Jill Kurtz, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy
The two biggest myths about social media is that it is free and that you can’t really measure impact or return on investment. Both are not true. Smart marketers can make worthwhile social media investments.
Social media is not free. It takes time to develop and implement your strategy. Increasingly, you need to pay to get your content seen.
Every business is right to ask if the investment is worthwhile. The only way to know if you are getting a return on your investment for social media, is to set goals and measure success. That’s easy to understand, but deciding what to measure to get meaningful insight can be a challenge.
Metrics let you show the impact of your efforts, allocate resources, track progress and optimize for continued success.
Define the Right Measures of Success
Defining the right metrics starts with having a digital strategy. There, you define your goals. The right metrics measure progress toward your goals.
There are three general types of metrics to consider:
Business-level metrics speak to the goals of your organization. Here you show how your digital efforts are contributing to the big-picture goals of your brand. Generally, business-level metrics are data that show financial returns like profit and savings.
Examples: Market share, revenue, brand equity, brand awareness, share of voice, customer lifetime value, and brand affinity
Performance metrics, also called key performance indicators (KPIs), measure performance against the goals in your digital strategy. This data provides direct measures against the defined goal(s). These metrics generally have set time frames.
Examples: Sales, reach, engagement, engaged users, clicks, traffic, quality traffic, audience growth, leads, mentions, earned impressions, and conversions
Optimization metrics provide insights on how to improve your social media and other digital efforts. This data is collected to show what’s working and what’s not, so that you can fine-tune your online activities.
Examples: Click through rate, cost per click, conversion rate, engagement rate, engagement per post, reach per post, retention rate, and growth rate
Take Time to Assess
With measures defined, determining your ROI on social media becomes easy. Set aside time once a quarter to track your performance. Although you may be active on social media every day, it takes time to see the impact of the effort. You want to understand the trends in your data.
Listen to your data. Make changes as needed. Capitalize on what is working well.