How to measure the effectiveness of social media marketing
Finance marketing teams continue to grapple with how best to demonstrate the ROI content and social media marketing delivers, torn between whether it’s an established science or an artful packaging of select metrics. To help clear up the confusion and provide direction, we asked The Dubs Sydney-based media director, Andrew Frith, and our London-based senior paid social media Specialist, Tara Cimino how to measure the impact and effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts.
For Content marketing insights and tactics specific to the needs of financial marketers.
What is the biggest mistake finance brands make when measuring a social media campaign?
“A big mistake finance brands fall into is putting large media budgets behind paid social media campaigns and driving traffic to a site with a poor user journey,” explains Cimino. “There’s no point driving users to your website if it isn’t ready for them.” Financial marketers need to strike the balance between a website that delivers a good user experience that also converts customers.
From Frith’s perspective, the biggest mistake financial marketers make is they collect campaign data and measurements, maybe put them in a report, with no interpretation or follow up actions. “The biggest mistake is failing to interpret measurements and turn them into practical actions that either improve the campaign in terms of its objectives (conversions, traffic, costs etc) or take on learnings that inform the next phases of work,” he says. “Whether that be making changes to messaging and content, changing user-journeys and UX or optimising channels. Measurement is about improving performance.”
The biggest mistake is failing to interpret measurements and turn them into practical actions that either improve the campaign or inform the next phases of work.
What are best practice examples of how to measure and act on social media performance?
“We recently worked with Citi who took advantage of the precise audience targeting on LinkedIn to create a range of audience segments that were tested frequently and optimised for best performing over time,” says Frith. “Citi’s approach was a good example of measure often, optimise frequently.”
“Our team here in London encourages clients to set up hard and soft onsite goal conversions and put monetary values to each of those goals,” says Cimino, whose work with Aberdeen Standard Investments has picked up more than 20 awards including the MFEA Best Social Media Campaign and Digital Innovation awards. “Attention time on site, +2 pages per session and scroll rate could all be softer goals, but a harder goal could be a user watching a certain percentage of an onsite video, downloading a PDF, completing a form submission or visiting certain pages of your website that aren’t the landing page of the ad.”
What tools would you recommend financial marketers use for social media measurement and tracking?
For Frith, the right measurement tool comes down to the level of understanding and sophistication of the marketer. “Native ad platforms (Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook) provide good reporting which may work well for more sophisticated marketing teams, while easy to understand dashboard platforms such as Funnel or Google Data Studio can be useful when sharing metrics across the wider business,” he says. “Other tools such as SEMRush provide great insights into important aspects of campaigns such as keywords.” There’s a whole host of free and specialised SEO tools that every financial marketer needs.
“Google Analytics or Adobe Experience Manager are essential for tracking campaign activity on the destination website or landing page and for monitoring user behaviour once they have entered the branded digital environment,” says Frith.
How frequently should finance brands be monitoring social media marketing campaigns?
“The frequency of measurement depends on the objective, duration, budget and content of each individual campaign,” says Cimino. “For some of our clients, campaigns need to be monitored multiple times daily, while others are just twice a week.”
What’s one of the biggest misconceptions around measurement and ROI?
“Measuring the success or effectiveness of a campaign isn’t just looking at an ROI figure in £ or $ but looking at how users engage with the site and analysing the onsite soft and hard goal completions,” explains Cimino.
Frith adds, that attribution is still one area that isn’t well understood, which is made more difficult by the fact that it isn’t a precise science. “The full user journey for any digital offering needs to be mapped from beginning to end (which may include offline components) and the role of paid campaigns in that user journey needs to be understood so that any analysis of ROI is making accurate or at least well-informed attribution.”
How is finance marketing different to other industries in terms of measuring effectiveness?
“Most finance businesses are looking for long-term loyal customers versus other industries that may be more reliant on one-time customers or purely product-based activity,” says Frith.
“To gain customer loyalty, trust and transparency is crucial, and an ongoing effort finance brands must always work towards. This results in a heavier focus on content and social media marketing centered around education, expert insights and thought leadership as opposed to the product promotion favoured by other brands,” he says.
“While the impact of content on trust is far less clear cut to measure, trust is an important metric that can be quantitatively measured through engaging surveys and also tracked to a certain extent by engagement metrics.”
Wherever your brand is based in the world, The Dubs has financial content marketing experts who can help you implement a social media marketing strategy that delivers measurable results. Get in touch.