by Nancy Hassel, American Pet Professionals
Recently I had to opportunity to be on a panel at a Pet Tech event in NYC and we were discussing what else, but pets and social media! The gist was about pet businesses getting more visibility on social, new pet start-ups and Instagram pets that have landed themselves over 250,000 followers, and how they did it. The crowd was very interested listening to all the marketing tips, know-how, and advice our panel was giving. Lowell Kaufmann of Well Informed Pet, the host of the event, asked, “How do you measure your ROI (return on investment) for your social media? What tips can you give about your success?”
It is a great question, my co-panelists all had really fantastic information and what they have done to measure their ROI. One thing that was not brought up was the time spent on social media while trying to grow your presence. I chimed in with my 2 cents about not just measuring your ROI on monies spent on Facebook ads, hiring influencers to showcase your business or product, but to measure your time spent promoting your pet business or your pet on Instagram. Are you even paying attention to how much time spent and is it effective for your business?
Let’s measure it:
For example, let’s say you are a dog trainer, and you charge $100 an hour for a private lesson at someone’s home, hopefully, you are measuring:
- How you acquired that new client
- How much time you spend preparing ahead for that 1-hour session, and follow up after the session
- Your time to get to the location and back, transportation costs, etc.
- Any supplies you may have purchased for that session
- Are you counting your advertising costs and time to get that client?
- And will your new client lead to a referral to another new client?
Perhaps you landed that client from several social media posts made over time on Facebook or Instagram, have you measured, how much time you put into getting that one client? If you are spending let’s say 5-hours a week dedicated to your social media platforms to promote your dog training business if that were 5-dog training sessions that would equal $500 income.
Are you keeping track of how much time you’re spending on social to promote your business? Are you counting that time as money for your marketing budget? As we know time equals money, and any time spent promoting your business should be accounted for when measuring your ROI.
If you only got one client a week spending 5-hours or $500 of your time, then you’re in the red -$400 a week. That adds up, $1,200 a month loss if you are accounting for your time as dollars spent on social. And that is a big loss in my opinion.
Utilizing your time:
We all can get sucked into the wormhole and 2-hours later can’t remember why we hopped on Facebook or Instagram in the first place!
So what can you do to be more effective, without wasting so much time on social?
Here are some ideas to help you be more efficient with your time and more creative on social:
- Set up a strategic social media or marketing calendar for the year on what you want to promote for your business.
- Are their pet holidays you want to highlight your business with? For example, January is National Train Your Dog Month, what can you craft around that to promote your business?
- Keep track of your conversion rate, how many clicks from your social media platforms are turning into paying clients? If you have SEO set up on your website, you should be able to track this that way. But if you are unsure how to do that, set up a bit.ly link of the website link you want to track and share that link with your social posts, link in your profile, then go back to your bit.ly account and you can see where people are clicking on from i.e. how many people click on from Instagram, Facebook and so on. Then you can see what works and what doesn’t work. Obviously, if more people are clicking on Instagram than Facebook that may be a better platform for you. For example see below on the two screenshots of a bit.ly for people that clicked on a link I did for 2018 Pet Industry Events:
- The old school method, when someone calls or contacts you, ask them how they found you. Keep track of that! A simple notebook as you take their name and info, and how they found out about you. You can create your own forms very easily for this as well.
- Create a Wufoo.com or form for ‘Contact us for more information’ on your website, and you can customize and add a few questions, one being, ‘how did you hear about us,’ and check boxes of choices, which I am sure you have filled out many times when landing on someone else’s website.
- Set a schedule for the week, and create posts and schedule them Sunday night for that week. You will spend less time than if you try to do it daily.
- An easy way to stay on schedule is to set an alarm on your phone, 15 minutes on Instagram, 15 minutes on Facebook, daily, and be firm about it with yourself.
Yes, you still need to be social on social media, answer questions, interact with others, but set a scheduled amount of time to do this daily/weekly will make your time spent more efficient.
As we all know by now the few Facebook algorithm is not kind to business pages unless you pay to play, but it does like Live and native video. If you have yet to jump in to LIVE video you should be adding this to your marketing strategy. LIVE weekly tips on dog training, without giving away everything, and set up a plan, each week show how you can show training a puppy to heel, give a few steps each week and show the progress.
Short and sweet 5-minute live videos will help your page and presence, and you can share those videos on all your social platforms. Your videos will pump up your Facebook or Instagram feed as well, get seen more and often result in new clients. If you are brand new to video, unsure how or what to do, we have a simple to follow course on How to Use Live Video for your Pet Business, click here to get started!
One more thing a lot of people don’t think to do this, but if you are a hyper-local business, start following and commenting on local businesses near you on Instagram from your pet business page. Be sure to set a timer for this so you’re not sitting on Instagram for 3-hours doing this! You can use the search bar on Instagram to find people and business near you or use #hashtags of people using your town, parks, popular locations.
What do you do to measure your ROI of your time spent on social? Let us know we would love to know and if you think this can help someone you know, please share it with them!