Social media can be easily measured with various indicators like share of voice, reach, retweets, and comments. But measuring without a clear objective in mind won’t bring you closer to success.
Read below on ways to help you measure your brand’s overall social media health, as well as the effectiveness of your various online initiatives.
Set Your Goals
To properly measure your social media efforts, you need to know WHY you are engaging in social media in the first place. This objective will dictate not only what you do, but also how you measure what you do.
If your goal is driving awareness, look at metrics like share of voice, reach, readership and engagement with content (measured in action vs. views). If you need to increase satisfaction through better support, look at sentiment, satisfaction rates in surveys, speed of resolution and percent of queries resolved. If it is creating better products and doing market research, focus on top market trends and satisfaction with various competitive products. If it is developing customer advocacy, look at who your advocates are by measuring their influence and reach and their engagement with your product and content.
You need to set up your organisation for success by better aligning necessary departments to work as units towards a common goal. Understand what goals are important for each department, and set them up for success with strategies and metrics that make sense.
Establish a process by which your departments can communicate and share the right metrics with the right people on demand. For example, create a dashboard that’s easily visible by every department or simply send email recaps at the end of every day.
Metrics without context are meaningless. If you know your share of social media conversation is 35%, what does that mean compared to your competitors’ shares or their change over time? Always look at metrics over time and inside of a competitive landscape.
Select Your Platform Wisely
Just like with monitoring, selecting the right tool for the job is the next step after figuring out your strategy. Here are some aspects you should consider when selecting a platform:
* Data – Which data do you need? Which channels are you going to measure?
* Reports – Identify how you want to share and present information. If you are going for a premium tool you should definitely be receiving embeddable and emailable charts and downloadable raw data. You can even automate delivery of reports and dashboards via email.
* Actionable insights – There’s a big difference between data and insights. Don’t forget the importance of an analyst within your organisation, even if it’s a part-time effort of your social media specialist.
* Budget – Do you have a budget or can you only afford a free tool? Keep in mind that cheaper tools can sometimes be harder to use or come with less features. “Free” may cost you more time in the long run.
* Ease of use – If you have limited resources, your platform must be easy to use and allow you to get your job done quickly. Consider productivity-boosting alerts and workflow modules, automation and advanced analytics.
Perform a Full Social Media Audit
Now that you have selected your platform, start by conducting a full social media “audit” with the specific metrics you are measuring. Note where you and your competitors are today and use this as a baseline against which you will measure at least once a month.
Conducting a social media audit can also help you monitor the current share of conversation of various players and channels.
Do A/B testing
Social media measurement can help you conduct the right analysis to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Similar to how you can test web traffic patterns against website copy changes, you can measure the public’s opinion of things you try.
Remember to measure your general social media health comprehensively at least once a month and track responses to particular programs more frequently. Commit the right resources and choose your platforms wisely. Don’t be afraid to experiment and always measure!