While companies agree social media is great for creating awareness and engagement, they are struggling with how to evaluate the effectiveness of their social media campaigns. Currently, most companies are using a variety of metrics to measure diverse campaigns across multiple departments.
Social media metrics is generally measured in two ways: ongoing analytics and campaign-focused metrics. Ongoing analytics, which track activity over time, are necessary for keeping up with the overall pulse of general conversation about the brand and company.
Campaign-focused metrics, on the other hand, can help understand the impact of targeted marketing initiatives and will vary from campaign to campaign, depending on the goals for each. An effective social media measurement program will likely include both ongoing and campaign-specific measurement.
Using the metrics tools to monitor and track the conversion on social media helps companies to:
- Increase Volume: Volume is a great initial indicator of interest. Helps to measure the number of messages about your brand, as well as the number of people talking about your brand, and track how both of those numbers change over time.
- Expand their Reach: Reach measures the spread of a social media conversation. Reach becomes very powerful when compared to other engagement metrics. Reach helps contextualize other engagement metrics.
- Generate Engagement: Delivers social proof via the people sharing the content and discussing the brand and help track them.
- Influence: This type of potential influence is useful to decide who to reach out to when you’re preparing for a campaign. Tools like these measure online social capital and the (potential) ability to influence others.
Social media revenue conversion measures how many people become customers through social media referral channels.
As the associate director of social practice at Moxie Interactive, Daniel Cho has tackled the problem of measuring social media conversion. When Moxie was tasked with developing social media programs for Verizon Wireless, Cho says, “We focused on total ROI. We put a social metrics layer on top of web metrics. We measured social media conversation volume, sentiments and engagement, which is the number of comments, links and Facebook shares.”
Cho used Wildfire to build a Facebook tab for a Verizon Wireless sweepstakes promotion. Although he could not measure which channel was a better referral channel, he was able to successfully track the social media conversion rates. To do this, he used the number of sweepstakes entries as his main metric. For the secondary metric, he used Wildfire and Google Analytics to calculate the number of tab visits (equivalent to impressions) and opt-in emails.
Lesson for others
You cannot be assured of a definitive, predictable ROI from social media, no matter the size or your business or nonprofit. It may be hard to justify spending time and resources on social media efforts without seeing the dollar return. But if the focus is on the following two intangible but valuable returns on social media investment, it will soon become tangible.
1. Establishing Oneself as a Thought Leader. Thought Leaders give credible, accurate, up-to-date information on a topic. Thought Leaders share (for free usually) an abundance of useful information that people want to read.
2. Engaging with dedicated Brand Ambassadors. Every brand, every business, every nonprofit wants every individual who identify with a company’s brand as a part of their persona (online and off). These are the people who put the company’s brand in their “About Me” descriptions on Facebook, share links about the brand, post photos related to the brand, or even include the brand’s logo on their profile or blog page.
Submitted by : Jayarani Jayaraman, SMBP Student, University of Waterloo
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