5 Social Media Metrics That Actually Matter
Does the number of followers you have actually impact your bottom line? How do you assign value to your social media presence? We take a look at some of the metrics that can help you answer these questions.
Social media is a fickle world obsessed with fans, followers and Klout scores. KPIs are vague at best and campaign targets are tenuous. So how do you measure the true ‘success’ of your social media campaigns?
- Define the Why
Before you start tracking anything, define why you’re tracking that metric. This is more important to your campaign than any ‘defined’ metric out there. Okay, so you’ve doubled your number of followers, but why is that helping your business? What do you want from these followers? Are you building a long-term relationship? Do you need to convert them to an action in the short-term such as signing up to your mailing list. Once you have defined goals, only then can you make the most of tracking your metrics.
Engagement is a catch-all word in social media. We know that we want our audience to interact with us but we also need to measure that interaction. It’s easier said than done when tracking across multiple platforms but a simple formula breakdown for this is something like: Number of audience comments/replies per post. The higher the conversation rate, the more your audience is truly interested in what you’re saying. Don’t assume a like is an act of engagement with your post, it requires little effort and should be considered a separate metric. Analytics expert Avinash Kaushik defines likes as an Applause metric rather than an engagement metric, which is a great way to better categorise these metrics.
Aside from interacting with your business, social media campaigns are unique in that they provide a series of extended networks to whom you can actively promote your wares. The metric from this is Amplification Rate, which is the number of retweets or shares for your post. Make the most of this. Don’t just look at flat numbers but take into account how other influencing factors such as time of posting, messaging and platforms, impact the metric.
Tweets provide a great opportunity to A/B test your headlines, and potentially roll out your findings to other platforms
- Click-through-Rate (CTR)
We’re used to A/B testing across most digital marketing platforms – alternating email subject lines, showing multiple Adwords adverts etc. – but A/B testing in social media is underused. CTR measures the number of people who click through on a link after seeing your post. Tweets provide a great opportunity to A/B test your headlines, and potentially roll out your findings to other platforms.
You should be posting the same tweet multiple times across any given day (use a tool like Buffer for this) in order to be seen in the timeline of as many of your target audience as possible. Try subtly changing the text of your tweet and see what impact this has on your CTR. Learn which hashtags resonate the most. Does the URL name make a difference (use a tool such as Bit.ly to test this)?
- Response Rate
One final metric that should not be forgotten is the monitoring of your own community management. Potential and existing customers will often use social media to reach out to you; if you do not have a clear response strategy in place you could be missing out on valuable opportunities to convert or extend the relationship you have. Ensure your team has a clear plan of how to respond, and within what timeframe, so you can avoid being on a future Social Media Fails list.