In our rapidly evolving digital landscape, the use of social media has become a staple requirement for businesses of all kinds. No matter how small or large your business, and which industry you belong to, you can hardly ignore the power of social. From extending your reach and improving brand awareness, to engaging with customers and prospects, and driving online conversions, a powerful social media strategy with proper social media monitoring can help you achieve significant business goals.
What Gets Measured, Gets Done!
Are you investing a substantial portion of your advertising and marketing budget into a full-fledged social media marketing plan? If yes, how do you ensure that the time, effort and money you put into your social selling strategy does not go down a black hole? The answer is simple; what gets measured, gets done! Continuously monitoring the effectiveness of your social agenda, along with timely tweaks to the roadmap could help you stay on track and achieve the desired business outcomes. Unfortunately, this part is not as simple as you may imagine. Read on to know more about social media measurement, and how it could potentially make or break your social marketing strategy.
Structured Approach to Social Media Measurement
A well laid out social media monitoring plan will operate at two levels:
- Ongoing Analytics: To stay abreast of the conversations around your products, services, brand, and organization. Once you set up this tracking, you simply need to monitor it at regular intervals.
- Campaign-focused Metrics: To measure an end-to-end social media campaign and monitor its effectiveness against the desired campaign objectives.
Whether it is your ongoing social media effort or a specific campaign, here are the key steps for a structured approach to social media measurement.
1. Develop Your Target Audience Persona:
Even the most creative social media strategies are no good without knowing who they are specifically targeting. Do you really know your ideal audience? Who are these people? What content do they engage with? Which channels do they use, and how frequently? Identifying their demographics, desires and pain points will help you build the right personas of the individuals you are trying to reach out to through social. Building personas is an important step in improving your content strategy, running compelling campaigns, and engaging your audience.
2. Define Your Social Goals:
It’s futile measuring every single tweet, like, photo or comment, without defining your social goals. Ask yourself some of these questions:
- What are you trying to accomplish through each social platform?
- Do you intend to broadcast information, engage with a community, or answer customer queries?
- What do you want your target audience to do with your content on each channel? Read, like, share, reply, engage or purchase?
When you list your goals for each channel, you will be able to set up the appropriate metrics and monitoring tools.
3. Identify the Key Metrics to Measure Your Goals:
Any measurement is only as good as the metrics you capture. Not collecting any data is like flying blind, whereas employing too many metrics could obstruct your field of vision. Whether you are on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, or some other social platform, identify the key measurement metrics for each based on the outcomes you set out to achieve through them.
Here are some examples of social goals, and their most representative user behaviors:
- Create Awareness: Check how much and how far you have spread your messaging through metrics, such as volume, amplification, reach and exposure.
- Drive Traffic to your Website: Know how the movement occurs through each social media platform to your external site, and what users do once they land on your site. Track metrics, such as URL shares, clicks, or conversions.
- Expand your Base of Fans and Advocates: Seek out your contributors and influencers. Pay attention to who they are, and what impact they have on your followers.
- Build Engagement: Look for participation levels and intensity. Volume of likes, retweets, comments, replies, along with the number of unique users should give you a fair indication of engagement levels.
4. Select the Right Measurement Tools:
While most social media channels provide basic analytics and dashboards, you can also choose from several third-party tools available on the market, or build your own Application Program Interfaces (APIs). Here are just a few examples of popular and powerful tools to track a variety of social media metrics:
- Hootsuite: A multi-platform activity tracker, Hootsuite allows you to manage your social accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and WordPress.
- Sprout Social: Get detailed analytics for increasing your social media engagement and publish posts from the Sprout Social Dashboard.
- Keyhole: Get real-time as well as historical information, such as keywords, hashtags, URLS and usernames for Twitter and Instagram.
- Simply Measured: Gather data to analyze your earned, owned and paid activity for channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more.
5. Monitor and Listen:
When it comes to social media monitoring, it’s not enough to simply track and measure all this information. Appropriate analysis and interpretation of data is critical to know your past performance and build your future social strategy. Simply put, you need to spend time on social monitoring as well as social listening. While monitoring will help you report the effectiveness of your social efforts, listening will allow you to identify the actionable insights that you can use to tweak and enhance your social strategy.
Empower Your Social Marketing Strategy through Monitoring and Measurement
Your social media strategy is like an ongoing conversation with your current or potential customers. You cannot be a good conversationalist if you aren’t paying attention to what your customers are saying or doing. Up your social game by following a structured approach to monitoring and measuring your social strategy.
Excited about creating an impactful, sustainable and profitable social media strategy? Lean on the experts at WSI eStrategies in Ottawa for a proven approach to tracking your social media effectiveness. Book a discovery meeting and let’s discuss how to optimize your social efforts with the help of the right data and information.