A common question that we receive, and one that was ranked as being one of the most common questions asked according to the Social Media Examiner “2012 State of Social Media Marketing Industry” report, is:
“How do I measure the effect of social media marketing on my business?”
Is it the amount of “friends” or “followers” that you have that can help you determine how successful your campaign is? Or should you be sending out a poll asking visitors and leads how they found out about your company? Just what can you do to measure how successful your social media efforts are?
Let’s start with the first and most important question…
How many People were Impacted by your Message?
You first want to look at how far your reach is. How many people are seeing and paying attention to the messages that you post on your social media sites? For instance, if you’re posting great material but everyone’s ignoring it, then no matter how great of a post you’re making, it’s a waste of your time. In order to track your “reach”, you’ll want to look at:
- How many “likes” your Facebook business page has
- How many “followers” you have on Twitter
- How many “connections” you have on LinkedIn
- How many visitors are coming through to your blog
- How many subscribers and “views” you get on your YouTube channels
You can keep track of these measurements manually on a spreadsheet, or there may be a number of free online tools that you can use to keep track of this for you, such as Radian6 or “Klout”.
WORD OF CAUTION: Your Klout score does not necessarily determine just how successful your social media campaign is, so don’t use that as the “be all, end all” when measuring how well your social media efforts are doing.
How many People are Interacting with your Messages?
Once you know just how many people your message is “reaching”, you want to know how many people are actually making any kind of use of the message that you’ve presented. There are a number of ways in which you can measure engagement on your social media sites, such as:
- Number of shares on Facebook and LinkedIn
- The number of retweets, direct messages and mentions on Twitter
- The number of clicks on links that you’ve posted on your social media posts
- The number of comments you’ve received on your Facebook and LinkedIn posts
- The number of comments you’ve received on blog entries
Again, you can try to keep track of these statistics manually, or you can employ the use of a third party tool to help you keep track of these metrics for you. I always recommend our clients to use tools to help them keep track as numbers tend to be a lot more accurate when a tool measures the metrics compared to a human.
How many People took Action after they saw your Message?
The last and often the most “important” stat to business owners is the conversion rate of one’s social media efforts. Your conversion rate will tell you how many people went to the next step which put them right into your lead nurturing sales funnel. Some examples of how you should be measuring your conversion rates include:
- Webinar registrations
- Registrations for downloadable content
- Phone-in leads
- Online forms
- Online sales
Tracking these metrics will most likely require some sort of third party tool. Check out some of the tools that HubSpot has to offer (they have a full line of great marketing tools, many of which are free to use). Most of these tools can be fully integrated into your website to help measure all kinds of site activity, build trackable links for each social media post that you create, and set up some sort of “goal tracking”.
TIP: Want some free advice on how to give your social media campaign a boost? Then check out our free eBook “Take Your Social Media to the Next Level” here.
When measuring how well your social media marketing efforts are doing, strongly consider incorporating a third party tool to help you keep track of your social media efforts. You should be looking at:
- The reach of your social media campaign
- The level of engagement with your social media posts
- The number of conversions that were a direct result of your social media campaign efforts
If you’re interested in maximizing your social media marketing efforts but are having trouble getting started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.