Your business is off to a stellar start. You’ve developed a fabulous online presence, you know your market well, and you’re keeping your audience engaged.
You also know your social media efforts play a humongous role in boosting your business success and have implemented all the available resources to be a step ahead of your competitors.
However, if you’re using social media, you should measure consistently. That said, you shouldn’t measure just for the sake of having metrics.
Instead, weigh all your social activities to know what’s working and what’s not. Then act to improve on them.
Here’s a list of cost-effective social media management tools that can make your social media marketing efforts easier and more effective.
Measuring ROI: A Common Frustration
There are many studies which show that marketers struggle while measuring ROI from social media.
Below are some examples:
- 46% of B2B marketers are unsure whether any of their social channels have generated revenue.
- 80% of marketers use engagement as their key success metric, while 56% focus on site traffic. These figures show that engagement is still the most commonly used metric.
- 60% of marketers believe that measuring ROI is one of the top three social media marketing challenges
Below you’ll find what businesses surveyed said were the most challenging elements of their social program (according to TrustRadius, a notable software review company).
What Should You Track?
In reality, there are various ways of tracking social ROI. If you want to measure social media ROI, stop wasting your time attending webinars, and doing sophisticated software demos.
Find out what you want to track, where you can track it, and do it. Be sure to think about both your current customers and future prospects.
Additionally, businesses need to accept the fact that a social media strategy alone can never lead you to success.
If you don’t have a coherent content strategy or a content marketing plan, your social channels will head into oblivion.
You’ll be left struggling to find an audience.
And if your customer service is pathetically weak because it lacks the right processes or systems, social media alone won’t be able to fix that.
Here’s a fantastic article on the same subject by Jay Baer from Convince & Convert.
A word before we move a bit further…..
Before learning to measure your social metrics, you first need to develop high-converting social pages as it’s the first thing people see on visiting your social platforms.
They must convert — not run them off.
Now without much ado, let’s dive into the art of measuring social media success. These are four simple but very effective metrics you should measure right now.
This may not be an essential metric, but volume still plays a crucial role when understanding the impact you’re making on social media.
Volume is the best primary indicator of interest. People talk about things they either love or hate, but give a blind eye to matters for which they don’t care at all.
And volume isn’t a simple counting metric as there’s more to it than just counting wall posts or tweets.
It’s vital to measure the number of people talking about your brand and also the number of messages associated with your brand.
There are three easy ways to do this on Twitter:
- @Username: This is perhaps the easiest. You get a notification when someone attributes your username in a tweet, usually associated as a “Twitter mention.”
- Hashtags: Hashtags are a common way people refer to your brand, especially if you are well-known in the industry. People frequently link hashtags to blog posts, campaigns, products, events, and more.
- Brand Mentions: These are similar to @Usernames, but when the person did not tag you. You usually don’t get notifications when people share your content, but there is a whole range of tools to help you out.
When it comes to Facebook, you can use Facebook Insights (cleverly labeled “people talking about this”).
It shows the number of people who have posted something about your brand on their timeline.
Find out the days or times when people seem to be talking about your brand when the volume goes up.
You can use this information to get a higher number of engagements for future posts.
If your audience isn’t talking about you on any social platform, you need to refine your messaging.
Test different types of messaging and see what your audience best resonates to and do more of that.
Suppose your content fails to strike the right note. Now is the time to introspect and find if your audience prefers written content, visuals, videos (perhaps with a twist of humor), or in-depth guides.
Use Ahrefs to measure inbound links. Although this may seem inappropriate to social, it can help you find the most popular content.
Once you identify the content, make an extra effort to promote it on social. Use paid and organic amplification to send your message reach far and wide.
You can also use Google’s Search Console to find the most popular content.
Reach helps you measure the spread of a social media conversation. How far is your content being circulated, and what’s the size of your audience for the message?
In short, reach measures the potential size of your audience. On Facebook, for instance, “total reach” indicates the number of people who have been shown your post.
Of course, a broad audience is an excellent indicator of your social efforts, but reach alone doesn’t tell you everything.
However, when compared to other engagement metrics, it becomes potent.
There are three types of reach metrics:
- Organic reach: This refers to the number of people who are shown your posts in their feed. Since social algorithms give more weight to posts shared by followers, family, and friends, this is a metric that’s getting hard to maintain.
