and communications consulting firm that focuses on higher education and specializes in new media strategies.