Social media marketing success is not achieved overnight and success needs to be defined by clear, measurable goals.
A problem with social media measurement is the rate at which the medium is evolving – there are new sites appearing constantly and new uses for well-established social media sites. As new sites manifest and new uses for long-time social media favourites are discovered, more and more data is made available to marketers. This massive amount of data that is available is a problem because most of it is fairly useless and, in the worst case scenario, it is misleading.
The biggest challenge faced by social media marketers is to effectively sort through the mounds of data available.
It’s easy to be tempted by the metrics that are easy to track – followers, friends, fans, subscribers, blog posts and so on. You cannot put too much attention on these and other ridiculous metrics as the follower to following ration on Twitter. Tweeting, posting and publishing are merely the early steps in the social media marketing process – you need to measure what happens after you take these early steps.
Here are nine metrics you need to measure your brand’s social media marketing success.
#1 – Conversation rate
Too many companies and brands shout at their followers. What I mean is they treat the a medium, like Twitter, like they would treat the medium of television – shouting at people without a specific, tailored measure will not help you achieve online success. Social media, unlike television, gives you real time feedback that will tell you whether your activity is resonating with your followers.
The easiest way to measure the degree to which a post resonates with your audience is to measure the number of replies or comments each post generates – we’ll call this the conversation rate. Your conversation rate will only be high when you have a thorough understanding of your audience and a well-defined brand. In other words, you can’t manipulate this metric, it will force you to do the right thing.
#2 – Referring traffic
Your website is the online base to which your social media accounts direct Internet traffic and potential customers.
Like traditional marketing, there is also a social media marketing mix. Your social media marketing mix needs to consider the value of the various satellite accounts – blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, GooglePlus, and the list goes on. Monitoring the amount of traffic sent to your website from your satellite accounts will help you understand what social media channels are the most valuable.
#3 – Total reach
Tracking your total network is important because it will help you judge if you are adding value in the social space. At the most basic level, a larger reach will be necessary to increase the potential spread of your content.
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Credit: SmartData Collective