Social media has become an essential component of any marketing plan, but measuring success and proving ROI has long been a challenge. Since there are so many different aspects of social media and various ways both sales and marketing can use them, attribution becomes quite difficult. However, there are some basic numbers that can be tracked to determine your progress and level of success.
Followers – How many followers do you have across social channels?
Having a large following increases the reach of your posts, which is instrumental to social media marketing success. It improves your chances of being found online while also increasing engagement numbers and visits to your website. Gaining followers will improve your ability to generate leads and website visits. Even if your new followers aren’t potential customers, they may become brand evangelists and refer others to your business.
Clicks – How many post clicks are you receiving?
If people click on your posts to read more or click a link to an external website, they are most likely interested in what you have to say. A good number of clicks shows that your preview messaging and headlines are working. The first step in getting someone in your audience to engage with your content is for them to click. Once they’ve done so, the quality of your content overall will determine what steps they take next.
Shares – How many shares are your posts getting?
When someone shares your content, it can dramatically increase the reach of your post by putting it in front of that person’s social network. It can also be viewed as an indication of a quality post by social media algorithms as well, which can help put it in front of a larger portion of your audience. A single share from someone with a large following can facilitate a monumental increase in your reach and following.
Comments – Are people commenting on your posts?
Getting people to comment on your posts is the best way to increase their reach. The primary goal of a social media post is to start a discussion. This is what the algorithms weigh most heavily. When a conversation on a post thread really starts to take off, the reach can increase exponentially with each person that comments. It also means you’ve found a topic that is particularly interesting or polarizing, meaning you may want to touch on it again.
Impressions – How many people are your posts getting in front of?
The number of impressions you receive will be a direct result of your posting frequency, the size of your audience and the amount of engagement your posts are receiving. The types of posts you publish will also play a role as videos and infographics tend to be shared more frequently than text only posts. Posts that contain links to external websites, while necessary to drive traffic, can be more difficult to get in front of a large audience.
Website Visits – How many website visits are you generating through social?
Getting people to your website is one of the primary goals of social media marketing and can be difficult to achieve. Since posts with links tend to have fewer impressions, you’ll need a good reason for those that see it to engage and click through. This could be a valuable offer, educational blog or in-depth eBook, or whitepaper that will help your audience solve a pain point.
Conversions – How many of those visits download or sign up for an offer?
Are you getting actual leads from social media? While this doesn’t necessarily have to be someone that downloads a premium content piece or signs up for an offer, those are two ways to measure conversions. Since social media is best used for gaining brand awareness and interacting with your audience to build a relationship, conversions can be challenging to measure. Everyone wants “leads,” but this may not be the accurate measure of social media marketing success.
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