Social Media KPIs Can Help Define Success
June 5, 2012
While you probably hope to achieve positive results during your social media marketing campaigns, you need to first define success in order to attain it. Because many social media metrics are hard to quantify in terms of your company’s bottom line—they’re different than the ads, organic search, referrals and bookmarks that drive traffic which directly converts—you need to develop a way to determine the value of channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc., as SEOmoz explains.
In general, there are a few primary key performance indicators (KPIs) you should consider during your social media marketing campaign, as these can determine whether or not you’re on the right track toward reaching your goal. For instance, there’s the obvious—followers, fans, subscribers or Likes. These encapsulate both Twitter and Facebook, and are the easiest metrics to determine your reach, explains Blur Group.
Then there are more general social media KPIs like traffic, which can be defined as the number of visits your page gets and where they originated from. If you use the content management system WordPress for your website or blog, you can utilize the built-in analytical tools to monitor results.
Interaction involves being aware of the number of Likes, shares, re-tweets, blog comments, etc. your content receives. This can give you insight into what sort of content your audience prefers (i.e. which type of call to action worked best to drive conversions) and what keywords garner the most attention. It’s also important to realize that the more engaging your content is, the more likely you are to see shares and comments, so try to make each post as useful and interesting as possible.
Conversions can tell you how much of your social media activity has ended in sales. An example of this is using keycodes in tweets and status updates that consumers can enter during a purchase to receive a discount— this can give you quantifiable results based on how many times a keycode has been used.
SEOmoz breaks it down in more specific terms, using Twitter as an example for the types of social media KPIs you should be on the lookout for.
Again, followers, as well as follower growth over time, are important to track. So are active followers—i.e. those who have logged on or used Twitter in the past 30 days. If you have many followers, it can be difficult to sort through them all to weed out the inactive or non-human followers, but this sort of spring cleaning is worth it to make sure you’re reaching a targeted user base.
Another social media KPI, @replies, are the number of tweets sent that begin with your account name. Also, @mentions are tweets that include your account name but is are used inside the tweet rather than speaking to you directly. For instance, being included in another user’s “Follow Friday” tweet, which notes influential people that the user thinks people following him or her should also follow.
There are also brand mentions, such as tweets containing your brand’s name but without the @ symbol, URL mentions with links to your site and finally, direct retweets.
You can’t afford to ignore any of these KPIs because in the end, a successful social media marketing campaign will drive traffic to your company’s website, build brand familiarity, create positive associations with the brand, deliver social proof (i.e. people are actually discussing your brand), and attract brand followers and influencers to spread the word about your business.
Most importantly, evaluating your company’s social analytics will determine the return on investment of your campaign, ultimately allowing you to allocate your funds effectively.
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