Measure Your Social Networking Success

These top analytics tactics keep your social media campaigns on track

Most businesses in the United States have at least one social media account but it’s more likely that your business has two, or four or more. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest – they’re free, so why not?

Actually, they’re not free. They take up valuable time and resources which is fine if you’re getting something in return. Trouble is 52% of marketers say they don’t have an accurate way of measuring social media ROI, so many don’t even try.

The problem stems from the fact that we can’t agree on what social media success is. More than 1,000 followers on Twitter? 10 comments on a Facebook page? 50 repins on Pinterest? Forget it. What you need to track is growth and there are three ways to do that:

Use Branded Social Media Measurement Tools

There are dozens of tools on the internet that will supply you with graphs and charts illustrating your social media activity. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all have their own free analytic tools. Social media dashboard HootSuite also offers free stats reports with additional reports if you sign up for the Pro version. If you need something with more detail, there are numerous paid programs including SproutSocial and Trackur.

Once you have the numbers in front of you, you’ll still need to decide which ones are important and what levels equal success. Start with reasonable goals and don’t try to raise every number at once.

Create Your Own Spreadsheet

The simplest way to monitor social media growth is with a spreadsheet. Make a tab for each account. Label each column with a measurable variable (Twitter followers, Facebook Likes, YouTube subscribers) then fill in the blanks based on the information provided by each network.

If you’re handy with formulas, add columns that automatically calculate the percentage of gain or loss for each variable. Fill the chart in weekly and after a month, you’ll have a good picture of what’s working and what’s not.

Two tips. First, make sure that you’re using only weekly numbers from each social network’s stats area. Second, don’t put too much stock into the weekly ups and downs. What you’re looking for is a pattern over time. You might lose ground on a holiday weekend but that doesn’t mean your efforts were for naught. Gauge your performances by the averages not the individual numbers.

Check Your Bottom Line

It’s easy to get caught up in the fast pace of social media. You log on to Facebook to post a promotion for your business and three hours later you’re still surfing, liking and commenting on other pages in the hope they’ll do the same for you.

But don’t forget that the point of social media is to gain new business. That might mean more diners at your restaurant, more clients for your agency or more sales for your online store. That may sound like a no- brainer but you’d be surprised by how often that concept gets lost in the process.

If you’re updating more than two social media accounts on a daily basis and you’re not seeing an increase in your company’s bottom line, what you’re doing isn’t working. It’s that simple.

Social media is simply another form of marketing. If you never got a single click-through on a banner ad, would you keep running it? No. You’d try something new. The same applies to Twitter, Facebook and the rest. Concentrate your efforts on the two accounts that are the most active then hone your skills until you see a financial result.

How Do Your Accounts Measure Up?

Statistical tools and spreadsheets are excellent ways of gauging the success of individual social media campaigns. If you get a 10% rise in followers when you post a video, then post more videos. If an increase in daily Tweets has people clicking on the Unfollow button, then cut your number in half next week. Marketing and social media are about connecting with your specific audience and getting your message to reach them.


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