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Let’s dive right in. You’re tweeting, liking, pinning, posting, filtering, following and updating. But how does all that work add value to your organization, and what impact do clicks really have on your bottom line? I’m going to talk about what metrics you should be measuring to optimize your social media strategy and increase your return on investment (ROI.)
Well, the more “Likes” and “Followers” I have, the higher my return. Not necessarily. Likes and followers are the foundations of social platforms, but we need to expand and look at other metrics. By setting goals and identifying specific key performance indicators (KPIs) for each of those goals you’ll be able to measure your social media return.
Okay…but ROI = (Gain – Cost)/Cost Yes and no. Not all social media gain is going to have a dollar sign attached, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. You’re gaining visibility, awareness and credibility. You’re building a reputation, providing customer service and creating a company culture. Social media opens doors. It engages potential customers and starts conversations.
But how do you measure those conversations? Let’s take a look at 5 social media metrics you should be measuring:
Referral Traffic: find out where your inbound website traffic is coming from. Which social network is generating the most referrals and what is the conversion? Maybe you’re getting 75% of your social traffic from Pinterest. Great, but your conversion from Pinterest traffic is significantly lower than your conversion from Facebook traffic. You’re generating more revenue from Facebook even though the percentage of traffic is lower. Tracking this will help you determine the value of each network and how to leverage the different social platforms to achieve specific goals.
Conversation Share: this is the number of conversations about your company versus the conversations about your competitors. You need to be tracking your share across all social media as well as by individual platforms. If your competitors are outperforming you in a specific platform, listen in on the conversation and find out why. You can use a free tool such as Social Mention or pay for a more extensive program like Radian6. It is also important pay attention to sentiment within these conversations.
Amplification & Total Reach: these are your friends of friends, your secondary networks. The simplest form of measurement here is number of shares. With every share or re-tweet, your reach is amplified. Take note from your most shared posts: what time of day was it? What was the content about? Did it have graphics? What kind? If you’re sharing links other than your own, see how popular they become by using a link-tracking tool. This will also help you determine your quality of content.
Quality: the higher quality your content, the more you will see overall numbers increase. Look at your unique pages views and user paths after you post a new piece of content. What was the intent of your post, and did it achieve the desired results? If it was a sales pitch, you should see your conversion going up. If it was a PPC ad aimed at growing your fan-base, you should see your total reach go up.
Engagement Rate: measure the number of replies/ comments/likes your posts receives to see how well it’s resonating with your audience. Compare different attributes of posts with high conversion rates to determine what is or is not successful. A higher engagement rate on Facebook, specifically, will help you build your EdgeRank thus expanding your total reach.
- Define your social media goals
Decide what you want to accomplish through social media. Be sure to align your social media goals with your overall marketing objective and business goals.
- Identify 1 or 2 KPIs to measure for each goal
Perhaps one of your goals is to see a 3% increase in social commerce this quarter. You might want to use referral traffic as a KPI for this goal. Referral traffic will tell you where your sales are coming from, and help you focus your resources on the higher performing social platforms.
Maybe your goal is brand awareness. Here you would want to measure your total reach.
- Analyze and Optimize
Look for patterns. Analyze KPIs for each goal, look for your opportunity areas and optimize your strategy. The metrics you measure should make sense for your business and be aligned with your goals.
What social media metrics do you track?