It's no secret these days how important it is for marketers to make use of engaging, innovative and creative social media strategies. It's not enough to run a clever campaign and hope for the best - measuring the effectiveness of these efforts is important too.
Marketers need to know ROI and other important metrics in order to prioritise limited resources and help guide them in creating the most effective campaigns. Here we look at some ways you can assess your social media analytics.
One of the most popular tools available to gather data is Google Analytics. In addition to providing detailed statistics about your website, this powerful tool can measure how much traffic is being referred to your website from different social media channels as well as provide real-time reporting on your campaign efforts - providing instant feedback about promotions, blog posts and tweets.
Google Analytics also provides valuable insights into how visitors are interacting with the content on your site by tracking unique page views, the amount of time spent on a page and total page views. By watching these metrics over time, you can determine if the number of visitors to your site is growing and what content is popular.
Social Mention is a simple tool you can use to help you track your company's "share of voice", which is the number of mentions about your company across the internet versus the competition. Simply do a search on your company's name and compare the number of mentions to your competitors' mentions using the formula:
Share of Voice = Your Mentions / (Total Mentions for Other Companies and Brands)
By also showing brand mentions by social media channels, Social Mention reveals areas you may have overlooked and where you can improve your efforts.
While obviously an important metric for any business to track, nearly three quarters of businesses that use social media don't know how to track ROI, according to an infographic by Boot Camp Digital1. While there doesn't seem to be any one specific tool to measure ROI, this metric can be derived from data provided by tools like Google Analytics, HootSuite, Omniture and others.
In order to measure ROI, you need to know what your campaign's goals are to set some sort of baseline. For example, do you wish to gain 20 per cent more followers or increase sales by 50 per cent? Whatever your goal is, it should be clearly defined at the start. Then, use the data provided by your tracking tools to measure the effectiveness of your various campaigns with the following formula:
Social Media ROI = (SM Return - SM Investment) / SM Investment %2.
While some may say that measuring social media ROI is impossible or merely an art at best, no campaign worth its salt should be launched without clearly defined goals and methodical efforts to track them.
So whether your business is just testing the waters of social media marketing or is in head-deep, having an understanding how your social media efforts are translating into increased engagement and sales is critical. With the many in-depth tools now available, any business can assess the effectiveness of their social marketing campaigns.
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This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.
Kathleen has a degree in marketing with over 10 years experience in the IT field as a database developer and web designer. As a freelance writer, Kathleen has written for several publications across Australia as well as for various business and hi-tech blogs online.