Evaluating social media is not something we all do automatically.
Love it or hate it, social media has become an essential component of any successful marketing strategy. However, like any marketing activity, it is vital to monitor and evaluate its impact on your business, and crucial to this is choosing the right metrics to measure. While targeting engagement is tempting, conversion may be a more helpful metric.
Align Metrics with Business Goals
When evaluating social media performance, it is essential to establish clear business goals and align metrics accordingly. For instance, if the objective is to increase brand awareness, metrics such as reach, impressions, and follower growth can provide valuable insights. On the other hand, if the goal is lead generation, metrics like click-through rates, conversions, and cost per acquisition become more relevant.
Consider Reach and Impressions
The reach and impressions metrics help gauge the extent of our brand’s visibility on social media platforms. Reach refers to the number of unique users who have seen a particular post, while impressions measure the total number of times a post has been viewed. These metrics offer valuable insights into the overall exposure of social media content and the potential audience size reached. Monitoring reach and impressions helps us assess the effectiveness of our content distribution and make tweaks to our content marketing strategy as necessary.
Is a Focus on Engagement Metrics Useful?
I suspect most of us are keen to measure the level of engagement we receive on our social media channels. After all, what are we achieving if we are not attracting our target audience to interact with us?
Metrics like likes, comments, shares, and retweets demonstrate the level of interaction and interest we have generated with our social media content. High engagement rates indicate that the content resonates with our target audience, which is what we all want. However, just focusing on engagement metrics can be superficial. Having thousands of followers is good for our ego, but is it generating sales?
Is engagement turning into sales?
While engagement is crucial, ultimately, our aim should be to convert social media interactions into tangible outcomes. Conversion metrics, such as click-through rates, website traffic, and lead generation, are ultimately more meaningful measures of our success on social media. By tracking conversions, we can gauge the return on investment (ROI) of our social media efforts, optimise conversion funnels, and identify areas for improvement.
What are people saying about us online?
It is worth reminding ourselves that social media is a two-way street. As well as us broadcasting messages to our audience, it also offers our customers a way to voice their opinions, concerns, and criticisms.
Monitoring customer sentiment metrics lets us understand how our brand is perceived and discussed online. This information can help identify potential issues that, if addressed promptly, can protect our reputation and improve customer satisfaction.
Choosing the right metrics is crucial for effectively evaluating social media efforts. By aligning metrics with business objectives, focusing on engagement and conversion metrics, considering reach and impressions, monitoring customer sentiment, and establishing a culture of continuous analysis and iteration, we can all monitor the effectiveness of our social media content creation and take the appropriate action.
Use the insights available to you
Each social media platform offers insights that are useful for monitoring your effectiveness on social media.
Facebook Insights provides valuable data about your Facebook Page’s performance. It offers metrics such as page views, post reach, engagement (likes, comments, shares), and follower demographics. You can also track the performance of individual posts, including reach, engagement, and clicks. These insights help you understand your audience, identify popular content, and optimise your Facebook strategy.
Twitter Analytics provides detailed information about your Twitter account’s performance. It offers data on tweet impressions, engagements (likes, retweets, replies), link clicks, follower growth, and audience demographics. You can also track the performance of individual tweets to identify engagement patterns.
Instagram Insights provides comprehensive data on your Instagram business account. It includes metrics such as impressions, reach, profile views, follower demographics, and engagement rates. You can also track the performance of individual posts, Stories, and IGTV videos. Instagram Insights helps you understand your audience, identify top-performing content, and refine your Instagram marketing content plan.
LinkedIn Analytics provides insights into the performance of your LinkedIn Company Page and content. It offers data on impressions, engagement, follower demographics, and post metrics. You can track the reach and engagement of individual posts, identify trending content, and measure the effectiveness of your LinkedIn marketing efforts.
YouTube Analytics offers comprehensive data about your channel’s performance and video content. It includes metrics such as views, watch time, audience demographics, engagement (likes, comments, shares), and subscriber growth. You can track the performance of individual videos, identify popular content, and understand audience behavior to optimize your YouTube strategy.
Pinterest Analytics provides insights into the performance of your Pinterest account and pins. It offers data on impressions, clicks, saves, and engagement rates. You can track the performance of individual pins, identify popular content, and gain insights into your audience’s interests and preferences. Pinterest Analytics helps you refine your Pinterest marketing strategy and create content that resonates with your target audience.
Social media is time-consuming and, for many, challenging. If you are oblivious to its impact on your bottom line, there is no point in spending time and effort putting content out.
And, of course, if you are loathed to create content or measure its impact, outsource your social media or opt for an alternative marketing strategy more suited to you and your business.