If you listen to what’s being said out there about measuring social media, you’re bound to hear everything from, “You must measure,” to, “It’s impossible to measure.” Personally, I find myself in between these two methodologies, thinking, “Measuring is important, but doesn’t replace intuition and gut feelings.” So where do you start measuring your social media? Here are a few key metrics to pay attention to, and some great tools for measuring your success.
If you’ve ever taken a look at the Facebook Insights for your brand page, you know there are quite a few numbers available, especially if you export the data. But there is a way to get a quick sense of how your Facebook posts are doing, by looking at the number of engaged users. This is a key metric that I look at, and have in my goals. I also like to take a look at the virality of those posts. This is the percentage of people who have created what Facebook calls stories out of the number of people who saw the post. This is a good way to see how posts have spread.
Twitter doesn’t have any built-in analytics, but there are other opportunities to look at how your content is fairing out in the world. Retweets and favorites seem like an obvious way to measure, but this, again, measures engagement, which is a key metric in social media. Recording these numbers, along with replies, is a great way to start to get a grasp on measuring.
Tools to Measure
HootSuite has some great stats, even in the free version. HootSuite uses the Ow.ly link shortener, which opens up some possibilities of measuring what happens with your tweeted content. The Ow.ly Click Summary will break down clicks by region, rank the most popular tweets, and the top referrers.
I know what you’re saying, Google Analytics measures web traffic not social traffic! And this is partially true. But Google Analytics also includes a social section in which you can measure social clicks to your website. I use this feature all the time, since part of my social strategy is pushing traffic to our university’s news site. I can see exactly how much traffic came from social sources. Now, this doesn’t mean that the university’s social presences can claim all that traffic, but it’s still informative, especially if you combine it with one of the other measuring tools I’ve discussed.
I’ve fallen in social media love, or at least that’s what I told my boss the minute after I finished watching a demo of Argyle Social. For someone who wants the highest level of organization possible when it comes to social media (which can be hard), this is the tool to make it happen. But that’s for a different blog post. One of the best parts about Argyle Social is the analytics it has built in. You can organize your content into campaigns, and also set goals for conversions. I especially love being able to see all of my stats in one place. Argyle Social is a paid solution, but I found it to be reasonably priced for my needs.