As the digital world expands with new platforms and mediums, it’s important to create a strong strategy that keeps your brand voice clear so it stands out amongst the chatter. As a social media manager, your role is to identify your audience and create meaningful conversations in their space. If you’re using social media as a marketing channel, don’t rely on a “set-it-and-forget-it” strategy, especially if you’re planning on launching a campaign. Your channels require special attention, care, and tweaking as they set the tone for the type of interactions you have with your audience.
As you identify relevant campaigns to reach your audience, it’s vital to know which metrics you want to measure to prove the ROI of your work. There are so many different aspects of a social media campaign you can track – but what metrics should you really be measuring and how do you know if your campaign is truly making an impact?
Simply recalling how many new Twitter followers or how many Facebook shares your post got doesn’t truly reflect your hard work, nor does it arm you with actionable measurements for improvement. Refining your tracking strategy will allow you to demonstrate how your campaign efforts are making an impact on not only your overall marketing strategy but your company or client’s bottom line.
Let’s kick things up a notch and adjust your strategy to optimize your campaigns. But before we dig into the specifics, let’s review a few terms you need to know:
Reach: the number of people who see your content.
Reach measures how your content is spread across the platform. It’s the number of unique people that view your content, meaning not every single one of your followers will see every single post you make. Keeping track of your reach will allow you to optimize posting times. When does your reach peak? Do the times of day that you post make sense for your audience?
Impressions: the number of times your content is displayed.
Impressions measure how many times your post was displayed on someone’s timeline, news feed, etc. Impressions can get tricky, as a unique person can carry multiple impressions of the same piece of content. For example, the post can be displayed in your feed from the original poster, and it could also display in your feed as a repost or share by your friend. These would count as two separate impressions. Also, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that person engaged with your content.
Engagement: the number of shares, likes, clicks & comments on your content.
Engagement gives you a better understanding of how your content is performing. Is your audience truly interested in your content? Does it help build brand awareness? Are you starting meaningful conversations in your field?
Engagement Rate: the rate at which your audience interacts with your content.
Engagement rate is the percentage of people that were exposed to your piece of content and engaged with it in some way. This can be through shares, re-tweets, likes, clicks, comments, etc. This is calculated by dividing the total number of engagements by the total number of impressions or reach, depending on what social channel you’re measuring. Facebook leverages reach in its analytics platform, while Twitter and LinkedIn calculate impressions.
Metrics To Track
Your social media strategy requires careful planning, and your data should drive your decision making. Tracking these metrics week over week will give your team the space to test different methods and truly understand what works for your audience and why. These metrics are integral in creating value for your channels. You need tangible figures that can demonstrate to executives or your clients how great of an impact your efforts have on ROI. Here at CallRail, we like to use the analytics platforms built into Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, keeping a spreadsheet of our weekly stats and percentage changes week over week. If your team has other needs, Google Analytics and Hootsuite Analytics are powerful tools to employ.
- Frequency – Do you have a posting cadence in place? The frequency of your content posts carries a huge impact on the performance of your posts. You want to develop a cadence that makes sense for your audience. Consider how often they may be on social channels. Think about what times of day make sense for your content to reach them. What might their typical work day look like? You’ll also want to develop a cadence so that your audience can expect content from your brand. For example, if you’re regularly posting interesting thought leadership pieces at 3:00 every day, your audience may look to make that their time to consume your content.
- Impressions & Reach – Understand the context of your content. Just how far is your content reaching? These metrics will allow your team to better determine your potential and build content with reasons for that audience to expand your reach through their engagements. You’ll want to keep an eye on this week over week to ensure that your content is spreading. If you find that your impressions or reach happen to decline when you post certain types of content, perhaps it’s time to refresh your strategy!
- Engagement – How is your audience participating in the conversation? This is one of the most important metrics to track. It’s crucial in the process of understanding your audience. With a greater understanding of how engaged your audience is with your content, the better you can tailor your content. Use this metric to build personas for your audience, keeping note of what kinds of content fit in best with those personas. This develops a strong basis for your team’s social strategy, allowing you to make informed decisions about your content, and truly having a why behind your strategy. Don’t forget to reply to comments to further encourage engagement!
- Conversion Rates – Spark the conversations. Your conversion rate is the ratio of comments on a post to the number of page likes or followers you have. This rate sheds light on how well you’re sparking the conversations between your followers. How much of your audience is truly compelled to interact with your content? Is your campaign driving traffic to your sales team? This is also vital in understanding your audience, as your goal is to create content catered toward them. You want to be sure you’re building meaningful conversations in their space. A helpful tool in tracking social traffic to your sales team is call tracking. With call tracking for social media, you can easily attribute new customers to your social campaigns.
- Share of Voice – How do you stack up against the competition? To really understand how well your social channels are performing, you need to understand your competitors. In looking at your industry as a whole, how much of the conversation is driven by your brand? You can easily track this with Mention.com. This tool allows your team to know when your brand is mentioned anywhere on the web, as well as your competition. This way, there’s no more guessing about whether your social channels hold any value. Use this to improve your game against the competition.
In all, consistency is the key to developing an understanding of your audience. Don’t let your metrics go untracked! Pay attention to how they change. Determine how you can do things differently. Figure how you can do things better! Investigate why a piece of content performed better or worse than you expected. Your metrics may surprise you! Each of these metrics work together to give your team the insight you need to build effective campaigns.