Beginner’s Guide to Measuring Social Media Effectiveness
A sound social media strategy; one that effectively brings a ton of traffic and attention to your blog or website, is built by first analyzing your business goals, your audience’s wants and needs, as well as your competition (to grasp what they are doing successfully so you can compete). Web analytics reports and other data will be able to help measure success by showing your key performance metrics—everything from your site traffic to your referrals, and from page views to what time of day your readers log on.
Collecting and analyzing these social media metrics and data will help your blog or website stay competitive online and even increase your traffic (when you identify unmet niche areas that you can fulfill). However, for beginners this can be a little overwhelming until you get the hang of it. That’s why I’ve put together a beginner’s guide to measuring social media effectiveness—including the tools, measurement methods, and strategies.
1. Set Your Qualitative Social Media Goals
Now for those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the term “qualitative data”, that’s OK, you’ll get the drift soon enough. When you set qualitative goals, you are focusing on things like increasing brand awareness, attracting new people to your site, and engagement with your audience via things like web traffic, sales prospects, and SEO rankings. To measure qualitative data, you need to track all website activity and use that data to identify potential sales leads; and viral campaigns, video and blog posts that will interest your specific audience.
2. Use Site Activity to Guide Your Social Media Strategy
The next step is to determine which channels (things like social networks, media, etc.) you will use to engage with your internet audience. The trick is to identify where the majority of your readers connect with your site (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, a blog) and pull the analytics and traffic from those channels using Google Analytics (a free tool) to measure user activity—including to see how users are accessing your site, what they’re doing on the site, how long they stay on the site, where they spend the majority of their time, etc.
3. Record the Activity Data from Primary Channels
When measuring social media, my team typically uses spreadsheets to track all of the information on site activity from the primary channels. This will clearly map out where the best prospect potentials are—that way you can identify communities within the results and target your engagement levels based on this information.
4. Identifying Trends in the Data
The next step is to identify the trends in your analytic data. For example, do users share, retweet, or comment more on certain topics when they appear as blog posts? This will help identify what users are most passionate about so you can keep your future blog posts and social media efforts relevant to your readers—and attract new ones.
5. Measuring Your Success
Most businesses like to measure success in ROI (or their bottom line). It’s difficult to express social media in a finite percentage, however, if you consider how social media success ties to business success over the long run—how it helps brand exposure, customer relations, etc.—and form a real relationship between your social media efforts and your business, you can measure the success in that way. For example, if a viral video promoting your brand just brought thousands of page views to your blog in one day—that is a success that can be recorded in your favor
About The Author
Caeden M MacGregor is a staff writer for Prestige Marketing, a Vancouver SEO company specializing in organic and paid search marketing. Caeden has written for numerous blogs on a variety of topics ranging from guest blogging to landing page optimization.