Similar to email marketing, one of the best things about social media is the ability to quickly and accurately measure results. All the major social platforms have tools for businesses to use that can measure social media activity in a number of ways, including overall social activity over time, or activity relating to one specific post or campaign.
Here are four key areas you can use to track your social performance that I have learned from professional social media marketing experts:
Engagement: See how many people are taking an action with your social posts, indicating that they are engaged. Here you can look at metrics such as likes, shares, retweets, replies and comments to see how engaged your social followers are. This is helpful because it means your content is not only being seen, but users are sharing or responding to it.
Impressions and reach: These intertwined metrics can sometimes be confusing. Impressions are the total number of times your post was displayed to users in their news feeds. If users share your post with their networks, your impressions increase. Reach measures how many users had the potential to see your posts. To put it more simply, impressions are the total number of times your post was displayed to users, while your reach is the total number of people who may have seen it.
Web traffic: If the goal is to drive traffic to your business website, you can monitor how many visitors your site received from links you placed in your social posts and profiles. This is a good way to see which platforms and which types of posts are most effective at getting users to click through to your website.
Market share: To see where you stand among competitors, compare metrics including shares, likes and retweets to those of your competition. This will give you an idea of where you stand, in terms of awareness, among those with whom you compete.
Another consideration for your social media marketing strategies is paid social campaigns. They can improve visibility for your company. If you’re putting a lot of thought and energy into your social posts without seeing great results, you might want to consider a paid social campaign, such as Promoted Posts on Facebook, LinkedIn Sponsored Posts or Promoted Tweets on Twitter.
Paid social advertising has a few advantages, including:
Added reach: One of the main goals of your posts is to get them seen by as many people as possible, and a paid campaign means your post could be instantly added to the social feeds of thousands of additional users — including people who haven’t previously followed or liked your account.
Low costs: Paid social campaigns are typically very cost-effective, sometimes as low as $5 for an additional 1,000 views on platforms such as Facebook.
Targeting abilities: Many social platforms allow you to highly target your paid campaigns by demographics, geography, users’ interests and other criteria — so you can attract the attention of users most likely to want, need or enjoy your services.
The importance of social media in our society continues to grow, and social platforms are here to stay. No small business should ignore this vital marketing tool. Use social platforms to grow and engage with your customer base, in a way that makes sense for your products and services. But, like all marketing strategies, be sure to evaluate the effectiveness of this strategy for your business.