So, you’ve made the bold step into the minefield of social media, but want to be able to measure the success or otherwise of your efforts. This article introduces the idea of establishing metrics and then some tips and tools for how to measure them in order to ensure that you are able to pinpoint what is working and what is proving fruitless over time.
First, let’s look at establishing metrics
A metric is a quantifiable measure used to track and assess the status of a specific business process — in this case your social media campaign.
As with any lead generation campaign, it is vital to come up with measurable metrics to assess whether your goals are being met. Which behaviours can you measure to achieve this? Whether this may be shares, retweets, likes, comments or clicks it is important to decide early on so that you build up a bank of useful data to help you to monitor and hone your campaign.
You may wish to measure the level of awareness of your posts or tweets in which case the following metrics could apply: reach, volume and amplification. You will be able to measure the extent of your social media reach.
Arguably a more useful piece of information is the level of engagement with your social media posts. For this, you can establish retweets, comments, shares and likes as the relevant metrics. Conversation volume can be an excellent metric for understanding a social media campaign’s performance, but volume doesn’t always mean positivity. Big is not always better. You may wish to measure the volume of positive sentiment instead.
You may decide that it is pertinent to measure your success against that of a close competitor, in which case you can track some of these metrics alongside similar metrics of your competition. Consistency is the key to success when it comes to building up a bank of workable information. Carefully decide on the relevant metrics to your company and then stick by them.
Some useful tools for measuring social media campaign success
Sometimes, social media channels themselves provide a degree of analytics that can be useful measurement tools. Instagram Business Tools is a great example of this. Instagram unveiled a great suite of tools alongside accessible real-time campaign data, which is invaluable in understanding how your content is performing on their social media site.
Twitter is another social media outlet that has recently updated its facilities for marketers, featuring an analytic dashboard that depicts the number of impressions, retweets and favourites for every tweet made alongside the number of times each user has clicked on their profile. These metrics are updated in real time. There is a very useful CSV export tool, which can handle 3,200 tweets, offering a comprehensive breakdown. The ramifications of this toolset are that you can easily ascertain which tweets are garnering the most engagements to hone your strategy.
On the other hand there are also third party analytics tools available, such as Crowdbooster and Viralheat that can be very useful to help you monitor your various social media platforms in one fell swoop. Viralheat is particularly fascinating in that it is capable of analysing in excess of 600 data points, yielding information on social media trends across the internet, including the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Crucially, Viralheat is able to offer engagement and influencer scoring and can track keywords defined by the user. You will also be privy to their sentimental trend reporting, which means that you are able to see how certain topics are being received. You can monitor activity by time of day, so the optimal time to tweet is discovered as well as being able to filter mentions by location. You can also identify prescient trends in your field in advance of the competition so that you can tweet and post ahead of the game.