11 Social Media Metrics to Measure for Success
Everyone wants their social media marketing campaign to succeed. But how can you know if your campaign has succeeded? Do you know that your success is measurable?
While some social media marketing metrics are universal, there are also platform-specific metrics you need to learn. Data is calculated differently depending on the type of platform and social media metric tool you are using.
Here are the top social media metrics that you can track to measure the success of your marketing campaign:
If extending your network and increasing your reach are part of your goals, the number of your followers on social media matters. It is especially true if you are marketing across multiple social media platforms.
To make more sense of follower count, you should look at the growth rate. If you can see consistent growth several months after starting your social media campaign, you can say your efforts and dedication are paying off. Identify which of your existing platforms are growing fastest, then put extra effort into those.
Analyzing brand sentiment can help you understand better what people think about your brand online. On social media, there are three types of sentiment: positive, negative, and neutral. Through moderation, you can track all these types of sentiment. And to measure sentiment, you can either use automated or manual tools or both.
Influencer marketing can help you grow your audience quickly and is more cost-effective than advertising. Therefore, you should monitor your top influencers on social. Though there is no universal standard for measuring influence, there are a lot of tools offering “influence score,” including Klout and PeerIndex.
Although every channel in every sector has its own metrics making it impossible to give targets here, what we can say from our own extensive experience is that the ROI of influencers compared to traditional paid advertising is significantly higher (assuming you have done proper research into the effectiveness of your influencer).
If part of your social media marketing goal is to drive traffic to your website, then it is important to track engagement. Wondering what platform to maximize for your goal? According to a 2015 study by Pew Research Center, Facebook continues to have the most engaged users — 70% log in daily, of which 43% do so several times a day. Yet, traffic alone is not that valuable compared to the insight you can get about what they do upon arriving on your site. Do they engage with your content or leave immediately?
This metric tells you how well you are converting your audience and whether your content is relevant to them. For example, creating a funny viral campaign may drive 10x the normal volume of traffic to your site for a month, but if it really has no relevance to your product and services, not only will conversion metrics drop dramatically, but there could even be an aftermath of negative responses in your industry. Quality is nearly always preferred over quantity. If you want to gauge how interesting or engaging your topics are, you should review comments and replies on your posts.
It is also important to identify the optimal times for engagement. On Facebook, you can view your followers’ daily activity over the last week. If you want to see how engagement shifts by hour, you can narrow it down to individual days. Twitter, on the other hand, does not provide engagement stats for specific times throughout the day, but you can still see how engagement changes by day over the last 28 days (default) or another period.
This metric combines the number of people you have reached within and outside your audience base. When users engage with your content, their activity is usually shared with their connections, which then improves your page reach. As you create and publish more engaging content, the reach of your business will improve significantly.
Reach measures the spread of a social media conversation. On its own, reach can help you understand the context of your content. How far are you distributing your content and how big is the audience for your message? It is also a measure of potential audience size. A large audience is good, of course, but reach alone cannot tell you everything about that audience.
Reach becomes more powerful when used with other engagement metrics. It helps you contextualize other engagement metrics. You can use it as the denominator in your social media measurement equations. To calculate an engagement percentage, pick engagement numbers such as clicks, retweets, or replies and divide them by reach. Of the potential audience for your campaign, how many people participated?
Mentions are useful for measuring brand awareness and discovering how engaged people are with your brand on social networks. By tracking mentions, you will uncover three things: (1) the level of users’ engagement with your content, (2) the best days and times to share your content, and (3) if users like or dislike your products or services and why. To make more sense of mentions, you should track your share of voice (which is detailed below).
Share of Voice
To understand how well you are doing on social media, you should consider the share of voice metric. How does the conversation about your brand compare to conversations about your competitors? Determine what percentage of the overall conversation about your industry is focused on your brand compared to your main competitors. Hootsuite Analytics can help you get both figures faster. Also, learn from your competitors’ successes. You can measure your competitors’ impact just as easily as you can measure your own, since most social media conversations are public.
Consistency and preparation are essential to effective social media measurement. Pick your favorite metrics and start tracking them now. Use the same formulas and tools to calculate these numbers every week or month. Track your numbers over time and pay attention to how they change. If you see anything that looks higher or lower than what you typically expect, investigate it. By measuring – and paying attention to – this metric, you will be able to understand the impact and effectiveness of your social media activity better.
As you grow your following, monitoring your audience demographics can inform your strategy and help you modify posts and paid ads for future promotions. If you are using a Facebook page, you can access a wealth of demographic information in the Your Fans section. Meanwhile, on Twitter, you can find relevant information related to your followers in the Audiences section.
Gated content sharing, event hosting, and advertising with free demos or trials are just some of the ways to generate measurable leads through social media. You don’t need to spend too much for this as a 2015 study by Social Media Examiner found that 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits by spending as little as six hours per week on social media. But make sure that the links you share are trackable within your marketing automation or analytics software — whether it is Google Analytics, Marketo, Salesforce or something else you are going to use.
If your social media marketing campaign leads to conversions, your ROI is evident. You should be part of the 22% who are satisfied with their conversion rates. Find out which social channels convert and post great content (with great CTA and landing page) as much as you can to those channels. Aside from monitoring conversions per channel, you should also track total social media conversions. Doing the latter will give you insight about how social media contributes to your monthly or quarterly marketing targets. It will be even better to keep track of conversion trends over time.
However, it is worth noting here that the main point of most social marketing is gaining awareness and authority. This is not the same as direct conversions. Getting into the minds of your customers may cause them to consider you first six months down the line. It is very difficult to qualify awareness fully.
Direct traffic, organic searches, and even cold calls and emails to your office all had to have been made aware of you from somewhere. It is worth keeping track of all conversion and ROI from before and after you push social media marketing, regardless of the acquisition channel. It will give you a better understanding of just how effective your social media marketing is outside the directly trackable metrics.
For example, you may track a new contract back to an organic search for keywords you are associated with. Initially, it feels like it is attributed to a simple Google search to find you. However, those keywords used may have been in the mind of your customer due to an article you produced 6 months earlier.
In addition, how come you came first in the search above your competitor? How is your ranking overall and for keywords affected by your extensive social media marketing efforts, content creation, blog success and content distribution efforts? How many high-quality backlinks have been made by interacting with comments sections and associating with influencers? It’s a very gray area sometimes, but a distinct before and after measurement can help show the overall effectiveness.
Revenue is the ultimate (but not the only) goal of social media marketing. To measure ROI, you need to have the I (investment). Without seriously investing resources, you may never find the R (return) you are looking for.
How can you track your ROI? Using Google Analytics, you can set website goals for each conversion point and then add a dollar value to each conversion. You can also use tools such as Kissmetrics and Marketo to track customer journey from the first conversion.
The metrics discussed above can help you achieve your social media marketing goals and keep track of the progress of your campaign. You might not find all of these useful, but that is fine, as long as you utilize your chosen metrics well.