WHENEVER the conversation comes up about a company's social media programme the benchmark for success is usually measured in how many Likes or Followers it has in the social media universe. Quite frankly, you are wasting time doing social media marketing if that's your only measure of success.
For simplicity let's call your Fans and Followers your 'Fansumers'. The value of your social media connections is quite similar to how your real world connections are valued. The quality of your friends are much more important than the quantity and the same is true for your Fansumers. So, what should you be measuring to determine the success of your social media programme? This is largely dependent on your overall social media goals and objectives, but lets focus on some common metrics.
These measures give a good indication of the quality and relevance of your posts. If your Fansumers interact with your posts, this is a good sign that they are interested in the content you are providing. Some of the ways in which audiences interact with you on Facebook and Twitter are by Liking, Commenting on, Sharing or ReTweeting, your posts, respectively. Each social network has its own actions that members can take to indicate if they find your content engaging. This is a critical metric to measure, as it will give you an unbiased feedback on how much your content connects with your audience.
These metrics tell you how many persons may have seen your post. Your Reach numbers could be more than your actual Fansumer count as persons might share your post with others. On the other hand, it could also be significantly less for a number of reasons depending on the social network. In the case of Facebook, it would be lower because their rules for displaying posts are designed to demote posts from less engaging pages. You can pay a social network to promote your post which will be recorded as Paid Reach otherwise it is Organic Reach. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have been offering promoted posts for some time now, while Pinterest just started testing their version this week. Expect this revenue model to spread across most social networks.
Negative engagement metrics
As business owners we often don't leave our egos behind so sometimes we may want to ignore negative feedback. Doing so in social media marketing is a crucial error, as this feedback is telling you how to improve your content. Some examples of negative engagement metrics include Un-followers, Un-likes and Post Hides in Twitter and Facebook. Sometimes you will receive direct negative feedback in the form of a comment. When these events occur, examining the posts that coincided with it can help you to improve your next post. Also, bear in mind that Un-Followers and Un-likes occur from time to time because the fansumer was originally unscrupulous or fake. In addition, offline events can trigger an online reaction from your fansumers.
Social media marketing is a means to an end and not the end itself. It would therefore be futile not to have a metric that measures an action that will benefit your business in a tangible way. One such metric could be the number of leads or email addresses captured. This is another critical metric, as it can be used to assist in measuring your social media return on investment (ROI). However, let me quickly point out that calculating social media marketing ROI can be an elusive task as there are many factors that contribute to your ROI.
Running a successful social media marketing programme requires keeping track of several important numbers but these are some good ones to get you started. Growing your fansumer base is important because the more you have, the bigger the potential audience.
There are many ways to grow your audience but posting great content is the best way to ensure that you grow with quality fansumers and not just quantity. Having quality fans will result in impressive metrics that will lead to you achieving your social media marketing goals.