This is an imperative function that has to take place in any business and at times is the most daunting and complicated of all. If you get the metrics wrong it could have a hugely detrimental effect on business, get it right and you put yourself ahead of the pack.
Ultimately you need to quantify what is affecting your business. For example the age old cost versus profit margin. This is a business metric. How many products were sold last month, this is an inventory metric. The same has to apply to your social media marketing.
It almost seems like every week there is a new post or tweet telling you about the “new” metrics, the “special” metrics or the best is “101 metrics for social media.” Our advice is initially “keep it simple.” The reasoning is simple, the cost increases the more metrics you have to monitor and just because the metric is available it doesn’t mean it will be useful or specific to your needs and targets. Fundamentally any metric is an indicator of your progress towards a designated target or goal but keep in mind that there is a vast amount of business intelligence and customer intelligence that can be gathered from your social media presence and engagements.
Here are 7 metrics to keep in mind (they follow a process) when starting or maintaining your metrics systems as well as when considering the vast amount of data you can accrue from your social media presences. With all of these metrics it is important to always use a baseline so you can track your progress accurately.
Quantity – This refers to the traffic you are creating on your designated platforms in a certain time. It is simply the number of people seeing what you have tweeted or posted and is the simplest of all metrics to track. It’s always good to set yourself targets for this one. For example you want to aim to increase the amount of people seeing your traffic every week or month depending on your goals. Generally the only metric you don’t want to see increase in volume is a negative comment metric.
Shares/Retweets – For example if you’ve had 10 “shares” as your business best, set a goal to reach 12 by a certain date and focus on moulding your social media strategy to achieve it. This links into your volume however, it is another step in your client conviction rate.
Engagements – This is where an individual generally goes a step further than just reading your content. It links into your inbound marketing. These tend to fluctuate but it’s always a good idea to keep a close eye on them because a high engagement rate often highlights a quality post or tweet. It can also be good for moving forward or validating the time at which your business is most active on your social media platforms. We have found that comparing your engagement against your overall views is the best way to set good baselines for this metric.
Brand Ambassadors – This can include yourself and your employees. The goal is to create as many “active” ambassadors as possible. “Active ambassador” refers to a person that not only replies to your posts and tweets but also uploads content (of their own accord) that bolsters or flatters your brand image or business as a whole.
Generated leads – Insure that you differentiate these from the leads generated from any of your other marketing. There is much data to be collected from this and if you closely monitor your content versus leads generated it will soon build a picture of what your followers are interested in, respond to and therefore add strong value to your client intelligence.
Return on Investment – This is defined as the total validated income for a particular social media campaign divided by the time and money spent on that social media campaign. It seems pretty straight forward but beware of accounting “false positives” into your equation. It not only skews your data but also affects your bottom line.
Response times – This is more specific to your business and unfortunately it is generally related to bad press or negative comments. People will often complain before they compliment. By monitoring your response times you can better gauge how to best deal with the situation should you ever encounter a negative comment. See our blog 5 steps to perfect your online reputation management (ORM) for some useful tips on managing negative comments. There are also spin offs by monitoring response times, for example, you can accurately estimate how many people would have seen a negative comment based on your response time and of course how many people would of seen a glowing testimonial about your business. It is also useful to track the responses sent in order to build a better ORM system.
As you will have noticed there is a lot of cross pollination when it comes to the metrics and each one may have a “knock on effect” on the other. It is also clear that the amounts of metrics that can be generated from the above topics are considerable. This is why keeping your metrics accurate and timely is so important for your business and making your social media marketing good value for money.