The battle to discover the best method for measuring social media success continues. Uncovering how social media impacts your business can be a challenge, and figuring out return on investment (ROI) has long been a struggle for even the most savvy of social practitioners. Today’s Friday Five shares five tips to more easily measure your business’ social success:
1) Community Growth: One of the easiest ways to measure success is by tracking community growth. Consistent growth suggests your efforts are paying off. However, keep in mind that some platforms are easier to grow than others. If community growth is more rapid on one platform, that does not necessarily mean you’re not achieving results on the other(s).
A consistent monthly increase of 5 percent is a good indicator of platform success. If you’ve paid for followers or pushed out enticing contests, you’ll likely see a more extreme spike.
2) Boost in Engagement: If people are engaging with you on your platforms, you’re on the right track. Platform engagement is difficult to achieve for most businesses: Inspiring people to comment, like, share, retweet, mention and favorite is no easy task. If you’re finding more people engaging than before, it’s a good indication your social efforts are working. If, instead, your engagement is stagnant, or even dropping, it might be time to reconsider your strategy.
3) Increase Traffic: Many businesses use social media as a tool for driving people to a website. Failing to measure where site traffic is coming from can be a fatal mistake – especially when excellent free tools like Google Analytics are available. You’ll want to see your social platforms contributing to an increase in traffic. Pay close attention to which platforms drive the most activity and on what days. This information can help you better understand what’s working and why.
4) More Sales: It’s not always possible to see a direct correlation between social and sales. (This is also true for other, more traditional, efforts. When someone sees an advertisement in a magazine on a billboard or on television, they don’t always jump up and make a purchase.) Social, as a “top-of-funnel” activity, is about planting seeds, educating and relationship building. Often, a customer makes a purchasing decision as a result of many efforts. If you see an increase in sales over a period of time, it’s very possible it is due, in part, to your successful social efforts.
5) Handy Measurement Tools: Social media success is different for everyone, depending on their goals. If you’ve set out some specific social-related goals, the easiest way to measure success is by asking whether or not you’ve met, or are closer to meeting, your goals. Here are some handy social measuring tools for you to use:
- HootSuite: Social media dashboard that offers users the ability to manage and measure social networks. There are free and paid plans. With HootSuite you can track mentions and analyze social media traffic.
- Sprout Social: Social media management tool that has comprehensive reporting and analytics. It offers a 30-day free trial and offer a variety of packages.
- Facebook Insights: If you’re using Facebook for business, you have access to Page insights for free! Be sure to pay close attention to these analytics, checking them daily.
- Klout: Considered the “standard for influence”. This site combs through social media data to uncover how influential someone is. The average Klout is 40, but you should shoot for over 50.
How have you been measuring the success of your social efforts?
Originally published Mar 01, 2013, updated Aug 07, 2020