5 Tips for Social Media Metrics

5 Tips for Social Media Metrics

5 Tips for Social Media Metrics
Article written by Lucy Spooner
Social media metrics can seem a bit overwhelming; there are so many things you can measure that you might not know where to begin.
What’s important to understand is what you’re hoping to get out of social media. Ask yourself these questions - why are you using it? Why is it important to you? What are your goals?
They could include:
Increasing your network of followers and brand advocates
Driving more traffic to your website
Gaining leads and ultimately making sales
Generating buzz surrounding your brand
Those are some examples; you may have other goals as well as or instead of them. The key is to have a clear idea of what they are before you start looking for metrics to measure.
What you can do if you’re still not sure where to begin, and what we’ll be looking at from here on in, is focus on your users. The people you connect with online can offer several ways of measuring your brand success.
Be they followers or influencers, analysing your audience and their interactions with your brand can give meaningful insights into the successes - and failures - of your online presence, offering chances for you to make changes and cut losses in order to improve.
1. Social Media Followers
Now, it may be true that the number of followers on your social media accounts isn’t as important as how engaged those followers are. However, if one of your goals is to increase your network, then your follower count definitely has a role to play.
Are you marketing across several channels at once? Is your Twitter account, for example, more popular than your LinkedIn profile? Perhaps you focus on one account more than another - in which case, it might be time to look around for a tool that can manage all your accounts in one place.
That way, none of them are forgotten, and you get a clear side-by-side comparison.
If you’ve been managing more than one account for a few months and you can see a significant difference, you could take the opportunity to double your efforts for the channels that aren’t doing so well.
Or, alternatively, it could help you decide which channels to focus on, and which to let go.
2. Follower Growth
Another way to look at followers is to track your follower growth, as in whether your content is trending and helping to increase your followers by bringing in new interest, or if your followers are leaving you.
If follower growth is one of your key metrics, then it should be consistent over a number of months so you can justify the efforts you put into managing and expanding your social account. Set yourself a target and put in the necessary effort to reach it.
You can easily single out faster-growing profiles and those that have grown stagnant, and support or cut them out accordingly. If you are losing followers but the account is still active and valuable to your brand, take a look at how quickly the loss is happening - did it happen rapidly after you posted something specific, or has it been dropping gradually? Take it as an opportunity to make some changes and keep your audience happy.
3. Social Media Mentions
Who’s talking about you and your content? It’s important to know.
Mentions help you measure your level of brand awareness; you can see if your efforts are actually making an impact on your audience, rather than you just going through the motions. Tracking your mentions allows you to:
Levels of user engagement, and what they’re engaging with (do videos do better than standalone tweets or blog posts?)
The best days and times to share your content (are most of your users online in the evening? You should start posting more frequently at that time)
Whether users actually like what they see (sounds obvious, but it’s very easy to focus on levels of engagement without considering whether it’s positive or negative)
Don’t just measure your mentions either - take a look at your competitors’ too, to see if they do anything differently and if that has a profound effect on their user response. Find out what gets their users interest in what they have to offer, and see if you can employ similar tactics for your own brand.
4. Brand Sentiment
Expanding on mentions, brand sentiment is an important metric for anyone. You need to understand what people think of your brand online, and whether those thoughts are positive, negative, or neutral.
Many brands focus on keeping track negative mentions, to stop unflattering or abusive comments going unnoticed and hanging around for other users to see.
Monitor your social channels closely so you can spot and deal with them as soon as they appear, and remember that they don’t always require a response.
Put a mental filter on before you tackle them - if it’s a genuine criticism or complaint, take it into account, and make sure the user that gave it feels acknowledged, but if it’s unhelpful or nasty it can sometimes be best just get rid of it.
Responding to negative comments can also mean the user feels appreciated, sometimes turning negative feedback into positive. Positive comments are a great way to capitalise on momentum.
Reaching out to happy customers and advocates of your brand means you can encourage positive feedback to grow.
5. Top Influencers
Once you know who’s following you, who’s talking about you, and what they’re actually saying, it’s time to take a closer look at those people.
Find out what their influence is like: are they top dog in their field? Do people rely on their opinions and recommendations? If that’s the case and they are an enthusiastic advocate of your brand, so much the better; you can then take advantage of their social media presence to magnify your own.
Find out who your most valuable supporters are, and make sure to thank them and encourage them to keep up the good work.
Building a good relationship with your influencers pays off; if they feel you appreciate the effort they put into recommending and raising awareness of your brand, they’ll be more likely to continue doing it.