Digital ad spending in the UK increased by 17% in 2016. This is the fastest growth in the advertising industry in nine years, reaching £10.3 billion. Social media marketing is playing a prominent role in this seismic shift in advertising.
A report from PwC and IAB UK attributes this largely to the huge spread of mobile video, and the fact that around half of all internet time in the UK is spent on smartphones.
“While plenty of money is spent on social media marketing, there is a surprising lack of emphasis on analysing how successful it is”
“Is it worth it? This is the question people should be asking themselves,” suggests Sam. “If they’re not measuring the effectiveness of their marketing activity, why are they spending all this money on it?”
“Many people involved in marketing and in business feel they understand that social media is important,” says Sam. “Far fewer seem to know what they are getting out of it.”
“Effective social media marketing requires insight,” Sam states. “This goes beyond attracting a large number of followers who are enthusiastic about your brand.”
What Sam’s company, Social Acumen, specialises in is turning data into meaning, through clearer insights. Social Acumen enables brands to make smarter decisions based on this enhanced perception.
“Metrics must have meaning, so that you can gain an understanding of how and why audiences are engaging with your content”
The figures alone are not enough though. What is key is analysing their meaning, so that people can see what they are getting out of social content.
Improving Social Content
If you are spending money on social content for a small or no discernible return on investment, what is your next step? To improve ROI, brands must analyse effectively the impact of their social content.
“If you continue to invest your money in social content without this analysis, then you’ll lack the critical data to help you become more effective,” Sam suggests. “The data can also indicate what you could be getting out of your social media activity, if you changed your marketing strategy.”
Social content can achieve many different things at once, Sam points out, from a brand’s post driving huge amounts of traffic, to an ad on social media generating thousands of likes.
“Our focus is on educating our clients to see the full range of possibilities and opportunities that social media presents”
“It’s about using detailed analysis to determine the right ways of making your social content count,” Sam concludes.
In this sense, analytics and metrics can point the way forward, while assessing what you already have.