Social Media has put customers in the driver’s seat when it comes to navigating your brand experience. This shift in influence from you as a marketer, to the customer, makes it increasingly important to create a thoughtful social media marketing strategy in alignment with company objectives and audience needs. In fact, lacking a well-crafted presence on social media may hurt your brand and your business.
But effective social media marketing goes beyond direct selling, promoting, and even creating great content. If you really want a ROI on your efforts, you’ll need to know how to measure your impact and respond accordingly.
5 essential metrics to keep you on the right track
If you were only going to use one metric to measure your social media impact, this would be it. Engagement measures how many likes, shares and comments your content receives and is a good indicator of how well your marketing messages are resonating with your audience. As long as your audience is engaged, it will grow organically over time.
The most widely-used social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, view engagement as a sign of quality and popularity, and it plays an important role in terms of how many people will ever even see your updates. For example, content on Facebook with high engagement rates appears in more newsfeeds. Similarly, Twitter displays content with more likes and retweets in larger font size on your Twitter profile.
Key metrics: # of likes, shares, mentions, clicks, comments
Customer expectations for a response on company social media channels are high. According to Search Engine Watch, 70% of Twitter users expect a response when interacting with companies, and 53% prefer a response within 60 minutes of posting. When used for customer complaints, the expectation rises to 72% (eConsultancy).
To help you respond quickly, try activating Twitters’ mobile updates to interact with followers using real time notifications through SMS (Twitter). Or, if your volume of tweets is extremely high, a data scientist can help you strengthen your company’s responsiveness using text analytics to automatically respond to common tweets, and elevate highly sensitive tweets to a call center for a personal touch. Analytics can also alert you to underlying trends to strengthen your offerings – such as ideas to expand products, improve business processes, and more.
Key metrics: Average response time, percentage of comments receiving responses
If your social media audience is growing in numbers, it’s a great indicator that the content you’re sharing is meaningful enough to inspire people to follow you. You’ll now have the opportunity to build a relationship with your followers and continue to expand your reach even further. To strengthen your relationships, bring value to your followers with engaging, interesting content.
And just as customers can learn about you on social media, you can learn more about them. Take a look at your social shares to see who is sharing your content. What are their demographics? This may give you insight into new opportunities to broaden your reach and market your product.
Key metrics: # of Fans/Followers Gained vs. Lost, # of Active Followers, Audience Growth Rate
- Customer Sentiment
The easiest way to find out what people are saying about your brand is to search your company name on Google and Twitter. Are there positive comments and reviews, or negative sentiments that need to be addressed? Either way, you gain an understanding of how your brand is perceived. Applying text analytics also provides a rich source of data to understand trends in customer sentiment and consumer behaviors to maximize marketing relevance.
Key metrics: sentiment analysis, text analytics
- Brand Influencers
Do you identify and engage with your brand influencers – the people who blog about your products, recommend your services to their friends, and engage with your company because they feel passionately about it? Identifying and engaging with your most loyal fans can yield 16 times higher engagement rates than paid media (SocialChorus). Find those valuable people with tools like Klout, Traackr, and Little Bird.
Key metrics: # brand influencers, how frequently influencers interact with you
For many companies, their social media focus is on generating content. These metrics should help you to assess your efforts, and make them even more successful.
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