It can be difficult to demonstrate the value of social media to a client, especially if they’re building a social presence for the first time. But through targeted goal-setting, you can create a metrics-driven environment that helps your client see results.

A client may not see the immediate value in the time spent directly engaging with their followers, but 73% of consumers said they are more likely to buy from a brand that responds on social media in a survey conducted by Hubspot.

Successful social media campaigns are about building long-term relationships through open communication and engagement. Whether the client’s goal is lead conversions or customer care, social media metrics goes far beyond just counting “likes,” and success looks different for each company.

The first step toward a successful metrics-driven campaign is working with the client to set the right goals.

Choose the Right KPI

Make sure you understand what your client’s KPIs are—not just what you think your client’s KPIs should be. The client may say they simply want more followers, but that’s not how the client makes money. There is no business that makes money from having followers. Instead of going straight to digital goals, consider how the whole business works. Get to know your client’s organizational goals by asking a few targeted questions:

  • How does the client generate revenue?
  • What does growth look like in their industry?
  • Who are their customers?
  • What is holding the client back in their day-to-day business?
  • Why do they think they need social media?

Once you have a clear idea of what offline success looks like, you can set online goals with the right KPIs that will drive growth where it matters most.

Manage Your Client’s Expectations

Once you’ve chosen the right performance indicators, identify the client’s baseline and set attainable goals. Offer clients a clear understanding of what they can expect, including a comparison to competitors’ experiences.

Part of managing the client’s expectations is letting them know where they will not see results. Some aspects of social media campaigns do not offer obvious, tangible benefits, but that doesn’t mean they are not part of a successful social media campaign. It only means the return on investment just isn’t so cut and dry.

Every follower is a potential customer and maintaining a digital presence retains and engages those customers. It’s up to you to make sure your client understands that a successful social campaign offers benefits that can’t always be represented in numbers.

Get Acquainted With the Audience

One of those ephemeral benefits of a strong social presence is a closer relationship with customers and finding those individuals is the first hurdle. Narrow down the client’s target audience by defining the ideal customer. Then compare the demographics of the top social media platforms to those of the client’s audience and focus your social strategy on those platforms your audience is already using.

Employ social listening to analyze conversations around relevant topics and choose which keywords or phrases you want to track. It’s important to learn the customers’ language and define what type of personality would resonate with the audience. As you become better acquainted with the audience, establish a baseline and set an internal goal for social interactions.

Track Your Goals Effectively

Now that you have a baseline and a goal, UTM tracking will help you successfully track performance. UTM codes are terms and phrases tacked onto URLs that leave a breadcrumb trail showing how a visitor found your site. UTM tracking allows you to see which specific tweet or post led the customer to your website and that is a powerful tool. It enables granular analysis of social content down to the word.

Demonstrate Results With Regular Reports

At this point, you’ve built a metrics-driven environment for you and your client and numbers are guiding key decisions. Regular weekly or monthly reports to the client will prove the ongoing value of your work, complete with charts and graphs to bring the numbers to life.

Sprout Social’s Report Builder helps build accurate customized reports, including presentation-ready PDFs. Identify which tools and reports will best showcase key insights and social metrics to tell your client’s success story.

Sprout sample Twitter report

Adjust Your Approach

As you review your reports, take a closer look at the top performing posts and figure out what made them so successful. Was it a great visual? A timely topic? The ideal keywords? Make note of what works, as well as what may be lacking—is it reaching enough people?

Find ways to constantly optimize your strategy, from changing the words you use to changing the products you’re selling. Take these lessons back to the client, but go beyond just telling them what works. Show them how to keep evolving with each interaction and soon enough, you’ll be ready to set your next goal.