In previous blogs on this topic, I’ve covered website traffic and visitor engagement. In this third and final blog in the “metrics” series, it’s time to take a look at the newest kid on the block: social media.
Whereas social media used to be somewhat of an “add-on” to other digital marketing efforts, it is now a core piece of ammo in your marketing arsenal. As we learned from a previous blog, it’s much more than cat videos.
Execution can be tricky, with platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn constantly introducing new features and updating algorithms. Measuring the data that arises from social media campaigns will guide you to a more effective strategy and ultimately better results down the road.
Social media is much more than cat videos.
Unfortunately, metric analysis involves more than adding up likes and shares. The following factors are most valuable when building your social media campaigns:
1) Traffic: How much of your website traffic is coming from your social media outlets? Again, just as with organic website traffic, it’s important to establish a baseline so you can measure before and after effects. Measuring website traffic generated from social media can also inform how specific visitors prefer to engage with your content.
A subset of website traffic can be broken down into link clicks, as opposed to how many overall clicks your posts receive. This metric is key, because it’s an indicator that your audience wants to learn more. As Bob McKay explains in this Forbes.com article, knowing the difference between overall clicks and link clicks “helps you to attribute your successes (and failures) more efficiently.”
2) Lead Generation: The premise of social media is to provide a community voice for your company; one that offers non-salesy advice and expands the knowledge base of your readers by sharing content you—and hopefully they--find meaningful.
Again, if social media is the chosen way to interact with your brand, you can (and should) respect buyer preferences.
If the lead gen content you’ve prepared for prospects is generous--in other words, it’s more about solving problems and answering questions than it is about selling your stuff--social media can also be an effective way to generate sales leads. If your lead gen offers are filled with insights, helpful solutions, or even a cash-off incentive, your followers will click through to learn more and some will engage.
Send your followers to a landing page on your site where they can find high-value information, and social becomes a measurable lead gen tool.
3) Sales Objectives (Conversion): Once you have those leads, the goal is to convert them into sales. But, you can also use this as a way to measure the effectiveness of your social media strategies by linking the new customers back up the sales funnel to the social media channels that helped them find your site in the first place. Again, if social media is the chosen way to interact with your brand, you can (and should) respect buyer preferences.
4) Platform Engagement: This metric is most helpful in assessing content intrigue. It includes all the likes, shares, retweets, and comments your topics draw. While it may not be a pivotal point for driving ROI, it can help you optimize your content strategy moving forward.
Website traffic, visitor engagement insights, and social media metrics all play vital roles in measuring digital marketing success. While the numbers don’t tell the entire story, data is a fundamental component for designing successful campaigns going forward.