3 KPIs to Track For Your Social Media Success

If you’re in business and you’re not harnessing the power of social media you need to jump on that bandwagon now. If you are using social media marketing as a channel to grow your business, awesome! But do you know how it’s working for your business?

You might be posting a video here or there to YouTube or some photos to Instagram. And you could be regularly posting to Facebook and Twitter, but if you’re not measuring how those social networks are working for you, and you’re not testing different approaches to maximize your results, you could be wasting valuable time.

But where do you start? There are so many metrics you could be measuring on social media, so let’s cull down the list and make sure that the most  important ones are at least being eyeballed.

Reach

Reach is defined as the number of people who could have seen your post. If you post a Tweet to Twitter and someone RTs your Tweet, your Tweet has the potential to be viewed not only by your followers but by their followers as well. So it’s important for you to get as much engagement on your posts as possible to spread the word. Reach is used as the denominator for the engagement rate metric (see below).

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Photo Credit: Dasheroo

Consider the days when your posts got a spike in reach, assess the content and the time of day you posted and post more like this!

It’s important to have a large number of fans but avoid the scams of “buying a million followers for $25”. Those are typically fake accounts, and fake fans don’t interact with your content, it doesn’t matter how many you have.

If your reach increased in a day or two, dig into what type of content you may have posted to get that spike and create and post more of that content.

Engagement

Speaking of engagement, it’s our next metric! Engagement is defined differently across the various social networks but in general it’s the total number of interactions with your posts. Consider Comments, Likes, RTs, Mentions, Favorites, Clicks, Views and any other action someone can take on a post to be engagement.

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Photo Credit: Dasheroo

See a spike in “Mentions?” Dig in and find out what type of content people are engaging with, if it’s beneficial for you engage back and post similar content!

Engagement happens when you post something interesting to your followers. Interesting things that tend to get more engagement are photos (ask for captions!), short videos (Vine), posing questions, memes, topical content (stay away from polarizing content) and timing (know when posts work) to name a few.

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Photo Credit: Dasheroo

Does asking your Fans questions get the most response on your posts? You might consider using the question tactic to get people to respond. If they respond you’ll have an exponential group of people potentially seeing your posts.

For instance, try using images when you post to Twitter for an increase in engagement. And your Instagram posts should be a fun representation of who you are to get more likes, follows and comments. At Dasheroo our sticker makes its way around the world and posts awesome and fun content.

Also consider the following: the best time to post on Facebook is not the same as Twitter. Facebook posts perform best on Thursday and Friday, while Twitter updates are better received Monday through Friday. It might vary by industry and business.

Frequency of posts also lead to better engagement, but it depends on the social network. Since the life of a Tweet is so short you need to post multiple times a day, sometimes over 8! On Facebook, results have shown that posting more than 2x a day doesn’t increase engagement at all. So track engagement for this as well.

If you are posting for a week to multiple social networks, at the end of that week look across all of your engagement metrics. Look to see if one type of post (images vs. text vs. video) did better than others. Look for commonalities and gear your next week toward that type of content.

One important item on engagement, don’t forget about the engagement rate! You can take all of this engagement combined with your reach to get your engagement rate. Since as we’ve said, Reach is used as the denominator for this calculation. For instance if your content was potentially seen by 1000 people, and 20 people commented, 10 people shared, and 5 people liked:

20 + 10 + 5 / 1000 = 3.5% engagement rate

Now you can compare engagement rates across all of your social media marketing channels.

Website Traffic

You’ll of course want to track how many people are coming to your site from social networks if that’s where you’re sending folks! Using Google Analytics you can easily track which social networks are performing best.

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Photo Credit: Dasheroo

This company saw a surge in LinkedIn traffic to the site, time to dig in.

And if you’ve got Goals set up in Google Analytics you can even track it all the way to a sale or whatever your call-to-action is.

Photo Credit: Dasheroo

This company tracked traffic from social network all the way to a sign-up on a form using Goals in Google Analytics!

