Just like any other marketing strategy, social media has its own set of metrics to monitor.
Before starting any metric monitoring, set a regular time to do analysis, whether it is weekly, monthly or quarterly. Also, analyzing yearly performances is a great indicator of overall business growth and success that helps you set goals for the upcoming year.
Due to this, ensure that you have reasonable and achievable goals set for individual metrics. Each area is unique and has its own set of parameters, and what may work for one metric may not necessarily for another.
In this blog, we're going to use Facebook and Twitter as examples for social media, though these methods are fantastic for other social media channels.
Friends and Followers
This is an easy metric, but incredibly valuable. Just looking at the number of friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter doesn't provide the full picture, but a snapshot.
Essentially, look beyond that single number.
For Twitter, look at the ratio of followers against who you are following. Are you following more people than are following you?
Say, for example, you have 1,000 followers but are following 2,000. You're more of a vehicle to spread their Tweets than yours.
Ideally, shoot for a 1:10 ratio on Twitter. For every person you follow, have 10 that are following you.
This ratio is also applicable for Facebook. Look at the friend requests and likes in comparison to whom you're friends with.
What is engagement, really? What does it mean for social media?
Engagement is the foundation for all types of social media, but can be a little tricky to measure and quantify.
Interaction is engagement.
For Facebook, how many "likes," "comments" and forwards do you have for each post? Which posts or what types of posts garner the most interest? What about the least?
Is there an immediate response to anything you post?
For Twitter, the same metrics apply.
Watch for drops in interaction. As it is common with social media, interaction ebbs and flows. If there is a drastic drop, look what you changed in the last period. Again, the same idea applies for any increases.
This is also a great metric to determine who your biggest fans and supporters are.
Use what you learn to thank and reward your followers.
On the heels of the engagement metric for social media is determining the value and relevancy of your content.
Clearly from your engagement numbers, you'll easily see what content is lauded and what isn't. Great content is shared, ReTweeted, commented on and liked.
From this, however, good content is relative. Your content may be controversial, intriguing, humorous or relevant.
Your own internal content standards will be the basis of judging this area.
The bottom line, is with this metric if your content is shared or commented on (even negatively) this is a great sign.
If there is no movement whatsoever on your Tweets or posts, there is clearly something wrong.
Content and interaction is the basis of any success with social media.
Friend and Follower Growth
Simply, this percentage is a fabulous marker of your return on investment with social media.
In other types of rates of customer growth, a steady increase is always favorable.
But with the nature of the beast (social media), growth can be astronomical one testing period and steady in another.
To determine your friend or follower growth, try this simple formula: New Followers – Unsubscribers / Total Follower size.
So, you have 250 new followers and 2 unsubscribes, and your entire list is 1,000, so your growth rate is 25%.
Check your growth rate patterns after a product launch or something sensational you posted.
This metric follows how fast you respond to a post or a direct message.
Determine an average and set a goal: say you want to have a response time of fewer than 30 minutes, then see if your response time average meets that goal. Always take into account whether you have an autoresponder system tied to your social media sites.
Really, the faster your response time, the better. Social media is all about the here, the now and the instant. But do take into consideration that if you have an influx of posts or direct messages it may take some more time, so do set a top line goal.
What other metrics do you feel should be monitored closely? What other social media sites do you use for your business? Let us know in the comments.