If you work in an advertising agency, it might seem like everyone talks about Facebook “likes” and Twitter followers as though they are the be-all and end-all of social media strategy. But it doesn’t matter how many “likes” or followers your business has if sales and conversions aren’t increasing.
After all, when you need to justify the costs of your social media team’s efforts, it’s not going to be the number of @replies or your Klout score that pays the bills — even if you have an immediate supervisor who is obsessed with getting your “likes” up.
When it is tied to a business objective, social media is not (always) about what’s cool — it’s about achieving real business results. Here are some key performance indicators that you should be reporting on and why:
Share of Voice: The number of mentions your brand receives on social media as compared to competitors is an important indicator of how much consumers are engaged with your brand.
Brand Volume (By Platform): Tracking the overall volume of mentions by brand and by specific platform also shows the level of engagement of your brand’s social audience.
Depth of Interaction: There is a significant difference in the level of engagement that various types of social posts entail. After all, retweeting (which usually takes one click depending on the app) versus writing a blog post or lengthy review proves a much more serious engagement with a brand.
Mobile Mentions: Given the constantly increasing importance of mobile activity, brand mentions and engagements on smart phones and tablets show a wide audience range and commitment — especially while they are on the go.
Downloads: Any apps, white papers, PDFs, etc. that can be downloaded show a more significant amount of interaction than most other activity. After all, the user cares enough about the brand to include it on his or her own device.
Social Shares: The number of shares on various social networks proves the level of interest and engagement with any branded social content.
Email Signups: While email lacks the cachet of the latest social media trends, the number of email subscribers (especially via social accounts) shows that users are interested enough to let the brand into their most personal area of digital interactivity.
But why is this any better than tracking “likes” or another more obvious metric? These types of KPIs can be compared with actual business metrics via e-commerce and other sales — especially if you use a social media tracking platform (such as Sprout Social, Spiral16, Sysomos or Radian6).
What metrics do you consider most important when reporting on social media marketing?
Originally published Jan 14, 2013 12:00:23 AM, updated July 28 2017