Social media metrics offer strategic insight to gauge the efficacy of social media marketing efforts and enable room for course correction in real-time
By Khushboo Solanki Sharma
Social media has emerged as a powerful medium for brands to build their presence, engage with customers and build seamless recall across various platforms. Social media metrics offer strategic insight to gauge the efficacy of social media marketing efforts and enable room for course correction in real-time. Hence, it is imperative to map and document these social media metrics.
There are umpteen options available that measure the outcomes of social media efforts. It is crucial to identify the right mix of metrics based on your brand’s requirements, objectives and campaign goals.
Here are some metrics decoded to help you achieve tangible outcomes in digital advertising.
Awareness- Impressions and Reach
If the objective of your campaign is to build brand awareness, you should keep track of impressions and reach. Impressions indicate the number of times your ad showed up in someone’s timeline. Reach denotes potential unique viewers of your post comprising your followers’ count plus the count of the accounts’ followers who shared your post.
If your objectives are to build awareness and educate your target audience, it is essential to include engagement and reach as metrics. The posts with high impressions and low engagement imply that the content was interesting enough to enable the target audience to take the desired action. High reach and high engagement imply that the content struck a chord with the audience. Reach can be calculated by the number of retweets (in the case of
Twitter) plus the followers of those accounts.
Engagement is a broad category comprising various target audience actions, including likes, shares, retweets, and clicks. Engagement rate measures the extent to which your audience takes action on your post through either likes, comments or sharing, or all or a combination of these. Engagement rate is the total sum of all desired actions performed by viewers. High engagement rates indicate exciting content that leads to more interactions of the target
audience with your brand.
A useful metric here is the post engagement rate calculated by dividing the number of engagement metrics by impressions or reach. Similarly, the account mentions that tag the brand handles in social media conversations (excluding those as part of reply) indicate good brand awareness. It is essential to look at more than one metric to picture your marketing efforts. For instance, if a post depicting a beautiful picture gets likes but not comments may
not mean it is below the mark. What it means is there is no call to action.
Share of voice- Volume and sentiment
These metrics are often used in public relations, competitive analysis and paid advertising campaigns. Share of voice indicates the robustness of your brand’s presence in social media. It can be mapped through social listening tools that help marketers assess the volume of discussion for specific keywords. When combined with the Trends report, it gives an insight into what keywords are associated with your brand and what can be improved further.
ROI- Referral and conversions
Social referral traffic and conversions are intrinsically related to marketing goals and impact the bottom line of businesses. Referrals track the source of your traffic to the website. ‘Social’ medium denotes the traffic from social media platforms, further subdivided by the network.
Conversions refer to customers who brought your product online. Social conversions refer to purchase taking place via social media platforms.
Another metric is the click-through rate (CTR) in ads and posts. CTR can be calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions of the ad. A high CTR indicates an effective ad. CTR is used in links on landing pages, email links and call to action buttons, social media advertisements, pay per click advertisements, among others.
These are a few examples of key metrics that can influence your brand performance. Besides knowing these metrics, it is essential to know your industry benchmarks, map your ads against them and modify them accordingly to get the best outcomes. Leveraging the power of Big Data, these metrics measure performance accurately and in real-time. This function has lent an edge to digital advertising over outdoor advertising and helped the former emerge as a cost-effective medium. The advent of emerging technologies, evolution in data science models and innovation by marketers present an exciting time for social media analytics.
The author is founder of Zero Gravity Communications