- Jon Rivers
5 Ways to Measure Your Social Media Campaigns to Improve Your Business
WHAT you’re using social media, and you do not measure it? By not measuring your social media activities, you are not learning from what’s being successful, what is not, and what you need to improve on.
Within this post, we are going to get you started how to start measuring your social media company's activities by addressing these questions:
Are your social media activities being effective?
How do you work out which metrics you should be monitoring?
How to do you track and calculate these metrics?
I have these numbers now, so how do you understand them?
Social Media Measurement – Two Different Types
When it comes to measuring social media activities, there are two different types:
One-time campaign focused analytics – Where we have campaign or event analytics that would have start and end.
Ongoing – Where we need to track analytics of activity over time.
Understanding the analytics of ongoing activities allows us to gain insights into the overall pulse of the dialogue that is being said about our brand and company. Once we have tracking configured, we just let it run and keep an eye on it to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Whereas campaign or event focused analytics give us the impact of targeted marketing initiative. An effective analytics program more than likely will include not only the campaign-specific measurements but also the ongoing as well.
An example could be:
Let’s say we are about to launch a new solution on Microsoft’s Appsource. To go with the launch, you want to run a Twitter campaign where you will target the appropriate audience who would be likely buyers of your solution.
As part of your campaign, you have chosen a unique hashtag and contracted with Twitter industry influencers who are going to help lead the initial conversations by posing questions. At this point is where you need to make sure you put in to play a process to measure the communications so you can report your findings and understand how effective the campaign was.
1. Determine What Your Social Goals Are
Before starting anything, you need to think about what are the goals you want to obtain from the social media campaign.
So first step in your plan should be to create a list of all things that you are trying to achieve from your social media efforts. Remember social media serves the purposes of broadcasting updates, information, answering customers' questions, and engaging the community, for example. What is your company looking to achieve?
Are you looking to get your audience to read, share, reply, click, purchase, or engage with you on social? List all the business goals of social media you are looking for.
If we go back to the Twitter Chat example, our measurement tracking goals could be around:
Spread awareness of the new product to prospective clients.
We want to get to know the influencers in the community better.
2. Create Your Metrics to Measure your Goals
Your next step is to match your goals to the metrics and behaviors you can measure. Let’s say you want to measure engagement, then what are the forms of engagements you want to track? Is it reposts, retweets, comments or replies? Or just clicks? Here are a few based on common social media goals:
Awareness – Then use the following metrics like volume, reach, exposure, and amplification.
Engagement – You need to be looking at retweets, comments, replies and participants as your metrics here. How many people are engaging, how often and how are they engaging.
Drive Traffic – If you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, then you need to be tracking URL shares, clicks, and conversions. Are you trying to see if people are clicking to your external sites and once they reach there, what do they do?
Advocates and Fans – If this your goal, then look to track contributors and influencers. Learn by understanding who is engaging and how are they assisting?
Share of Voice – Then, you need to be looking at tracking your volume relative to your closest competitor.
Back to our Twitter Chat example. If our first goal is awareness, then we need to measure:
Look at tracking the tweet volume and reach
Look to understand how many unique people are engaging with your hashtags.
We also know more about who is engaging in the community so we should look at tracking:
Look for any influence metrics we can find (like follower counts and look at 3rd party tools like Keyhole to help with gaining more insights)
3. Measure your Goals
Once you have listed all the metrics you want to gather, you will need to find tools that will help you capture them. In many cases, the social media channels themselves provide many of the metrics discussed but in some cases, you will need to look at additional third-party tools.
A lot of the third-party tools will work in real-time, so make sure you plan ahead and configure them before your campaign starts to be able to take full advantage and gain the insights needed for your reports.
Measuring is time-consuming so where possible, let the tools do the heavy lifting for you but if you want to understand what is happening, you have to put the effort in! But it’s worth the energy in the long run as you can then tell if what your doing is working or not.
4. Monitor and Reporting
The next step is to report and review your results. Look to use early metrics to set baselines for future measurements and make sure you’re sharing the results with the stakeholders, so they understand. Essential questions to ask yourself are:
Do your results compare to what you expected?
How do your campaigns compare to your competitors or related products?
The great part of social media is that you can quickly gather analytics about competitors to understand how they are doing.
Recommendations: Look to regularly reporting if that is monthly or quarterly but for some companies weekly might work as well. Don’t stop reporting as you will have let all your hard work go to waste, and you won’t have current data to review.
5. Adjust and Repeat
The last step is to review your metrics program continually. Continue to understand how you are doing? Are you missing anything? Look to see where you can make improvements and see what else you can measure. Review the goals you set initially. Are they still the same, and are the metrics still addressing those goals?
Anyone who is actively using social media to promote their business needs to understand how they are doing. If they are not tracking, then how do they know social media is working for them. Thus, why monitoring and measuring your social media activities is the key to success.