Measuring Social Media is debatable. The ‘ROI Factor’ is still being discussed by many Social Media veterans and experts alike. Although many believe that Social Media is not measurable (and should not be attached to a dollar value, I believe that any marketing strategy executed should be measured. The measurement might not be in terms of a currency, but might well be in terms of other tangible factors.
As people start talking about you or your Brand online,there is a need for you to start tracking it and make meaning out of the ‘Big Data’ hype. While there are many Tools in the market to track these conversations around your Earned and Owned conversations,there are too many metrics to go through while reviewing your performance. Here we will simplify the process to list down the 4 Social Media Metric Categories you can keep a track of for your Brand’s performance.
Social Media Reach
Social Media Reach can be equated with your Social Media Footprint (Fans/Followers).Fans can be the Potential Reach (the number of people you CAN reach when all your posts are seen by all of your Fans) you want to target along with their extended network. However, with Facebook’s EdgeRank filtering out the content and Twitter being a fast-paced network, not all of your followers sees your updates. And with Facebook’s Organic Reach on a further decline, expect the reach to go down further more. This metric from different networks will give you an estimated number of community your messaging is actually reaching out to.
Metrics to Consider:
- Page Organic Reach [Facebook Insights]
- Post Organic Reach [Facebook Insights]
- Organic Impressions [Facebook Insights]
- Post Organic Impressions [Facebook Insights]
- Google+ Followers [Potential Reach on Google+]
- Twitter Followers [Potential Reach on Twitter]
- Twitter Reach [Via Twitter Analytics]
- LinkedIn Page Impressions [LinkedIn Company Insights]
- YouTube Views [YouTube Analytics]
- Pinterest Reach [ Pinterest Web Analytics]*
*In the case of Pinterest, the reach will be based on the content generated of your website and not necessarily from your Pins and Boards.
Engagement is THE most over used term in Social Media.Brands strive for the word ‘engagement’ while agencies bank on it to maximize their gains. In simple words, Engagement can be put up as:
[quote align=”e.g. center, left, right” color=”#3399cc”] Any action which a user takes on your content which is reflected positively (or negatively to an extent) can be called as engagement.This content consumption reflects on a user’s mindset which compels him to take certain actions such as Like/Comment or even clicking on your link .[/quote]
Reach is one factor to look at the people (or the potential people) looking or following your content whereas engagement is the % of that audience which not only consumed but also participated on your message. Below we have given some broad categories as what can be termed as engagements on social networks:
|Shares||Link Clicks (can be tracked via bit.ly)||Shares||Video Shares||Shares|
|Link Clicks||Favorites||Link Clicks||Dislike (Negative Engagement)||Link Clicks|
|Photo Views||Avg.Minutes Watched|
|Video Plays||Audience Retention (Shows the Drop Offs during the Video Streaming)|
What we are declaring here as engagement is quantitative (measured as a count) and hence can contain negative engagement (complaints/feedbacks as comments). But that again is an opportunity by the Brand to look forward to and convert into a better consumer experience. Converting your Brand detractors to Brand advocates is one of the many beautiful chances that come along with a social brand.
Social Customer Outreach
One of the many outcomes of being a successful social brand is the ability to listen to your customers. Not only listening to them, but responding and resolving their concerns in real time. Brands which are successfully implementing this Social Outreach strategy are reaping the benefits of being a trustworthy brand on social media. The fact is, Social Media is used by the people and is built for the people and they are going to talk about you. It is up to you as a Brand to ignore it or take a stand and have a customer service protocol in place.
One of the advantages of social as a medium is the level of monitoring with hashtags and search functions on Facebook/Twitter make it easier for Brands to discover what the consumers are saying about them. People tweet about their bad experiences before calling/emailing you on your corporate ID’s and you can reach them right before the issue goes out of hand. There is nothing more satisfying to convert a grumpy customer into a happy one.
Metrics to Consider:
- Avg.Response Time [The first level of response should be given to the customer within 1-2 hours of the Tweet]
- Issues Handled per Week [The number of issues handled by your Social Customer Care Team on a periodic basis]
- Issues resolved per Week [ How many issues out of those were you able to resolve via Social Media channels itself]
- Customer Service Value [Can be equated as savings in $ Value to your business handling the complaints via Social Media and can be compared to Call Center services]
- Pre/Post Sentiment Analysis [The number of angry customers you were able to convert to positive or at-least neutral tone with your prompt and quick response on social channels]
Bonus Tip: Sound more personal while replying to a customer on social media. Copy-Pasting the same templates all over or utilize bots might be feasible for most of the conversations but may get awkward at certain occasions like the below conversation with Bank of America (which they claimed was not made by a bot):
Then there is this one from Vodafone India’s Twitter Handle doing the rounds on Quora:
Impact to the Brand
Impact to the Brand can be any action which can be the desired result of all your marketing efforts on social media. These subset of metrics can be considered as your final goal metrics which you can keep a track of to measure the true ROI of your efforts.
- Visit to your website:
If your business is online (and it should be), social media can be an effective medium to drive awareness around your website and the services encompassing your Brand. If you are an e-Commerce Brand, this is a must have tracking metric for you to look at how much traffic is social driving to your website.
The transaction value which social referrals drive to your business. This metric attaches a direct $ value to social media but should not be attached to businesses only allowing transactions to their websites. Google Analytics or Adobe SiteCatalyst (or any other web analytics tool you use) can be used effectively for the analysis of how social is directly impacting your business as compared to other marketing mediums
- Lead Generation:
B2B companies are effectively engaging on social media to bring in new leads through Multi channel traction in which social media does play a big part. Number of Leads initiated/completed can be a effective measurement on the conversion ratio you are getting through the social channels.
- Share of Voice:
Unfortunately,You are not aiming to be the only awesome brand on social media. Your competitors are also present on social media and are doing a better or worse job than you on it connecting with their audiences. Your Brand Awareness is critical to make you understand how popular (positively or negatively) are you on social media as compared to your competition. This will help you set the benchmarks which you can then set as targets for your next adventure on social media. It is very important here to identify your advocates and detractors and converse with them and help them spread around awareness about you. The best way to take it forward should be to make your employees as your resources to take forward your Brand and teach them social etiquettes. In the end, Social media is about a person to person conversation and what better way than your own employee spreading (not spamming) some Brand Love to their connections.
Metrics to Consider:
- Traffic (Page Views/Visits)
- Avg.Visit Duration (Compared to other Marketing Channels)
- Bounce Rate (Compared to other Marketing Channels)
- Conversion % (For an eCommerce Brand to know the intent of purchase of people coming via Social Referrals)
- Leads Initiated
- Assisted Conversions ( If Social media has played a role in assisting a purchase from the website)
Sentiment Analysis also pays a crucial role here to understand the affinity of your consumers to the Brand and how you can organize your strategy forward to engage with them on social media.The main purpose for the Brand to be social is to be on the consumer’s consideration set whenever they think of any purchasing decision. And the best way to go ahead with it is to ‘Smartly Sell‘ and not ‘Only Sell‘ attitude.
There are tonnes of other metrics related to social media you will find (and you can come up with your own definitions as well). But these are the most important of all of them which we wanted to share with all of you.
Which aspect of measurement do you think is critical to any social media effectiveness plan? Share your versions in the comments below