Is your social media marketing strategy working? How can you know?
The answer is to measure it! Simple.
Do not do it for just the sake of doing it. Measure your success in the field of social media marketing to understand if your strategy is working or how your target audience is reacting to it and how successful you are getting.
In the post, you will find yourself asking and answering the following questions:
How will you know if your social media strategy is working?
What metrics should you be monitoring?
How to calculate those metrics?
Once you have the values, how do you interpret them?
Let’s get started.
Types Of Social Media
These are the two types of social media :
- Ongoing Analytics – Ongoing monitoring that tracks the activity of your social media stuff over time.
- Campaign-Focused Metrics – Campaign or event analytics which has a clear beginning and an end.
Ongoing analytics are needed for you to keep up with the overall pulse of general conversation about your brand and your company. Once your brand tracking is properly and efficiently set up, you can just let it run and check in daily to see how everything is going.
Campaign-focused metrics, on the other hand, does help you understand the impact of marketing initiatives that are targeted and will vary from campaign to campaign. This will be depending on your goals for each. An effective social media marketing measurement program is likely to include both ongoing and campaign-specific measurement.
Let us say you work at a large consumer products company and are about to launch a new clothing brand. To accompany your prominent advertising and marketing push, you would want to sponsor a two-hour Twitter party where influencers and fashion enthusiasts can discuss all about fashion and clothes and more, focused on specific issues.
You have already picked out a unique hashtag, contracted with an influential Twitterer who will pose questions and lead your conversation. You’re ready, to begin with, your event. However, you’re also going to need to make sure you measure this conversation so you can learn – and later tell your bosses how effective the game has been.
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First: Your Social Media Goals
Before you dive into measuring every tweet, photo and Facebook comment that you posted about your brand, wait, first think about your goals with social media.
What are you trying to accomplish through these social channels? What are your goals? And which channels are the best and the most relevant to your target.
The most crucial step in your measurement plan should be to generate a list of what you are trying to have from your social media efforts. Social media marketing can serve a variety of your purposes, from broadcasting news and information to answering customer questions and engaging with a community. So figure out what your company is trying to accomplish?
You must have probably already started to interact with your audience on social media sites like Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, depending on the type of information and the format of the content that you are sharing. You have probably also considered the audience you want to reach out to and the tools that they are using. So you should just think about what you want with your audience doing with your content on these channels. Are you constantly trying to get them to read, click, purchase, share, reply, engage? List out all your business targets for your social media marketing plans.
- First, and the most obvious is that you want to spread awareness of the new product to your potential customers, right?
- Secondly, we want to know the fashion community on Twitter, particularly the influencers in that community.
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Second: Create Metrics
The next step is to match your targets to actual parameters and behaviours that you can measure. Like, if you are trying to measure audience engagement, then what would be the active form of involvement you want to track? Replies or comments? Clicks? Is it retweets or reposts? Here are a few suggestions of behaviours that you can measure, based on a few common social media marketing goals.
- For awareness, then use metrics like volume, exposure, reach, and amplification. How far is your message actually spreading?
- For engagement, measure metrics like retweets, replies, comments, and participants. How many people are actually participating, how often are those people attending, and in what form are they really participating in your post.
- If your target is to drive a good number of traffic towards your website, then you should track URL shares, the number of clicks and conversions. Are the people moving through social media to your external site, and what do they do once they are on your website?
- For finding advocates and fans, track contributors as well as influencers. Who is really participating and what kind of impact do they have on the audience.
- For increasing your brand’s share of voice, then track your volume relative to your closest competitors. What percentage of the overall conversation around the industry or the product category is about your brand?
After Successfully finding out the parameters or the metrics of your social media performance analysis, the next step is to measure the performance. There are quite a number of internet tools available these days on the internet that would serve this purpose, and few social media sites also provide you with analysis tools to find out your analytics there itself.
If you are not sure of the tools, you can always search on Google and have all the answers about it.
Many social media analysis tools work in real-time, so if you plan and set up tracking before your campaign begins and also well before your report is due, it would be much easier to access the data that you would need later on.
For example, On Twitter, if you want to analyze some tweets that are more than a few days old, the process becomes very expensive, complicated, and far less reliable than collecting and archiving them in real-time. When possible, you should always set up your measurement tools well before your campaign begins
The measurement part of this still takes some time, so you might as well let the machines do their work.
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Fourth: Monitoring plus Reporting
This step involves reporting your results. Use your initial findings to set a benchmark for future measurement, and share those early figures with your relevant stakeholders. Two critical questions to note down here are:
- How are your numbers when compared to what you expected?
- How do they compare to your competitor’s numbers or related products and campaigns?
One of the best parts of social media analytics is that you can smoothly run reports about your competitors to see how they are doing.
This is also an excellent time to consider your schedule for regular reporting. Depending on your and your organization’s program, on a monthly or quarterly basis, the reporting might work best, but then weekly reporting may work well for all the others as well here.
No matter what schedule you have, make sure you are checking in regularly, at least once a day, on your social media metrics. Do not let your hard work and effort up to this point go in vain! And let your parameters accumulate over time, and then you will end up seeing how valuable this data becomes after a few months have passed and you have the old data to compare with the new data that you’ve collected.
In your reports, make sure that you highlight the significant numbers:
- Include contextual information or other benchmarks so that your stakeholders can quickly understand what all the figures you have given mean.
- Consider including visualizations of your data; as well as graphs that can help communicate your results immediately to them and clearly to your audience.
- Keep your charts clean and straightforward.
The Final Step: Adjust and Repeat
The final step is to have a careful review of your measurement program.
How are these metrics doing?
Are you missing anything significant?
Was anything extra or unnecessary?
Figure out what if you have any scope for improvisation, and then make changes for that, then measure some more. Check up with the goals that you had you set initially and make sure your new metrics help you address those goals.
In the case of the Twitter chat, realize that you also want to measure engagement around our chat hashtag. It is vital to know how many of your host’s tweets were retweeted and replied to, so you can understand what participants found most interesting about that post. You can always add that and include it in your reporting next time.
Also, you can hire a social media marketing agency. There are several types of agencies that work as a digital marketing, wordpress website design company in which you’ll get the best results. They provide you the benefits to your businesses by their experiences.
If you are participating in social media, you need to understand how you are doing. Does your content have the impact that you have always wanted? Are you meeting your company’s goals with your social media plans? This is why the process of monitoring and measuring your social media activities is so vital because – you need reliable and consistent analytics that help you track your success on channels like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.