Developing a strategy in social networks is the priority of many brands, but are you correctly evaluating the results of your efforts? Understand which metrics are really important for your strategy.
Everything in marketing can be measured and accompanied, in detail or “at a distance”, which opens many possibilities, but also the opportunity for any marketing professional – even the most experienced – to be confused.
Paying attention to the wrong metrics is as dangerous as not accompanying any indicator. To get rid of this danger, the selection work must be careful from the beginning of planning.
Social networks currently represent a giant market for businesses of all types. But they also proved to be among the most difficult strategies to measure results.
Do not know what are the really important metrics to discover if your company is on the right track? Then, discover them now!
The role of metrics: transform data into strategic actions
The fact that many companies do not master the use of metrics demonstrates the lack of knowledge about the real role of these indicators within a digital marketing strategy.
They hardly serve to give satisfaction to the decision-maker. Quite the contrary, they serve to transform data into strategic actions.
In other words, we can say that metrics serve to discover where you are wrong and transform errors into successes.
Know what is the process that must happen in order for the objective to be fulfilled:
The first step is data collection, which occurs through automated tools. It is here that you will decide which metrics you want to follow closely.
There are many options, then, how to choose well? Make your selection according to the objectives established in your strategy. After deciding the metrics you will observe, you will have to configure them in the tools you choose.
You can use Google Analytics, but there are also specific tools for social networks. It is also worth observing the data shown by each social network individually.
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Formation of standards
After gathering the data for a reasonable period, it’s time to interpret what that information says about your performance.
From here, the understanding of your situation begins, and it is possible to determine if the efforts made so far are generating results or not.
It is crucial to make a complete analysis at this stage so as not to let any problems go by and to avoid understanding the data in the wrong way, which would lead you to also wrong solutions.
Generation of ideas
With the understanding of what you need to improve and what is working well, it is time to think about ideas to address each situation.
To do so, it is worth doing online research, because it is almost certain that one or more companies have already gone through the same problem and found ways to go through it.
Also, put together your marketing team and consider together how they could optimize what already works, in order to extract even more of the tools they have available.
Implementation of strategies
After considering and deciding what strategies you will adopt, it is time to move to action. Implement the changes and start a new cycle of accompaniment.
As we mentioned earlier, you need to give it enough time for the new action to prove effective or not. It is necessary to have patience, one or two days may not be enough for a hack to be fully tested.
Also, considering that you made a plan before starting to publish on social networks, it is better to make specific changes and test them than to make radical changes in case some part of the strategy does not work.
Monitoring of results
Finally, the cycle is repeated with a new analysis of results, similar to the one we have just seen. This process never ends, since in digital marketing things are constantly changing and there is always something that can be optimized.
Based on the new data found, you will know if it is worthwhile to keep planning for longer or if you have to make more adjustments.
Social metrics and business metrics
There is a difference between social metrics and business metrics. It is possible, for example, for one group of metrics to score poor results, while another group presents good numbers.
For example, you may have a considerable audience and a satisfactory commitment, but few sales or leads generated from your social profiles.
The inverse scenario would be a medium or even a small audience, but that generates a good number of leads and clients for the company.
In this dispute, business metrics always expire, because of the goal to Social networks in your company are just generating business from them.
This does not mean that social metrics are disposable, they just should not be used as main indicators, but they perfectly serve to equip your process of action and decision. Was that clear?
Let us return to the profile example with a large number of followers and high commitment, but few leads and sales.
It would be a big mistake to believe that everything is fine, just because the page is popular. However, the fact that it can attract and engage many people is positive. It means that your content only needs small adjustments to convert better.
Do you see how the number of followers and social commitment, although poor as primary metrics, helped in the process of understanding the problem?
Business metrics, in turn, are always more relevant. Although the number of followers is low or little participatory, the most important thing is always to convert.
Main social metrics
As we have seen, social metrics can be what we call “vanity metrics”, in case they are not placed in the correct context, just a complement of information.
Observe the main social metrics that we mentioned, now in more detail, and understand how to use them correctly:
The scope refers to how many people your brand has the potential to reach with each publication. This is determined mainly by your number of fans and followers.
The bigger your audience, the better. But that number is not the most important thing. Therefore, do not even think about using it as the main metric.
It is good to follow the scope to know if you redirect enough traffic to your site. Thus, it is easier to generate the business results you want.
The commitment is related to how much your followers and fans interact with your publications and mention your brand in their own publications.
I like, share, comments, mentions and use of your hashtags are all good indications of commitment. But, it’s no use having all this and not turning anyone into a lead or client.
The commitment will be very important to generate purchase intention in your fans, but that is not measured with likes and comments. Then, consider commitment as something relevant, but not as your ultimate goal.
Main business metrics
We know that business metrics are very important, so it is with them that you must spend most of your time, dedicating yourself to the analysis of results.
We separate the most relevant ones so that you can make informed decisions that positively affect all aspects of your business:
ROI (return on investment)
The ROI is the basic account that you must accompany in any marketing and sales investment.
In the case of social networks, this account is a bit more complicated, because there are intangible benefits, which are more difficult to measure.
However, even so, it is possible to know if your strategy is profitable and generates good results or if it hurts you.
The conversion rate shows how many people took important actions for your business process. These actions may include:
- Download a rich material (e-book, toolkit, etc.);
- Enroll in a waiting list;
- Subscribe for a free trial of your product;
- Request a quote/analysis from a consultant;
- Buy a product;
- Among others.
Knowing how many of these actions happen from your social profiles shows the strength of your influence to generate profits through your community of followers.
This metric, by itself, informs much more than the scope and social commitment together, since there is no greater commitment than being willing to pay for something you sell.
Do you remember that we talked about some intangible benefits, but, still, very important? Brand awareness is one of them.
This indicator presents the way people see the brand, and what perception of the value they have of it. Why should it be included among the business metrics, and not in the social metrics?
Because strong brands can charge more, and sell much more over time. Therefore, having a strong brand awareness means earning much more money and staying relevant in the market for long.
Using metrics, especially in a social media strategy, is not easy. There are many pieces of information to analyze and transform into practical actions. Therefore, concentrate on business metrics and use social indicators only as a compliment. The right approach will help you achieve better results.