As a digital marketer, you already know that participating in social media benefits your business. It allows you to provide fast, effective customer service, humanizes your brand, and lets you reach an audience that might otherwise be unavailable.
You know that social media is a required tool in your digital marketing arsenal. But…how do you know if it’s working?
What’s that you say? Follow the data. Hey, you’ve been here before, haven’t you?
We believe in gathering data, making sense of it, and using it to your advantage. That rule certainly applies to social media. Tweeting every once in awhile and posting a few Facebook updates isn’t enough to drive customers to your business. Social media takes planning, strategy, measurement, and correction—a recipe in which data is a critical ingredient.
Of course, there is endless information you could collect about your social media performance, but analyzing every piece of data may not be the best use of your time. Instead, start with these five metrics to course correct and head down the path to social media success.
This may seem obvious, but measuring the number of clicks your posts receive can provide a huge clue as to which updates your followers are most interested in. Sure, you may have found the cat video you linked to in a tweet very amusing, but if none of your followers clicked the link, it probably didn’t quite resonate with them. Or, maybe you posted it at a low-traffic time and should test different times of day for clicks.
Measuring your clicks can also help you A/B test your message. For example, if you tweet a link to the same blog twice, but with a different message accompanying the link each time, you can start to see which messages attract the most attention from your followers. Over time, monitoring this data can help you develop a more successful strategy.
You’ll want to measure engagement for reasons very similar to those for measuring clicks. You can see what your followers find interesting and relevant, which messages resonant the most, what times are most effective for posting, and more.
However, engagement takes your data one step further. With clicks, you’re gathering information about what content your followers think is worth their time to consume. With engagement, you’re able to see what content your followers think is so valuable they want to interact with it and share it with others. High engagement can often indicate what is most important and valuable to your followers, so it’s definitely worth keeping track of this metric.
Of course, getting the followers you already have to interact with your content is important, but you also want your follower count to grow. The more eyes on your content, the better. One way to measure the success of your social strategy is to monitor how your social following grows over time.
By watching which platforms grow the most over a certain period, you may adjust your strategy to focus on your organization's fastest growing social platform. Or, by determining periods of unusual growth or decline, you can check your previous posts to see if they could have had an effect on the change in followers.
Overall, tracking your social reach helps you to understand how many followers could potentially view the content you share. Increasing followers means increasing the possibility for more people to see and engage with your content.
All of this is important, but I’m guessing your primary social media goals aren’t just increasing followers and getting more likes. At the end of the day, you want to drive more traffic to your website, am I right?
Thought so. That’s why you should be measuring your social media referrals. Social media referrals indicate the number of visitors who come to your site using a link from social media. This measurement can tell you exactly how successful your social posts are at increasing traffic to your site. If one of your primary reasons for using social media is to increase site visitors, this metric is critical for measuring the efficacy of your social strategy.
Plus, you can narrow down your results to see exactly which platform is driving the most traffic and focus your efforts there. Notice that almost none of your traffic is coming from Google+? That’s okay, now you can spend less of your valuable time there and turn toward a platform that’s producing better results.
Which social media metrics are you tracking? Which do you think are the most valuable?
Photo via Jason Howie