- Viral reach: This is an indicator of the number of people who have seen your posts as a result of social sharing.
- Paid reach: This shows the number of people who have seen your content through a sponsored post.
Measuring reach on social media can sometimes be misleading as it shows the number of people who potentially saw your post.
Unlike volume, which has a definite answer, such as ‘x’ number of likes, reach is just an estimate.
Reach can be measured by tracking the following Key Performance Indications (KPIs):
- Impressions: Impressions show the number of times your post was shown in someone’s timeline or newsfeed, either because they’re your fans or because someone they know has engaged with your content.
- Fans or followers: The total number of followers you have on social media indicate your reach. In other words, it refers to the total number of people that have actively indicated that they want to see your posts.
- Traffic data: This can be a huge one. What percentage of traffic are you getting directly from social media? If you’re investing the right amount of effort and time in creating content for social, you’ll want to ensure that this number reflects that. Here’s a step-by-step guide on analyzing social media traffic with Google Analytics.
Engagement metrics are the most critical area to measure in social media. It measures how people are interacting with your content and brand across your social channels.
The higher the engagement, the greater your viral reach. High participation indicates your audiences know and trusts you.
While measuring engagement, focus on the following metrics:
- Following ratio/followers: Your follower ratio highlights your credibility on social. If you have 100 followers, but if you follow 1k people, there is an increased chance you may lose followers.
- Audience growth: This refers to the number of followers you’ve acquired over a set period. By monitoring the rate of the growth of your audience, you can stay well-informed of your posting schedule and other important aspects
- Likes and shares: This are perhaps the most accessible metrics to track. From LinkedIn to Twitter, liking and sharing are universal actions people take to express appreciation for your content.
- Audience mentions: As explained above, people who mention your brand can help identify the most engaged members of your audience.
Your key focus should not only be to increase follower base, but also boost engagement as this means you have to find the right followers who are actually engaged in what you share.
These are the folks you want, not just an enormous number of followers with negligible levels of engagement.
True Social Metrics is a powerful tool that helps to track your engagement. They offer a free version and a paid version with more features.
Connect your social pages and even your blog to get it to start tracking. Using the tool, capture the numbers weekly and throw it into a spreadsheet.
It shows not only the engagement but also the traffic as well.
Creating Engaging Content
The key to enhancing engagement is to create engaging content.
Below you’ll find nine types of content that can work for you:
- User-generated content
- Virtual reality content
- Client testimonials
Share of Voice
At any given moment, a mere 60 seconds worth of online activity can generate a whole lot of chatter.
Keeping this in mind, marketers are often left wondering what portion of that conversation they can call their own.
You want to understand when they talked about you, who spoke about you, what they said and who has the potential to outrank you in terms of popularity.
This is known as share of voice (SOV). Moz has defined SOV by the following equation:
Brand advertising/Total market advertising=Share of voice
Mentions work well, but they don’t give you a clear picture of potential and current opportunities.
While tracking share of voice, you can quickly know how your mentions compare to those of your competitors.
SOV allows you to compare your brand’s marketing efforts to gauge how they are doing compared to those of your competitors.
In regards to social media, SOV quantifies the noise your brand makes on all social channels and audience activity (mentions, shares, etc.).
The information retrieved is compared to your competitors to establish an ownership percentage.
Measuring SOV for social can be done manually, along with a mention monitoring tool.
Track the number of mentions made of your brand for all platforms for a specified time frame.
Repeat the exercise for your competitors while remaining mindful of all related keywords.
Now it’s a time for a bit of arithmetic:
- Divide the total number of mentions (both yours and your competitors) over the given time frame by 100. This figure will show what 1% of the overall voice for your particular group measures out to be.
- Segregate the total number of mentions for your brand and divide it by the number from the previous step. Do this for each of your competitors.
Measuring Social Media Success
The dewy morning grass beneath your feet, the flutter of a butterfly’s wings, the tender love for a Pinkberry sundae-these are some things that can’t be measured.
Along the same line, not all the rewards of social media are measurable.
As corny as it may sound, social media serves as a powerful tool for fostering relationships, and relationships are complicated to measure.
But by measuring the metrics above, social media can aid you in developing your brand’s personality and building a voice.
Hopefully, by now, you’ve understood the parameters that you can measure related to social.
Do you have any other methods or tools for measuring the ROI of social media? Let us know in the comments below.