Social media measurement is one of the most exciting aspects of social media marketing, but it’s also very challenging. This is because social media is constantly changing and releasing new features or algorithm updates that directly influence how we approach campaign tactics.
The evolution of social media from an entertainment source to a business marketing powerhouse has transformed the relationship between brands and their audience over the last several years. In fact, there are over 60 million active business pages on Facebook.
With this significant growth rate, it’s now more important than ever for brands to understand how to effectively use social media metrics. Proper social media measurement is a top priority when executing your social media campaigns and how you determine your ROI (Return on Investment).
If you’re curious about which social media metrics to focus on, read on! The main challenge is figuring out which metrics are most important and how to apply and analyze them.
When running campaigns for our clients, we separate them into two categories: organic (unpaid social media) and inorganic (paid media). In this blog, you’ll learn what these social media metrics mean, why we use them, and how to apply them effectively based on both campaign types.
Organic Campaigns (Unpaid Social Media)
Impressions and Reach
The two can be a little confusing, even for an experienced marketer. Impressions are the number of times your post has been seen. Thus, every time your post is displayed online, it counts as an impression. And reach is defined by the amount of people that your content could potentially be seen by. For example, if your post was shown to the same person three times, it has three impressions but only one reach.
In goal setting if your desire is to get your post in front of as many people as possible, then reach would be the appropriate metric to measure. However, if you’re looking to increase brand awareness by increasing post visibility, focus on looking at impressions.
This is defined as the number of users who have interacted with your content, either likes, shares, retweets, comments, clicks, etc. This does not result in a direct return on investment, however, validates that the content your sharing is interesting and elicits a response.
Check out this great example below from one of our clients’ social posts. Not only did this post receive a lot of likes, but the photo is a high quality product shot, there is a lot of customer interaction, and as a bonus, we are handling the brand’s reputation management by creating conversation.
An algorithm is composed of thousands of data points that make certain posts appear first and others later on in your social feeds. For example, why do you always see the same people’s posts or the same type of posts, like big announcements?
This is where posting at optimal times comes into play (you’ll learn more about that later). Depending on social platform, you will have to adjust your posting strategy to maximize results.
Hashtags help people search and group similar content. Hashtags help make your content easier to find and solidify keywords associated with your brand. For example, when I search for hashtags related to #SMM (Social Media Marketing) on Hashtagify.me, a popular hashtag research tool, the trending and related hashtags are populated.
It would be wise for me to include hashtags such as #Facebook or #SEO when posting content for UHM DIGITAL for accelerated business growth and brand awareness. These top hashtags allow UHM DIGITAL to reach our desired audience organically, without paid media.
Inorganic Campaigns (Paid Media)
Whether it’s buying your product, downloading an eBook, or completing an online form, it’s best to have a conversion goal in mind when creating and running online ads. Conversions provide a direct ROI for your efforts.
On LinkedIn and Facebook you can use a generated form to garner leads. Your interested audience will simply tap on your paid ad, fill out an easy form. Just like that they will get the information they need, and your business will have a qualified lead to follow up with.
A more involved way to track conversions is by installing a pixel code on your website. This pixel tracks the customer’s journey from homepage to the final thank you page.
Click – Through Rate
This is defined as the ratio of users who click on a link to your website to the total users who view an advertisement. The more people who are clicking through to your website or landing page, the closer they are to becoming a customer, client, or lead.
This is a red flag in digital marketing as it refers to the amount of times the same person has seen your ad. The more often they’ve seen your ad reflects how they’ll feel and react to it, also known as annoyance and resentment. This can lead to them unfollowing your page, hiding your posts, or deciding to take their business elsewhere.
CPM, CPA, CPC
These acronyms stand for cost per thousand impressions, cost per acquisition, and cost per click. All of these metrics indicate how much your advertising will cost per certain action. When you set your goals, it’s important to know which ones will benefit your business the most and how they can help you measure your success.
This score is on a 1-10 scale, 10 being the highest and is the best way to see exactly how well your ad is performing on Facebook. It lets you know how effective the pairing of your media (graphic, video, carousel, etc) is with your copy and can assist with ongoing campaign optimization.
These metrics can help leverage your social media campaigns to ensure improvement, optimization, tracking, and overall effectiveness. Now that we’ve got the basics and definitions down, how can social media measurement improve your marketing strategy?
Before we get started, if your answer is ‘no’ to the questions below, then you’ve come to the right blog:
- Are your Instagram and Facebook accounts driving business growth?
