When I talk with clients and colleagues about social marketing, one of the big frustrations that gets expressed is that they don't know if the time they spend blogging and on social networks is really paying off and netting new business.
I ask how they would know or if they even track that information. Most don't.
I do. I see a very direct connection between sales processed through my shopping cart and my marketing time spent blogging and connecting with people on sites like Facebook and twitter. I see it because I ask.
KickStartCart is my ecommerce/database management system. There is an option to set up custom fields on the order from people fill out when they make a purchase. I have one called "how did you hear about us" which gives them several options to choose from to let me know how they found me.
In prepping for my new program, From Platform to Profit, I ran a report to see who had signed up so I would have a class list. After reviewing the names, many of which were new to me, I then checked to see how they found me.
25% of the participants stated that they found me through my blog (!), several mentioned Facebook, many are repeat clients/students and a few said they met me at an event.
Does it pay to blog? You bet.
Does it pay to have an active presence on Facebook? Yes.
Does it pay to attend live events? Yes! (Note the people who said them met me at events were at event where I was a participant, not a speaker.)
Maintaining a very visible presence, both on and offline is necessary to attract more of the right people to your business.
My questions then, for you are: do you know where your clients/customer/patients are coming from? Do you have a system in place to find out? If so, what is it?