If you haven’t given social media monitoring software tools a try, you are missing out on some vital measurements, data collection, and insights that can help improve your marketing efforts. If you already utilize monitoring software of some kind, then you know how the insights you discover can help your marketing and social media efforts in many ways. Social media monitoring not only gives you valuable information about what customers and the media are saying about your brand, but you can continually acquire data that can help you learn about your current and potential customers; plus, it gives you access to measurements and metrics about the data you continually are able to collect during the monitoring process. Paying close attention to these metrics can help decipher where conversions came from, what types of keywords your customers or potential customers are using, increases engagement and ties into other marketing efforts as well including content and search engine optimization. While there are likely many different metrics that might be important to your marketing team, today, we will be discussing 5 specific metrics that can help improve your marketing strategy: social shares, retweets or reposts, social media traffic and user behavior on your website, post engagement rates, organic and paid follower growth, and brand search volume. These 5 metrics are ones that help you wade through the vast amount of data collected and formulate reports filled with actionable details. I invite you to think about how each of these can help improve your marketing strategy.
Social Shares, Retweets, or Reposts
When a customer or a social follower shares, retweets, or reposts your social content, it sends a strong message throughout their networks that they believe in your brand. That is why social shares, retweets, and reposts are important metrics to track. These actions are much more powerful than just a “like” or follow because it helps amplify your brand and acts as an endorsement that is spread by word of mouth. However, instead of just “telling a friend,” it is telling potentially hundreds or thousands of “friends” and in written format. Ultimately, this written endorsement is much more powerful than the spoken word. A share, retweet, or repost shows their networks that this person is willing to be associated with your brand at the very least and in the best example, could be a brand advocate or even and influencer. When deciphering the data collected during social media monitoring, you will want to find your social share rate. To calculate your social share rate, divide the total number of shares or reposts over a period of time (for example, a month) by your total follower base and then multiply that number by 100. Knowing your social share rate can help tell you where you need to improve and also help point you in the right direction to further engage and reward your followers participating in these social behaviors. In addition, when you know the type of follower or customer who regularly shares, retweets, and reposts your social content, you can target similar followers to grow your social shares audience.
Social Media Traffic and Behavior on Your Website
For most companies engaging in social media marketing, driving traffic to your website is one of the primary goals. Monitoring the referring traffic visitors on your website that come from the different social channels is definitely an important statistic to know. However, beyond just knowing how many visitors click through to your site from social media channels, social media monitoring software and tools can provide you with more information that can help you determine what those visitors are doing, where they are going on your site, how long they stay, how often they come back, and (most importantly) if they make a purchase. The specific metrics you should be cataloguing here are:
- Referring channels
- Bounce rate
- Time on site
- Pages visited
- Return visits
If your data includes a large amount of traffic from different social sources, you should segment the traffic and look at the referrals from each social network separately to evaluate each of those metrics and how they are different or successful from each social channel. Aggregating all of the data from all social networks together might not give you an accurate picture and you might miss some vital metrics or come to erroneous conclusions based on the data as a whole versus each channel individually.
Post Engagement Rates
The best way to get the most accurate picture of your social media engagement by measuring the rate of engagement against the size of the audience you are targeting. You easily can calculate your social engagement rate with a simple equation: divide the combined number of reactions during a set period of time with the total reach for that post, then multiply the answer by 100 to get the average engagement rate that a particular post attracted. This formula can be used on any social channel, but each platform has its own way of calculating engagement rates. You should also take into account trends, competition, how much paid media influences that channel, and traffic. Using this engagement rate formula is much more insightful than just looking at the numbers of clicks, shares, reactions, retweets, or comments alone. The higher engagement rate shows that your content is reaching and resonating with your audience. If your engagement rate is lower, then those posts need to be looked at to see what works with your followers and what doesn’t.
Organic versus Paid Follower Growth
Most social communities are built up with a mix of followers that you originally acquired organically and through paid advertising. The combined size of your follower base is important and having this mix is also good to ensure that your follower base represents a larger portion of your target audience. When measuring this statistic, look at the percentage of the increase in your fans over a specific time, as in month-to-month, or week-to-week. Keep monitoring your fan growth to see how interested your audience is and continues to show interest in your brand.
Brand Search Volume
How is your social media marketing helping your brand? One of the key metrics to track is brand search volume, how often your brand name, company, and keywords. It is important to take a step outside of social media channels when calculating how well your branding efforts are working. A recent report from GroupM found customers who see a brand on social media are 180% more likely to search for that brand on search engines such as Google. That is a large number of possible traffic or search volume that is coming from an unattributable, or unmeasurable source. Yet, it is still important to continue branding efforts on all marketing fronts. When totaling the metrics for brand search volume, look at search volume for your brand and keywords over time. Media monitoring tools will also help you see where your brand’s search volume is in relation to your competitors, this competitive analysis can give you the insights to help you strategize your next move and direction. Don’t just look at search volume for this particular metric, also consider your industry trends.
Summary and Takeaways for Your Company
Measuring the effectiveness of your marketing is one of the primary challenges above planning and executing the campaigns themselves. Media monitoring tools, provided by agencies like Isentia, can help validate your marketing efforts in the social arena and prove to the rest of the marketing team how well your social marketing strategy is working. Since so much data is collected, it can be difficult to know what measurements are key to social media marketing, the five metrics we discussed today will help you with your next presentation when you show how effective and efficient your social marketing efforts have been. These five metrics can help put a value on a “like” or share, and help establish social media on the marketing map for your company: social shares, retweets or reposts, social media traffic and user behavior on your website, post engagement rates, organic and paid follower growth, and brand search volume.