It’s no secret that I pride myself on being something of a nerd. Indeed, back in my school days, I was such a numbers-nerd that I got sent off to spend my Saturdays at a maths masterclass for young people.
I was ridiculed by my teenage peers as a result, but I truly loved every minute of it. Maths and science excited me.
Why, then, did I end up in what many people think of as a creative vocation… marketing? Simple: I love metrics. I love measurement. I love analysis. And whilst you really don’t have to feel the same about numbers as I do in order to succeed online, knowing the importance of certain stats and what to keep an eye on is key to making the most of any online business.
One of the few things that makes marketing a science rather than a guessing game is measurement. If you’re not taking the time to measure the metrics that are relevant to your business objectives, you will waste valuable time and energy.
So many people do that. But with the use of the right metrics, it’s possible to massively reduce unpredictability in the outcome of your hard work.
In this week’s email I want to look at some of the most important metrics to track when looking at social media marketing and how they can be used to improve the results of your blog/website/online business.
Engagement isn’t just the total follower count for your Twitter account or the number of fans on your Facebook page. On the contrary, engagement is how often those fans interact with your page on any given platform.
The way you measure engagement varies slightly depending on the platform you’re using. For example, on Facebook you’ll measure likes, comments, and shares. On sites like Pinterest, you’ll measure pins, comments, and repins. With Twitter, you’ll measure favorites, retweets, and replies.
Keeping an eye on engagement is very important, because it allows you to accurately read how your audience reacts to your content in the long term. This can help improve your content strategy by allowing you to see what kind of content captures the attention of your audience.
This metric is also ideal for measuring growth and performance over time. If you want to streamline the task of measuring engagement, you can use tools like Social Mention, Hootsuite, AddThis, and Facebook Insights.
The goal of social media marketing is often to get your fans to sing your praises to their friends. Measuring this means counting the total quantity of content ‘produced’ by your fans – so shares on Facebook or mentions on Twitter etc.
Prior to starting, be sure to set a realistic goal for how much content you would like your fans to generate. Once that’s done, you can simply go through and count up the amount of content you are currently receiving and then compare it to your goal.
One of the easiest ways to count this content is to search for a specific hashtag that you’ve been using, or manually add up the pieces of content that have been uploaded to your site or social media pages.
For example, you could run a photo contest asking fans to submit photos or videos of themselves using your product with the hashtag ‘#MyProduct’. Alternatively, they could submit that content directly to you through Twitter, Instagram, or the comment section of your blog.
In order to see how your social media marketing is going, all you have to do is search for that hashtag, or check to see how many photos have been uploaded to those platforms.
Getting your readers to click on your content can be the first step towards making your next sale. If you want to determine what kind of content is working best, you need to measure how many clicks any given link receives.
This is particularly easy with the use of tools like Bit.ly or ClickMeter, which can help you shorten URLs and share them to sites like Twitter and Facebook easily.
Clicks are also an excellent way to A/B-test article headlines, allowing you to determine the most click-worthy ways to entice your audience to find out more about your brand.
Rate of conversion
Conversions are a measure of how many people actually take some kind of action after viewing your content. People who are converted are those who have filled out forms, subscribed to your email list, made a purchase, downloaded something, or otherwise taken some action you ask them to take.
Conversions can be broken into two categories: converting leads, and converting sales. Tracking lead generation is done by taking the total number of leads you have and dividing it by your total traffic.
One of the most important advantages that social media marketing has over more traditional marketing practices is ease of measurement.
With a little time and energy, you can use this information to create your own highly targeted campaigns that are capable of generating a fantastic online income.