My professional service firm and small business clients often ask me which social media metrics they should track. They often think that if they get a lot of Facebook “Likes” then their social media campaign was a success. Then they are surprised when “Likes” don’t turn into increased sales.
Hootsuite, a social relationship platform company, noted in a recent blog post that choosing the right social media metric can be a daunting task. They point out that social media can be used to achieve any one or more of these business goals:
- Increasing customer engagement
- Growing sales
- Building brand awareness
Each of these goals has a different set of metrics associated with it. So, if you start by establishing your goal, you can then select the appropriate social media metrics as key performance indicators (KPIs).
Increasing customer engagement, for instance, requires that you track metrics for social media engagement. These include Likes, Shares, Comments, Retweets, Mentions, and Favorites.
If your goal is to grow sales by increasing customer acquisition on your website, then you will want to pay attention to URL clicks and traffic to your website from social media. URL clicks can be tracked by using a shortened URL such as the HootSuite default shortener. Bitly provides a similar tracking capability.
Traffic to your site can be captured using Google Analytics, which your webmaster should have already installed on your site. If not, get him or her to do it immediately – you’re letting valuable insights slip through the cracks.
Building brand awareness requires that you track Follower growth rate, percent change in Followers, Twitter Sentiment, Reach by region, and Clicks by region. Shares and Retweets can also be tracked.
Hootsuite and Bitly are two of many tools that can be used to track social media metrics and both offer free and paid options. This blog post has a good list of free and paid tools for tracking social media campaign metrics.
Which social media metrics have you found most useful? Tell us in this post’s Comments section.