Measuring Social Media Success
Social media success involves more than having tons of followers and “likes.” Significant reach and impressions can be vital ingredients to your social media soup. However, the ultimate test of your efforts comes down to driving brand loyalty, lead generation and ultimately, customers. In this article, we’ll look at the most vital stats for measuring effective social media management.
You may have thousands of followers, but are they qualified fans of your business? Is your follower base full of active social users, or is it loaded with fake or delinquent accounts? Do your followers consistently engage with your content? Or have they become “ghost” followers that once liked your Fun-Friday meme, but never engage with your business-relevant posts?
Engagement comes down to measuring what percentage of your follower base interacts with your content. Phlanx.com has free online calculators you can use to test your engagement on various social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Keep in mind that obtained virality via hashtags and shares can artificially inflate engagement rates. People may find and engage with your content, but don’t join as official followers. Also, engagement rates are often much higher for new or smaller accounts than for large, aged accounts. Check your engagement rate against that of a competitor with a comparable follower count and account history. It can give you a quick idea of whether you are meeting your own goals for building a quality audience of followers and serving them content of interest.
Are users staying put on your social media platforms and failing to visit your website? Google Analytics or your CRM will show which percentage of your total site visitors are coming from social media. To maximize your site’s social traffic, make sure you include links to your site in your bio. Share your blog posts on your social platforms. Refer questions from social users by linking to helpful pages on your website. In turn, ensure your website has prominent social sharing buttons to encourage users to share your content with their own followers. When posting to third party platforms, switch it up and think outside the “Big 5” social media websites by sharing content on forums such as Quora or Reddit. Syndicating your blog posts to sites like Medium can also be great for both referral traffic and boosting your SEO.
A high percentage of your followers are engaging with your content. A growing number are following your links to your website. Congrats! Now—how much of that site traffic is converting into leads?
Unlike organic, paid, or referral sources, social media has a bad rep for bringing in traffic with a high bounce rate. Part of this is the nature of social itself. Users are largely there to read, be entertained, and socialize. Not often are they in buying mode.
How do you convert more of this traffic into leads? If you’re a B2B company, you may want to use social media or link building services to share your links to some form of gated content on your website, such as a webinar, white paper or case study. For a B2C company, consider offering instead a contest or a coupon that requires a signup form. Lastly, try some of the native lead-gen ads that social networks offer. Such ads typically pre-populate a sign-up form with the user’s name and email and require only a click on the call-to-action for the social user to add themselves to your newsletter or drip campaign. From there, you can nurture these social users out of lurk mode and qualify them as legitimate prospects.
Social leads tend to be at an earlier stage of the buying process. So, you need to adjust your email campaigns to nurture them differently than you would warm or hot leads. One way to do this is to serve them decision-making content that directly addresses questions or objections they have at this early stage of the buying process. Self-quizzes are a great way of getting the prospect to realize that they may be less satisfied with a current competing product or service than believed. This content can also help them understand that switching products or services doesn’t necessarily require a large budget or long-term commitment. Once this user starts to see how easy it is to make the switch, they can be moved deeper into the nurturing campaign where your product or service features and benefits are explored in more detail.
Social media success depends on so much more than likes. It can certainly be a huge waste of time and money if you’re not paying attention to the right key performance indicators. By focusing on what’s generating traffic, conversions and sales on your site, you can quickly get a sense of which social platforms, followers and content have the ability to make a difference on your bottom line.