How to track leads & sales from Social Media

If you asked any marketing professional what tourism businesses should be investing their marketing resources into, they would more than likely say ‘Social Media’ – and rightly so.

Social Media platforms offer a great way to connect with current and potential customers, develop relationships and create brand advocates.

But when a tourism business has limited time to spend ‘on their business’, because they are so busy working in their business, it is so hard to justify fluffing around on Social Media without tangible outcomes.

Now, by tangible, I don’t mean ‘likes’, ‘comments’, ‘follows’ and ‘shares’ – as this engagement is all well and good, but without some form of strategy involved, this engagement alone doesn’t have a direct correlation to sales and profits for tourism businesses.

 

So how can you make Social Media accountable to your bottom line?

In this post, I’ve identified 3 steps on how you can align your social media investment with sales and profit for your business.

 

Step 1: Develop a Social Media Strategy

Flying blind with Social Media management is never a good idea for any business. Social Media is a time and energy sucking machine, so to ensure you are only investing minimum resources, for maximum outcome, the development of a solid Social Media Strategy is essential.

A Social Media strategy will identify what platforms you should be on, the type of content you need to be posting, the frequency of your posts, and what platform metrics you will be measuring to understand the level of engagement you are generating from your posts.

The platforms you need to invest in are dependent on one thing – and that is your Ideal Customer. This means that if your ideal Customer is not on Twitter, then you shouldn’t include Twitter in your Social Media Strategy – it’s that cut and dry.

When it comes to measuring the success of your Social Media strategy, you also need to know how your social media investment translates into sales for your business – which is what I cover in detail below.

If you haven’t created a Social Media Strategy before, then after reading this post, pop over to our post ‘How to create a winning Social Media Strategy in 3 simple steps!’ to get you on your way!

 

Step 2: Create a Content Marketing Plan

Content is the driver of engagement, a deal sealer for brand recognition and has the potential to drive leads and sales for your business. Great content NEEDS to be one of three things: inspiring, helpful or informative, and can be developed in the form of:

  • Blog Articles
  • Images
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Podcasts

A Content Marketing Plan is basically a planning process you go through to flesh out your next 6 month’s (or a year if you are keen) worth of content for your Social Media, Blogging and Emarketing Strategies.

Like Social Media Platforms, Blogging and Emarketing strategies are the vehicle for your content, and as such, you should be strategically repurposing content for all three vehicles. For example, if you write a blog post (which is content on your website), then you can share that content on social media, and also share a excerpt of that post in your enewsletter.

To learn more about developing and planning your content for use in Social Media, Blogging and Emarketing, we’d love you to read our blog posts on Content Marketing >

 

Step 3: Track your Social Media return on investment via your website

As you’ve learnt already, Social Media platforms should be used as a way to connect with customers and generate leads for your business, and you can only measure this lead generation if you are strategic with what and how you post on social media.

One sure-fire way we can track your return on Social Media investment is to use your website’s analytics to track referrals from social media to your website, and then those visitors movements within your website.

For this measurement strategy to work, you MUST house as much of your content (created in your content marketing plan above) on your website and share out the relevant URLs on social media.

This means, that everytime you want to share an image, video or post that you have created, it is imperative that you upload it on your website first (most appropriately in a new blog post), then share a link to the webpage you’ve created on your chosen social media platform. That way, if someone is interested in seeing the full content, they will have to visit your website – and tadah – you will recieve a website visitor, and a potential new customer.

For example. In the below Facebook post, we promoted our free eBook, and directed people to a shortened URL link for a page on our website. (PS. If you haven’t got your hands on our FREE ebook yet, then you can subscribe in the box below this post!)

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This strategy works well on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Pinterest, however, it is much harder to track referrals from Instagram, as you can not attach a ‘live’ link to image posts, which makes it more challenging to attract referrals.

 

Google Analytics demonstration on how to measure Social Media referrals & conversions

I’ve put together a very quick video demonstration below on how you can use Google Analytics to better understand the movements of visitors from Social Media and whether those visitors are booking/purchasing your product or service.

 

Start measuring your Social Media return on investment today!

Well, now that you know how to measure the return on investment for your Social Media activities, it’s time to get stuck in and start making your time spent on Social Media accountable.

Your first step is to make sure you have got Google Analytics installed on your website (critical for measuring all online marketing activities). Once you’ve done that, then it’s time to get strategic and develop your Social Media Strategy, and Content Marketing Plan. Then from there, it’s a matter of wait and see.

Remember, if your content is not encouraging leads to your website, then you need to rethink your strategy and try something new!

If you have any questions about the above, then please do pop a comment below and we’ll be sure to help you out!

About the author, Paige Rowett

Paige is the co-director of Tourism eSchool and a Tourism Marketing Consultant (www.paigerowett.com). Paige is passionate about working with tourism destinations & operators to create sustainable marketing strategies, specialising in marketing strategy, customer advocacy, customer experience, content marketing, website strategy, search engine optimisation & blogging.

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