It’s a great question but a tough one to answer without knowing the business goals of the client. So we usually follow up the question with a question: “What are your social media marketing goals?”
The responses vary widely: increase brand awareness, drive traffic to website, increase customer retention, improve customer loyalty, increase recommendations or drive foot traffic to a store and ultimately increase sales.
The great thing about these responses is that social media marketing can help achieve all of them. Even better, there are metrics that can help measure the achievement level of those goals.
Here is a review each of the social media marketing metrics that we use at Fusionfarm to determine if our social media marketing is successful.
Social Media Marketing Metric #1: Reach
What it measures: Brand awareness
There are a plethora of mediums that marketers can use to increase brand awareness. Social media is one of the best. Why? Because content about your brand spreads on Facebook via connections to friends. If a fan of your business page likes or interacts with a post from your business then the chances of one of your fan's friends seeing that post increases dramatically. And that friend of your fan not only gets exposed to your brand but also sees that their trusted friend has supported or recommended you. That's powerful.
The way we measure the impact of social media marketing on brand awareness is through reach. For example, in Facebook Insights for a business page, Facebook displays weekly total reach in their dashboard. This shows the number of unique people who have seen content associated with your page. This number includes your current business page fans as well as friends of your fans. Moving the needle on this metric requires relevant and engaging content. Finding this relevant and engaging content requires knowing your customer and testing content to see what sticks. Once you create a post on your Facebook business page, check to see how the post affected reach. Did the metric go up or down or stay the same? If it went up, keep posting this type of content. If it went down, pivot and try something new.
Social Media Marketing Metric #2: Social media post conversions
What it measures: The number of people that visit your website from social media (out of the number of people that saw the post or tweet).
Working with two of the largest publishers in Iowa, we have found overwhelming evidence of how well social media marketing can drive traffic to a website. Every day, thousands of fans of The Gazette newspaper and KCRG-TV9 click on posts on Facebook or tweets about articles found on these publishers' websites. This accounts for 10 to 15 percent of the overall web traffic for these brands. With millions of visits every month, that's quite significant.
Let's take a look at how this metric works and how to calculate it on Facebook.
If a business is looking to increase traffic to its website from social media, it is quite common for the business to create a post that tells the fan to click on a link. As most marketers know, the buying process is like a funnel and moving the potential customer down that funnel happens in steps. Moving a potential customer from social media to the website is one step in that buying process.
So it would only follow that you want to quantify the percent of people that drive others to your website. The way in which we do this is by again looking at our Facebook Insights after we create a post. A couple days after your post is live, record the post's reach (see above) and the number of engaged users. Now divide the number of engaged users by the reach to get the percentage of people that that post converted to website traffic.
So we've made more customers aware of our brand and we've converted them to website visitors but now what? More sales, of course.
Social Media Marketing Metric #3: Sales from Social Media
What it measures: Money!
Like I mentioned before, marketing is about the funnel. You can't ignore any one part of it if you plan to successfully convert prospects into buyers. But nothing is better than measuring the actual sales a business gets from social media to determine if it is worth investing in. This is exactly what we did for the online deal's site, *here's the deal.
(This next social media marketing metric requires some familiarity with Google Analytics. I am going to assume you already have some familiarity with it (If you need help with anything related to Google Analytics, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help get you up and running).)
With *here's the deal, we post on Facebook twice a day. And in order to measure how many sales we generate, we attach tracking links to the URL. These tracking links show how many people clicked on the links and what they did once they got to our website. If they click on a few pages to do research and then buy one of your products, these links will be able to track this. All of this data is stored in your Google Analytics account under Content. Search for the URL tracking link, click on the link and you can view all the metrics related to it here including visits, pageviews and sales. With *here's the deal, we aggregate all the sales we receive from Facebook once a month and compare it to the time and money (via Facebook ads) we spent on social media during that time period. That way we can justify investing in it.
So there you have it. Three business goals and three metrics that can help your business measure the success of your social media marketing.