5 minute read
5 Social Media Marketing Metrics You Should be Measuring
If you asked 20 marketing experts what the most important social media metrics are, chances are you’d get 20 different responses. The truth is, SMM is a very broad topic, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to measure success. Yet, it’s critically important to understand what is (and isn’t) working so you’re not wasting valuable marketing dollars heading in the wrong direction.
While there are dozens of ways to measure SMM, here are a handful of metrics that every marketer should be keeping track of.
Where is your traffic coming from?
This is one of the most powerful tools for determining what areas you should be focusing your marketing efforts. You should know which social media channel is referring traffic your way and what type of content performs the best for each channel. Once you have this information, you can shift toward those sites and optimize your efforts to increase traffic.
To track your traffic, login to your Google Analytics account, go to the Traffic Sources tab, click on the Referring Sites option and type in each social network address. The results will show you how much web traffic is being referred from each platform. Be sure to use utm tracking parameters on your social media links, which are invaluable for running these reports.
But adding utm tracking parameters to every single social media post can be a huge pain. Fortunately Buffer has the aspirin. (If you aren't using Buffer to queue your posts then you are doing it wrong.) From within Buffer navigate to account settings --> link shortening and make sure that "Enable Campaign Tracking" is switched to "Yep."
How many people are clicking on your social shares?
As of the last quarter of 2013, the click through rate on Facebook had increased by an incredible 275%. This means people are engaging with businesses on social media now more than ever. Measuring how many clicks your social shares receive is an important part of learning what content works best.
If you share external content (content to sites other than your own) in addition to your internal content, keep an eye on what resonates with your audience. For example, if your audience loves articles based on productivity hacks, then produce more in-house content around that category. Just don't stray from your core messaging.
How many actual conversions are you getting from social media?
Conversions aren’t necessarily just visitors who complete the purchase process. A conversion may include a successful download of your eBook, or opting into your newsletter. Conversions are any event that are tied to the revenue process, and can happen even after a visitor has converted into a customer (if you are tracking referrals, duh).
It’s important to understand how many of these conversions are being driven by social media. Measuring your assisted social conversions can reveal how well you’re doing at building a rapport within your social communities.
First, set up events within Google Analytics. At Ambassador, we use Segment.io to keep all of our tracking events coordinated across our marketing dashboards. This allows you to track the traffic you’re getting from social media, and measure the conversion rate over time. Compare this data to your direct conversion rate to determine which channels are most effective in reaching and drawing in potential customers.
How many people are talking about my brand vs. my competitors?
A great offense begins with a solid defense, which – in marketing terms – means you should be closely monitoring how your competition is faring on social media. You should compare your stats to your competitors. This is also known as “share of voice”, or SOV. Calculating your SOV is simple. Just use the following formula:
SOV = Total Number of Mentions for YOUR Brand / Total Number of Mentions of Your Competitors
You can monitor the conversations on the web about your brand for free by using the web tool SocialMention, or you can invest in one of the more robust tools that are available on the market today. I'm personally a big fan of Moz' suite of tools, specifically FollowerWonk and Fresh Web Explorer.
Segment the different conversations about your brand by platform to identify which social networks are producing the best results for you. Then, either beef up your focus there, or tweak your other strategies to get better results.
Is my content really relevant and of good quality?
The driving force behind any successful social media marketing campaign is quality content that matters to your audience. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time. The quality and relevance of your content can’t necessarily be tracked by measuring the number of times your blog post is shared or tweeted. To accurately analyze this metric, dive deeper and really get into the meat and potatoes of how your content is performing.
Use Google Analytics to measure the following three key factors for each piece of content you produce:
- Unique page views
- Time on page
- Total pages viewed
The goal is to see each of these things increasing over time. A higher number of unique page views indicates that you’re reaching more people, while time on page increase means your content is interesting enough to hold the attention of your visitors. Ideally your content will keep people reading for 7 minutes. Finally, if you see an increase in total pages viewed, that means people want to learn more about your brand and/or what you have to offer.
Of course, these are just a handful of the dozens of social media metrics you can use to track the return on your social media efforts. Ultimately, the total metrics you choose should make sense for your particular business, and they should help you to tie your online efforts back to your bottom line.
Determine which areas make the most sense for your business, set some specific goals, and then measure progress on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually basis. By doing so, you’ll be better able to hone your efforts to achieve continued success over time.