It’s no secret that using social media channels to promote your business is a marketing strategy that more and more people are using. However, how can you determine whether a social media strategy is proving beneficial to your business? How do you know if the time and money that you’re spending on social media is actually working?
While it may be desirable to find a guide that claims to give you all the answers, particularly if you are fairly inexperienced with social analytics or analytic technology for that matter, the truth is that what you should measure depends on what your business goals are.
Social media metrics are not the end goal, they are the starting point. It’s not simply the case that “if X metrics are high, you are succeeding”.
So, what exactly are social media metrics? Below we’ve listed each one, with a brief explanation.
- Followers – the people who will be regularly exposed to your posts and content – Perhaps they have ‘liked’ your Facebook page, or ‘follow’ you on Twitter.
- Reach – the number of individuals who have seen your content in their social media timeline/feed.
- Impressions – the potential number of times your content was seen (not the number of times it was actually seen). This could include the same person seeing it twice if it reappears in their timeline/feed.
Then we have ‘Engagement metrics’ – This is simply how much your audience has engaged with your posts.
- Shares/RTs – how many times your content is shared by others, increasing the reach.
- Mentions – how many times is your brand specifically mentioned in tweets or posts.
- Comments – the number of comments posted on one of your posts.
- Likes – The amount of people who have ‘liked’ or ‘favourited’ your post.
Now we’re clear on what exactly metrics are, we need to benchmark our current status before we try to measure anything.
Before you start the clock on measuring your social media success, it is a good idea to benchmark where you’re at currently:
- Make a note of the obvious numbers (number of Facebook fans, Twitter followers, Instagram followers, YouTube subscribers, and referrals from social media sites, plus existing website traffic).
- Make a note of the less obvious benchmarks if possible (such as SEO rankings on Google and referrals, customer satisfaction scores and other business data).
- Make a note of ROI benchmarks. How much are you paying to acquire customers via other marketing channels? How vast is that advertising budget, and how is it being split up?
Ok, so once you have your benchmarks, you can now create realistic goals. Goals may be a certain number of follower growth per week, you may want engagement to go up by a certain percentage every month, but ultimately you want sales and leads for your company.
In order to track how your close or far from your goals you may be, below are our top 4 ways to measure.
- Customer engagement
Given the prevalence of choice, and the ease with which consumers can switch from one brand to another in the digital age, customer engagement is one of the most important of all metrics in today’s business environment. Engagement can take place offline and online, both on your website and on other sites, particularly social media sites. Customer engagement is key to improving satisfaction and loyalty rates, and revenue. By listening to customers, and letting them know that you are listening, you can improve your business, your products, and your levels of service. Research has found that an engaged customer will recommend your brand, convert more readily and purchase more often.
To check how your customer engagement is going – These handy analytic tools listed below will help you month by month.
A positive side effect of increased customer engagement is an increase in customer retention. This is going to be a crucial factor in the success of your business in the years to come. Make no bones about it: we are moving into an age of optimisation and retention. Watch your retention rates as you start consistently participating in social media. Over time, retention rates should rise.
If you can engage customers more often, the result will surely be that you’ll generate more business from your existing customer base (who in turn will recommend your business to their network of friends, family, and social media contacts). It makes for a far more profitable and more efficient organisation. Remember that old saying about it being cheaper to keep existing customers than to seek out new ones.
Some companies simply cannot process sales online, because their products or services do not allow for it. For example, the hotel industry can measure leads by the number of brochure requests, or perhaps wedding venue viewings. How you measure your leads really depends on the type of business you run.
Overall there are many different ways to measure your social media strategy – depending on your goals, industry or experience. If you are looking to expand or develop your social media strategy, or need help with management or paid advertisements, please feel free to contact us for a FREE consultation and coffee at email@example.com or call on 01427 808870.