After reading The Definitive Guide to Social Marketing from Marketo, one quote really stuck out to us:
“And I think the one mistake that most companies make, even mature companies in the social media marketing world right now, the one mistake they make is they don’t plan to measure.”
– Jason Falls, CEO of Social Media Explorer
So we decided we wouldn’t leave you, our Webs readers, in the lurch. We know social media is a tricky channel. And while email has click-through rates and delivery metrics, many aren’t sure where to start in measuring a platform that depends mostly on brand awareness and “word-of-mouth.”
Below we have summarized Marketo’s 10 Useful Social Marketing Measurements to get you started in mastering the ROI (Return On Investment) of social media:
1. Set Goals – Meet with stakeholders (which may be just you!) to gather a sense of what is important for you to track. Engagement is the key social term that will turn qualitative terms like “brand awareness” and “word-of-mouth” into quantitative reports. Look through your social dashboards for keywords like reach, impressions, “People Talking About Us,” and mentions to get an idea of how to apply numbers to what you find valuable.
2. Utilize Google Analytics – What actions do you want your visitors to complete? A purchase? A download? An increase in pages visited on your blog? Utilizing Google Analytics can help track several social media goals.
– First, in the left-side menu under Acquisition, there is a “Social” tab with sub-categories to use at your disposal. Getting to know Google Analytics can help you set up events to track what actions have been completed.
– Next, it assists in reviewing the quality of your content. While retweets and likes seem like a good indication of what people enjoy, you can dive deeper with Google Analytics to see the page views and time on page for
the success of your content to become clearer. Using the “Landing Pages” sub-category will give you a snapshot of your success.
– Finally, recording the organic traffic (visits that are not paid or direct) month over month will show the impact of your content on your bottom line. Is the traffic increasing or decreasing? Is this traffic turning into
leads that convert into revenue? Using the “Conversions” sub-category can give you glimpse of these results.
3. Calculate Share of Voice – This term refers to the number of conversations about your company versus your competitors/market. Here’s how to calculate this metric:
Your Mentions divided by Total Mentions for Competitive Companies/Brands
If you break this down by social channel, you can measure which platforms are improving your efforts or holding them back. That way, you can make executive decisions on where to focus posting your content.
4. Track Total Size of Community and Engagement – Finding a social tool that can aggregate real customer data with your social communities allows you to quickly monitor growth and engagement levels. Are you only interacting with your current customer pool? Or are you making a difference in acquisition? Marketo, of course, plugs their Marketo Social Marketing application as a tool that can be used.
5. Track Sentiment – Unfortunately, this measurement is collected manually. You must individually go through your comments and mentions to tag them as positive, negative or neutral to avoid error through sarcasm or simple context. Then add up the positive and negative comments. Compare these totals over time and you will be able to make confident conclusions on if your audience has improved their sentiment towards your brand or not, and switch a qualitative measure to quantitative.
6. Engage Influencers – Keep tabs on users who have interacted with your brand and have a high influence in your industry (many followers and strong online presence). If you work to create a relationship with these users, they can become advocates for your brand. In which case, they can spread your content to their network of peers and drive more outlets for your content to be seen.
7. Find Social Media Return on Effort — Build a dashboard to track your metrics on a weekly or monthly basis. You can do this manually or search for a tool to assist you. Then, you will be able to monitor what works, what doesn’t and set goals on moving forward. Play with A/B testing your posts or other social media tests if your metrics aren’t reaching the numbers you expect.
8. Engage (don’t just reach) — Reach is the total size of the audience you can reach. But social relies on more than your audience of Twitter followers or Facebook fans…its foundation is built on engagement. Track how many people are sharing your content, liking your posts, and retweeting or repinning your posts. This will help you identify your influence on your communities.
9. Measure Lead Generation by Content, Channel and Initiative — It’s all in the title. Measure the leads generated from your social networks and break it down by the type of content and channel. Then analyze. What kinds of content drive the most leads or the most revenue? What social networks drive the most traffic? The answers to these questions allow you to focus your strategy and give insight to your shareholders.
10. Forecast Conversion through the Funnel — In the end, we must be focused on the bottom line. With all of the metrics you have been monitoring, start building forecasts to show how it will contribute to their future pipeline. Be sure to include the costs and time of effort associated with your results to project accurate earnings. See Marketo’s ROI on using social for lead generation below for inspiration:
We hope in providing you with these measurements you are less intimidated by the ROI of social. Even if you have yet to determine the meaning of “engagement” and your goals, just think of how after reading this you are leaps and bounds ahead from where you started.
And of course, we are always here to help if you have further questions. Just leave them in the comments!
About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech.