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Measuring success is something you have to pay attention to. Even if it's just yourself doing it, you want to make sure that your time and effort is worthwhile. Now, the way I advise people to do this is, upfront, figure out specifically how they're going to measure success, because especially if you're small business, you may not be doing other marketing efforts. Your content marketing might be the only thing you're doing, and if you're constantly selling more products, more services, getting more people go through your door, then it's working. But then there are tools. You should be looking at Google Analytics, or some other tool of that sort to see traffic on your Web site; is it going up? Any of those tools will show you what kinds of content resonates with your audience.
Perhaps you did a photo essay one day, you did a video the next week, and you did a written post the following week. If you start seeing that people are viewing the photography post more, maybe you should do more of those. If they're watching the videos, maybe you should do more of those. And then of course, you need to look at simple things, like the number of views, the number of hits, the number of shares, and likes, and those sorts of things. Every social platform has different measurement tools built into it, and you should be looking at those. At the end of the day, you are a business. You're trying to sell a product or service, and you need to make sure that whatever you're spending your time and budget on gets back to getting more money into your pocket, or more people in your front door.
Maintaining a community and relationship with people is just like the real world. It's no different than when it's magically online. You need to talk to these people on a regular basis, you need to be helpful; you need to reach out to them every so often. Don't just reach out to somebody when you're trying to connect with them, or sell to them. Talk to them on a daily basis, or every so often, say hey, how are you doing? It's amazing how social media has empowered us to able to do that. And once you've got a community of people, they want to feel welcome. They want to feel like, oh wow, they do still care about me.
If the only time you care about somebody is when they buy a product from you, that's not a relationship, and that's not a community. So be sure to be listening, and be helpful on a regular basis, and those relationships will pay off in the long run.
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