Is your time spent on social media networks worth your investment? When using social tools for marketing purposes, you need to provide metrics that will justify your efforts. But how can you measure discussions, tweets, engagement and relationships?
Setting Up Key Performance Indicators
Key performance indicators, more commonly known as KPIs, are essential to any social media strategies. Without them, the vast array of information generated by channels you are active on will be too overwhelming to make sense of. By setting up clear indicators, your measurements will have focus and meaning.
Your KPIs will be dependent of your overall social media strategy. Why are you entering the social sphere in the first place? Is it to monitor discussions around your brand, to promote your brand and products, to raise awareness of your blog? Whatever the reason is, your KPIs need to reflect those goals.
Traffic Is only One Variable
Measuring and monitoring traffic is the most common (and overrated) aspect of web analytics. Your traffic statistics might tell you that your site or blog is popular but unfortunately it doesn’t say anything about engagement, your type of visitors nor conversion rates. When active on social media channels, the latter becomes as important as just pure traffic. Here are some important KPIs that you will want to monitor:
- Brand Monitoring
Measuring your Efforts Through KPIs
On a more practical level, here are some tips to measure these different KPIs:
Engagement and Brand Monitoring:
These two are the trickiest to measure as you are attempting to quantify human behaviors and relationships, and those don’t fit so nicely in a spreadsheet. Here some sub-indicators are essential: Are people gunning for your brand and you would like to change perceptions? Here a ratio of positive versus negative discussions happening on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and the like would provide a sensible measurement tool. By keeping a daily, weekly or monthly record of these discussions over time, you’ll have a clearer picture of your efforts. Engagement on blogs can be monitored through comments, link juice and birthing of surrounding discussions on other blogs.
Conversion and Subscriptions:
A great and easy to set KPI is your subscribers, especially through email and RSS channels. Having 10,000 followers on Twitter might not be a reliable sign of conversion, but having 15 new people subscribing to your email updates or RSS feed definitely is. Many consider having subscribers as one of the highest form of engagement. Feedburner provides invaluable statistics to anyone using their subscribing services.
If you’re in the white paper and case studies industry, leads are what you’re after. To generate leads, you need to generate awareness. By measuring a ratio of exposure versus qualified leads, you can get pretty strong statistics. Breaking these number by channels (Twitter, blogs, etc.) seems essential, though you’ll need to know where leads came from in the first place. Setting up links with identifiers can help you get there along with a properly set analytics program (such asGoogle Analytics.)
We saw last week how Quantcast can provide you with demographic details concerning your website. If for instance you want to increase awareness of your brand or products to women, this analytics service will provide you with enough statistics to cross-reference with your social media activity.
Measuring social media activity can be done when the right KPIs are set. Be focused, monitor regularly and most importantly stick with your indicators and you’ll have a sense of your social media efforts.