Understanding Metrics Series (3 of 6) - Social Media
In part 3 of our 6-part blog series, we’ll examine the top 5 metrics you should be looking at in regards to your social media marketing efforts, and give you suggestions of how to improve.
Social Media Metrics
(1) Volume: Volume is one of the easiest social media metrics to measure because it’s more or less a simple counting metric. Volume can measure the total number of likes or follows your page has, how many people are talking about you, the number of unique visitors to your page, or the number of messages you’ve received. It’s important to monitor any changes in volume over time so you can determine your reach.
How to improve your volume:
- Link to your channels: Clients and prospects shouldn’t have to search to find you on social media. Make it easy for them to find you: include links to your social media pages on your website, newsletters, emails, and other relevant marketing materials.
- Remain active on social media: If you’re not active on social media, it’s likely that people aren’t going to bother trying to interact with your page. If you’re having trouble, make a schedule to keep yourself on track. We suggest posting at least once a day during typical business hours. However, best practice is two to three times a day. This would happen naturally as you should be responding to people who comment on your post. Social media is designed for conversation, not a monologue.
(2) Reach: Your reach indicates how many unique people view your posts. Reach should not be confused with 'likes'. Reach is a measurement of viewership; that is, how many people are 'seeing' your content. Likes are a measurement of engagement, that is whether or not people find the content they are receiving is of interest.
How to improve your reach:
- Boost your posts: Pay to ensure that your posts are showing up on the feeds of more people. You can boost to people who like your page so your posts show up on their feed. Or, you could boost to specific geographical locations based on lookalike audiences.
- Include images: Adding an image to a text post helps it stand out in a person’s social media feed. They will be more likely to see it if you do.
- Use hashtags: Adding hashtags to your posts allows people who are interested in that hashtag to stumble upon your post even if they aren’t following your page.
(3) Engagement: Engagement encompasses all interaction and sharing of your messages. In terms of social media, this includes comments and replies, likes, shares, and posts about your company.
How to improve your engagement:
- Just wait: You'll likely have to struggle to get interaction before you start to get it regularly, especially if you're new to social media and are still finding your voice. Be patient, and keep trying.
- Engage back: When someone does leave a comment on one of your posts, acknowledge their comment by replying or liking their comment. If they share your post or write a post about you, be sure to like their post and leave a comment when applicable. This encourages further engagement. Try to monitor your social media so that you are engaging back as soon as possible. Use this as an opportunity to network - social media is about building relationships.
- Pose questions: In the text of your post, ask a question and encourage readers to reply in the comment section. Make sure that the text of your post isn’t too long. Otherwise, your question will likely get overlooked. Try to make the question something relatable to what they are speaking about. Don't be afraid to show your skill-set and remember to spell and grammar check.
- Use contests: Hold a social media contest that encourages engagement. You could ask people to come up with the best caption for an image, or give away some sort of prize for engagement action. Before you do this, make sure to check the terms of service for each network as well as federal and state regulations before you run your contest to determine if what you want to do is allowed. For example, on Twitter you can ask users to retweet a status once, but not repeatedly. And, across all platforms, you should not run any sort of lottery-type contest, as private lotteries are illegal across many states in the US.
(4) Influence: Influence references to the ability your content has to direct or affect the choices or options of your followers. This measure is considered controversial because it can be difficult to measure your online social capital. To get an influence score, you have to turn to tools like Brandwatch (formally known as PeerIndex) or Kred.
How to improve your influence:
- Interact more: Most tools that measure your influence score factor in how much you’re interacting with your audience. Start interacting more, and your influence score should go up.
- Showcase your expertise: Create content that is relevant to your target audience. Share your blog posts, include tips and industry-relevant statistics, and highlight tech-related moments in history.
(5) Share of Voice: Your share of voice pins you against your competitors, and is measured by the percentage of the overall industry conversation in your service area that is focused on you. This includes direct mentions that tag you and indirect mentions where just your company name is mentioned.
How to improve your share of voice:
- Focus on building relationships: Above all else, remember that social media isn't the place to sell and market, more than it is the place to socialize, network, build relationships, and educate. Successful marketing relies on developing relationships with your customers in order to better address their needs. However if all you are doing is talking about promotions and services, instead of providing insights and solutions, people aren't going to consider you an expert, but just a salesman; and we've got plenty of those.
- Learn from your competition: If you’re falling behind your competition, try to figure out what you’re doing differently compared to them. Then, you can adapt some of their strategies. Don't be afraid to visit their website and social media to get a hands-on feel of what makes them successful. You can learn a lot about your own business, when you place yourself in the role of a potential customer. You can also do things to make yourself stand out better.
- Get people talking: Remind your customers to talk about you on social media if they are happy about the services they receive from you. You can offer a small incentive to push more people to do so.
- Find your niche: Find what makes you stand out from your competition. Grab onto that and never let it go. Showcase that in your marketing efforts. Eventually, you should be able to find the right customers who will be more than happy to talk about you.
Check back for the next installment of this blog series, covering eNewsletter metrics, and reach out to us of assistance monitoring the effectiveness of your social media.