One of the biggest changes that digital marketing brought to the world of advertising is the use of advanced analytics. Forty years ago, whenever you launched a TV commercial, there were very few, if any, reliable methods that would tell you how exactly it affected your image or your sales.
Today, it’s quite easy to see how effective ads and campaigns are and how every particular ad or post influenced the number of your followers, number of conversions or simply people’s attitude towards your brand. It’s impossible for marketing managers and creative directors to convince clients that the decrease in sales is not their fault or that they’re responsible for the increased demand for a particular product, if the numbers don’t add up. Here are some of the most important metrics you should pay attention to in order to evaluate the success of your social media marketing efforts.
Overall number of followers
The number of followers across different social networks is sometimes underestimated as a mere “vanity metric”, which means that it tells nothing about conversions and revenue, and is thus worthless. On one hand, it’s true that you can’t convert followers into dollars but, on the other hand, the overall number of followers is very important for the image of your brand. Reaching more people improves your presence on social media, and being present in someone’s news feed means being present in their minds.
You should track the growth of these numbers on different channels and if one of the social networks is falling behind the other, try to figure out why this is happening. If it turns out that your target audience simply doesn’t use a certain network often enough, you should maybe focus and invest in those which attract more of your potential customers.
Of course, it’s not all about the total number of people who follow you. Engagement metrics will tell you how interested these people are in what you post. Engagement rate will affect your reach, your follower growth and your visibility on a certain platform. If your average engagement rate is below par, you might have a problem; this usually means that most of your followers aren’t even listening because your posts simply don’t appeal to them and this is what makes your campaign useless. If this happens, think about changing the strategy.
As it was already mentioned, social media branding is not all about short-term revenue, but if your conversions and sales don’t increase after a while you should probably be worried. It’s crucial to know which social channels lead to most conversions and to pay attention to the metrics called “assisted social conversions”, which basically keeps track of number of people who visited your website through a certain social network and didn’t make a conversion right away but did stick around to convert at some later point.
Naturally, in order to convert, people will first have to click on your posts and links that will land them on your website. CTR is also important in itself, not just for conversions – if your CTR is low this means your content is not too relevant or interesting to your followers and that you should improve your copy or your overall approach. Also, on some social networks such as Facebook, low CTR will raise the price of a paid advertisement and you’ll end up paying more for the same service.
You shouldn’t pay attention only to your numbers. Looking for promotion opportunities means keeping track of who the most influential people in your branch are across social media. Having an influencer associated with your business is one of the most effective ways to improve your brand’s image. However, you have to choose them carefully – make sure it’s someone known as an expert in your niche, with good reputation and similar follower demographics. Of course, it’s not easy to run a business, manage your own business profiles and stay up-to-date with who’s who among influencers. If you need help with this, you can turn to professionals who can provide you with detailed media intelligence and find the right person for you.
Clearly, these are not the only metrics you ought to worry about. This is just the beginning, and after you make sure you have these under control, you should pay attention to your mentions, brand sentiment, audience demographics, referral traffic and then go deeper into more and more advanced analytics. All these numbers should be a foundation stone for your future digital marketing efforts and ignoring them might be very harmful for your image on social media.