In a perfect world, before you can measure how well you’re doing, you need to know what you’ve set out to accomplish. But in reality, when you get started in social media, your objectives may be rather general. It will take time to refine and define your goals. So let’s take a look at some of the basic success measures in social media which you can employ when you’re just dipping your toe in the waters.
One of the wonderful aspects of digital marketing is its measurability. Every day your efforts will speak to you, as you receive feedback that lets you know how people are responding to your content. This constant feedback loop allows you to constantly learn and improve.
Here are some basic methods of measurements that you can use. These are all free tools (though some have advanced or paid options).
Use Facebook Insights on your Facebook Business Page to measure:
- Growth of Likes: how many people Like your page, and is this growing steadily?
- Engagement per post, which includes Likes, comments and shares on each individual piece of content you create on your Page
- How many new followers you gain each week: are you gaining new followers? You may lose some too, so look at the net gain.
- How many clicks you receive on links in your tweets: is your content interesting to people? What content seems to be resonating them most?
- How many retweets you receive each week: do people think your content is interesting/valuable enough to share with their followers? This is really one of the most sincere forms of appreciation for your content.
If you have a WordPress blog, WordPress will offer some analytics including how many views and comments you receive. However, the best way to understand what results youâ’re getting is to connect your blog to the free service provided by Google Analytics which offers a wealth of information, including:
- Pageviews: how many pages on your blog or website were viewed in a particular timeframe
- Post views: how many times each post was viewed (important for understanding what content is most successful)
- Unique visitors: how many individuals visited your site/blog
- Traffic sources: where your site/blog traffic is coming from; is it coming mainly from Facebook? Twitter? Organic search?
- Traffic to your website: how much traffic your blog is sending over to your main website; after all, isn’t promoting your website part of the reason you started a blog?
- Keywords generating traffic: in organic search, look at the keywords which are driving traffic to your site/blog – use this info to tailor future content based on successful keywords
When you look at any of these numbers, focus on the highs and lows. Ask yourself “why did people respond to this with such enthusiasm?” or “what made this one post receive a fraction of the response that all the others got that month?” Don’t be too fast to jump to conclusions. Remember that there are many factors that enter into any individual result taking off or bombing. While it may be something brilliant that you said, it might also be the timing, the fact that it was promoted in your newsletter or was tweeted by a celebrity. It could be the quality of the photo or the fact that there was a photo at all. Analysis is both an art and a science. Perform it with a team if possible, or at least ask the opinion of others. And remember the marketing maxim of all direct marketing: “always be testing!”
Are there other basic metrics you use to manage your digital business? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.