8. POST. Measure. Tweak. Repeat.

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One of the most overworked phrases in the corporate space right now is “continuous improvement process.” Seems good, right? Keep improving. Who’s not a fan of that?

Of course, the hard part is, how? That, too, requires continuous attention, because “how” is a moving target - tomorrow’s “how” will likely be very different than today’s.

That’s especially true for an industry that’s growing slowly but surely in preparation for what could very well be an explosion of growth over the next few years.

When it comes to developing and promoting a cannabis brand, now’s the time to make sure you’re getting it right by establishing your own method for evaluating your business and branding, especially when it comes to engaging customers through social media.

But first, what are you evaluating exactly? Of course, that depends. Whether engaging consumers or other businesses, key performance indicators (KPI) can range from “likes” and shares to clicks and conversions.

Sound social media strategies are built upon the following four pillars:

#1: REACH: How many people are seeing your social media posts?

#2: ENGAGEMENT: How are people engaging with your social media posts?

#3: LEADS: How many people are interested in purchasing your product or service?

#4: CONVERSIONS: How many people did, in fact, become paying customers?

Pretty straight-forward, right? Now the hard part: “how?”

In order to evaluate how well your social media campaign is working, or not, you must establish the appropriate key performance indicators (KPI).

Okay... But which KPI metrics should you value most? Here’s a quick list:

Likes (or Reactions) are exactly what they say they are. The more likes, the more you know this content resonates with fans. What’s more, more “likes” helps content to show up in more searches.

Followers include anyone who “likes” and is assumed to be “following” you or your brand. But “active” followers, considered to be those who routinely check in on a monthly basis, are key to building your community. And just like in your everyday face-to-face lives, a greater sense of community encourages more direct engagement and, in this case, more leads and conversions.

Shares are “likes” on a mission. When fans begin sharing your social media content, they are endorsing your claims and recommending your brand to their friends (and frenemies) at no additional charge.

Comments are, well, complicated. But noise beats silence every time, especially when you’re trying to evaluate both your brand and your social media strategy. Ideally, your comments become a conversation.

Mentions are comments that go beyond the initial conversation, potentially becoming parts of threads or memes, keeping your brand in the minds of customers and potential customers for an extended period.

Clicks are primarily about getting customers to react, typically through a compelling headline or photo. Lots of clicks but no “likes” or comments indicates your headline or photo was great, but the content wasn’t.

Okay, so now what? What should a brand do with these KPIs?

Assuming you’re doing your homework and really crunching the numbers, that is, tallying up your likes and shares or whichever metrics benefit your product or service, ask and answer the following three questions:

Which of my social media posts are getting the most engagement?

If you’re a consumer-facing brand, your posts with the most likes, shares, or mentions are working. If you’re a business-to-business brand, are you capturing any leads?

Which of my top social media posts should I be posting again?

Of your top social media posts, repost those that aren’t time-sensitive. Original art is always worth a second or third look, especially across multiple platforms.

Based on what’s working, what other content should I be posting?

Keeping in mind which content your loyal fans tend to engage with most, consider similar content via videos or blogs or how-to webinars or influencer journals, etc.

Ultimately, you need to engage with your customers in a way that resonates with them while also supporting your brand and, in turn, driving your business. But to do so effectively, you’ve got to do the work on the backend.

If you do, you’ll be much more informed and prepared to turn KPI into ROI for your business.

Click here to download our Social Media Guide for Cannabis.

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