How do you measure social media?
Some people call it metrics. Others call it measuring your marketing efforts. Whatever you want to call it, this measuring stuff can get pretty confusing if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Think about it – you’ve got a bunch of stats with your Facebook Insights, click-thrus in your scheduling program and your Pinterest analytics telling you which is the most pinned image.
Where do you look? Which number is more important than the others? And what the heck is the difference between a sharing metric and a consumption metric?
I’m not a numbers person. I swear, I just barely squeaked through my Statistics 101 class in college. And honestly, it hurts my head to think about this stuff.
Where do we start?
You start with understanding your goals.
I want you to think about WHY your company is using social media. And how are these social marketing efforts helping you to effectively grow your business?
- Are you on Facebook to increase your exposure?
- Do you post on Twitter to grow your website traffic?
- Or are you pinning on Pinterest to generate more sales?
Your social programs may be different with each of the above questions but those are the type of business goals I’m talking about. It’s about asking the right questions to help you make a decision about what’s working and what’s not.
Let me break down these three types of goals, give you some actionable ideas to try and then show you how to measure your social media marketing.
This exposure stuff is really pretty simple. To increase your company’s exposure, you need to spend time where your customers hang out.
I’m not just talking about a post here and there and replying to comments. I mean really pulling together a posting strategy that creates multiple touchpoints where you connect with your fans.
You want to make sure you provide enough positive impressions about your company to connect with the right people.
And how do you grow your exposure?
1. Optimize your profiles with targeted key words to ensure that people running a search on your products can find you.
2. Customize your content – not just for the social program you’re on but for the audience you’re trying to reach.
3. Create shareable content with special offers to grow your followers.
Well, this one is pretty obvious. The more people who come to your site, the more they see your stuff, what you do and how to follow your marketing messages.
What are some ideas to use your social sites to increase your site traffic?
1. Use eye-catching images and attention-grabbing headlines in your posts.
I know I’ve said this before but this point is so important that I’m going to repeat myself:
This is how we connect to content online – first we see the image, then the headline and if both the image and headline have caught our attention, then we read the post.
2. Remember to add your site links to your marketing messages. Consistently schedule in informational content to help your fans mixed with your promotional messages into all of your social media posts.
3. Create a custom landing pages on your site. If you want me to sign up for your new online class, don’t send me to your home page so I have to look for it. Give me the direct link to your register page.
Making more sales:
This is always a tough one for people to figure out where their sales are coming from. During the sales process, there are multiple marketing messages that can contribute to the final purchase.
There are quite a few steps that happen from when someone clicks on a social media post to the day when they hit the Buy Here button. The initial post is just the start of the conversion process that takes a retweet from connection to a lead to a customer.
How can you use social media to help with your sales goals?
1. Give your connections a clear call-to-action. Don’t just assume that they know to click this link to register. Tell them what to do and what they’ll get from doing that action.
2. Include valuable content in your posts to give your fans the information they need to make their decisions. Chances are, they’ve been researching answers to their problems even before they connected with you. Why not give them what they want so they don’t have to ask for it?
3. Develop your content and your social posts for your specific target audience. Being everything to everyone may bring you the clicks to your site but they may not be the ones who will convert to a customer.
How do we track all this stuff?
I’ve lost track of the number of times I asked this question. I ran searches on Google and in Pinterest.
I found expensive programs that would run metric numbers for me, confusing spreadsheets and even a few companies I could hire to run my numbers every month.
I just couldn’t find what I was looking for so I made my own. And I didn’t even create a spreadsheet for this. I pulled up a word document, added in a table and some cool graphics behind it and check it out — my own monthly tracking sheet!
Click here to download my FREE tracking checklist that I run every month.
Feel free to use my list and add your own important measurements like other social sites or sales of a product that your company tracks every month. The point of this is to start tracking your numbers so you can see a pattern of what’s working and what’s not.
1. First thing I do, I log into my Google Analytics every month. In my monthly report, I include the following:
- Page view numbers – social vs organic
- All traffic numbers – not just my top referral sites but how many clicks did I get to come to my site?
- What are the top content pages on my site?
- And I review my top referral social site from my Google Analytics (which is Pinterest) and I see which pins were the ones that brought me the most traffic. I make a handwritten note about these pins at the bottom of the Monthly Report.
2. Next thing I do is track my social site numbers:
- Which site is growing and which one is losing fans?
- How does my fan numbers compare to the month before?
- I add in notes to myself about anything that happened that month – did I teach more workshops? Did I do an online webinar? What could have created a change in my social numbers?
3. Then I track my blog subscribers and email newsletter signups:
- These numbers are even more important than your social site followers.
- Your subscriber lists are people who are interested in connecting with you on a deeper level than just following your company on Facebook. These are the people who have the greatest chance of converting to loyal customers.
4. I take a look at the big picture of all my numbers and create goals for next month:
- I can see which type of content is resonating with more people by the traffic it brings to my site. Can I expand on this content more or create a series of posts?
- The numbers tell me where to spend my valuable time. When I watched my Facebook numbers go up and down for several months, I shifted my focus to Twitter. And when I saw that an increase in my tweets led to more clicks on my site, then I knew how to schedule my weekly social media updates.
- When I see my subscriber number, I get a good feel for the amount of exposure I’m generating. If the numbers are slow to climb, it prompts me to re-think my content (am I connecting to the right people?). And when the numbers go up quicker, I take note as to what might have caused that (do I need to post in a specific social site more?).
Tracking social media shouldn’t be about a bunch of numbers. It’s about learning what’s working and what’s not and figuring out how to adjust your marketing strategy to reach the goals that help you grow your company.
By constantly reviewing the behavior and the actions of your site visitors, you’ll start to get more details about what’s working with your social media marketing. And the more specific your strategies can be, the better your chances are to convert your connections into loyal customers.
Click here to download my FREE tracking checklist that I run every month.
PS Want to learn how to take these ideas and grow your Pinterest followers and turn Pinterest into one of your top marketing tools? This Pinterest Strategy guide is for you! Click here to grab your FREE copy of ‘How I Grew My Pinterest Account to Over 10,000 Followers‘.