Social media is one of the most powerful tools businesses have in reaching modern consumers. In fact, 69% of U.S. adults and 45% of the total world population use at least one social media platform. In the coming years, social media’s popularity will continue to grow with social media penetration set to hit three billion people worldwide by 2021.
Like any marketing tool, the results and performance of your social media efforts should be carefully tracked and analyzed to ensure that the time and money your business is spending is worth the return on investment.
Setting goals and tracking metrics can seem like a daunting task, but I’m here to help make it easy! Below, I discuss how you can get started setting your social media goals, along with some of the most common social media metrics that go along with each.
Begin with an audit
Before you dive into common social media goals and metrics, you’ll want to take a step back and look at what your business is doing right now by conducting a social media audit. Doing this will help you get a clear picture of where you currently stand so you have a baseline to measure any new social efforts against.
Begin your audit by thinking carefully about all of the different social accounts your company has and forming a list of these active accounts. Make sure your company doesn’t have any duplicate or old pages that may no longer be in use.
Next, search your company’s name on Google and various social media sites to see what social accounts exist. If you find accounts you don’t recognize, determine if they’re actually connected to your company. If you think they may be imposter accounts run by someone not affiliated with your brand, take the necessary steps to get them removed.
Once you have a clear list of all your social accounts, create a social audit spreadsheet to keep track of all of your information. For each of your social accounts, record the following information in your audit spreadsheet:
- the link to your profile
- the social handle of the profile
- the internal person or people that manage the account (whoever “owns” it)
- the top three posts in terms of engagement
- any key demographic information
- include a column for any additional notes for the account
Next, make sure each account is consistent with your brand image by setting cohesive profile pictures and cover images that align with your brand. Ensure your profile and biography text align with your current brand message and check that you are using the same handle across all platforms to ensure consistency. Use this brand strategy template if you need help aligning your messaging and imagery.
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Now, since you’ve already identified your best posts, it’s time to analyze them and look for patterns. Notice what kinds of posts, content, and copy get the best response, as well as how post engagement differs between platforms. For example, do posts with pictures perform better than posts with links? Write your thoughts on these patterns in the notes column of your audit spreadsheet.
Lastly, decide which channels are right for your business by looking at how each existing channel is currently performing and considering if there are any new platforms that may be right for you. Look at demographics for the various platforms and match them up with your target audience to determine where your time and effort is best spent to serve your business.
Once you have conducted your social media audit and have a good understanding of your social platforms, it’s time to set your goals and figure out what social media marketing metrics you should keep track of.
Setting social media goals and metrics
Here are some of the most common social media marketing goals and objectives, along with the metrics that should be tracked for each:
1. Increase conversions/sales
After years of offering social media marketing in Austin, we’ve found that this is a favorite social media goal among businesses because it directly relates to a company’s bottom line and is one of the best ways to show the value in social media.
A conversion is when a customer takes a specific action, like downloading a whitepaper or filling out a contact form. Conversions are not sales, but they are very valuable actions that have measurable value for the company. Measuring this goal is particularly useful for most B2B marketing strategies.
Key metrics related to conversions and sales include:
- conversion rate
- click-through rate
2. Generate Website Visits
Another popular goal for social media marketing is to increase traffic to your company’s website. Companies who choose to set this goal are focused on getting users to their site in the hopes that it will encourage them to browse around other pages, become more interested in their business, and maybe even make a conversion (such as filling out a contact form).
Key metrics related to generating website visits include:
- link clicks
- site visits
3. Build & cultivate an engaged community
Fostering an active and engaged community means you have a ready audience that is interested in keeping up with your company’s latest news and developments. This is particularly useful for B2C companies, as a loyal audience is a major asset when launching a new product, having a sale, or trying to create a positive social brand image.
Key metrics related to community engagement include:
- engagement rate
- amplification rate
- applause rate
4. Build brand awareness
Brand awareness is the extent to which people are familiar with your company. Set this goal if your main focus is to have social users know you exist and understand what your company does.
Key metrics related to brand awareness include:
- brand mentions and tags
- ad recall lift (for Facebook social ads)
Once you have figured out your goal and the key metrics that go along with it, be sure to add them to your social media audit to see where your company currently stands.
Lastly, consistently monitor and analyze how your ads are performing (given your key metrics) to ensure you are on track to meet your goals.
Now get out there are start making social media work for your business!
Develop Your Social Media Marketing Strategy with MARION
MARION’s social media marketing agency in Houston has experience with small, medium, and enterprise level businesses. If you’re looking to develop a cohesive strategy for your company, contact us for more help today!