Social media metrics are an important evaluation tool in your overall marketing plan. They let you know who’s coming, who’s going, and most importantly, who’s staying. While you may have a Facebook presence or a Twitter page, do you really know what people are doing on your platforms? And, if they are staying, what impact does it have on your business?
No longer can you just assume you’re getting customers because you have a presence. Metrics are the insight you need to check out audience member activity. For example, if you want to know which websites have repeatedly referred consumers, you’ll know where to put your energy.
Conversely, if you have focused on a particular tactic, such as participating in Twitter chats, but aren’t seeing results, social media metrics will help you to see what the problem may be, whether it’s your copy, your graphics, or perhaps even the product or service itself.
Especially as you move into 2014 and reevaluate your marketing plans, there are some social media metrics to consider measuring and evaluating. Whether you need a refresher or are new to the game, check out the top five social media metrics to track in 2014 (and how brands use them):
1. Click-through rate
Click-through rate essentially mean the rate at which your audience clicks through the links you have presented. While this may seem like a no-brainer, understanding which links are clicked at which ones are not allow you to change up or keep your current tactics.
For example, Pepsi recently tweeted a link to their “Artist of the Week” feature. By using a click-through rate metric (as well as customizing the link so it’s easily trackable — more on that later), Pepsi will be able to see if followers are clicking on their content, if a type of artist is more popular than another, or if it’s not seeing traction at all.
Here’s a big one: Engagement is basically what people do around your social content, such as creating conversations or talking about your brand. In addition, the number of likes you obtain, favorites you acquire, and shares that occur are all part of the engagement metric.
So, when Oreo decided to capitalize on the blackout during last year’s Superbowl by tweeting out a playful advertisement, they saw engagement go through the roof. To date, the ad has been retweeted more than 15,000 times and shared more than 6,000 times. This can tell companies like Oreo that audience members like relevant, timely, as well as fun content.
Conversion means how many of those audience members take the plunge and actually become customers. That is, those who don’t just follow, but buy.
Starbucks recently posted an update on their Facebook page encouraging followers to register gift cards. In turn, they can earn rewards and free drinks.
While this may seem like a typical call-to-action, Starbucks has a custom link attached to the update that they are likely tracking in their analytics software (like Google Analytics).
All you need to do is set up conversion Goals in Google Analytics and you’ll be able to track conversions from your social media updates (and all other marketing channels).
4. Audience growth rate
Sometimes called total reach, the audience growth rate metric essentially lets you see your efforts over a set period of time. While this is a more “broad” metric, it’s interesting to see where your marketing efforts started and what they resulting in, whether it’s a month, a quarter, or a year.
While the company’s tactics may differ from others, they have already grown 6.8 percent this month, and is averaging a 1.7 percent increase in followers per week. This allows Nike to see that their formula of posting inspirational videos and photos that are relatable to their audience is working — because the fan base is always increasing.
It’s all about knowing someone who knows someone, right? This is basically what the influence metric tracks. Influence measures what audience member are saying to fanbases about your brand, and whether or not these fanbases are big enough to make an impact on your organization, reputation or otherwise.
There are many ways to measure influence. For example, services like Klout rank people according to their online influence. These influencers have the potential to make or break your brand, especially if they’re a thought leader or in the public eye. Keep a watch on these influencers, what they are saying about you, and how you can interact with them in order to create an awesome outcome.
Although these are just a few social media metrics you should consider tracking, they are some of the most important. See what you need to evaluate in your business and use metrics that best apply to your needs. Let me know what you measure in the comments below!