How to measure social media success

Few businesses today can afford to ignore the opportunities social media presents. Used in the right way, they offer a cost-effective way to promote your brand and increase your customer base, loyalty and sales.

But with so many different social media platforms and so little time (especially if you’re a working mum), you need to make sure you’re investing your resources in the right places. And the only way to know that is by measuring the success of your different social media activities.

But exactly what do you measure to determine success? Your number of Facebook fans or Twitter followers? We help you to understand some of the metrics you need to look at to gauge just how impactful your activity is.

Fans and followers

Most people focus on their number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers when looking at social media. However, just because someone ‘likes’ your Facebook page or follows you on Twitter doesn’t mean that they’re paying an attention to anything you are saying, or even interested in your brand. Think about how many Facebook pages  you have ‘liked’ and never visited again!

Facebook page views

Some social media experts consider Facebook page views more valuable than some page views on your website, with the rationale that a random page view on an obscure internal site page is worth less than a more focused experience on your Facebook page.

YouTube views

How many views your YouTube video gets is a clear indicator of your video’s reach.

Your engagement rate

This is one of the most important metrics to measure. You need to know when you post something that creates reaction and engagement. Measuring engagement can tell you what type of posts (and what times) get the most response, so you can focus on doing more of them. You also need to differentiate between positive and negative engagement, such as negative retweets or mentions. A high and positive engagement rate will build your EdgeRank – the Facebook algorithm that personalises your newsfeed and inserts posts it thinks you will be interested in based on your relationship with the poster.

Talking about this on Facebook

Facebook can tell you how many people are talking about you or your posts on their pages. It can tell you if your page content is interesting and engaging and helps you to understand over time what kind of content (and times of posting) that work best.

Your Facebook reach

Measuring your Facebook reach helps you to understand how you are performing week-on-week. You can measure one week or month’s performance against last, to ensure that your social media campaign is working and that your results are growing. It also allows you to test to see what kind of content works best, by focussing on different tactics or times each week.

Your Twitter impression reach

This metric measures the number of individual tweets going into people’s feeds based on all your tweets and retweets. It’s an overall snapshot of your tweets’ possible impression and frequency. The Twitter application protocol interface (API) can also tell you who is retweeting your posts and their reach, so you can identify influencers who have a large base of followers and are likely to retweet you or post your content to their blog if they have one.

Your retweet rates

You can measure how relevant and appealing your tweets are by tracking how many people retweet them.

Clicks on links you post

If you use Bitly as a URL shortener you can use its API to see how many clicks you get and what category of posts drives the most clicks. This is important because sometimes in conversation you may post links that don’t always lead to your site. This is a good way to see how many clicks you are generating even if they are not to your site.

Traffic to your site from social activity

Just like search, banners, and email, you can see how much traffic your site gets from any social media sites that could be talking about you and linking to you.

Revenue generated from social activity

Just like leads, you can track the source of your e-commerce revenue to social media, helping you define the value of your efforts.