You wouldn’t invest money in a technology stock on Wall Street without stopping to check how well it was performing. You would also take time to choose which measurements were important to you and why. For example, you should measure percentage gain, dividends returned, performance compared with competitors, etc. This information would help you to decide if you should buy, hold or sell a stock. Measuring your social media campaign requires the same diligence. It is important to know which aspects of your social activities are successful and which need to be changed or dropped. Be aware however, that it may be far more difficult to draw a direct correlation between money spent and income generated. It is difficult to measure Social media results in the traditional ROI sense, and there may be more appropriate ways to determine whether your campaign is bringing results.
Establish Clear Goals
It is impossible to accurately measure your social media campaign without establishing clear beginning and end points. So begin by establishing a baseline, a snapshot of a specific moment in time to which you can compare your social media results. Furthermore it is vital to determine what you should be measuring. Some information is more valuable to you so ensure that you know what your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) are. Determine whether you should you be looking to improve your number of clicks? Comments? Likes? Sales?
LI and Bernoff state in their book, “Groundswell” that “Your strategy should be designed from the start to focus on a primary objective, and it is progress toward that objective that you should measure.” Focus then, on the correct goal or you may find that you do not have the metrics that you require.
For example, if your primary goal is to increase your profit margin, then perhaps that is what you should be measuring, not likes, comments or sales. However it is difficult to accurately measure your social media impact using profit as there are so many factors to take into consideration. On the other hand, if you understand that improving your social media campaign will eventually have an impact on your bottom line, or if you are working for a non-profit organization, you may be more interested in seeing an increased number of comments which would, in turn, point to increased engagement, a valuable social media commodity.
Use Appropriate Metrics Tools
The following tools represent only a few of the better known products available. A quick search of the internet will reveal many others, each with their own characteristics and capabilities. Choose those that best suit your requirements.
Google Analytics is a tremendous free tool for measuring social media impact. This tool will allow you to accurately determine KPI’s and boost your ability to meet your customers needs more effectively.
Hootsuite is another tool that provides a wide array of measuring tools to help you determine how effective your social media campaign is. With over 10 million users and an option for a free trial it is a good place to start.
Sproutsocial is similar to Hootsuite in that it provides a comprehensive platform for publishing to your social media accounts, engaging your audience and measuring performance with analytical tools.
Most of the tools available can provide an overwhelming amount of data. While this may seem intimidating at first, take time to decide on the data that will actually be useful to you. Some of the more popular measurements to consider are those that deal with the following categories:
Reach – This will allow to measure data including numbers of fans, followers and likes. These numbers will help you to determine if you are growing your audience.
Sentiment – This will allow you to gauge and respond to the positive and negative comments you are attracting on your sites.
Engagement – If you want to know what people are thinking and saying about your organization and its products and services take time to focus on engagement. Examine the number and quality of comments, clicks, video views and anything else that requires your audience to interact with your social media activities.
Sales – Although this may not be easily measurable, it is useful to understand what social media interaction leads directly to measurable sales activity.
Measuring your social media performance is a vital part of any campaign and should not be considered an afterthought. Establish your goals, choose your measuring tools and decide which measurements are important for your business or organization. They are important keys to the success of your business.