Top tips for measuring your social media campaigns

Social media is undoubtedly one of the most powerful marketing tools around today. It allows you to reach out directly to customers, engage with them immediately and raise brand awareness in new and innovative ways. If you’re lucky, social media can also send you viral.

As with any marketing approach, however, measuring results so that you can see how your current strategy is working is critical. Metrics reveal:

  • How well your campaign is performing.
  • How your audience is engaging with your business online.
  • Which content works best for your business.

Spread your time and effort wisely

If you are a small to medium-size business, spreading your marketing activities too thinly can be counterproductive.

You end up doing nothing well and your message gets diluted. Focusing on a few key social media platforms that work for your business means you can put more effort into them. It also makes the whole business of metrics much easier to understand.

Set your goals

As with any marketing activity, effective goal setting is critical to developing campaigns that work. Decide what you want to achieve and, just as importantly, what goal success looks like.

You might, for instance, have a goal to find the best time to post tweets or Facebook messages. This is important – if you’re getting more engagement by posting at seven in the evening rather than midday, it can quickly make a big difference to your activity.

Metrics can show comparisons between different times and help you optimize your posting strategy.

Other goals you could set include:

  • Growing your following: This is relatively easy to assess but the key here is the quality of followers rather than the quantity. How are they engaging with your social media feed? Are they retweeting or reposting? Are they commenting?
  • Brand awareness: This is less easy to measure but it comes down to how many people are starting to talk about your brand on a site like Facebook. Don’t forget, not every customer that uses your business is going to join your social media feed. It could involve keeping track of new followers but also checking where your business is being mentioned outside of that following.
  • Increasing conversions: The key endpoint of your social media marketing strategy is how many people go from your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram feeds to buy a product or hire a service.

Using social media platform metrics

Each social media platform has its own metrics and some are better than others. Facebook has Insights while Twitter has its analytics console.

The trouble with this, of course, is that you only view platform metrics separately and it is more difficult to compare them unless you know what you are doing. If you’re a small business just starting with social media marketing, however, they are a good place to start.

Switching to an analytics tool

The answer for more complicated and revealing measurement is to employ a social media analytics tool. There are several to choose from online and most give you access to a range of metrics as well as the chance to compare platforms.

Even with a dedicated analytics tool, it’s vital to focus on the right metrics that reflect the goal or goals you have set for your campaign.

The most common include:

  • Engagement stats: This can be anything from likes and comments to shares. It can also include how fast people are engaging with a particular post and whether there are organic mentions outside of your campaign.
  • Impressions and reach: These give you a good idea of how your posts are working in reality. Impressions are the number of times a post appears in someone’s timeline. Reach is the potential number of people it could be read by. If you have a high impression rate but low engagement, it could be that your post is visible but not interesting enough for someone to take action.
  • Share of voice: This is how much of the digital air your brand and the keywords associated with your sector are taking up in comparison to your competitors. It is likely to ebb and flow over time and is usually an ongoing goal.
  • Referrals and conversions: A key metric is how many people see your social media posts and then head over to your website and buy your product. This type of metric works with your onsite analytics using a special code but can reveal clear insights that allow you to take action to improve ROI.
  • Response rate: Metrics can work both ways. For example, if you use social media to provide help and support for your business, the response rate identifies how quickly your team is getting back to queries on a particular platform.

How to use metrics

It’s no use having a bunch of metrics without understanding what they mean. For example, you might find that posts on certain subjects or with particular images get commented on and reposted than others.

You may find that a post is popular in one country and not another. Metrics are not just one thing. It’s a collection of indicators that should be used to inform your content creation.

Finally, marketing on social media is a constant process of creating, posting, measuring, and adjusting. Metrics allow you to move away from an ad-hoc approach to something more focused that delivers a stronger ROI and boosts conversions to your business.

Image attributions:  Photo by Rami Al-zayat on Unsplash / Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

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