Measuring social media efforts can get frustrating and difficult. But it doesn't have to. Follow these three easy steps to make measuring social media easier.
Step 1: Pick a goal
As the great Zig Ziglar said, "If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time." Good social media goals are usually in line with the greater goals of your organization. Here are some popular ones:
- Increase awareness
- Generate leads
- Convert leads to sales
- Retain existing customers
Pick a goal. If you have the resources and the time, you may pick all four of these goals -- or come up with others that are more relevant to you. However, it's much better to execute well on one goal than to dilute your efforts.
Step 2: Pick a metric or three
This doesn't need to be complicated. Metrics that provide real insight are usually pretty simple.
Choose one or two (usually no more than three to start) metrics that will indicate progress toward your goal. We call these metrics Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Using the first goal on our list, Increase Awareness, as an example, let's create some KPIs that we can use to measure our success.
What KPI could we choose to measure this goal? Here are a few suggestions to measure the effect your social media efforts are having on raising brand awareness:
- New visitors from social media. This is the raw number of visits to your website that have never been to your website before.
- New visitor from social media with more than three page views. A better barometer of awareness might be to measure the number of new visits from social media but further segment by filtering out those new visitors that visited multiple pages on your site.
- New visitor from social media that engaged with premium content. If new visitors from social media are engaging with eBooks, webinars, whitepapers, or other forms of premium content, this is a strong indication of increased brand awareness. You might measure form completes, downloads, or views of this premium content (depending on how you structure your content).
Step 3: Segment and trend
You'll know when you've segmented your KPI enough when you say, "Ah ha! Now that's something actionable!" Until then, keep slicing and dicing. For example, if you're trying to figure out if your new Facebook efforts are driving awareness you might look at:
- New visitors from Facebook
- New visitors from Facebook with more than 3 pageviews
- New visitors from Facebook that engaged with premium content
Lastly, you'll want to look at how these KPIs trend over time. For instance, did your recent Twitter ad buy increase your awareness metrics over the prior month? From there, simply make adjustments as needed.