Too many novice social media marketers focus on the wrong metrics when measuring the success of their social media campaigns. They regress to 10th grade students at a new school: desperate to be liked, seeking out the quickest way to popularity. Like those high school sophomores, they don’t consider what they really need or want and instead pursue goals that won’t actually benefit them in the long term. Don’t mistake popularity for validation when it comes to your brand’s goals–in fact, don’t mistake likes for popularity. Determine your goals and then apply strategies that will help you get to those goals. We’ll explain a few of the key metrics today.
Likes are nice, but on their own will not give you a good indication of audience engagement. You should focus on active participation. For example, comments and replies are proof that your audience is invested in your content. The number of shares will help you determine what content is perceived as valuable or interesting by your audience. Review your content to see what content received the most comments and shares. Do they have anything in common, like subject matter or posting time? What are the commonalities among your less-popular, less-shared posts?
You don’t want to waste time, effort, and resources on a campaign designed to increase likes when reach is more relevant to your goals. Impressions are number of times that someone sees content (tweet, update, post, ad, etc.). Reach is the number of unique individuals who see the content. If Ward sees an ad for Daughters of the Dragon Sriracha Marinade three times, that ad has three impressions and a reach of one. For some brands and under some circumstances, impressions might be paramount; for other brands and circumstances, reach matters more. Brands that want to broaden their audiences and find new consumers should focus on reach, while brands that want to strengthen their message to their existing audiences should focus on impressions.
How many users were so impacted by your content or message that they took action? That is conversion in a nutshell. To determine this, you’ll need to have already determined your goals. Note that this should be more than “complete a purchase.” Do you want users to share your content? Do you want users to go to your website? Enter a contest? Fill out a survey? Measuring conversions can be as simple as tracking click rates. Take Joy’s law firm as an example. She ultimately wants prospective clients to come in for a free consultation at Meachum & Gao, but she understands that achieving this will take many steps. Therefore, her immediate conversion goal is for people to click through links from the firm’s social media profiles to the firm’s webpage. By tracking the click rate, she can see what content is most compelling to prospective clients. Armed with this information, she will be able to create enticing content that will motivate prospective clients to contact her office.
Remember that your goals will probably change over time, so it’s important to periodically reevaluate your strategies. Above all, don’t get too comfortable! Savvy social media marketers know that you must continually adapt and evolve to keep up with current trends as well as the needs of your consumers.
What metrics have you found to be most valuable for your marketing strategy? Share with us in the comments!
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