If you meet any social media marketing manager, they’ll tell you, one of the most important facets of their job is to be able to analyze data and make quick decisions. I have to say, analytic reports have become my friend over the last several years. Having the capability to take an in-depth look at the results of any campaign allows me to make informed decisions on whether we need to make slight adjustments. Key marketing metrics drive everything that my team does, and ultimately those metrics need to be reported all the way up the ladder.
In this blog, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at the metrics I report on, what I consider when compiling the data, and a few tips for driving results that your c-suite cares about.
I know a lot of us like to think followers isn’t all it’s hyped up to be, but at the end of the day, the number of followers you have is important in the game of perception. As humans, we look to others for social proof. If everyone is following a brand, they must be worth following, right?
Followers = Perception of Influence
What to consider:
Everyone likes to see a graph chart that leans up and to the right. Be sure to tell your metrics story visually.
Determine how many of your current followers are within your target audience criteria. If a large percentage of your audience is within your targeted personas, be sure to let your c-suite know that the social channels are one of their preferred channels of communication. This will keep social top of mind as a communication platform worth investing in.
Are there industry influencers interacting and following your brand? If influencers are following you, consider ways to collaborate and/or tap into their social following to increase your brand recognition. Sometimes who is following you can be as important as how many are following you. Be sure to keep a current list of “who’s who” that’s following you.
Are you seeing an increase in new followers within your targeted personas? If yes, that can help inform your social strategy moving forward. Double down on the content that is resonating. If you aren’t, perhaps it’s time to pivot and re-evaluate how you can create more engaging content.
- Follow industry influencers, customers, and partners. Not only does that give them an opportunity to follow you back by way of a follow prompt, it allows you to keep a finger on the pulse of conversations happening in your industry.
- Share consistently across your platforms. Posting new content frequently keeps you top of mind.
- Share content that is fun and informative. Offering content that educates helps you become known as an authority on the subject.
- Participate in live chats around your industry. This gives you a chance to provide your unique point of view and gain exposure to new audiences.
As social marketers, we should always be monitoring social media engagement. How frequently your followers are liking, sharing, retweeting, and commenting on your social posts is a leading indicator that people are finding your content valuable enough to engage with and/or share with their social following. And while content sharing on social channels is amazing, you’ll also want to track if people are clicking through to view and interact with your content.
In addition, social channels are transitioning from traffic to engagement channels for a lot of brands. According to Sprout social, 35% of people prefer social media to any other channel for customer support. Social offers a unique platform to interact with customers in real time.
What to consider:
Platform algorithms prioritize engagement. The more engagement your posts have, the higher organic reach you’ll have. If your ultimate goal is to drive new leads and conversions, the more reach you have, the better.
Potential customers use social media to interact with brands. Trends show that social media users are increasingly looking for more personal, 1 on 1 connections. Actively monitor conversations so you can answer questions about your products, provide offers to encourage users to pull the trigger, or just happily engage in conversations on industry best practices to increase brand exposure.
When done right, engagement helps companies build relationships with current customers. At the end of the day, loyal brand advocates will be one of the most valuable assets to any social media team. Keep your customer advocacy team in the loop. Top engaged community members may make great candidates for case studies, engagement, and rewards programs. When reporting to your c-suite, those referrals can show how social is informing several programs within the marketing department.
Share of Voice and Sentiment Analysis
One of the metrics I keep close tabs on is how many mentions we’re getting in the social landscape. That’s great, but what I really need to know is know how our brand is performing against our top competitors. An easy way to calculate that: Your Brand Traffic / Total Market Traffic = Share of Voice
Something to keep in mind, one brand may have more mentions, but a lower positive net sentiment. My goal is to always maintain a positive net sentiment of (+10%) with a high level of social mentions. Monitoring both mentions and sentiment over time can provide valuable information for crisis communications, support, and campaign intelligence.
What to consider:
Triggers can be set up to notify you of any negative sentiment terms used with your brand. That way you can respond as quickly as possible to avoid escalation.
Get your c-suite active on social media. Consider building out a content sharing plan to encourage their sharing of branded content. Something I’ve had great success with is gamifying social engagement with a leaderboard. Each week I present a social snapshot of who had the most mentions related to the brand on social media. It’s been a fantastic way to encourage social engagement and increases the number of positive social mentions associated with the brand.
Engage and collaborate on content with influencers as much as possible. Their audience reach can really make a difference in your share of voice.
Keep SEO in mind when drafting content, especially blogs. People tend to share blog titles across social channels, which can hit your negative sentiment if the blog titles have negative terms like “don’t, problem, challenge.”
In order to map out, track, and score leads that come in through your social channels, as well as, revenue that’s driven as a result of your campaigns, you’ll need to invest in a marketing automation platform. Utilize tracking parameters in every URL posted to ensure you can measure the leads generated from social marketing campaigns.
What to consider:
It’s important to measure which campaigns have the highest lead conversion rate, but you also want to consider how many of those conversions became quality leads that drove to pipeline. At the end of the day, you’re going to want to continue investing in the channels that provide the biggest ROI.
Consider where in the buyer’s journey your audience is. Top of funnel channels may be great for garnering awareness and brand trust, but may not be your best bet to invest in paid campaigns. Be sure to measure a ratio of pipeline to spend to get a clear understanding of how content is driving results on each of your social channels.
Different content drives different responses. Your social strategy will need to include several types of content to stay relevant and prompt engagement.
Calculating pipeline will differ depending on how your team measures and allocates pipeline throughout the various marketing programs within your organization. At Marketo, we utilize two allocation methods. First-Touch Pipeline (FT Pipeline) which allocates the entire opportunity to the program that sourced the primary contact for a deal. Within our social team, we tend to pay more attention to Multi-Touch Pipeline (MT Pipeline). This approach allocates the pipeline and revenue across all the marketing programs that successfully influenced any person attached to an opportunity.
What to consider:
As a rule of thumb, we like to see a ratio of multi-touch pipeline to investment greater than 10X.
Not every social channel will be great for new lead generation. Rather, some channels may be better utilized for deepening and nurturing existing relationships.
Some leads take time to convert. Think about social media efforts as a long haul approach, especially if you measure MT pipeline.
When it comes to metrics, it’s easy to drown in data and questions. Don’t give up! Start by digesting the key marketing metrics that your c-suite cares about and go from there.
Are there any metrics that your c-suite is obsessed with? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.