Only by measuring the engagement with your social media content will you understand visitor behaviour and get a better appreciation of the results of your marketing across various platforms. The problem is that visitor numbers alone, or even profitability, does not necessarily indicate if your social media strategy is working well and which social media website is contributing most to your profitability.
You need to monitor the right set of indicators for your business and online there are many ways to do so. With the information they reveal you can spend more time working on those parts of your strategy which are clearly working for you and, if you find that other parts of your strategy are not delivering the results and that you anticipated, you can take the appropriate action.
So what should I measure?
The answer to this question will differ from business to business. However, bear in mind the following:
- Just because you can measure something, does not mean you should monitor that metric! There are too many potential metrics available and you only need to take an interest in those that matter most to your business;
- Monitoring metrics can be very addictive, but there are only few, if any, that need to be monitored on a daily basis. Monthly or weekly monitoring, is more practical and in most cases is all that is required;
- It makes sense to measure not only the outputs that emerge from your social media marketing strategies but also measure the outcomes of these strategies. Clearly you would hope that increasing outputs would lead to positive outcomes, but that is not always the case;
Measuring outputs and outcomes
these are the activities undertaken by a business to generate more interaction with customers and potential customers on social media.
Monitor only those outputs that you believe matter most, such as:
Likes, re-tweets, comments and shares
Client and customer engagement,
3rd Party Product/service enquiries
these are the actual results of your output activities.
You will probably wish to monitor at least one of the following:
Volumes and types of visitors – potentially one of the most important metrics, this measures the number and types of visitors to your website;
Traffic sources – analyse not just the volume of traffic, but which sources of traffic are generating sales;
Progression through the sales funnel – this monitors how many website visitors from social media websites become prospective customers ( perhaps by completing a form or agreeing to receive an email newsletter) and how many of those progress to become leads and customers;
Sales – another important indicator is the number and volume of sales. It is also how many customers buy from you repeatedly, which indicates ‘customer retention’ rates;
Other – there will almost certainly be other outcomes that you wish to measure. For example, if you know how much your social media strategy cost each month and you know the volume of sales resulting from your social media strategy, you can calculate whether the return is worth the investment. Another outcome might be too see where your customers are coming from so that you can adapt your marketing message accordingly;
There is so much data available for you to analyse that it is important to monitor only those that metrics that are key indicators of your business’s performance. With social media metrics, like with so many other things, its quality, rather than quantity that really matters.