Every business wants an “ROI” from their social media activity…just as they would from every other aspect of their business. It makes sense. However, ROI is not always a linear path when it comes to social media. For example, a ‘like’ has different meanings and produces different results on different platforms. It is also the easiest to fake. Because of this, it is very important that your team takes the time to decide what is really important, sets realistic goals, and specific metrics or KPIs to track.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the types of interactions on the different platforms.

On Facebook, someone can like your business page or they can like a post. They can also comment on a post, share a post or use any one of the various emoji reactions (like, love, haha, wow, sad, or angry).

On Instagram, someone can follow you, ‘heart’ or like your post, or comment on your post.

On LinkedIn, someone can connect with you, follow a business page, like a status update or article, share an update or article, and comment on status updates and articles.

On Twitter, someone can follow you, retweet your tweet, ‘heart’ or like your tweet, reply or mention you in a tweet.

On YouTube, someone can subscribe to your channel, comment on your video, give it a thumbs up or thumbs down, share it, or add it to one of their playlists, or embed it on their website. There are other interactions that can be done, but these are the most comparable to the other platforms.

By themselves, each of these interactions doesn’t mean anything. It’s the cumulative, consistent, and the conversion journey that ultimately matters. Here are a few factors that affect your ability to generate results on the platforms.

Algorithms. Just as Google is always changing its algorithm, so is each social media platform. What gave you high rankings and results last week could easily get you ignored next. If that isn’t annoying enough, each platform has its own algorithm based on how the company wants you to use it. You’ve heard me say before, “Use a tool for what a tool is intended to be used for…if you want results.”

Content that connects. It’s not enough to just create content. Your content has to be not-salesy, inviting to your market, use words and phrases that they would, brand-specific, relevant to your market, and relevant to the platform you are sharing it on.

Appropriate technology setup. Most people would say they “are not tech savvy.” That is fine, but if you want to know if you are actually doing the right things to help you accomplish your goals, then you need to have the appropriate technology set up so you can track this. Most of the social platforms are good with providing analytics, but do you have the appropriate setup to track if they are clicking through from your social media posts to your website to however they are to engage with you?

And finally, many people lack understanding of how to establish realistic social media goals and metrics to track. ROI is the easy demand from social media, but everyone wants that. Be more specific and align your social media goals with your overall business goals. For example, getting to know your local or industry media contacts so you become the go-to person or company for your expertise will generate more business long-term and build professional credibility than a simple like today. Likes are easy and cheap…yes, I will let your imagination run with that phrase…because it fits perfectly with only tracking likes on social media.

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