We often get questions from marketing professionals and business owners about which metrics they should use to track the results of their social media efforts from a business perspective. So, in this post we are going to cover some of the key metrics to track. As an Internet marketing firm, we typically break metrics into leading and lagging indicators. This post will focus on the leading indicators of social media, broken down into two phases:
– Volume and quality of comments
– Volume of shares
– Network size (followers, fans, friends)
– Volume of visitors and sources of traffic
– Volume of leads and presentations
The reason for breaking leading indicators into two phases is because Phase 1 drives the results of Phase 2. By breaking the indicators into two distinct sections, it’s easy to visualize the importance of each.
Let’s take a look at Phase 1. By monitoring your volume of comments, it’s a strong indication of the quality of your content. To ensure that you are receiving high quality comments, we also recommend reviewing the sentiment of your comments that are made about your brand and products. There are various social media monitoring systems that monitor both the volume and sentiment of comments for you.
We then recommend monitoring your number of shares, which is another great indicator of the quality of your content and a strong leading indicator of traffic to your Website. Additionally, search engines, such as Google and Bing, heavily factor in shares into their search results, so it’s critical to monitor your share volume.
By monitoring your Phase 1 leading indicators, you are able to understand if you are improving your ability to increase your Phase 2 leading indicators, which are crucial to the success of your business, driven via the Internet.
In Phase 2, you want to monitor the growth of your social networks accumulatively and individually on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ Project. By growing your network, you are increasing your influence and ability to reach a larger audience. The next metric to analyze is the volume of unique visitors from each social network, which gives you a strong indication of how well each of your social networks is performing to drive traffic to your Website.
And to analyze the quality of the traffic that you are driving from your social networks to your Website, monitor your lead and presentation volume from this traffic. The bottom line is if you are driving good quality traffic to your site, you should be producing leads and presentations from that traffic, which are two of the most important indicators of Internet marketing success.
While there are additional metrics to analyze your social media results, such as the average time spent and bounce rate, the metrics outlined above are critical to establish as a foundation.
If you have any questions regarding social media for your business and how to analyze the results, feel free to ask. We’re happy to help!