6 keys to successful social media measurement

Data mining and tracking can be difficult. Instead of taking shots in the dark, try implementing these crucial tactics.

Social media measurement tools enable marketers to determine which tactics work best.

Marketers use measurement to track their progress and contribute to meeting their organization’s overall goals. Without measurement, marketers often rely on their gut feelings instead of data.

The right metrics can provide great insight. Once you begin tracking your data, your marketing tactics will have more meaning.

Applying metrics to your myriad marketing approaches can be a major challenge—especially for larger brands or companies with multiple brands. A social media dashboard can save time and provide access to trends

Here are some of the most useful social media metrics:

Web traffic. Analyzing posts by channel or timeframe shows which posts perform best.

“This metric is one of the most important that you can monitor, because it tells you exactly what kind of impact your social media is having on your overall site traffic,” Weidert Group’s Alex Sobal says.

Look for patterns in the posts you’ve shared, and see whether you notice spikes on certain days or channels.

Brand image. Establishing and maintaining a positive reputation is essential. Although social media can promote your brand, negative comments can quickly damage your image, so be vigilant. Most social media platforms provide basic analytics, but a monitoring service can help you measure your sentiment across networks, forums and online publishers.

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Reach is the number of people who have viewed your content. To gauge your reach, consider your number of followers and blog visitors and the brand’s expansion. Doing so can become misleading, though, if brand managers don’t consider the quality of their followers. Make sure new followers are part of your target audience.

Engagement. Tally your online feedback, interactions and comments to determine whether your consumer interaction is valid. Let your engagement determine how worthwhile your content is. If you’re lacking engagement, you’re either not building the right kind of community or you’re not giving your audience enough interesting content.

Shares can include retweets on Twitter and repins on Pinterest. They are more beneficial than most other types of engagement. Shares can directly or indirectly boost customer retention and development and increase the reach of your messages. Be wary that some amplifications can be negative.

Conversions are those people who advance through your lead generation process by completing an action such as registering for a webinar or downloading a white paper. You can use a platform such as Google Analytics to track those activities. Build trackable links into your social media posts and monitor them. You can also record online conversions.

Assisted conversions. A Facebook post might refer a visitor to your website, but the customer might not convert until weeks later. If you don’t track those multiple touches, you won’t know your brand’s value.

Implementing an effective measurement program with the right metrics can help prove the value of all your social media efforts.

William Comcowich is the chief marketing officer of CyberAlert, a media monitoring and measurement service. A version of this article originally appeared on the CyberAlert blog.

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