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Idea Box: Measure Key Metrics to Improve Social Media Marketing
Determining the effectiveness of social media marketing can be done by measuring key metrics.
Date Posted: 8/1/2014
If you are going to put in the time and effort of building a social media marketing campaign, you probably want to be able to justify the time it costs you. And if you don’t, you should. The reason is that social media is a tool for reaching others goals, not a goal in and of itself.
The way to do this is tracking key metrics that can tell you if your social media marketing efforts are paying off. But what should you measure? Hint: It’s not just the number of fans or followers you have. You could have 1 million followers, but if they are not interacting with your content and turning into paying customers they aren’t much good. What exactly you choose to measure will depend on what your goals are.
Is your goal with social media to get potential customers to visit your main website? Is it to establish your company as an expert resource on industry topics? Do you want to establish frequent communication with customers? Some companies go overboard and measure unnecessary metrics. The only problem with this is that it takes both time and attention away from the important measurements that will really tell you what you need to know.
Because each company has different goals for the role social media will play in its overall marketing campaigns, key measurements will differ too. Only put time into the metrics that will be used to improve your marketing.
Some of the top things to measure in social media marketing include:
• What drives traffic to your website? This could be specific social media accounts, topics or type of content – such as photos, videos, contests or others.
• Which topics have the most responses? This includes likes, comments, shares, replies, retweets, or any type of response from a potential customer. But keep in mind that the responses that indicate more engagement – such as a comment – are worth more than others. Knowing this will help you focus on topics that potential customers are interested in. Do you receive a lot of feedback on your packaging design or mold mediation services? Then you should talk about them more. Does no one care about your heat treatment services? Then post about it less.
• Which social media outlet or marketing campaigns drive the most traffic to your website? Knowing this can tell you which social media sites are more popular with current and potential customers. Consider advertising or putting more effort on these top response social media sites.
• The quality of traffic driven to your website via social media. Do these visitors click through multiple pages on your website or leave after viewing the home page? Is there a significant difference based on whether they clicked through Facebook, LinkedIn or another social media outlet? How does this compare to visitors who come to your website from search engines or banner ads?
• What time of day do posts receive the most responses? By knowing when your social media connections tend to be more interactive, you can publish content at the most effective times to reach more of them.
Many social media sites have some basic analytics available. This includes things such as number of views, number of responses and overall popularity of individual posts. Many also include information on the demographics of those responding to content.
There are also tools available that can track many of these metrics across multiple platforms and within your company’s website. Some of the most commonly used ones are Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics), Salesforce (http://www.salesforce.com) and HootSuite Analytics (https://hootsuite.com). No matter what metrics you decide to measure or which tools you choose, remember that the most important thing is to gather information you can use.