“How is Twitter going for us? Do you see any results?” The client asked me. Now, this is a fair question to ask – but we’ve only just started our social media campaign. To be exact, we started it two months ago.
This is a common scenario and it is best addressed at the beginning of the relationship. There are two main issues that need to be addressed with clients:
1. Establishing success criteria for the campaign.
2. Clarifying that social media is a process, and that results won’t be seen for at least six months.
Establishing Success Criteria
This is the most important step. For most businesses, the success of their social media campaign isn’t measured by achieving social media goals such as the number of comments left on blog posts or how many Twitter followers they have.
Instead, businesses measure the success of their social media campaigns by achieving business goals. Mostly, my clients want to see their social media efforts work as lead generation tools, sending relevant traffic to their site. If that traffic turns into qualified leads down the road, and then into clients or customers, that’s great – but at the very least we want to see the corporate blog and Twitter send traffic to the site, and we want that traffic to behave on the site in a way that shows engagement and interest – browsing key pages, downloading white papers, etc.
These are of course very general criteria – it’s difficult to quantify social media results in rigid numbers, especially because it’s such a long-term process. But establishing these criteria is still important, because you do need to measure the success of your social media campaign, and you need to measure it in terms of business results.
Social Media is a Process
The second topic that you must discuss with your clients is that they need to be very patient. A month, two, even a full calendar quarter are not enough to build a social media presence that would actually show results. This is process that generally takes at least six months, and often longer.
It can take 2 years for Google to start sending real traffic to a new blog – it can take that long to build authority and trust; and it’s not unheard of for me to create a Twitter account for a client, to start growing it slowly, and for the client to see zero results for several months, while I patiently keep building the account. Then at some point – probably when we get to 100 real, authentic, relevant followers, the client takes a look at their Google Analytics and happily tells me that Twitter is one of the top external referrers to their site.
“So, do you see any results?”
Not yet, but give it time, and chancers are, we will.