Is your social media working? How can you prove it?
It seems like a simple question, but marketers and business owners alike often struggle to define what success looks like on social media. If you can’t define what is good or bad, it’s nearly impossible to refine your strategy and understand the return on your investment. When it comes to measuring success, it’s critical to think beyond the social media platform itself and to consider the real results you are seeing in your business.
Steer Clear of Vanity Metrics
The most commonly cited social media metrics, the number of followers and likes, tend to be the least helpful when it comes to measuring success. While the size of your audience and level of engagement IS important to understand and monitor, it doesn’t mean that it is getting you results in your business. Likes don’t pay the bills. Paying customers do.
Instead of focusing solely on social media-specific goals like increasing your followers, consider your business goals. Say you want to use social media to grow revenue, increase your customer base, or launch a new product. These goals all require action on the part of your audience. In this case, success looks like getting your audience off the app and onto a domain that you manage. This could be your website to buy a product, a sign-up form to get added to your email list, or your latest blog post. Whatever your goal, you can track this action as conversions - i.e. the number of people who take the desired action. Examples of conversions you could track include:
Click-through rate on a link
Sign-up for an email list
Downloads of a lead magnet
Purchase of a product
Monitor Engagement Trends
Since action doesn’t happen overnight, it is also important to keep track of the metrics that lead to a purchase decision. Engagement is a great indicator that your content is resonating with your audience. Even if they aren’t ready to make a purchase decision, by continuing to offer them valuable content you will stay top of mind for when they are ready to take that next step.
Rather than looking solely at your aggregate likes, comments, and shares; we suggest you look at your engagement rate. Calculate your engagement rate by dividing your total engagement by your total number of followers, OR your total reach. Since not all of your followers see every post, using reach will tell you of the audience who saw your content, how many engaged?
Engagement rates are a great equalizer among social media accounts. It’s better to have a relatively small following that is highly engaged, than a large following with little to no engagement!
The most important aspect of measuring success on social media is using the results to refine your strategy accordingly. By measuring action and understanding the content that is resonating with your audience, you can spend time where it really matters in your business.