A critical component of any digital marketing plan is social media. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most challenging parts.
Yes, social media marketing has low barriers to entry. It’s easy to get on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and so on, and it costs next to nothing. However, turning the time you spend on social media marketing activities into actual sales and revenue is a lot harder than starting a Twitter account and sending a few tweets.
Investing time in analyzing the performance of your social media marketing activities so you can track your return on investment is essential to ensure your efforts are yielding acceptable results.
Keep in mind, you should be tracking both hard numbers and perceptions. Yes, you want a lot of followers, but if those followers aren’t engaged with you and helping you build your brand, then the quantity doesn’t matter. Those followers won’t generate sales. If their perception of your brand isn’t one that they want to buy from, talk about, and share with their own audiences, then you’re wasting time and money.
Here are 15 metrics you can track to ensure you’re on the right path to reach your social media goals as well as your overall digital marketing goals.
• How big is your audience?
• How many followers and fans do you have on each of your social media profiles and pages?
2. Audience Growth
• How much has your audience grown in the past 3-months? 6-months? 12-months?
• Are you seeing a higher growth rate on specific social media profiles and pages?
• How many times have specific pieces of content or posts been shared on each of your social media profiles and pages?
• Which pieces of content were most popular?
• Can you segment the audience that shared your most popular content and posts? Who are they?
• How many times have your social media profiles and pages, blog, website, brand, products, and services been mentioned by other people on social media?
• Who mentioned you? Are they influential to your target audience?
• What did they say?
• How many times have people commented on your social media and blog posts?
• What content and posts generated the most comments?
• What did people say?
• Did you create hashtags to identify your content, brand, or business?
• How many times were your hashtags used by other people?
• Where and when were your hashtags used?
• Who used your hashtags?
7. Page Views
• How many page views has your website gotten from social media referrals?
• How many page views has your blog gotten from social media referrals?
• Which pieces of content got the most page views from social media referrals?
• Where did the traffic to your website, blog, and most popular content come from?
• How many times did people click on the links you shared on your social media profiles and page?
• Which links got the most clicks?
• What happened after people clicked?
• If you can calculate it, what is your click-through rate (i.e., the percentage of clicks a link gets versus the number of views of that link)?
9. Direct Communication
• How many direct messages have you gotten on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on?
• How many email messages have you gotten as a direct result of a piece of content you published or shared on one of your social media profiles or pages?
• How many phone calls have you gotten?
• How many conversions have clicks on links on your website (e.g., buy a product, subscribe to a mailing list, etc.) from social media sources generated?
• How many conversions have clicks on links on your landing pages from social media sources generated?
You should review your metrics at least once per month to see what’s working, what needs to be tweaked, and what needs to be scrapped entirely. After all, if you keep doing the same thing month after month without identifying the tactics that are actually driving the results you want, you’ll keep wasting time and money on social media marketing efforts that don’t work.