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Metrics are absolutely essential for determining the potential cause of a certain problem. For example, when you’re not feeling well, you use a thermometer to check if you have a fever in order to determine whether or not you should see a doctor. Similarly, we use social media metrics to monitor the health of a brand’s image on social media to analyze if the brand building strategies currently in use are getting the job done. However, it’s important to distinguish which metrics are relevant for determining the success rate of a social media campaign and which ones aren’t. Therefore, here’s a list of four of these relevant social media metrics which every business should track.
Follower growth rates
Although tracking the total amount of followers your social media accounts have is important for determining your overall reach, this number won’t help you plan out your branding strategies. Instead, what you should measure is the follower growth rates for each individual channel. For example, you’re trending on Instagram, yet your Facebook account is struggling to make an impact. Hence, you need to funnel all of your spare resources into Facebook as a form of life-support. Also, the fact that your Instagram profile is flourishing while the Facebook page remains stagnant can tell you a few things. First, every platform works differently, and applying the same tactics you use for your Instagram profile won’t yield the same results for your Facebook page. On the other hand, it also might be that the platform in question isn’t suited for your specific target audience. In that case, you should ditch that channel altogether and double down on the one that’s working for you the most.
Top referring channels
Another crucial metric worth monitoring is the number of referral traffic your channels are generating. Same as with the previous one, you want to measure the referral rate of each separate channel to determine which ones are pulling their own weight and which ones are slacking. Additionally, you want to keep tabs on a few supporting metrics closely related to referral rates, and those are the bounce rate, and the average time spent on your website. The bounce rate is the number of visitors that leave your landing page as soon as they arrive, without getting to see the rest of your website. Essentially by displaying these three metrics in a spreadsheet adjacent to one another, you get the full picture of which channel is actually benefiting you the most, referral-wise. For example, if your Facebook page has a high referral rate yet its bounce rate and the average time spent are abysmal in comparison to your LinkedIn profile, then the MVP award actually goes to LinkedIn instead. Meaning you need to change your approach with Facebook and handle it differently to get better results.
At the end of the day, referral rates do not equal money. So, in that regard, we need to take a look at the conversion rates of your social media channels to see the actual ROI of each. Hence, with some sophisticated media monitoring tools, you can analyze just how well your channels are doing and which ones are bringing in the most money. This way, you verify if your initial investment was well spent and whether you need to re-balance your budget to some degree. Also, by checking the oscillations in your conversion rates in a certain time-frame, you can pinpoint the strategies that were trending the most and thus brought in tons of cash, and which ones need replacing. This is why conversion is such a key metric, especially so for retailers, as it’s the only one that shows concrete results of your overall social media marketing campaigns and how worth they’ve all been.
Finally, businesses also need to keep track of their content’s engagement and impression rates to weed out the less appealing content and focus on the more responsive ones. Impression rates show you the number of times a post has been seen, whereas the engagement rate shows you the average number of likes, shares, comments for your posts. By using this insight you can work on creating quality content your specific demographics craves the most. Additionally, engagement does not only refer to posts made but to videos as well. For example, you can measure the number of clicks your videos have received, or its average retention rates. Same as with referral traffic, if your viewers aren’t sticking around long enough to get through the whole length of your 5-minute videos, then you need to do some adjusting and shorten them to a more appropriate size. By some estimates, the average video retention rates are somewhere below 2 minutes, if your data is telling you a similar story then listen to it and adapt accordingly.
Knowledge is power, this isn’t anything new. Improve your social media marketing by following the right metrics and your viewers will do the same with your profile page.
Guest Post: David Webb is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a senior editor at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.