In digital marketing, people often think because big investments have been made in ensuring social media campaigns are running, it’s okay to sit back, rely on simply posting content, and wait to see what happens. Wrong! It is essential attention is also given to keeping track of the impact social media campaigns have on your business and where necessary, report to higher-level management (C-suite).

The definition of success differs for each business even as time goes on. This is because social media is changing and figuring out which metrics to track and how to apply them is not so easy. But, with the right attitude, a basic understanding of social media analytics, and some help from social media management tools, the process can be seamless.

Why does it seem difficult?

We thought it would be a good idea to outline why it must seem a difficult task to measure social media activities and generate reports. It mostly stems from a lack of knowledge.

  • Platforms constantly change and they introduce new features, algorithms, and policies. If we understand this, revising old tactics would seem less daunting.
  • Not being sure about what to measure. Determining which key performance indicators (KPIs) matter to your business will make this easy. To do this, you need to start with understanding your unique value proposition and define your goals.
  • Absence or lack of data. Different social media platforms have different sets of analytics. It is hard to see everything in one place, so, it is easy to get lazy, rely on tools-not human intelligence and avoid mining the data we require to inform our decisions.
  • Sometimes, we focus on qualitative results, not quantitative ones. We get excited about getting a like, comment, or pat on the back from a user instead of focusing on them if their behavior is driving action or sales with your business.
  • We undervalue the true costs of social media investments and the returns as well.
  • There is an adept concentration on the numbers instead of the people and their feelings. We need to take into consideration sentiment and net promoter scores. These help to get the full picture of how customers are interacting with your business or brand.

Why is it important to measure/track social media activity?

If your business is hoping to drive leads and conversions, then you need to give an audience to measure your social media activity. Tracking of measuring your social activity can boost your social media campaigns.

  1. You can quantify the success of each campaign and determine which ones are the most important in driving leads. If done properly, tracking provides insight into what platforms are the most effective at reaching your customers. This will ensure you allocate more resources and content accordingly. But not to say you should abandon other platforms.
  2. You can identify influencers and prospects that engage with your brand regularly and help to build a social community for your business. This informs highly targeted, personalized promotions that humanize your business. Having a brand that listens to and interacts with customers virtually will always enjoy the benefits of better lead generation and conversion rates.
  3. You will be encouraged to experiment as social media is constantly evolving. Tracking your activity allows your business to be firm on its feet as social media shifts. You learn to thrive in it. This aids a proper understanding of what content works where for whom and when. It gives room for your business to play will all the tools available.

How can you measure Social Media campaigns?

We know measuring social media campaigns is not an easy task, but it is a task that can be completed. The types of social media campaigns analytics you can deal with are:

  • On-going analytics – this is monitoring your everyday activities over time to identify seasonal changes, and spikes in your engagement rates.
  • Campaign metrics – this is for when you are running a campaign, the metrics related to tracking the impact.

So, let’s discuss how to track the effectiveness of your social media campaign!

  1. Define your goals

This is a constant to start every marketing campaign. You need to think of; what exactly you want to achieve with your campaign.

  • Generate leads?
  • Reach a wider audience?
  • Increase brand awareness and product adoption?
  • Increase community members and engagement?
  • Build a stronger reputation?
  • Increase the brand conversion rates?
  • Drive traffic to your website?

To assess these results, there are different social media metrics to follow.

A great goal is a SMART goal.

S- Specific. A specific platform you will be working on

M- Measurable. A clearly defined metric you can track

A-Actionable. Your goal is realistic and possible to accomplish

R- Realistic. Your goal will result in better activity with your business. For example, an increased engagement rate will result in better brand awareness

T- Timely. When the goal will be achieved is clearly indicated.

An example of an achievable social media goal? Increasing your Instagram engagement rate by 25% within the next half of the year.

  1. Select the right metrics

Choosing the right metrics will provide useful insights to evaluate your efforts. Also, implement more accurate social media marketing solutions in the future.

  • Volume

What is the size of the conversation or mentions about your brand or your campaign? Volume is a good indicator of interest from people as we talk about things we love or hate, and rarely talk about topics we simply don’t care about.

There is more to volume than simply counting tweets and wall posts. It is important to measure the number of messages and the number of people talking about your brand and including how these numbers change over time.

Take note of times when the volume is higher – when more people seem to be talking about your brand. This information helps you focus more on your own posts during these times to get more engagement.

  • Engagement

Engagement metrics are one of the most important metrics to measure. It is how people are participating in the talk about your brand? What actions are they taking to spread your content and engage with the topic?

The majority of social media content can be both shared and replied to. Some social media settings such as Twitter retweets (RTs) and Facebook shares and posts help you know who is spreading your content, while comments, replies, and likes are helpful to see who is replying to your content easily. You still need to think of what goals you are focused on, is it generating interaction (replies, comments) or spreading content (retweets and posts)?

Be sure that you are using metrics that reflect what is important to your brand every step of the way. Are there specific types of content that generate engagement? pay attention to these messages and use them to your advantage. You may find that what you think or expect people to interact with might not be so.

  • Reach

This measures the spread of a conversation on social media. Reach can help you understand the context of your content. How far is your content circulating and how big is the audience being involved? Reach is a measure of potential audience size.

Yes, a large audience is good, but reach alone cannot tell you everything. Reach is powerful when compared to other engagement metrics.

To calculate your reach, use it as the denominator in your social media measurement equations. Choose an important action like clicks, retweets, or replies and divide these by reach to calculate the percentage of engagement. In the possible pool of audience for your campaign, how many individuals participated?

Reach helps examine other engagement metrics.

  • Influence

This is self-explanatory. It entails who is talking about your brand and what kind of impact they have. There are numerous tools that measure social influence, and they do it in different ways. But one thing they all agree on is, that the audience size does not necessarily relate to influencing. Because someone has a lot of followers, does not mean they can encourage them to perform an action.

With past actions, it is possible to make predictions about how influential someone might be in the future. This sort of potential influence is useful when you are preparing for a campaign and need to decide who to reach out to. There are tools that assign people an influence score such as Klout and PeerIndex. They also measure online social capital and the potential ability to influence others.

  • Voice Share

Finally, if you want to really understand how well you are doing on social media, consider a share of voice metrics. How does the conversation people are making about your brand compare to conversations about your competitors?

With the conversations in your industry, determine what percentage is focused on your brand compared to your main competitors. Also, learn from the successes your competitors’ have experienced. Social media conversations are public, so it is easy to measure your competitors’ impact just as you do yours.

What tools can you use to measure your social media?

Once you have the right tools to measure the effects of social media campaigns.

  1. Hootsuite

This tool is useful for management and tracking metrics. It is also possible to schedule posts from multiple social media channels and create individual reports. Though the free version is quite limited, it can get you started before you need to have a paid subscription.

  1. Facebook Insights

With your dashboard, you can see all the analytics data for your Facebook page. The insights provided allow you to understand your audience, and what they are reacting to, and help you fine-tune your content to meet their needs.

  1. Twitter Analytics

Twitter has its analytics dashboard. With this analytics, you can track timeline activity, and tweets that were favorited, retweeted, and replied to. It also tracks the number of mentions, new followers, and newly followed.

  1. Google Analytics

The Google Analytics Campaign Tracking helps you set up links for campaigns with Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameters to track your campaign. Using the Google link shortened for campaigns, you have an easy and cheap way to track the success of a specific link within a campaign. Sometimes, this method of tracking is overlooked.

There is a tool called the Google URL builder. They are trackable URLs. Go on Google and search for this URL builder then get a link, here are the steps.

  1. Buffer

This tool is great for scheduling content. You simply fill up your account with content each day and it will automatically post them to the channels you select and according to a set time and date.

For metrics in Buffer, you’re able to see what posts are getting the most interaction.

  1. Talkwalker

This tool offers free access to a social search monitor and topic alert system. It allows you to get a snapshot of your brand’s social footprint through social listening conducted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, Google+, YouTube and more.

  1. Instagram Analytics

The insights provided are available for Business Profiles and accounts with a high number of followers. In addition to analytics on your content, information about who your followers are when they’re online, and more can be assessed.

  1. LinkedIn Analytics

Page analytics on LinkedIn allows company marketers to monitor metrics and trends across specified time periods.

  1. Brand Watch

Brandwatch Analytics is very useful if your social media strategy goals are social listening and benchmarking against competitors. This platform collects data from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, forums, news and review sites and more.

Its queries are structured in four steps: search, segment, analyze, and action. Once a search is generated and data has been captured, the platform can analyze reactions, identify influencers, and arrange data with up to 50 filters.

Measuring your social media ROI will not always be easy. The direct information to build your brand may not show up directly in your analytics, but with the understanding of why you should measure your activities, tools and metrics, your business can have a major impact on the bottom line.