Do you know what the social media metrics that really matter are?  As big data continues to be a big deal for businesses, many marketing teams struggle to combine the analytics behind social media with sales data to deliver an ROI-centric strategy. A 'go-with-your-gut' marketing plan is simply not enough in today's data-driven world. But, with so many data points available, how can you be certain which is the most important?

Social Media Metrics 101

We interviewed social media expert, Stephanie Nissen, and asked for her input. Here is a summary of what she shared on the webinar:

Q: With so many social media channels available, how can businesses decide which networks are the most important?

A: It all comes down to the type of content you can produce. Pinterest, for example, is a very visual network. You should only participate in Pinterest if you have high-value, highly visual content to share. Many B2C brands have seen great success with Pinterest because of its ability to drive virality. If your content is geared toward a professional audience, which is the case for most B2B brands, LinkedIn is likely a better channel for you.

Q: What are some tips you can share for helping companies decide what type of content to produce and share?

A: This is the million dollar question that everyone is looking to solve. The (unfortunate) short answer is … it depends. The (fortunate) long answer is … you don't have to just throw things at the wall to see if they stick. Social media gives you the flexibility to test various content types on your audience without a hefty time (or financial) investment.

Facebook provides a section within the Posts tab called, “Post Types.” This section of your Facebook Insights will show you the types of content that produce the highest reach and best engagement rates for your page.

The type of post you publish matters when it comes to creating better Facebook content, and you can apply these learnings to your entire content strategy. Nissen shared that Facebook is placing a greater emphasis on video content with its introduction of “Facebook Live” live streaming feature.

Q: What are some tools that you use to implement and measure social media marketing effectiveness?

A: Nissen recommended a number of tools, including:

Canva.com – Canva makes it easy to design graphics, such as blog images, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, and invitations. The best part about Canva is the fact that it gives you templates to work from.

Sprout Social – Sprout Social is a tool that allows you to script and schedule posts to social media. Nissen recommends Sprout Social because of its slick reporting interface, which is almost like looking at an infographic.

Feedly – is a news aggregator application for various web browsers and mobile devices running iOS and Android, also available as a cloud-based service. Feedly lets you quickly find shareable content and it even integrates with Sprout Social.

Q: The question of the hour: In your opinion, what are the more important metrics to measure on social media?

A: The answer to this question will always depend upon your goals, of course. Here are some examples of how you can measure the effectiveness of your social media marketing:

Awareness Goals

Ultimately, in an awareness campaign, you want to gain an understanding of how far your message has spread. This can be quantified by measuring:

  • Your share of voice vs. top competitors' share of voice
  • Reach (number of impressions)
  • Exposure (number of unique impressions)
  • Amplification (number of social shares)
  • Virality (number of impressions per share)

Engagement Goals

If you are looking to drive engagement with your brand, ultimately, you want to know how many people are interacting with it and how often they are doing so. This can be quantified by measuring:

  • Social actions (retweets, comments, replies)
  • Click-through rate
  • Bounce rate (Nissen recommends segmenting your bounce rate by social media channel. The lower your bounce rate, the more engaged your audience.)

Conversion Goals

When the primary goal of social media is to generate leads for your business, you'll first have to figure out what a conversion is worth to your business before you can measure the effectiveness of your marketing. For example, let's assume that you spent $1,000 on social media ads, and 10 users convert to leads. In this example, your cost per lead = $1,000/10 = $100. Of those 10 leads, let's assume 3 of them turn into paying customers, and each of them spends $150. In this example, you've spent $1,000 only to realize $450 in revenue.

How can you use data to avoid these kinds of mistakes? The answer is clear: you need a solid benchmark in place that measures:

  • Conversion rate
  • Close rate
  • Average deal size

For the sake of example, let's assume that for every 100 website visitors, 10 of them convert into leads for your business. And for every 10 leads, 3 of them turn into closed business. Under this assumption, we can reasonably assume 100 website visitors > 10 leads > 3 sales. With an average sale size of $150, each website visitor is worth $4.50 to your business. Armed with this data, you can quickly make decisions about how much you can afford to spend on social media marketing, and you can gauge the effectiveness of your marketing on the fly.

Pro tip: For every targeted ad, you must link to a dedicated landing page that continues the conversation that their ad started. Do not leave it to users to infer the connection between your ad copy and your landing page copy. If your bounce rate is too high, this is a good indication that your landing page is not highly relevant.

Social Media Conclusion

“It is important to remember that people interact with social media because they want to connect to people. Of course you want to measure the success of your marketing, and by all means, be as data-driven as possible! But don't forget to be human, too.”


Next read:
7 Breathtaking Examples of Amazing Data Visualization


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