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  • Writer's pictureIrvin

How to Measure Social Media Marketing Performance?

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

Guess, you are the social media manager, community manager or marketing manager who manages Facebook on the side, and the boss asks you how your social media marketing is doing this month.

This is a question I regularly get from my boss. It's the magic unicorn of the social world to be able to give a meaningful answer on how we do on social media. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to narrow metrics that can be measured in social media, and it is important to watch regularly to be able to answer that question like a pro.

So, today I will explain what KPIs you should keep an eye on, what social media metrics are there and how to measure your social media marketing performance.

How to Measure Social Media Marketing Performance?

Step 1: Determine or Develop your Goals through Social Media

Step 2: Create Measuring Metrics for the Goals and Track Your Tactics

Step 3: Measure

Step 4: Monitor the Progress and Report

Step 5: Adjust and Repeat

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to communicate with your customers, create your brand, boost sales and drive traffic to your website.

In the corporate world, social media is dramatically embraced throughout the world. The prominence of social media makes it even harder for anyone to lack a corporation without any social media account. The main purpose for most companies embracing social media is for using it as a customer support channel and a marketing strategy.

However, there are a considerable number of companies which just seem not to get it right. For instance, consider looking at the social media blunders of last year. With evidence of such downfalls, it is clear that social media is never an outright success for businesses. The measurement of the success of social media might be hard. However, it is not impossible.

Wait, is social media essential for my business? If you need to know, I’ve answered this question in detail before. Check out my How Does Social Media Help My Business post for more information.

Most of the business entities, indeed, need to have social media. However, it is not a must for one to have social media for their business entities.

However, it is just good for a company to have at least a Facebook account that they link to their website. The most important question in the whole social media issue for anyone to ask themselves is – am I ready to commit consistent resources to the marketing strategies of social media?

Every other company can benefit from social media; however, considerable smaller ones can worry on the issue of allocating resource for the same. It is essential to conduct a cost/benefit analysis for social media marketing, just before engaging oneself.

There is indeed no direct way of getting social media marketing right. However, below are some of the outright benefits one can get from social media marketing.

The above sounds good, of course, they are good for any business growth and stay in the market. However, once you have committed to social media (or planning to), you have to come up with a means of measuring the benefits from the process.

However, do you just really need to measure social media marketing for the sake of measuring? Of course not, you have to come up with the metrics of measurement to learn the success rates, those which are not, but means of improvement.

Social media marketing is divided into two distinct types;

Ongoing Strategy – Tracking of activities over time through ongoing metrics,

Campaign-Focused Strategy – Campaign or analysis of events which have a clear beginning and end.

So, I’d suggest you first to decide if you are planning a long-term strategy or is it just for a one-shot campaign. No matter what your company does at the moment, it’s always better to plan things. Keep an ongoing strategy for your company’s marketing and keep social media on top of it.

How to Measure Social Media Marketing Performance?

Step 1: Determine or Develop your Goals through Social Media

The fact that many companies around the globe are using social media, they all do not use it for the same purpose. As seen from the above benefits of social media marketing, there are different things that social media can help you do. Therefore, before determining how to measure your marketing, you should come up with what you want to achieve.

Determining the goals of social media marketing is not just a walk in the park. Considering the various benefits of social media marketing, it can be hard to come up with the most effective one for your organization. However, listing all the goals of your organization before determining the specific ones to measure can turn out to be helpful.

Some of the goals of social media might include broadcasting news and information, communicating with customers easily, building brand awareness, driving traffic to your website or increasing leads and conversions.

In 42PLUS, we set SMART goals. Which means, your goal should be unquestionable and clarify what is expected, why it is important, who's involved, where it is going to happen and which limitations are in place. It should be realistic and possible for your team to reach, should matter to your business and address a core initiative. And finally, you should have a specified expected date to reach the goal.

Therefore, the goal examples above will not fall into the criteria of SMART goals.

For instance, when your goal is to increase your email list through leads and conversion, you have to mention the period you set for that, and by how much you foresee to increase based on your work progress. Increasing your email list by 5% in two months by social media efforts is a SMART goal.

