Social Media: Right Channel, Wrong Metrics, Part 2.

Last week, we showed you the common pitfalls that can occur when measuring social media marketing ROI.

With reasons ranging from marketers who only focus on vanity metrics to social fragmentation; accurately measuring social media ROI almost seems like hocus pocus.

Aggregating and comparing data across different social platforms also presents it’s own set of problems; but social media marketing is a skill that marketers MUST harness. A spray-and-pray approach simply won’t work in 2014, as today’s customers are savvy and will immediately flag/block any messages they regard as spammy.

How then do you implement and measure a marketing campaign?

The whole point of marketing on social media is to drive customer awareness, interaction and foster engagement. In doing that, let’s rephrase the term, social media ROI and instead measure our social media IMPACT.

An “impact” is measurable via tracking and will help put the advertising budget in a clearer light. The following metrics can be measured across all social networks, are easy to track using a range of tools and provide key performance values across channels. These five cross-platform metrics can give you an accurate snapshot of what is working in your campaigns.

1. Who is your audience?

With each social media post, how many people are you actually reaching? Are your tweets getting retweeted by people with a large number of followers? Are you getting Facebook Likes from humans or spambots? Knowing your audience size and growth, over time, is a vital metric on all platforms. You can implement unique tracking IDs on your content that gets shared on social platforms to help you track which content introduced your brand to new followers.

A reliable tool to start measuring audience reach is Google Analytics. It comes with a suite of tools that, amongst other things, allows you to see exactly which social networks are sending you traffic.

2. Who Is talking about you?

Do you know where your is brand being mentioned? In what context? The social media currency of hashtags is widely used across Twitter, Facebook, G+ etc., therefore tracking hashtags in conjunction with your brand can give you a handle on the success (or lack thereof) of your campaigns.

Using tools like TweetReach and Facebook Insights allows you track mentions across respective social networks.

3. Who are you connecting with?

The whole point of social interaction is the potential engagement your content or brand fosters in prospects. All social platforms store this data, therefore comparing the results over time will give you an accurate picture of engagement level.

Depending on your industry, engagement may be a simple opt-in or it can also be measured by number of repeat downloads of offers/coupons. Industry favourites for tracking is Klout and Commun.it, but we would like to introduce TwentyFeet. Compiling metrics such as following analysis, conversations, influence indicators etc., this tool can also import data from a wide range of social networks.

4. What are you measuring?

The new social media debate revolves around whether you should measure real impressions or potential impressions This can get tricky as impressions, (traditionally a public relations metric) is used to estimate the ‘potential’ reach of your content. Measuring it across the major platforms is easy, as they have it built into their Analytics. For Twitter, you can use a tool called Crowdbooster.

5. What is it Costing?

Ultimately, your bottom-line is the most important thing. How much revenue is generated and at what cost? This data must be collated to allow constant analysis of what is working and what needs to be changed.

Consistently build the data over time and the data gleaned will be invaluable. Don’t make the rookie mistake of generating tons of data simply because you have access to monitoring tools; it will only lead to confusion.

Some of the easier-to-gauge metrics, are enough to convince a doubting boss about the power of social media marketing. Choose your platform(s), choose the metrics that matter to your business, record and evaluate it.

That helpful data is useless if you do nothing with it. Let Search and More help you analyse to find which content type performs best for you. Do you know when your target demographic is online? On all platforms? We are in touch with today’s fast paced social media, while still keeping in touch with the fickle world of social media. Contact us today!

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