KPI doesn’t stand for Keep People Intrigued, but it might as well. What do your social media KPIs tell you about your business?
Let’s be honest. How easy is it to “like” a Facebook post? You’ve clicked that button a thousand times while half-awake, eating a burrito, or watching Veep: in other words, while barely paying attention. The point is that if your business is gauging the success of its social media marketing on vanity metrics like Facebook likes, well, good luck on getting that phone to ring.
Same goes for counting followers, retweets, shares, comments, impressions, and page views. Of course you want these numbers to go up instead of down, but are they actually resulting in sales?
Now grab a Post-It, write CONVERSIONS on it, and stick it to that computer of yours.
Social media is a powerful tool in your brand management strategy tool kit. It may not necessarily be the biggest driver of direct sales, but it offers an unparalleled opportunity to reach your target audience and build rapport. However, it’s only by measuring how many of those likes, tweets, and shares are resulting in actual conversions (however you measure them: email signups, phone calls, sale$), that your business can continue to do what’s working and adapt what’s not. Focusing on social media metrics that aren’t directly tied to a revenue stream is a waste of time.
Social media has long been an Achilles heel for marketers since it’s challenging to measure in terms of ROI. However, as more platforms begin to offer more detailed analytics, you can now employ data-driven insights to justify your social media marketing budget to your CFO. When you’re investing in social media, it’s important to track certain KPIs to see where there’s room for improvement: an opportunity to alter a campaign to better reach your target audience, or to really understand your customers.
Setting goals for your social media marketing is the first step. What is the desired effect: Building your email list? Promoting a service? Taking orders on a new product? Once you have your objective in mind, use these five KPIs to help determine the success of your social media campaign:
- ENGAGEMENT is an indicator of how effective your social media is on the “shareability scale.” As we know, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram likes don’t take much effort, but shares and comments do, and the number your posts generate is an important measurement of the people who are engaging with your content. On these platforms, healthy and frequent engagement is a large factor in their algorithm, which determines if, where, and how often your content appears organically in your audience’s newsfeed. These “social signals” also let the Google behemoth know that your content is useful, informative, valuable, and relevant—therefore helping your page come up higher organically in search results. Let’s break engagement down:
- Clicks: If a post receives a lot of Facebook clicks but few likes or shares, your followers may not have found your title, description, or image relevant or compelling. Time to try something new.
- Likes: Ever notice that the first thing you see when you log onto Facebook is a friend’s post that generated 250 likes? Facebook assumes that if everyone else liked it, you’ll like it too. In other words, likes beget likes.
- Shares: Shares on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, and reposts on Instagram open up your post to a whole new audience, thereby increasing reach. You’re doing something right.
- Comments: Pay close attention to comments, and respond promptly and thoughtfully. Comments show that your posts are generating interest and creating a conversation, and offer insights into how your audience is feeling about your content. Seize this opportunity to act as an expert in the industry and answer questions, or contribute to a conversation about a popular topic.
- Active followers/friends: How many of your followers have engaged with your content in the last 30 days? And how many accounts that you follow are following you back? Sort through your lists and clean them up if necessary. Your social profile is more attractive to potential followers if your “following to follower” ratio is even, and it can help your engagement rate as well.
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- REACH is a KPI that shows how many people are seeing your social media posts. It’s got a few elements, so focus on the one that suits your goals. Remember, while your social posts may have a high reach, it’s a bad sign if they have low engagement.
- Organic reach: the number of unique people who see your post in their news feed.
- Paid reach: the number of unique people who see a boosted/promoted post or ad. Is your social network advertising on target?
- Impressions: The number of times your post has been displayed. Keep in mind that one person might view a post multiple times.
- DEMOGRAPHICS can make or break your social media marketing success. What demographic are you trying to attract, and is your content appealing to that group? If you’re attracting the wrong demographic, conversions won’t come easy. You may need to alter your social strategy to reach your desired demographic, even consider another platform. Same goes for geographics as well.
- GENERATING LEADS is what it’s all about. Use your social network’s analytics to track your progress.
- Are your posts bringing in potential customers? A great way to track leads is through Google Analytics or Hubspot.
- Use Google URL Builder to create tracking links to get a complete picture in Analytics of which social media items are driving traffic to your website. This shows up in Analytics under “Campaigns.” Specific content can be grouped together in a campaign, so you can see which pieces are performing better than others on a certain topic.
- In addition to tracking website traffic from social media, you can set up goals in Google Analytics to help determine which traffic is converting to a lead, sale, signup, or whatever you consider a conversion.
- RETURN ON INVESTMENT: KPIs, meet ROI. Track customer acquisition and conversion rates from social media to measure ROI. But keep in mind that most social media marketing is branding-focused, therefore a source of indirect ROI. Still, it’s a uniquely valuable opportunity to upsell or debut new products, or inspire your current customers to rave online about your business or services.
Now that your KPIs have helped you create a profile of what content is connecting with your audience, don’t stop at social media posts. Expand into a true content marketing plan with blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, videos, and infographics to promote and link to on your website. “Smart” social media, based on analytics, not vanity metrics, can create a mighty powerful pipeline to conversions and revenue growth.
Got questions about what social media data analysis can do for your business? Simply180’s got answers. Whether we can help you expand your campaign or you just need some consulting. We are always happy to help point you in the right direction. Feel free to contact us.