Do you even remember when was the time when you logged in to your Facebook and Instagram account and scrolled all through your feed? How did you feel? Was it satisfactory or were you surprised?
If you use social media, you must measure it. But you should not simply measure it for just having the metrics. As an alternative, you should measure your social activities so that you can learn what is successful, what is not working, and how you can make improvements.
Here, we will help you understand how to start the social media measurement for your business by answering these questions:
- How do you know if your social media activities are producing results?
- How do you decide what are the metrics you should monitor?
- How to calculate those metrics?
- How do you interpret the numbers when you have them?
Two Types of Social Media Measurement:
Ongoing Analytics- Ongoing monitoring that tracks all the activities over time
The campaign focused metrics- Event or campaign analytics with a clear starting and ending
Ongoing analytics play an important role in maintaining the overall pulse of the general conversation about your company or brand. Once you set up your brand tracking, you can allow to let it run and check in regular intervals to find how everything is going.
On the other hand, campaign-focused metrics help in understanding the effect of targeted marketing initiatives and will differ from one campaign to another, mainly depending on the goals. An effective social media measurement program will likely include both campaign-specific and ongoing measurement.
Step 1- Define your social objectives:
Before you start measuring all your tweet, comment or photo that you have posted about your company or brand, first think about your social media goals. What do you want to achieve through these channels? And among all, which are the channels that are most relevant for achieving these goals?
The first important step is to prepare a list of what you are trying to achieve from social media activities. Social media can be used for various purposes, from broadcasting information to answering customer queries and engaging with people. What are you trying to achieve?
You have probably started interacting on social media websites like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest, depending on the kind of information and the format of the content that you share. You have possibly also considered the audience whom you want to reach and the tools they are using. So, the next step is to think about what you want your customers to do with your content on these social media channels. Do you want them to read, reply, share, purchase, click or engage?
Step 2- Develop metrics to measure these goals
The next important step is to match your objectives to actual metrics and behaviours that you can measure. For instance, if you want to measure the engagement, then what is the practical form of engagement that you want to track? Is it reposting or retweeting? Comments or replies? Clicks? Based on a few social media goals, here are a few suggestions of the behaviours to measure.
- If your goal is to measure awareness, then use metrics like reach, volume, amplification, and exposure. How far is your message spreading?
- If your intention is to measure engagement, then consider the metrics around comments, replies, and retweets. How many people are taking part, how often are they taking part, and in what all different forms are they participating?
- If your main objective is to drive traffic to your website, then track the URL shares, conversions, and clicks. Are your customers moving through social media to your external website and what do they do after they visit your website?
- If your objective is to find followers, then you must track the influence and contributors. Who is participating and what type of impact do they have?
- If your objective is to increase your brand’s share of voice, then record your volume relative to your closest competitors. In the overall conversation, how much it is about your company?
Step 3- Measure
Once you have listed the metrics you want to focus on, the next step is to find tools that capture these metrics, and then start to measure. In some cases, social media channels offer analytics, in some cases, you will require certain third-party tools, whereas in some cases you can even build your own by using API’s.
If you are not sure about the tools to use, do a Google search and you will come across plenty of options. Many social analytics tools work in real-time, so if you can plan beforehand and set up the tracking before the campaign starts, it will be much simpler to access the data that you will require later.
For example, on Twitter, accessing tweets that are more than a few days old is costly, difficult, and far less reliable than collecting and archiving them in real-time. Before the campaign starts, set up your measurement tools.
Step 4- Monitor and prepare a report
The fourth step is to report your results. Make use of your initial findings to set a baseline or the benchmark for future measurement and share the figures with your significant stakeholders. Two vital questions to consider are:
- How are the numbers when compared to your expectation?
- How are they when compared to your competitor’s related campaigns and products?
One of the great parts of social media analytics is that you can run reports regarding your competitors to find out what they are doing.
This is also the right time to consider your schedule for regular reporting time. Based on your schedule, quarterly and monthly reporting may work in the best way, but weekly reporting may work well for others too. No matter whatever is the schedule, make sure you are checking in regularly on your metrics. Do not let your effort go waste! And let your metrics accumulate with time; you will see how important this data will become after a few months have passed and you have old data to compare with your new data.
In your reports, make sure you mention these important numbers:
- Include benchmarks or other important info so that your stakeholders can understand what the figures mean
- Consider the visualization of your data; graphs can help in communicating your results fast and clearly to the audience
- Keep your graphs clean and simple
Step 5- Repeat
The last step is to review your measurement program carefully. What are the metrics showing? Are you missing anything? Was there anything that was unnecessary or superfluous? Find out what improvements you can make, make changes. Check with the objectives you set initially and ensure your new metrics help you address those objectives.
If you are using social media, you must understand how you are doing. Is your content having the effect you wanted? Are you able to meet your brand’s goals with social media? This is the reason why monitoring and measuring your social media activities is so important. You need consistent and reliable analytics to track your success on various social media channels like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.