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How to Measure Social Media Success

June 17, 2021

If you’re like most marketing people or small business owners, you’ve heard the saying “you can’t manage what you can’t measure,” but for many executives, the tools and metrics used to measure digital and social media success are often obscure. If you are having trouble justifying the money and time you spend marketing online, or you simply want to know that your marketing dollars are well spent, here are some key social media metrics you can track.

Defining “Social Media”

It’s important that before you even begin to track metrics for your social media marketing, you have a clear definition of your social media platforms and properties. The “big five” social media sites often used by advertisers today include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube

The reason social media is so critical for businesses today is a matter of critical mass: there are more than 1.5 billion active users on Facebook, and the average user spends about 50 minutes on there each day. There are also about 65 million active Twitter users in the U.S., and a growing number of users (and promotional opportunities) on social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram. Advertisers should also take note: YouTube has over 1 billion users—about 1 in 3 people on the Internet—and reaches the demographic groups of 18-30 and 31-49 better than any cable network today.

What to Measure

As you dive into a social media strategy, here are a few things you should be measuring:

  • Engagement – there are many ways to measure engagement on social media, and the most important measures will depend on your goals. You can measure broad exposure through things like impressions and views, or more targeted reach through things like clicks, conversions, website visits, or even sales from a specific campaign online.
  • Audience Information – one of the most valuable things that social media offers is an in-depth look at your audience. Customers will often grant permission for you to access information that is far more detailed than you would get from surveys, census data, or questionnaires. This allows you to take the aggregate data and identify smaller audience clusters for hyper-targeted advertising that will allow you to engage with high-performing audience members in an efficient and cost-effective way.
  • Correlations – whether positive or negative, correlation data can help you understand when certain activities are linked, and hopefully discover why. Track information such as posting times, colors or photos used, post length, linked content, and more to discover when and how your audience likes to engage.
  • Trends – it’s not necessarily a metric you can predict, but pay attention to industry trends and other things trending on social media so you can create posts that are relevant and timely for maximum engagement. There are tools that allow you to monitor and track things related to your industry, brand, and competition to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Competitor Information – another key component and benefit of social media is the ability to see what your competitors are doing. While you’re tracking audience metrics, make sure you check out not just what your competitors are doing, but also what and where they are not, as this can present a good opportunity for your company.

All these metrics can help you identify how to get more out of your budget for marketing and advertising online, optimizing the money you spend for maximum impact with the right audience. To find out more about social media strategies and what you need to know about tracking its success, call an online marketing company in Salt Lake City.

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