More importantly, the goals should have solid criteria for measuring progress. Regardless of being uncountable as brand awareness, you should be able to measure the extent of awareness. The first process might be challenging, but you have to use that as a means of creating the baseline for next goal-setting process.

Step 2: Create Measuring Metrics for the Goals and Track Your Tactics

After creating the goal, it is essential to create the actual metrics that you want to measure. For instance, through the use of Twitter as a social media channel, ask yourself “Why do we have a Twitter account?”, you might intend to gain awareness or engagement with your customers. There are different metrics to measure that, such as retweets, comments, reposts, and replies. You have to determine the specific metric that you will consider for measuring your social media marketing.

You also have to come up with the specific tactic of tracking. You have to track individual performances of your tactics rather than the big goal, such as conversion rate. You have to come up with specific tactics that you’ll use to reach your goal, and thus, track those tactics rather than the bigger goal.

Some of the tactics you can use in social media channels include;

Running contests

Capitalizing on the trending topics

Distributing contents

You must understand the reason for spending time and resources on the tactics. You should also understand the essentiality of the tactics. In case they are not giving positive results, you shouldn’t waste time with them but scrap and probably come up with another.

Step 3: Measure

During this step, you have to find the right tools that will help in the measurement process. You have already determined your goals and the metrics and tactics you should focus on. It is essential to come up with the right tools for the measurement of the metrics.

But, in case you are tight with your budget, you can also measure it yourself.

Twitter counts engagement anytime someone clicks anywhere on the Tweet, including retweets, replies, follows, favourites, links, cards, hashtags, embedded media, username, profile photo, tweet expansion. My tip to measure Twitter would be looking at your last 1-month period closely. Take the engagement data that Twitter gives you via Twitter Analytics and divide it by total impressions count. The result will give you your engagement rate. Taking this number as your benchmark, you can keep an eye for the increase of that.

Watch your follower count. Follower increase has a lot to tell you about your page performance.

Check which posts have performed better than the others. Sometimes it is about a beautiful picture, an inspiring line or just the right hashtag. Find what is working for you the best and repeat that success.

You can apply this measurement process to all accounts and watch monthly. The measuring process is a continuous one and should not be halted without recurring through the next process.

Step 4: Monitor the Progress and Report

Reporting of results should be the fourth step of measuring social media marketing performance. The baseline for future measurement in the whole process is the initial results. Therefore, such results should be shared with the initial stakeholders.

During the monitoring process, there are two essential questions which you should always ask yourself.

How are the numbers compared to the results you expect?

How do the numbers compare to those from your competitors and of related marketing campaigns?

The monitoring and reporting part should be a continuous process that you ought to come up with a schedule for the reporting. The reporting schedule depends on your (and your organization’s) schedule. However, you should always ensure that you regularly check on the metrics regardless of the schedule.

During the reporting process, always ensure that you highlight some essential numbers:

Enhance the understanding of all the stakeholders through including benchmarks and contextual information. Include visualizations and graphs which will help an easier understanding of the data, through graphs, for instance, to help on the easy and quick understanding of the information by the audience. Enhance simplicity and cleanliness on the graphs.

I found this Whatagraph platform where you can make simple and visually attractive reports by simply connecting your channels.

Step 5: Adjust and Repeat

Even after reporting on the whole marketing process, it is essential that you carefully review the measurement program. Are the metrics effective enough? Is there anything that you are missing on? Did you include any unnecessary thing? During this stage, you should figure out the things which need improvement or change.

If you decide to carry social media marketing, it is essential to understand how the process is doing. Through social media, you fully have to understand if the content you have is reaching your marketing goals. Are you creating the impact you require from social media? It is, therefore, essential to monitor and measure the activities you carry through social media. For your success in monitoring and measurement of performance on social media marketing, you should have a reliable, effective, and consistent analytics for tracking the channels you use including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Social Media Marketing is one of our strengths in 42PLUS. Let's meet.



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