While we all know that social media is a vital part of your content marketing tool kit, it can be easy to get carried away and rush off in the wrong direction, spending large amounts of time and effort doing the wrong things on the wrong platforms.
But how do you know if you're getting it awesomely right or spectacularly wrong?
How Involved Are You?
Do you eat, sleep and breathe social media? Are you one of those people who is always on the look out for content to the extent that your colleagues run and hide when they see you with your phone out? Do you dream in 140 characters? If that sounds like you, the chances are that you have a good gut feel for whether your social media is working or not. However, sometimes you can be so close to it that you can't take a step back and evaluate objectively what's going on.
On the other hand, if you're the sort of person who schedules a month's worth of posts and then leaves well alone, you may need more external social media measurement tools to analyse your success or otherwise.
Which Social Media Metrics?
There are so many social media measurement options available that I'm not going to start picking and choosing specific tools. Mainly they measure the same things, and it's down to personal preference which you use. Most publishing platforms have built in analytics, so start by investigating the ones you are already using. Facebook's own insights, for example, can give you a lot of information.
Much more important is what you are going to measure. And what you measure depends on your objectives.
If you read my blog post about how to set the objectives for your social media marketing strategy you will know that there are three main reasons for using social media:
- Building awareness of your brand or business
- Attracting new customers, or more accurately, new leads
- Encouraging existing customers to stay loyal
And within these objectives you can set very specific goals, such as extablishing expertise or gathering contact information.
So instead of just measuring likes or retweets, measure the achievement of these detailed goals.
In broad terms, here's what you should be looking for:
|awareness||likes & followers, shares & retweets|
|leads||website traffic, form completions, engagement (comments, shares)|
|loyalty||engagement, mentions, shares, customer service enquiries|
And once you have the results, do something about them. Do more of what's working well; look at the problem areas and decide how to tackle them. Review the networks you are using too; check if they are still right for you and investigate new ones that may be suitable.
How Much Klout Do You Have?
As well as the numbers, it's important to measure that you are getting the right message across. A great tool for this is Klout. While it is mainly a site for measuring influence, it is also very useful for checking that the message your audience is receiving is the same message you think you are sending. Most people will not be too bothered about their influencer score, unless they are an author, speaker, or someone whose objective is to become a thought leader. However, the topics listed are very useful in identifying if your content is on the right track. Look at these subjects and make sure that they match up with your chosen topics. If not, refocus the content you are posting.
With social media taking up an increasingly large proportion of marketing time and focus, it is vital to keep checking that it's working its socks off to get you the results you want.