It’s screamed from the high heavens that if you have a business online, you need to be using social media. You know that, and if you’re not seeing returns for your efforts, you’ll want to know the reason why.
After all, what’s the point in throwing money into marketing channels if you have no idea if it works or not?
You need to be measuring your social media metrics so you know that you’re spending capital on the right resources to grow your customer base.
5 ways you can measure your businesses social media metrics
1) Create a Google Alerts to monitor for brand mentions
This is one of the simplest things you can do. I’m not going into how to do this because I couldn’t explain it any better than Matthew Woodward has.
Don’t forget when you set up your alerts to do multiple terms so that you can track misspellings too. You can go even deeper and monitor your employee names, your name, or any nicknames that you know some local customers refer to your business as.
Any way you think that someone could discuss your business online, track it by setting up a Google Alert. Set it to notify you instantly, unless you’re really time strapped and only have time to check it once a day or weekly. Just don’t do it monthly because by the time you find out about a mention, whoever mentioned you will have forgot about it by then.
2) Track your clicks
You can use URL shorteners like Goo.gl or Bitly, or if you’re using any of the major social media management software programs, you’ll likely find that data collection is part of the service you get. Even on a free plan from Bufferapp.com, they’ll give you the details of how many clicks your social shares get.
3) Tally your engagement stats and compare that to your number of fans/followers
Engagement is something that takes a bit of manual interaction between you and your data from your social media profiles. What you want to be looking at is the number of followers you have, and compare that to the number of shares you get.
These will be different because on social media you have two groups of fans/followers.
Group A) will share your updates
Group B) will see it and not do anything other than check out what you’ve shared by clicking the link
The thing you have to remember with social media is that you’re reaching the timelines of every person linked to each person following your business handle. So you’re always going to have a higher reach than the number of people who are actively following you.
Your engagement can be from the same users consistently. If that is the case, you’re not experiencing growth. Ideally, you want to be seeing more shares and comments from people you’ve never heard of. That way you’re going to know your updates are reaching more people who aren’t directly already in your network. Then you can work harder to get them more engaged, share their stuff, comment on their updates, and generally interact with them.
Just don’t neglect your loyal followers who shared your epic content to get you those fresh eyeballs in the first place.
4) Track your referrals with your web analytics
Chances are you’re using some form of analytics to measure your website metrics, like SEO performance, number of visitors, and measure your conversion rates for whatever goals you want from your site.
Whatever web analytics you use, check your referral sources regularly.
Your social media profiles will be in there listed as a referral source, and if you’re getting it right, you’ll have a lot of referrals from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other social media platform you’re test running or are already full steam ahead with.
However, and this is a big one, you may discover that someone has clicked from social media and adored your update so much that they’ve shared the details in a blog post or an email newsletter with their audience, scoring you a backlink and a potential flood of traffic.
Whenever you see new sources with more than one visit show up in your web analytics, investigate it. If it’s a blog post, comment on it. If it’s a backlink, email the company and thank them.
Engage with them, because scoring a backlink these days is hard work. If you follow through appropriately, it could even lead to partnership opportunities if the match fits.
5) Encourage reviews
… Because then you’ll know how many of your fans are actual customers. If this isn’t increasing, work harder to make it happen. Run promotions, specials, or competitions if you have to. Don’t just don’t be tempted to pay for reviews.
Your follower counts can increase as much as you like but if they aren’t converting into customers, then you can’t really say that your social media marketing is harnessing results. If you’re able to get reviews increased, then you’ll know that your customer base is increasing.
Although, there could be repeat customers, in which case, keep doing what you’re doing because they must be happy with what you do.
Image courtesy of evereffect.com.