Measure, Then Measure Again

Did anyone take Shop or Home Ec in school? My teachers always told us to measure, write it down, and measure again before making a cut. Whether that was cutting into wood or material, it didn’t matter.

The same principle applies to marketing. Before you start a new marketing initiative whether it’s launching a Facebook page, filling out your LinkedIn profile, opening a Twitter account, or especially when starting a pay-per-click campaign, you need to find out the average number of visits you are getting now. How else are you going to tell if your efforts are working?

If you have recently redesigned your website, and decide to start trying to attract visitors by launching a Facebook page, then you will want to know exactly how many people are coming to your site. After about a month, you can measure to see if you have had an uptick in unique visitors to your site.

If there’s been no change, then you may need to ask yourself: Am I providing relevant, useful content for my customers? Am I updating it enough? Am I engaging others in conversation? How many people have “liked” my page? Tweak your efforts and then remeasure again at the end of the next month.

Here are some ideas on what to measure:

• Social Sites like Facebook and Twitter: number of friends, fans, or followers acquired; number of comments made on posts (pay attention to the type of posts that get comments and which ones don’t); number of discussions or posts started on the page (by you and by others); the quality of the conversation and depth of conversations had on the site (are you building a relationship with people you otherwise didn’t know?); number of responses to questions or topics posted; and traffic from the social site to your website.

• Social sharing sites like YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest: Number of times a photo or video is viewed, shared or pinned; positive or negative comments; and number of friends or subscribers.

You will want to measure these items each month over a few months. If after several months of tweaking, your efforts are still not paying off, then your efforts might be best spent elsewhere. But, don’t make that cut until you have measured, and measured again (and maybe even measured again). Remember that your efforts should help build relationships with customers (even if that doesn’t mean a quick sale), and increase traffic to your website thereby helping you rank higher in organic search engine results, which can help lead to new customers.

If you would like more information or a detailed marketing or social media plan for your business, you can contact Jennifer Taylor at jennifer@nasweeper.com.

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