July-August 2015

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Page 50 of 55 PalletCentral • July-August 2015 51 Social Media: Is it Worth Your Time? T he buzz with social media continues, and many NWPCA members are involved in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the like. So how do you know if all your social media efforts are really paying off? You have a small staff already wearing multiple hats. Is adding tweets and posts to their workload all worth the time and investment? Branding and marketing your company is necessary. But how you use your social media presence can be as little or as much as you want. Like anything else in business, being successful at social media requires hard work, patience, and diligence. Defining your goals upfront is key to measuring the success of social media efforts, and helps you tailor content and posts accordingly. Plus, social media is a great way to drive traffic to your website. A few things to be considered: Are you trying to generate brand awareness? Sales leads? Increased press attention? Attracting new employees to your company? Each of these areas come with different ways to measure results, then you can focus your posting strategy and tools used to evaluate effectiveness accordingly. Several tools available can help measure the success of your social media channels. Google Analytics is free, and powerful in determining how and why visitors come to your site, and can track referrals. The Google Analytics reports examine trends over a period of time. Users can identify which web pages are getting the most clicks, and how long are visitors staying on your site. Weekly reporting is not necessary, instead look at trends over a number of weeks or at the end of each month. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook also have their own analytics, in addition to Hootsuite's link tracking. These are just some tools used to help you measure social media ROI, and to get an idea of the quantitative impact that social media is having on businesses as a whole. While it may be difficult to track a sale, the benefit of growing your brand and building a loyal following is not always measurable through mere numbers, but is highly important all the same. And with these tools, you'll be able to refine your social media plans to optimize timing your posts and tracking visitor preferences. Join the conversation on social media on Industry Resources >> Blogs, and look for the social media topic. Comment on the topic and subscribe to the blog to learn what your industry colleagues are saying about social media.

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