As a marketer, you’re probably already familiar with the importance of conducting regular content audits on your site. This tool is hugely important when it comes to measuring the success of your marketing campaigns and making sure the content you’ve created is helping you meet your goals.
That said, it can be harder to apply these same principles to your social media campaigns measure the impact they’re having on your business’s bottom line. Sure, you can track the number of “likes” your Facebook posts receive or the number of followers you have on Twitter. But the thing is, surface-level metrics like these don’t have a direct impact on your revenue or profits.
You could have tens – or even hundreds – of thousands of followers on your social network of choice, but few of the people who find your company in this way ever go on to convert into customers, this particular metric doesn’t mean much in terms of your overall success.
Instead, you need a different way to measure the success of your social media campaigns. You need a strategy that takes your particular usage of social media, as well as your business goals and audience demographics, into consideration. These types of engagements can be slippery metrics to measure, but it can be done. Here are three easy ways to measure the success of any social media campaign:
Determine Metrics and Establish a Benchmark
There’s no doubt that it feels good to attract followers on your social profile, but too many companies get caught up in the “likes” and “favorites” without knowing why.
Instead, you must make sure that any metrics you measure actually matter to your business. Start by looking at your sales funnel in order to determine what types of actions you want your social media posts to drive. Do you want your followers to share your messages? “Like” your posts? Retweet your Twitter messages? Click through to a landing page? Purchase a product? Or do you simply want people to be more aware of your brand so that you’re top-of-mind for future purchasing needs?
Use whatever actions you’re trying to encourage with your social media content to determine the exact metrics you’ll track when measuring the impact of your campaigns.
But that’s not all, you also need a starting point – a benchmark, if you will. Find this information by carefully tracking your existing results for a period of time before launching your campaign. This will help you to establish a baseline that shows you how you’re currently performing according to the metrics you’ve selected, giving you a starting point to build from.
Launch Your New Campaign and Measure
A specific social media campaign should be designed with a defined beginning and end, in order to create specific results. As I’ve already noted, those results are the metrics you’ve chosen, and the benchmark you’ve established represents the defined beginning of your campaign. Now, it’s time to gather data before the campaign ends.
Once you launch your campaign, pay attention to the results you gather related to your chosen metrics by reviewing them every week. How do your results compare to your benchmarks? How do they relate to the expectations you had for the campaign?
At this point, don’t try to make changes to your approach – simply gather information about how your current activities stack up for future analysis. The results you generate will give you vital information – not just for this social media effort, but for future campaigns as well. Track your progress using whatever means seem appropriate for your needs. A simple spreadsheet can do the job, though if you’re presenting this information to important stakeholders, simple graphs and charts work best.
Make Adjustments and Test Changes
After your campaign has ended, it’s time to turn your results into action. Based on your data, brainstorm at least 3-5 changes that you can make to future campaigns to see if your tests can earn you even better results. Try sending out tweets at different time intervals, for instance, or try making a slight change to the format of your Facebook posts (use images, rather than link posts, for example). Then, continue to gather data on the changes you’ve implemented and see how they perform compared to your benchmarks and expectations.
If you decide to make changes to your website or landing pages, keep in mind that you’ll want to make your changes incrementally, and useA/B testing protocols, if possible. By changing one small element at a time, you’ll be able to determine what impact that specific element has. If you change the entire message or entire strategy, you won’t know what exactly it was that either helped or hurt your results.
In an ideal world, every social media campaign you run would turn into an amazing success that drives increased engagement and sales to your company’s website. But even if your most recent campaign didn’t hit it out of the park, all is not lost.
Even a campaign that’s a spectacular failure in terms of meeting the metrics you set can teach you a lot about your audience and your products. You’ll learn about how your customers interact online and what they respond best to. Most of all, you’ll learn how to change things so that the next campaign does exactly what you hoped it would do. Optimizing your campaigns in this way can be a lengthy process, but the added insight and improved results make it all worthwhile.
How do you measure your social media results? Share your thoughts in the comments below!