Measuring Effectiveness Is Key
The biggest problem with social media, some might say, is its lack of metrics. There are too many social media networks doing too many things differently for businesses to keep track of what works and what doesn’t. This is a fairly simple enough problem to solve if you sit down and consider the basics of business.
Social media is a fantastic communication tool, I think everyone understands this. However, in business it is not enough to simply communicate your message. What you need to do is convert the people you communicate with into paying customers or clients. That’s what really drives business. After all, we’re not in business to simply talk to people-we need to earn revenue, make a profit, if we expect to survive.
To this end there are a number of tools which are available to help you understand how effective (or not) your social media marketing efforts are. These tools can help you measure clicks to links you post via Twitter (which Hootsuite makes available in their Pro package) or simply measure traffic (where it comes from, what browser they use, etc.) to your blog or web site (which is available through Google Analytics.
However, one of the most effective ways to measure whether or not social media is having a desired impact is to take a look at your bottom line. If your business has changed nothing in the past year, except adding a social media marketing program, it is not a leap to assume the increased revenue (if you had an increase) would be an effect of the social media campaign. There are other factors to consider, especially if you are outsourcing your social media management or even simply dedicating some internal hours to it, but again, those come down to analysis of your profit and loss statement.
You also have to consider what sort of messages you are using via your social media marketing campaign. Are you pursuing brand awareness or trying to drive customers to an annual sale? The former is much more difficult to track over the short term while the later is simply a matter of a dollar count.
Before you start fretting over your social media metrics sit down and analyze exactly what you are trying to accomplish. Once you do that it will be much easier to find the answers you are looking for. And to create more questions….
Back in the dawn of the social networking age, organizations relied almost solely on simple, standard metrics, such as the number of Facebook fans and likes or the number of Twitter followers and tweets/retweets, to determine their success. Those metrics are still important, but organizations today are developing more sophisticated metrics to measure their progress in meeting increasingly granular social objectives.
That makes it difficult to prescribe the social metrics that matter most, because what matters will differ depending on your organization’s size, industry, products, current goals for social, and so on. But some increasingly important social media metrics can be applied widely. Here are five that you should consider now.