Measuring Social Media Success

The focus on social media efforts by companies is starting to get, well, ridiculous. I’m not saying that it isn’t needed or isn’t worth it. However, it is not enough anymore to just say you have social media outlets and not utilizing, or more importantly, measuring social media success. It is the equivalent of paying for a gym membership and never going to exercise. You have to put in the time and work to make it successful. And just like the goal you set at the gym, there needs to be benchmarks set measuring social media success the channels deliver. But not all social channels are easy to quantify.

As we talked about in our 2016 Essential Marketing Guide to Growing Your Business, the conversation is taking place about your company, whether you like it or not, through social media channels everyday. You need to be a part of it but it requires careful thought and a plan on how each channel can work for your company to grow and connect with your customers. Part of that planning is understanding what success looks like through those channels.

Don’t Get Caught Up in Likes

Measuring social media success is not simply about followers or retreats or likes. While these are important, they are merely psychological features social media networks have introduced to our world to make us feel rewarded by seeing activity and success. However, measuring social media success is more than these surface metrics. Measuring social media success requires consideration into how your core business goals and objectives can be aided through these channels. Yes, we all want to be liked, but in business, we all want to be successful, and here are some ways you can define social media success for your business:

Customer Service Requests

Customer service is one of the top reasons customers connect with brands on social media channels.  Tracking the number of engagements, what the most common feedback or requests coming through are and how they are resolved is a great way in measuring social media success for your company.   Always respond with a sense of urgency to any inquiry is a great tip to guaranteeing fast response times.  You can check out some more tips about how to find success in handling social media customer service opportunities for your business in our 2016 Essential Marketing Guide to Growing Your Business.

Content is King, Distribution is Queen

If you’ve heard it once, you heard it a hundred times, “Content is King.”  While that may be so, I’ve learned long ago that every great man has a woman with him who made him that way.  If content is King, then distribution is Queen and she wears the pants.  It is no longer enough to just put content out there and hope that people see it.  Choosing effective distribution channels that provide REAL engagement, not just likes, is what is needed in measuring social media success.  Content should be put out to spawn engagement and distributed in a way that inspires meaningful discussion, conversation and responses.  Distribute content in a manner that not only ignites a connection, but that pulls at the reasons behind people like your brand.  Some social channels that you think are “needed” might be the ones that deliver you the least amount of responses from the people you want to hear from the most.

Social Selling is an Art

A big part of measuring social media success  today though is social selling. Social media is a powerful tool but it isn’t meant to be a tool to push offers and try to sell something. Social selling is about developing and building relationships that eventually lead down the purchase funnel to a sale. Social media channels are tools to nurture relationships, not force feed continuous offers to your followers.  Keep track of the number of engagements you have with influencers and how they are advocates for your brand.  In addition, see how your share of voice ranks among the your competitors.  One of the best blogs we found to that talks about creating a Share of Voice report is by Jay Baer from Convince and Convert.  Check it out as measuring your company’s sales successes is just as key as how you stack up against your competition.

24-Hour Market Research for Free

The best attribute of any social media channel is that it is a dialogue.  You can not only put content out for people to consume, but you can listen to what they have to say.  Social media can be your own personal market research center asking questions to your most passionate following.  Ask for feedback and, more importantly, ask follow up questions that get to heart of their relationships with your brand.  Don’t be shy and don’t be bashful to ask thoughts about products, advertising campaigns, even how your company is viewed in the community.  You have the ability to hear from the people that matter most to inspire real and meaningful change in your company to move it forward.

Social media is a powerful tool that businesses can use to establish and grow a meaningful relationship with customers. However, just having a Facebook page or Twitter account isn’t enough.  It takes a well thought out communication plan and, most importantly, a clear way to continue measuring social media success above and beyond the “like” button.  Understanding the various ways measuring social media success can be achieved is a vital step in seeing how this form of customer engagement can have a positive impact to a company’s brand and overall business objectives.

About the Author

Jeff-Ryznar-898MarketingJeff Ryznar is a marketing professional with over 15 years of strategic marketing experience and planning for some of the largest brands.  He is currently the owner of 898 Marketing, specializing in custom marketing strategies and business solutions for small and medium sized business in the midwest.