Venturing out into the world of social media without the necessary metrics to measure results is similar to setting sail on a rudderless ship. With no clear direction, you’ll drift about without reaching your goals.
Lately, there seems to be a lot of social media misdirection. It’s brought on by what I like to call, “the perfect storm.”
It takes two major components to turn what begins as a gentle rain, into “the perfect storm”:
- Business leaders with unsubstantiated assumptions about social media and its value, or lack of value, depending on their beliefs.
- Vendors perpetuating their customer’s assumptions so as to keep things status quo.
The data and metrics necessary to establish an authentic return on investment rarely come up inside “the perfect storm.”
It’s like, “If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.”
KPI’s (key performance indicators) are especially crucial to social media success. The medium itself offers all kinds of data and tracking the right KPI’s goes beyond your “fan”, “follower” and “like” counts.
There are dozens of specific social media metrics but most of them should address one or more of the following questions:
- Are you reaching YOUR target audience?
- Are you engaging your target audience?
- How many of your social media fans are inquiring about your product or service?
- How many of them actually become customers?
If your current social media tracking isn’t answering these questions, it’s time for change. You deserve better.
There are four focus areas for social media ROI
Each of these areas has its own specific metrics. Setting goals and tracking these metrics will help any business leader to understand much more about their progress and create a system of determining ROI.
Let’s dive deeper into each focus area and its distinct metrics. Use these measurements to discover your social media strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Audience growth (number of followers and fans)
- Audience profile (does it match your target customer profile?)
- Content reach (how many people are seeing your content)
- Timing (optimal time of day to reach fans/followers)
- Website visits (“referral traffic”) via social media (including blog posts)
- Paid vs Organic Reach
- Dollars spent on audience growth (Facebook and other social advertising)
- Likes or “reactions”
- Engagement by content type (images, native video, links, blog posts, etc.)
- Paid vs Organic Engagement
- Response time (time it takes you to respond to comments, reviews, etc.)
- Response quality (level of social customer service)
- Negative feedback (number of “hide posts”, “hide ALL posts”, “unfollows”, and/or negative reviews)
- Dollars spent to engage more likely buyers (Facebook and other social advertising)
- Total number of leads
- Number of landing pages
- CTR “Click Through Rate” (number of clicks to each landing page)
- CTR from each social media channel
- Number of leads per landing page (how many filled out lead form)
- Number of clicks to landing page that did not fill out the lead form
- Response time (follow-up to lead form inquiries)
- Paid vs Organic Leads (organic leads are the result of networking and relationship building)
- Lead conversion rate (how many leads converted into sales)
- Number of “organic” leads (leads earned, not paid for)
- Which landing pages had highest conversions (sales)
- Revenue per conversion
- Dollars spent to promote offers
- Advertising cost per conversion
You may be surprised…
Once you start tracking the necessary metrics to measure social media ROI, things start to become more meaningful. You’re no longer just ‘going with your gut.’ Not only do you realize the huge value of social media, you begin to understand exactly why it’s so valuable.
“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.”
-W. Edwards Deming, award-winning data scientist.
Go forth and measure!