If you’re a digital marketer, you should measure your social media campaigns. But don’t measure just for the sake of having metrics. Instead, measure your social activities so that you can learn what’s successful, what isn’t, and how you can improve.
Let us help you get started with social media measurement for your organization by addressing these questions:
How do you know if your social media activities are effective?
How do you decide what metrics you should be monitoring?
How do you calculate those metrics?
How do you interpret the numbers once you have them?
There are two types of social media measurement:
Ongoing Measurement – This measurement is necessary for keeping up with pulse of general conversation about your brand and company, and also to Track activity over time. Once the tracking is set up, you can let it run and check in regularly to see how it’s working.
Campaign-Focused Measurement – This measurement involves using metrics, to help understand the impact of targeted marketing and varies from campaign to campaign, depending on the goals.
An effective measurement program will include both ongoing and campaign-specific measurement.
Take an example of a large consumer products company about to launch a new diaper brand. To accompany the advertising and marketing push, you want to sponsor a Twitter talkathon where parents and caregivers can discuss raising children and touching on issues around diapering and potty training. Select a unique hashtag, contract an influential Twitter personality who will lead the conversations and you’re ready to go.
Now all that remains is measuring the campaign so you assess whether objectives are being met.
Here is a step-by-step approach to doing this.
- Determine Your Social Goals:
Before measuring the activity concerning your brand, first think about your goals with social media. What are you trying to gain through these channels.? What channels are relevant to your goals.? Your first step in the measurement plan should be generating a list of what is to be achieved from social media efforts. Social media can serve many purposes, from broadcasting news and events to answering questions and engaging with communities. Your next step would be to think about what your audience is to do with your content on these channels. List out these all these goals for social media. So in the diaper launch example, our primary goal would be to spread awareness of the new product to potential customers and our secondary goal is to to know more about prospective customers and influencers for this brand.
- Create Metrics To Measure Goals:
You should match your goals to metrics you can measure. For eg, while measuring engagement, what form of engagement are you tracking? re-tweets, comments, clicks, inquiries, which ones exactly? Here are a few suggestions on what to measure.
To measure awareness, use metrics like like volume, reach and amplification. How far is the message spreading?To measure engagement, look for replies, comments and shares. How many participated? How often? How did they participate? If the goal is to drive traffic, then you must track URL shares and conversions. Are people going through social media to your site, and what are they doing on the site?
To find fans and advocates, track your contributors, how they participate and what kind of impact are they having For a twitter talkathon, the first goal is awareness. So you should measure the tweet volume and the reach of the twitter chat, or how many new people used the hashtag. As getting to know the community is also important, influencer metrics like follower counts or Klout score and demographic information should be retrieved.
After listing the metrics to examine, you need to find the tools to capture these metrics and start measuring. Today, many social media channels provide some form of analytics, or you can always build your own using API’s or use third party tools. Social Analytics work in real-time, so planning and setting up tracking before the campaign commences will make it easier for you to access the data. Make sure you are tracking the posts you’re interested in, and try your best to filter out the spam. Monitor this for a few days.
Use initial findings to set a baseline for future measurement, and share these results with important stakeholders. Ask yourself the following questions once all the data is ready. How do the numbers compare to what you expected? How do they compare to competitors data? With social media analytics , you can easily examine how your competitors are doing. You can also finalize on a reporting schedule. Monthly or weekly, fix a schedule and check your metrics regularly. Let the data accumulate and you can then compare how the data turned out in the early days and how it is today with your changes and modifications. Emphasize on benchmarks so stakeholders understand the comparisons, and visualizations to communicate results quickly and effectively.
- Modify And Repeat:
As a final step, it is important to review your measurement program. Figure out what can be improved, make changes and measure again. In the case of the earlier twitter talkathon, it can be seen that it is important to measure the activity around the chat hashtag. The influencer’s tweets and how many replied to them is to be examined to understand what the audience found interesting.
In conclusion, when participating in social media, it is important to understand if content is having the impact we want. It helps to think about a systematic approach to measuring progress on social media.