Today, social media make for a big part of the digital marketing efforts – and just like any other business department, it needs campaigns, goals, and metrics to measure the evolution of performance over time.
However, social medias can be a fuzzy jungle, with permanent noise and hustle and bustle that we can have a hard time understanding at first, managing, and even less controlling. The point is anyways not to control the uncontrollable social media, but to use them smartly and leverage their echo-chamber and “buzz” potential. To quantitatively measure your efforts on social media, you will need to track specific KPIs -Key Performance Indicators- and analyze them to see where you are performing well and where you’re not, and adjust your campaigns accordingly. There’s no need to waste your dollars on a campaign that brings in no traffic, attention or conversion, when you can use that money to strengthen another performant one.
In this article, we will go over 10 important KPIs for your marketing dashboard from three different categories, that will help you evaluating your social media campaigns in order to boost them!
1 – Global Reach
Reach is the first focus area we will tackle. It is an old-school marketing metric that is all the more important in our 2.0 economy. Reach will tell you how far your message is going, and how many people have potentially seen it. You can measure your reach thanks to:
– Followers or fans: represent the total number of people following you on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, etc. Do not over appreciate this “vanity” metric, as it does not guarantee that you will have real business results.
– Mentions: tags or mentions of a user to another one about your brand. This will help you monitor conversations about your company, and give you an idea of your global reach.
– Reach: represents the total number of people who see your content. Reach is to be distinguished from impressions, that represent the number of times your content is displayed to people. A single content can be displayed twice to the same person; in that case, the reach will be of 1 but the impressions will be 2.
All of these metrics must be analyzed along others related to the engagement of your audience, to be understood properly.
2 – Engagement & Interaction
It is a good thing to build a community and measuring it as seen above, but you also need to keep it: this is why you need to remain present and interact with your fans and followers, to avoid oblivion and disinterest. By measuring interaction and engagement, you see how people are engaging with a particular post, article, or your page in general. This comes in diverse types of metrics depending the social platform you use. The following KPIs offer insights on your engagement level and where you could possibly improve:
– Profile Visits: not available with all social platforms, it is still worth your attention. Even though you cannot know if they have an intention to buy, the profile visits still show a certain interest from users in your brand.
– Clicks: they are reflective on the quality of the title and the image illustrating it. If you have a big number of clicks but very few likes and shares, that means that your post seemed to interest you fan but it didn’t deliver what they were expecting.
– Likes: likes are bringing attention, as people get more easily interested in what is popular. The more likes a post has, the more likely it can be given a higher spot in search results by the different algorithms.
– Comments: if what you post is interesting, then it will naturally spark conversation. Whether it is a heated thread of messages or a more general discussion, it is better than having nothing at all.
– Shares/Retweets: just like comments and likes, this will be taken into account by the various algorithms and bring your post up. All the more that sharing is less “passive” than liking, so shares and retweets are good indicators of active engagement of fans, recommending your work to their friends’ network.
Taking into account the engagement rate is crucial in order to understand your fans’ preferences and anticipate their expectations.
3 – Action & Results
You’ve built your community, you’ve maintained it active and interacted with them. Now, it is time to measure how good you’ve been at leading your leads to your final desired outcome. These business goals and objectives have been set beforehand so that you can track them and see how you perform on them, and see tangible results. The following KPIs will help you measure how your social media efforts are paying off:
– Conversions & Conversion Rate: they are turning a simple visitor into a prospect or customer. There are a lot of different conversions, that are not only sales-related: from a “simple” newsletter subscription to a shopping cart check out, a widget installation or content downloads, conversion comes in many types. Tacking these conversions and their percentage of success will help you see how much of your revenue is coming from social media and how well they perform.
– Sales revenue: for the overwhelming majority of online business, sales revenue is one of the business objectives, so I’ll assume here that it is one of your desired outcomes. When you close a sale, it can be interesting to know how your new customer discovered your brand and through which channels he/she interacted with it mostly.
Once you have set up all these metrics and tracked them over time, a best practice is to visualize them through professional marketing dashboards. That way, you can parallelize them and see better trends and patterns, insights that will enhance your various strategies. Keep in mind to focus on the KPIs that are the most relevant to your audience’s behaviour, and optimize your social media content accordingly to the results you get – and be ready to get the most out of your social media strategy!