Metrics, metrics, metrics! You can’t avoid them. Did you know that when it comes to tracking your social media metrics, there are millions that you could be analyzing to reach your KPIs? (Well maybe not millions, but there are really quite a few to choose from.) KPIs of course, are the values used by marketing and social media teams to measure the performance of your social media campaigns. But the real question is, do you know where to find these numbers, and will those statistics provide actual value for your business (a.k.a. ROI)?
The only way to make sure that you’re achieving the best results from your campaigns is by tracking the right social media metrics—outside of the “vanity metrics” like follower count and likes. Realistically, you can evaluate a variety of different social media metrics, but you only need to focus on those that apply to the following questions:
- Are you engaging with the right audience?
- Does your content reach the right people?
- How many of your followers inquire about your service?
- How many of them convert to customers?
That said, in this blog, I’ll cover four key social media metrics that will prove ROI.
I like to describe social media engagement as a long-term relationship—sort of like a marriage. Let’s think about it; a relationship takes time and dedication, and the ability to think about the foreseeable future to ensure that everyone’s happy. According to a Forrester report, “engagement is the level of involvement, interaction, intimacy, and influence an individual has with a brand over time.” Simply put, social media engagement measures the number of likes, shares, and comments that your social updates receive.
As a social media marketer, I believe that engagement should be the #1 focus-area, for many reasons. It shows early signs of growth and progress that you can assess and eventually add to your planning. For example, if your Twitter handle has a broad reach with low engagement, that’s usually a negative, because it shows your content hasn’t resonated well with your audience. Reaching millions of people means nothing if they aren’t interested in what you offer. So now it’s time to take action!
Here’s are a few things you should track:
Clicks. You posted a blog on your webpage, and now you want to track how many times viewers clicked on the link. Link clicks are pretty much a representation of the quality of your content—whether it is the title or image you used. Your fans are only going to click on links that interest them. Plain and simple.
Likes. The more likes your posts are generating, the higher the possibility that your branding is reaching larger audiences. And that’s a great sign! Fans typically are attracted to content they find valuable or eye-catching.
Shares. Or even Retweets. It’s always good to know that your fans are sharing your work. It shows that your content was valued by them! In short, shares are a reliable indicator of the quality you’ve put into your content.
Brand Mentions. If your social handle is mentioned or tagged, it shows that people are talking about your brand. This is a key social media metric because it shows that your brand is driving awareness and creating conversations amongst your audience. (P.S. It’s always good to double check if your mentions are positive or negative sentiments.)
How far does your content really go in terms of viewership? This is a question all social media marketers must ask themselves, which is why ‘reach’ is an important metric to track. Reach indicates a variety of different things—from how far your posts are traveling, to the number of eyes that read it.
Also, take note that reach is a measure of your potential audience size and the range of your conversions. It can be very misleading since this metric does not tell you everything. For example, reach only highlights how many people came across your post. So, unlike engagement, which provides actual statistics, reach serves more as an estimate. But a crucial metric to track nonetheless!
A significant challenge for social media marketers is identifying how your content is generating sales. You can quickly get caught up raving about how many likes and shares your posts are getting, but at the end of the day, it’s creating new sales that matter the most. Now ask yourself, how many of your social followers end up making a purchase from your company?
This isn’t said often, but social media can be one of the best sales tools to connect with leads/prospects, drive sales, and close deals. Every salesperson knows that an essential stage in the sales process is to establish a relationship and get to know your prospects. According to Sprout Social, 74% of shoppers make buying decisions based on social media. So, if you’re not tracking leads through your social platforms, now might be a good time to consider it.
Customer conversions are critical to the success of marketers, and no strategy would be complete without measuring the number of acquired customers. Is there a better feeling than getting your customers to take action based on the social media content that you’ve created?
The best way to track how many leads you convert from social media is by using UTM parameters in the link you are promoting. By doing so, you’ll be able to organize and see which of your social posts result in the best lead conversion rates. Just in case you’re not familiar with UTM parameters, they are merely personalized tags that are added to a URL, and when the link is clicked, the tags are relayed back to your analytics platform (ex. Google Analytics) and eventually tracked.
Understand your audience. Focus on providing content that attracts them and keeps them engaged. This could possibly be the best social media advice you’ll get (maybe). But once you get your audience engaged with your brand, you’ll start to find out who’s most interested ready to purchase your product or service. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to which social media channels produce the best conversion rates. This will show you where to focus more time and where your best leads are coming from.
Remember, the goal of measuring your social media KPIs isn’t just to validate your organization’s marketing strategy, but to improve it. Analyzing your social media key marketing metrics is essential for every business. However, the key is finding which metrics are most relevant to the channels your brand is active on. Run your analytics reports, make adjustments, and enjoy the process! Measuring your metrics is a beautiful thing and will ensure that you’re stepping in the right direction.
What other key marketing metrics for social media do you measure? Which do you find most useful? I would love to hear your thoughts!