How do you Measure Success on Social Media?

I’m thankful when my clients ask this question. So often businesses and non-profits jump onto Facebook and Twitter without clear goals let alone a strategy to measure them. “Everyone’s doing social so we should do it too” isn’t a good enough answer. Hubspot’s research reinforces the idea that B2B marketers are increasing their inbound marketing budgets with a shift toward social media. This trend is not surprising, but without a clear idea of where they’re headed and why they’re going there, these folks could be wasting money.

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If you are one of these organizations you need to know why you’re entering the social spaces and what you hope to attain. There isn’t a one size fits all answer to this question, but here are some options:

  • Lead generation
  • Sales
  • Increased web traffic
  • Additional exposure (reach) of your brand

What else? Why are you engaging with customers or clients in social spaces and how can you tell if you’re accomplishing your goals?

Before you can monitor the success of anything you have to measure it.  So measure where you are now against where you want to be. If you want additional web traffic and click-throughs to your site, measure your traffic now and design your strategy around driving people to your site. Remember those calls to action on your content! Again, Hubspot’s research shows that social media has tremendous power to increase website traffic.  After some time, measure again. Did you accomplish your goal? Yes = success.

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If you want to generate leads, measure how many leads you have coming into your organization now with your current marketing methods. Design your strategy around generating leads through social methods. Perhaps use an email campaign to gather email addresses, or work on publishing compelling content on your blog and ask people to enter an email to download the content. The folks at Hubspot are geniuses at this – how do you think I got these charts? Anyway, how many leads does your content generate? Does it meet your goals? Yes = success.

If your goal is increased exposure of your brand, measure your reach now through web traffic and the reach of any additional marketing campaigns. How many people are you reaching? Publish content that builds followers. Measure retweets, followers, Facebook fans and comments. Study your Facebook insights and your site analytics carefully. How many more people are you reaching? Increased reach = success.

So how do you measure your success? I’d love your feedback and I promise I’ll respond. Right now though, I need to read the email Hubspot just send me. 🙂

2 thoughts on “How do you Measure Success on Social Media?

  1. Hi Sue, hope my comment isn’t too lonh, but here is how I measure success for my company:

    • Reduction in support calls and emails from baseline
    • Number of blogs relevant to our industry that posted something about our brand (good or bad)
    • Number of influential Tweeters that tweeted something about us
    those influential blogs and Tweeters have to be identified in your Strategy before you execute the campaign
    • Number of repeat visits to our main site or micro-site
    • Stick-Rate: Increase in average session length or page views
    • Number of new comments on our blogs / posts / support forums
    • Number of comments on other blogs / posts / forums made by our team that elicited a positive response from others
    • Increase in Google PageRank against baseline
    • Subscribers: RSS and newsletter subscriptions.
    • Linking: How many people on different social sites are posting, voting, and linking to our site.
    • Comments: Average comments generated per post.
    • Pickup: How many times across how many social news sites your linkbait, for instance, gets picked up, talked about, and voted to prominent placement, such as the front pages of social news sites.
    • Bookmarks: How many people are coming through social bookmark engines like Delicious.
    • Link Popularity: How many sites/publishers you are attracting with your content who write about you and link to you in their posts (the best kind of link you can get).
    • Social News Tracking: How many visits you get from social news as well as how well individual pieces of content do on each site.

    Let me know if you have anything to add to that.

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