This is part 1 of a 2-part series. Read part 2, “How to prove your social media ROI.”
It’s a new year, and, among other things, that means new numbers and new spreadsheets. While we can’t help you with your taxes, or organize your hard drive, we can give you a jump start to tracking your social media metrics in 2015.
Download Dog-Eared Social’s 2015 Social Media Metrics Tracking Template then read the guide below to learn about what each metric means, where to find them and why they matter to your brand.
Please note the guide refers specifically to Facebook and Twitter, though the overall categories and some of the metrics will apply across other channels.
What it is: Network penetration refers to how many people saw your posts and how often.
How it’s measured: Network penetration is measured by impressions (the number of times your post was shown) and/or reach (the number of people who actually saw your post).
Where to find it: Facebook Insights provides reach metrics on the dashboard. You can get impressions numbers by exporting your data.
Twitter Analytics provides the number of impressions by post and by day on the dashboard. If you export your data, you can quickly total the number of impressions over a given time-period.
How to use it to tell your brand’s story: When you strip the purpose of social media for brands to its core, it’s advertising. And when you strip advertising to its core, it’s about exposure. Since the birth of advertising, people have been buying visibility in the form of newspaper ads, magazine ads, billboards and even flyers – all for the sake of being seen by the most possible people in the best possible place. The more people who see your posts, the more your brand is penetrating the market.
What it is: The rate at which you’re (hopefully) gaining connections on your social channels.
How it’s measured: Track the total number of followers you have at the beginning of the week or month, and/or track your percent growth weekly or monthly by subtracting the old total from the new total, then dividing by the old total. Multiply by 100 to get the percentage.
How to use it to tell your brand’s story: Remember how we talked about brands buying billboard ads? Well, what if you could buy a billboard ad with the guarantee that the cars driving by already have an interest in your brand? That’s essentially the crux of social media marketing – building a network of “cars” who agree to “drive by” your “billboard” whenever you decide to update it. Building your social networks with networks of followers who are excited about your brand’s message is the first step to converting leads.
What it is: How people are interacting with your brand and your posts on your social networks.
How it’s measured: Engagement is measured in three main categories – validating, sharing and conversation.
- Validating refers to any time someone provides low-level positive feedback on a post. On Twitter this is measured by a favorite and on Facebook it’s measured by a post like.
- Sharing refers to any time someone shares your post with their own networks, thus amplifying your reach and expanding your audience. On Twitter this is measured by a retweet and on Facebook it’s measured by a share.
- Conversation refers to any time someone speaks directly to you or about you on social media. On Twitter this is measured by replies (when someone addresses you directly in a tweet) or mentions (when someone mentions your Twitter handle in a tweet). On Facebook this is measured by comments on your posts, posts by others (people posting on your page) or mentions (people tagging your brand in their own posts.)
How to use it to tell your brand’s story: People seeing your message is good. People interacting with it is better. When people take the time to engage with you on social media, what they’re essentially telling you is that you offer value to them. When you build relationships and establish trust with your audience in social media, they’re more likely to turn to you over your competitors when they need your specific products or services.
Leads, Site Metrics and Conversions
What it is: These are the metrics that refer to everything that happens with your social audience off of social media – most likely on your website.
How it’s measured: When people on social media see your posts and click on links to your website, what do they do next? Do they spend time reading the content your pages, or leave your website right away? Do they take an action?
Though companies generally have different ways of measuring leads, leads generally refer to the number of people who enter their information – like an email address or a phone number – on your site in response to an offer to download premium content, or just to request more information about your brand.
A conversion typically refers to your bottom-line business goals. If you’re selling a product, how many people who came from social media actually purchased it? If you’re selling a service, how many became clients?
How to use it to tell your brand’s story: This is really the heart of your business, and the main objective of social media – to turn advertising into profit. Watch your leads and conversions grow over time as your social networks grow. Once social media is helping you reach your bottom-line business goals, your social media ROI will be clear to everyone in your company or organization.
How are you tracking your social media metrics in 2015? Tell us in the comments below!