Measuring social media success.

If you asked an Australian social media manager how they measured social media success, their response is likely to be “we don’t”.

recent report found that in Australia, only 17% of small businesses, 28% of medium businesses and 38% of large businesses measure social media performance. Of those that measure success, it was found that there was little clarity over what constituted a successful social media strategy. Many employed different measurement techniques: is success measured by counting the number of likes or counting the number of sales conversions?

We may all be focused on liking, tweeting, sharing, blogging, instagramming, posting, commenting, but it seems like a lot of jumping up and down in the air for nothing, if these activities are not getting results.

It is surprising therefore that not many Australian organisations measure social media success, when it is one of the most important activities that any organisation can do.

Why measurement matters.

It is important to measure social media success because it helps your organisation achieve your goals and refine its strategy.

Achieve your goals. 

Think about your own personal goals. A useful goal, in order to be useful, must be S.M.A.R.T.: it must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based. If you want to save for a holiday, you are more likely to reach your goal if you measure your income and expenditure. If you want to build an online follower base, you are more likely to achieve your goal if you set targets for a minimum number of followers each week. Periodically measure your progress on social media –  learn from failures and celebrate achievements.

Refine your strategy. 

Your social media strategy sets out the way in which you are going to achieve your goals. A consistent review of analytics and performance against your metrics will enable you to refine your strategy. For example, if analytics reveal that Facebook generates the greatest amount of clicks through to your website, then your strategy could be refined to improve Facebook activity. If you did not reach your target follower base this month, what can you do to attract more followers?

The metrics that are best for you.

There are a range of measurement options out there, which sometimes make choice difficult. Some of our favourite analytical tools are Hootsuite Analytics, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, LinkedIn insights, Sprout Social. The right mix of measurement tools will differ from organisation to organisation. Here are some tips for choosing the metrics that are right for you:

Know your objectives.

Your objectives will help you better identify your measurement tool. If your objective is to increase clicks to your website, then Google Analytics is the best measurement tool – it has a function that measures traffic that moves from your social media platforms to your website. If your objective is to engage with your audience, then measure the number of comments, likes, and retweets on your platforms.

Keep it simple.

The range of tools available can sometimes be overwhelming. You don’t need a complicated tool if all that you really need to find out is whether your follower base is increasing from month to month. Clear objectives help you to identify whether you need a simple tool, or something a little more advanced.

The social media world is fast-paced and ever changing. Sometimes we are just trying to keep up. Make the time to measure your success. It will save you wasted time and energy on social media. These are powerful platforms which can be used attract and engage your key stakeholders. Do not miss out on the opportunity.

Talk to us about measuring social media success.

Image credit: uberof202ff via Flickr creative commons