Start with Analytics to Measure Social Media Success
Gary Vaynerchuck famously said, “Saying hello doesn’t have an ROI”. What he meant is that the value of relationship building can’t be measured so easily. This is why it is so hard to measure success on social media. However, there are plenty of analytics tools to help you.
Engagement on Social Media
The primary goal of social media isn’t to sell directly, though you might get some sales. It is to create engagement and build a relationship. For this reason, you should start measuring success by how your content is engaging your audience.
Engagement can be measured by things like:
- Clicks on links in your social media posts
- Comments on your social media posts
- Shares and, on Twitter, retweets
- Ratings and comments on your YouTube videos
- Comments and shares on your blog posts
- Mentions of your company or brand on social media (you can set up alerts to find these)
While growth, in terms of Likes, Followers and Fans, can be a measure that you’re doing something right, it’s not always the best measure of the effectiveness of your social media campaigns. You can grow your followers a great deal without it necessarily translating to any kind of results. The goal is engagement and conversions, not simply numbers.
Taking Action – Measuring Conversions
An even more important way to measure the effectiveness of your social media marketing is to look at the actual results. If your end goal is to lead people to your website where they make a purchase, ask your customers directly or with a survey or by using your analytics, what referred them to your site. See how many of them are referred via social media. You’ll then have a clear view of what is working and what isn’t. You can then repeat the good stuff and correct the not-so-good!
Sales aren’t the only measurement. Whatever action it is you’d like this traffic to take can also be measured. You may want them to sign-up from your list, for example. In that case, again, you’d measure how many of the subscribers came to your list through social media.
The first step is to define a clear goal for your social media marketing. An example would be to grow an email list of qualified buyers. Take this goal and then figure out how you can tell whether you’re reaching it or not.
All the main social media platforms have been improving their Analytics information over the last couple of years. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have all upgraded their analytics recently. I meet many businesses that are very active on social media but have never looked at the Analytics available to them. Google Analytics has been added to the websites of most businesses but can almost be intimidating with the amount of data available. The learning curve to interpret this can be just a bridge too far, particularly for a small business owner who is trying to juggle so many other tasks already.
My advice is to start with something simple like your Facebook Insights, also often ignored by many business owners. It is great for finding when your target audience is spending time on your page and what has interested them most. Take a look at the Facebook Help Centre to get started and learn your way around.
If Twitter is your main social media platform then the first step is to turn your analytics on. You do this by logging in to analytics.twitter.com with your Twitter username and password. Twitter only opened up their analytics dashboard to everyone in the middle of 2014. You do need to sign up to access it. Once you’ve signed up you’ll then find the link under your Twitter profile picture:
Twitter launched Quick Promote this week on the Twitter Analytics Dashboard. This new ad offering lets small and medium-sized businesses promote their best-performing tweets. You pick your best-performing Tweet by taking a look at your analytics dashboard. Then, choose a budget, and Twitter will provide an estimate of the total number of engagements you’ll receive.
I don’t recommend spending hours going through masses of data – who has the time! I do think it’s worth just taking a look at the results of all your hard work. It could be revealing and help you decide what has been really effective for you in building relationships with your particular audience.