Important to note: Google Analytics gives you visitors (Sessions) broken out by channel. One of the default channels is “Social” which is anyone who comes to your site from a social channel. But there is also a default channel labeled “Direct”. Keep an eye on this channel for those that don’t directly click a social link but remember your name and type it directly into the browser. If you’ve got a surge in social you might have the “hangover” effect and have a surge in your Direct channel as well.

So make sure you’re keeping an eye on one of the most important metrics you can track and close the loop on your sale!

Bottom Line?

It’s easy to be confused by what to track, especially at the beginning of your efforts! But if you start with these and keep your eye on them, test content and test different social networks you’ll be sure to get new business from social media!

johnJohn Hingley brings 20+ years of sales & online marketing expertise with analytics-driven decision making & business savvy to help dozens of companies like Softkey, The Learning Company, Mattel, Wine.com, Chandon & VerticalResponse gain market share.  He founded social media analytics company Andiamo Systems, acquired by Techrigy, Alterian and later HP. Currently John is a co-founder and CEO of Dasheroo, business dashboards done right. Now you can track all of your important business metrics from social networks, email marketing, web analytics and ecommerce in one place, free, see for yourself

How to Track Your Social Media Efforts

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photo credit: pixabay

If your small business is taking advantage of social media to engage with customers in hopes of growing your business, how do you know if your efforts are paying off? The truth is, it can be hard to tell if all the work you’re putting into growing your social media following is worth the investment. There is only one way to know for certain: you have to measure it.

The purpose behind measuring your activities on social media is to enable you to figure out what you are doing that is working (and therefore should continue doing) and to find out what you’re doing that isn’t bringing you any positive results (and should therefore be improved or eliminated).

Ongoing analytics help familiarize you with how your customers are interacting with your updates generally and more specifically, analytics are the way you get a feel for how your company is perceived in the marketplace. For example, you want to know what people are saying about your brand, your company, and your products. Are people complaining about your customer service or are you seeing a lot of criticism about the quality of one of your products? All of this can help you improve and provide better service going forward.

General Analytic Tools

There are a few simple tools that you can use that will help you know when people are talking about you online. Google Alerts will happily shoot you a quick email anytime someone mentions you or your business anywhere across social media, blogs, and websites. This will give you a chance to respond to any concerns or just join in the conversation.

Social Mention will also track whenever any of your keywords pop up on any of more than 100 separate social media sites. It is similar to a search engine, but it specializes in social media.

If your intention with social media is to drive traffic to your website, then you will want to keep track of the number of clicks, URL shares and conversions that you get as a result of your social updates. Google Analytics is one of the best tools for measuring the traffic that is coming to your website. In addition to telling you where your traffic is coming from so you know which links are getting clicks, it will tell you what people are doing once they get to your site. In other words, after they consume the content they clicked on, are they staying on your site and looking around? If they aren’t, that could be a sign that you need to add more attractive/interesting content to your site so people will want to stay longer.

Tools for Specific Platforms

Twitter

If you want to keep an eye on specific social media platforms, Hootsuite and TweetDeck both provide simple ways to monitor Twitter without requiring you to scroll through hundreds of individual Tweets.

Facebook

Facebook provides its own analytics tool called Page Insights. It’s handy if you want to know more about your audience and how they are interacting with your posts. As soon as your Facebook Page gets at least 30 likes, you’ll be able to use this feature.

Booshaka is a service that tracks and collects every time a customer interacts with one of your Facebook ad campaigns.

Centralized Analytic Tools

You can combine all of your social media tracking efforts on a single dashboard like Quintly. They give you a neat overview of your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, as well as several other types of social accounts.

If you want to keep an eye on your RSS feeds as well as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, you can use a dashboard service like NetVibes.

With a little planning and one or more of these helpful tools, you’ll be able to keep on top of your social media efforts without feeling overwhelmed.

Tess PajaronWith a background in Business Administration and Management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She’s also interested in branding and digital media.