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How to Measure Social Media Marketing Success

Thursday, December 22, 2016 by

How To Measure Social Media Marketing Performance

There are a variety of metrics you can use to measure your social media marketing success. The metrics you choose to analyze should correlate to the specific social media marketing goals you intend to achieve, from building brand awareness to managing brand reputation. The following are metrics you can use to determine whether social media campaigns are helping you achieve the goals you have set for your business.

Which social growth metric are you looking to measure? Click a link below to jump to the section. 

 

How to Measure the Growth of Brand Awareness

If your goal is brand awareness, you’ll want to look at the audience growth on all of your social networks. Certain networks will give you insights and analytics to determine if your audience is filled with your ideal customers.

Facebook Audience Insights, for example, will allow you to analyze your page (if it has large enough fan base) and give you demographics information about them, from general age, gender, and location to specific likes, income, and spending habits.

Facebook Audience Insights

 

Twitter offers similar insights in their analytics.

Twitter Analytics

 

If you’re a freelancer or self-employed, you may want to analyze your LinkedIn personal connections. To do so, you’ll need a Premium account, and the Advanced People Search set to 1st Connections. Then expand the categories in the left sidebar to learn more about the locations, industries, interests, and other aspects of your connections.

LinkedIn Advanced People Search

 

For your company page, you can look under the Analytics tab for information about your followers. Use the dropdown to learn about your follower’s seniority, industry, company size, function, and employee status.

LinkedIn Company Page Analytics

 

Instagram offers analytics for those who are able to convert their account to a business profile, but follower insights are pretty bare bones. Even so, you should be able to use it to monitor whether your fan base and engagement are constantly increasing.  

Instagram Analytics

 

YouTube analytics are primarily related to video viewers as opposed to subscribers. But similarly to Instagram, you should monitor whether your subscriber base and engagement is constantly increasing.

How to Measure the Growth of Recognition as a Thought Leader

This one is a tough one as far as metrics are concerned. Again, you can measure your audience growth and engagement as shown above. But more importantly, you will want to think about the results of becoming a thought leader are and how you are achieving them. For example.

  • Are you getting lots of requests to speak at conferences through LinkedIn?
  • Are you getting lots of requests to guest post on blogs through Facebook?
  • Are you getting lots of requests to be interviewed on podcasts through Twitter?
  • Are you getting emails about any of the above requests based on someone following your updates on a specific network?

Unless you are getting the request through a specific social network or someone outright says “I love the posts you’ve been publishing on LinkedIn, and I would love to interview you on my podcast.” then you will not know if social media is helping establish your brand as a thought leader. But you can assume that if you are gaining an audience and engagement through social media, your reputation as a thought leader and expert is a product of that as well.

 

How to Measure the Growth of Traffic to Your Website

Here’s one that is super simple to measure. All you need is Google Analytics or similar web analytics software setup on your website. If you have Google Analytics, you will have several reports to choose from to see whether social media is generating traffic to your website. First, you will have the Acquisitions > All Traffic > Channels report that will show you how Social referral traffic stacks up against other traffic sources.

Google Analytics Channels

 

From there, you can click on Social and see the top social networks that are driving traffic to your website.

Google Analytics Social

 

If you want to get really specific, you can use UTM parameters to track your campaigns using Google Analytics. For example, with LinkedIn, the traffic to a blog post from LinkedIn could have come from your profile, status updates, groups, ads, etc. At the moment, you can only see your LinkedIn traffic all lumped together. But if you use UTM parameters like the ones below, you can get more specific data from Google Analytics.

UTM Parameter Examples

 

How do you get this data? You can look under the Acquisition > Campaigns section, click on the promotion campaign, click on linkedin.com / referral as the Source / Medium, add Ad Content as a Secondary Dimension, and find out the following.

Google Analytics Campaigns

We suggest using a spreadsheet to keep track of your UTM parameters because they are very sensitive. Profile and profile would be counted as two separate parameters in your reports, simply because of the capitalization of the P.

 

How to Measure the Growth of Leads for Your Sales Team

If you are using Google Analytics, the same reports above can also help you find out if your social media campaigns are generating leads for your sales team. All you have to do is setup Google Analytics Goals that measure when a lead is captured on your website.

The simplest way to do this is to have a thank you page on your website that a visitor lands upon after they submit the lead or contact form on your website. Copy the URL of that page. Then go to the Admin menu of your website in Google Analytics and click on Goals. From there you can set up a Destination Goal that looks like this.

Google Analytics Goals

 

Once you have saved this Goal, the same reports we showed you earlier in Google Analytics will also include a section of data showing which social networks are resulting in lead captures on your website.

Google Analytics Social Channels

 

This Conversions section will also apply to your Channels Report as well as your detailed Campaigns Report as well, so you can analyze what helps you convert leads all the way down to posts made in groups on LinkedIn. This way, you can focus your social media activity on the things that work best.

 

How to Measure the Growth of Website Conversions from Social Media

The same rules apply to linking sales on your website to social media as to linking leads. It’s simply a matter of setting up Google Analytics Goals. The big differences between lead goals and sales goals are the optional Value and Funnel fields.

You will still likely work with an end page that the visitor lands upon once they have completed the sale. But, let’s say that you only sell one product on your website through a simple three step process. In that case, your Goal setup would look something like this.

Google Analytics Goal Setup

 

Your reports linking social networks to conversions will be similar, but now they will be linked to a value. You will also be able to learn more about where visitors enter and exit your sales funnel, which could help you with optimizing the steps in your sales funnel for conversions. So not only will you be learning which social network generates the most ROI for your business, but you will be able to increase your ROI through conversion optimization.

 

How to Measure the Growth of Pre and Post-Sales Customer Support

Depending on how you currently handle pre-sales questions and post-sales customer support, this one may also be a bit tricky to measure. But here are two questions you should be looking to answer.

  1. Does social media allow your company to answer more people’s questions before the sale, making it easier for your sales team to close sales?
  2. Does social media allow your company to answer more customer’s questions after the sale, making it easier for your customer support team to solve more problems in a timely manner?

If the answer to either or both questions is yes, then you are achieving your goal, even if you don’t have a specific metric to prove it. But if you want, there are two ways of getting those metrics.

  1. For sales made through your website, give your social media team members special codes that they can give customers to get a small discount off of the purchase of the product they are asking questions about. Not only might it guarantee the sale, but it will help you track the sale back to the social media team member (and network) that helped close the deal.
  2. For customer support done over social media, make sure the customer service rep sends the person a link to rate their service. This will give you an idea of how helpful they were and how often they are helping.

 

How to Measure the Growth of Brand Reputation Management

Again, it’s hard to get metrics on this one. But when a brand reputation crisis happens, it really is all hands on deck for your social media team. They will be fielding questions, comments, and backlash from all networks, angles, and channels. So while you won’t be able to “measure” the result, you can be assured that every answer your social media team gives is going to be better than every negative mention ignored.

The key is to make sure your social media team is trained in advance to handle both positive and negative comments about your brand. They should how to react to common compliments and complaints about your products and services as well as who to go to first if a major crisis should break out. Implementing these policies before they are needed will ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible when needed.

As you can see, everything to do with your social media marketing can be measured. It’s just a matter of knowing what your social media marketing goals are and choosing ways to examine whether social media has made an impact on your achievement of those goals!

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