Measuring your social media impact

Published: 08/14/20

Your posts are getting likes and your retweets are growing – but are those metrics translating into real value for your business?

Illustration of letters R, O and I. Surrounded by graphics representing social media like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Arguably the most challenging task for marketers is providing metrics on return on investment for social media. Time spent on content development and community management, money spent on graphic design, video production and paid social advertising all add up quickly. In larger organizations, this means a social media strategist is going to be tasked with frequent reports on ROI. In smaller organizations, an owner is going to question day in and day out if the energy and financial investment is even something worth doing. Having a measurement plan in place makes pulling these reports and answering these questions a non-issue.

Differences in industries make a one-size-fits-all measurement strategy nearly impossible, but there are three building blocks that you can start with to make sure you are on the right track to measuring your social media impact.

Start with connections.

First things first – make sure you can see what impact your social media efforts are having on your web traffic. Google Analytics can show you basic information, but take this a step further: Set up the Facebook Pixel to explore what users from Facebook (and Instagram) do on your website once they click-over from the platforms or subscribe to a program like SproutSocial, which provides analytics from additional social channels. Data from these connection points can prove valuable insights, as you might find that the channel providing the smallest amount of traffic actually gives you the most qualified prospects. 

Determine your goals.

If you’re a retail brand and selling product online, your goal is straightforward: Sales. If you are a B2B brand with a longer selling cycle, your goal might be form-fills requesting information or a call-back. If you are launching a new product, your goal might be an increase in brand awareness. Narrowing in on a specific goal will prevent confusion when reporting on campaign results.

Create appropriate metrics and campaigns.

Likes, hearts, follows and retweets are NOT the metrics to report on if you want to measure awareness (or sales, for that matter). Socially, you can measure an awareness objective by reach, which will tell you the number of unique people your message reached, or by Estimated Ad Recall, which estimates how many people will remember seeing your ad within a two-day window. You also have the option to run Brand Lift studies through Facebook, which give you richer awareness data for your campaign. Reporting on traditional marketing objectives, rather than social metrics, not only prove value but also helps business decision-makers better understand the conversation.

When implemented correctly, social media strategies should provide significant return. Don’t let falling short on measurement cause you to question your strategy or effort.

We can help you develop a marketing campaign, optimized for social and centered on your brand. Get in touch to learn about how we can help your organization!