If you don’t have set goals for intangible marketing strategies (like blogging and posting on social media), then you’re bound to fail. Seem harsh? There’s a couple of reasons for that: 1) goals help you work toward an objective; 2) goals help you figure out how successful your efforts are. But how do you set goals – and determine the ROI – for the intangibles? Let’s dig in.

Set goals.Number-of-tweets

First, you should set realistic goals for your social media and blogging expectations. Its always a good idea to look at the past performance of your company as well as industry benchmarks to get a good idea about where your goals should be. Organize your goals into two categories: production and engagement. While you might not be able to directly control the number of social shares that you rake in, you can always set definite goals for how many times you want to tweet or blog per month. Production Goals Let’s say you want to set production goals for your Twitter schedule. InvestmentPal found that most Realtors only tweet about five times per month. Realtors in the 90th percentile of their group of peers tweet about 100 times per month (three or four times per day). With these benchmarks in mind (as well as your knowledge about how feasible these goals are), you might decide to tweet 60 times per month (two times per day). Use tools like Sprout Social or Hootsuite to schedule these tweets ahead of time and fill your Twitter queue. Engagement Goals While it’s a good idea to check industry benchmarks for production goals, it’s better to look at your real estate company’s past performance to set goals for engagement. Take an inventory of your engagement data over the past year. Let’s say, for example, that your company saw an average of two retweets and one reply every week. With these numbers in mind, you might decide to try to push yourself to three retweets and two replies every week. For engagement goals, it’s a good idea to set a lower goal, an ideal goals, and a reach goal. Using our Twitter example above, that might look like this:

  1. Lower goal: two retweets, one reply per week
  2. Ideal goal: three retweets, two replies per week
  3. Reach goal: four retweets, three replies per week

This tiered approach let’s you more carefully gauge your engagement success.

Tie metrics to business goals.

One of the biggest complaints about social media and blogging performance is the inability to tie these intangible strategies to the bottom line of your business. But it can be done. Let’s use your blog as an example. You can setup your Google Analytics account to track how your blog plays into sales and conversions. You can observe the string of sources that lead to a final conversion from one of your leads (keep in mind that Google Analytics is set to a last-click attribution model by default). If you are a Union Street Media client that engages in our Internet Marketing packages, then you can speak to your Internet Marketing Specialist about these concepts for more information. To cut out coincidental visits to your blog, you might only focus on specific blog posts that feature your listings. Additionally, focus on converted leads that spent more than a couple of minutes on these pages or leads that visited multiple listing pages within your blog. This group of converted leads will be comprised of clients that inquired about a specific listing after visiting that listing in your blog. In other words, you want to make sure that the listing page in your blog actually effected the conversion process for a client. After you analyze the data, you could find that a listing that you blogged about generated two leads for the month. Disclaimer: the numbers that I’m using are not based on real data; they were created exclusively for the purposes of this post. Your own results will be different. Let’s assume that your average commission for each sale is a steady 3%. In the latest census (2010), the average sale price for new properties in the country was approximately $273,000. So that would make your average commission $8,190. If all of the leads that convert from your blog lead to a successful sale, then you could determine that your blog contributes about $16,380 in commissions monthly ($8,190 x 2 leads per month = $16,380).

Observe, calculate, and refine.

It’s important to observe and calculate the success of your social media and blogging efforts over time. As a Union Street Media client, we condense all of this information in the reporting tab of our Accelerator Admin system. As you notice changes in your data, try to pin down which of your strategies are most and least successful. Make sure to continually cut out your least effective strategies to make room for new strategies that will boost your returns. How does your blog help you land new leads? Let us know in the comments.