- Do you know which platform(s) drive more customers?
Most businesses struggle with social media measurement because they don’t have the right tools or realize the benefit of social media data.
Aside from knowing how many followers each social platform has, here is how social media measurement can help improve your business:
Know Your Audience
While a high follower count is great, what’s better is knowing what your audience demographic is. Knowing these demographics, such as age, gender, and region, allow you to tailor your messages to fit your audience, rather than tailoring your audience to fit your message. Your social media following is a good indicator of your ideal and repeated customer.
Tools such as Facebook Audience Insights, give you insight into your overall customer avatar. With aggregate information about geographic location, purchase behavior, life events, and demographics, you will be better equipped to deliver meaningful messages to people.
To learn more about how beneficial your ideal customer demographic is to your social media marketing campaign, check out our blog on building an effective strategy.
Content is King
If your content doesn’t resonate with your audience and adequately tell your brand’s story, then generating results will be rather difficult. Our best practice is to utilize the rule of thirds.
- 1/3 of the content is specific to the brand, motivational quotes, blogs, anything coming from the business.
- 1/3 of the content is sharing educational or entertaining content to help your audience connect with your page.
- 1/3 of the content sells your products, events, and services.
Once you know what type of content creates the most buzz, you will know to create more of it! Look for similarities, whether it’s the wording, the image choice, etc. to capitalize on your efforts and replicate it with future content.
This example below is from one of my favorite feeds. Each section of posts is color blocked so each image connects to one another. The color choice not only matches one of their featured products, but is also centered around a clean, water theme.
Post at Optimal Times
If you don’t have an effective social media measurement plan in place, it will be impossible to know the best times to post and as a result, your incredible social media post might go to waste.
To figure out the best times to post, take a look at some of your top performing posts with high engagement and see what time they were posted. Initial best practice is to post anytime outside of working hours, either first thing in the morning, during lunch, evening or right before bedtime.
Effective Hashtag Use
Using the right hashtags on social media can instantly boost your content’s reach! And there will almost always be a positive correlation to using popular hashtags to your best performing post.
Hashtags help categorize your content. They allow new people to find your content by making your posts more discoverable. Hashtags also aid in solidified branding for your business and the campaigns you run.
Choose your Platforms Wisely
It’s important to not spread yourself too thin across all social media platforms. However, when you adequately measure your social media efforts, you can see which platforms give your business the best results.
We recommend if you’re B2B (business to business), you should be on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you’re B2C (business to consumer), you should be on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Yelp/Google for reviews.
Be where your audience is. If you’re spending a lot of time on a platform that doesn’t generate results, it’s time to switch gears. However, if your social media referrals are coming from a channel you aren’t heavily on, then think about changing up your strategy to include that particular platform.
The main benefit of social media measurement is calculating your ROI. In fact, social media measured spending is expected to reach almost $118 billion in 2018, however, about 50% of businesses don’t know how to effectively track their online efforts.
We created an entire guide on calculating your ROI, but here is a quick rundown:
- Identify Key Performance Indicators (purchasing a product, becoming an email subscriber, etc)
- Align each social media goals with business objectives (if you want more sales, focus on conversions)
- Track Results (Google Analytics, Ads Manager, Google Adwords)
- Assign Values to your KPIs (How much is a new customer worth to you?)
- Analyze results (Are your initial goals being met? Should you build upon your initial strategy?)
Create a Defined Strategy for Your Social Media Measurement
Social media measurement will ensure your business is making the best decisions for continual growth. Once you understand your customers, how to develop and create meaningful content, and what platforms allow conversions to flow effortlessly, you can create a better strategy.
This strategy should include precise objectives and goals you wish to accomplish. Find out what works and what does not to constantly improve your strategy. By using the data metrics above, you can make the necessary adjustments to your strategy.
Social media measurement isn’t just a slight benefit to your business. At first glance they might seem like fluffy numbers to help you feel good about your social media efforts. But if read and performed correctly, these numbers are the only way you can seriously measure how well your campaigns are working.
You should be tracking your social media marketing with the same precision and effort you use to track your traditional advertising methods. If you’re not cautiously measuring your efforts, how do you know if your brand is reaching its fullest potential? Or worse, what if you are losing money rather than gaining it?
The data learned can be influential in creating targeted, customized content, optimization, and overall campaign effectiveness. It’s time to get serious about social media measurement!
Our social media management company can help you give your all to your investment through our social media management and social media advertising services. We’d be happy to talk to you and see which avenue is best for your business.