While social media is a fun way to keep in touch with friends and family on a personal level, it is also a powerful marketing tool. After all, all those networks of people will be talking about something on social media: Why not get them talking about your business?
Once you get your business on social media, you will want to make sure your social media marketing efforts are succeeding. If you are coming across as the class nerd in high school, for example, you will want to change your marketing strategy (which is fortunately easier to do than changing your high school reputation).
Understanding how your social media marketing is faring, however, requires the use of the right metrics. And by right, we mean almost anything other than simply the number of people following you. Try using these metrics instead to get a handle on exactly how much impact, and what type of impact, your social media marketing efforts are having.
Social Media Marketing Metric 1: Engagement
You probably already know how to find out how many people are following you on social media. Unfortunately, that metric isn't the only indicator of how successful your social media marketing is. Just because someone is following your business does not mean that your business is having any sort of impact on their life.
To determine that impact, you need to start with metrics that point to the level of engagement your followers have with your business. How often, and in what ways, are they responding to the material you put on social media?
The metrics that reflect engagement will vary depending upon the social media platform. For example, on Facebook, you want to look at likes, shares, and comments on your posts. On Twitter, however, you will want to look at replies to your tweets and at the number of retweets you earn.
Even if you have a large number of followers, low engagement can mean that your social media marketing is not delivering content that your followers find interesting and relevant. However, even a small number of followers can be very engaged with a business if the social media marketing is delivering targeted and relevant content to their social media streams.
Social Media Marketing Metric 2: Growth
A successful social media marketing campaign should gradually advance your brand recognition and allow your reputation (and hopefully your profits) to grow. As a result, any successful social media marketing campaign will demonstrate one very important metric: Growth. This means that, over time, you should see an increase in the number of people following you, engaging with you, visiting your website from social media, and more.
After all, if you have a large following, but that following remains stagnant, you probably aren't becoming more recognized or influential in your field. And, the reason you are not succeeding in your efforts to get your business in front of your target audiences using social media is probably because you are not running a very effective campaign. Maybe you are pursuing the wrong social media channels. Maybe your content is boring or irrelevant to your target audiences. Maybe you are not engaging with your audiences enough.
Regardless of the cause, a stagnant growth curve is a bad sign. And, chance are, that if you are not growing, you will eventually begin to shrink. If you can't attract new followers, then you probably aren't doing enough to keep the ones you already have. As a result, a gradual growth in most areas is an important part of a successful social media marketing campaign.
Social Media Marketing Metric 3: Mentions
One of the advantages of social media is its ability to spread information at lightning speed. One person posts the article you shared on their Facebook timeline, or retweets your thoughts on an industry trend, and next thing you know, that information has spread widely within a broader network than you could reach on your own. Why? Because all of that person's networks can see what they post, increasing the chances that someone else will share the same information or article, and spreading news about your business around social media.
How do you track these types of shares, though? By tracking mentions. Certain tools can identify when your company is mentioned on social media. The more often your name is referred to, the more widely information about your company is spreading, and the more successful your social media marketing campaign likely is.
Social Media Marketing Metric 4: Reach
Finally, if you want to track how successful your social media marketing campaign is, you may want to keep track of the reach of your posts and tweets and other engagement. Reach encompasses the number of people who can see your posts and other information. The bigger this number is, the more successful your campaign is because the more people are seeing, hearing, and learning about how awesome your company is.
Social media marketing is a valuable asset, especially to small businesses, because of its potential to reach many people on a small budget. In order to keep track of how successful this type of campaign is, however, you will need to watch certain metrics, such as engagement, growth, mentions, and reach.
If you need help tracking these metrics (or implementing a social media marketing campaign for that matter,) do not hesitate to reach out to Distinct Web Design. We offer years of experience and some pretty amazing services to help you build your digital marketing presence, on social media and elsewhere.