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Social media marketing spend increases – but can brands prove its impact?
Brands are spending more than ever on social media marketing, with companies in countless sectors increasingly recognising the value that the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can offer.

But are marketers able to effectively measure its effectiveness on their business?

According to the latest CMO Survey, brands are spending 13.9% of their total marketing budget on social media. This is up from 9.8% in August 2017, which makes it the biggest annual increase ever recorded.

But the same study revealed that just 24.7% of marketers believe they can prove its impact quantitatively, while 39% admitted they couldn’t demonstrate its impact at all.

Thankfully, this situation is getting better, as only 16% were able to quantify their results with social media this time last year. Similarly, a significant 45% were unable to prove the impact of social 12 months ago.

Perhaps that is one reason why social media investment is on the up, as more and more brands recognise its value and are able to demonstrate it effectively.

Figures show that within the next 12 months, social media is likely to account for 16.3% of brands’ marketing spend, and could go up to as much as 23% by 2023.

So how can marketers make the most of this asset to promote their brand and get themselves seen in front of the right audience?

Share content
If you’re populating your website with new and original content, such as videos, blog posts and infographics, your social media pages are the ideal platform for sharing it with a wider audience and generating engagement.

Don’t restrict yourself to content that you have created either. Curating high-quality material on matters relevant to your industry and your audience and sharing them on Facebook and Twitter, along with an original comment from yourself, shows you are actively keeping up with developments in the wider sector.

It also positions your social channels as great places to come back to in order to find out more about industry updates, announcements and opinions.

Run competitions
Add value to users by giving them incentives to get involved. For instance, if you have a post that you want to get seen by the widest possible audience, ask followers of your page to share it – in exchange for being put in the draw to win a prize.

Social media platforms are great for interacting with customers and finding out what makes them tick. One great way to get a measure of people’s opinion is to set up online polls, as it generates useful figures alongside anecdotal comments.

It’s a further means of gaining valuable insights into your audience and raising the profile of your social channels at the same time.

Live streaming and tweeting of events
Social media offers a great way to get your wider audience involved in specific events and occasions that are taking place. So if you’re attending an industry conference or trade show, you can make your followers feel included by live tweeting or streaming clips of what is going on, such as interviews, speeches and product demonstrations. This also encourages engagement and provides lasting content for your social media platforms that users might wish to come back to again in the future.

Respond to customer comments
Social media platforms are a great way for brands to demonstrate their commitment to customer service. So use the likes of Facebook and Twitter to respond to people’s comments – both positive and negative.

The last point is especially crucial, as how you deal with poor customer feedback will say a lot to existing and prospective customers about how you regard people. An effective response could also prevent a possible situation from escalating, to the point where the person who made the complaint will walk away satisfied and happy to do business with you again.

These are just a few ways of keeping your social platforms regularly updated and ensuring they add value to the customer experience, while positioning your brand as a leading name in your industry.

With more and more companies exploiting the potential of social media and investing in this channel, it’s no longer something you can afford to ignore.

Source / Further reading
Social spend accelerating despite most marketers not being able to prove impact, Marketing Week