8 social media metrics you should be monitoring

28Apr11

Guest post from David Murton

The first business or product Facebook page is a major milestone in a company’s social media marketing efforts. It looks spiffy, has a good mix of marketing info, interaction and also the ever-important sticky content. But do customers like it? More importantly, do would-be product buyers like it to the point that they are thinking of making a purchase? To answer these questions, the savvy business owner should monitor eight social media marketing metrics that no company, large or small, can do without.

1. Consumer Interaction vs. Brief Stop

The Daily Story Feedback tool is a must for the Facebook marketer. It tracks the “likes” that a page accumulates but also offers information on the amount of true interaction that goes on there. Are consumers commenting on your posts? Do they re-post them elsewhere? Social Media Examiner analysts explain that this type of metric lets the entrepreneur take the Facebook page’s pulse. It highlights the visitors whose “like” is little more than a “bumper sticker”, and it also shows where the visitors felt compelled to chime in. It is the latter consumer interaction that the business owner wants to see the most.

2. Unique vs. Repeat Visits to the Social Media Page

Are you extremely skilled at driving curious consumers to your site? It is a great asset to be able to do so consistently. Then again, where the real conversion from onlooker to customer takes place is the repeat visitor who wants to learn more about the company, the product or service and who also looks for general updates. A fly-by visitor proves that the business did a good job advertising its brand. According to Radian 6, a consumer who makes repeated visits has begun to accept the business as an industry leader. The prospective buyer is interested in the business’ view of the widget- (or service-) specific marketplace. Since wireless internet providers make it possible to access social media whenever desired, this metric is powerful and useful to have.

3. Subscriptions

The entrepreneur, who wisely capitalizes on the power of the Internet in general and social media marketing in particular, already knows that getting an email address is a great accomplishment. A customer who is willing to receive periodic product and company updates can be marketed to effectively, frequently and seasonally. In this instance, the business establishes the connection. Marketing via social media, on the other hand, demands that the consumer takes the first step. Pro Blogger warns that one of the most crucial metrics for the business is the number of subscribers it can garner during a blitz but also over the long haul.

4. Sentiment of Posts

Forrester’s Nate Elliott explains that the quality of consumer interaction is a critical metric that the entrepreneur cannot afford to overlook. Do customers come to the product page to vent their frustrations? Do they sing the praises of the product but take the company to task for slow service? Are the sentiments generally positive? Are there complaints about the posts as being too generic, wrong or otherwise deficient? Tweak the quality of product offerings, service and also posts accordingly. Be especially mindful of criticism that involves the interaction between consumers and business representatives who are posting to the page. If potential customers feel that the entrepreneur simply threw up a page but then does not follow through, they are unlikely to come back and may discourage others in the process.

5. Number of Pages Viewed

You already know that every page should be treated as though it was the ultimate, stand-alone landing page of any business. In the social media marketing arena, this means creating avenues of inter-connectivity on a photo page, comments page, discussion area, main page and of course the area reserved for the call to action. Are you succeeding in this arena? Utilizer would have you know that carefully monitoring this aspect of this metric makes it possible to gauge the overall effectiveness of the business site’s message — as well as the ability to captivate the consumer’s interest on each page. For example, if a would-be client clicks through from the Facebook wall to the discussion area and then leaves, it is clear this page needs a second look. Conversely, if the client clicks on the various links to the pages on the site, the metric proves that the business does a good job at whetting the appetite for more information.

6. Quantity of Actions Taken

Keep a close eye on the number of interactions, in addition to comment posts, that the social media participant engages in. For example, if your Facebook product page includes a video download, a poll, several applications and also downloadable coupons, it is easy to draw conclusions about the interest in these individual apps. Master New Media experts highlight that website, blog and social media marketing page owners should adjust their advertising information and page interactivity with this metric in mind. These actions are of course designed to keep the customer on the site longer, which in turn gives the business the opportunity to market to the visitor for a prolonged period of time. It also makes it possible to generate excitement and interest in a brand, product or site. Do not just create a page and then let it linger, whether the various applications are of interest or not.

7. Re-posts, Re-tweets

Social Times analysts refer to this metric as “loyalty”. It tracks whether consumers, visitors and even friends of friends are becoming loyal to the brand or business. Measuring the number of times that a tweet is re-tweeted, a blog entry is shared, a video upload gets accessed and that an article is “Stumbled On” or “Dugg”, factors heavily into the success of creating a connection between social media participant and the company.

8. Click-through Rate

At the end of the day, the entrepreneur must know how many social media site visitors also become visitors to the business’ website. Marketing Charts analyzers term this metric the “click-through” rate, which actually speaks volumes about the interest a page generates in a product or service. If the Facebook visitor wants to learn more about the business or the brand, the click-through to the website is a solid step toward a buying decision. Do not forget to frequently measure this information and base a lot of the social media campaign changes on these facts!



15 Responses to “8 social media metrics you should be monitoring”

  1. Those are eight great tips! Readers will certainly appreciate that you’ve elaborated on them in a way that can be easily understood. Thanks for the mention!

    All the best,
    Trish (@Dayngr)
    Community Manager | Radian6

  2. Great advice. All 8 of these tips are things that anyone involved in social media marketing should be watching.

    Cheers,
    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

  3. Great post – now if only there was one tool that captured all of these analytics and metrics without us having to bounce around multiple tools.

  4. It’s no brainer to see that social media is here to stay for good. Given vast variety of the existing channels to choose and stick with, it’s time for such a hot space to enter into a new category. There is a need for a portal to provide a quick and intelligent decision for both the consumer and the enterprise about their online connections.

    A Platform to Help us to Distinguish Our Quality vs. Quantity Friends, Fans, Followers, and Companies

    Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Flickr and others have been doing a decent job of providing additional marketing exposure and even in some cases, additional revenue. However, as more and more social networking sites pop up, how do you manage your brand across all these channels? Maybe more importantly, which one of these sites should you select as the one that will help you best reach your target audience? The proliferation of the social media avenues is becoming overwhelming.

    This glut of information reminds me of the early 90’s when WWW was adopted broadly by the general public. Every company rushed to have a presence, to the point it became literally impossible to find the right information on the Web. That’s when a better generation of search engines – at first the Yahoo! and then Google – entered the market and helped us find the most relevant information by just typing simple keywords in their search box. If you had asked before Google launched, if there was a need for another search engine – most would have said no, we already have those….

    Then came Web 1.0 & 2.0 – Youtube, Flickr, myspace, Facebook, Twitter and countless others have turned everyday people into content producers, influencers and experts. We basically tripled down on the information overload How do you know which channels to select for deploying your social media strategy? How do you know which one is the right channel to let your fans and followers to find you, your products, and services? Most importantly, who is Joe Smith that is recommending that person, that company, that product?

    I hope my awesomize.me can accomplish such a mission. The site is not another social networking platform. Yet the portal to all your existing social media channels. The platform helps you, your fans, your potential clients to make an intelligent decision as to which company to connect to or follow via which social media channels and why? It’s free!

    Elias
    CEO & Founder
    http://awesomize.me

  5. Great post! Social media has grown to be extremely important. While it usually doesn’t make or break a sale, social media has the power to grow a buzz for your company in places you never imagined having access to!

    Adrian Martin
    Director of Operations
    http://comfitlearningblog.weebly.com

  6. Great post, David.

    Once of the metrics we track closely are influencers (within the channel) and centers of influence. (people or sites). This can be achieved with some free monitoring tools and most paid tools that I have used.

    Tracking influence by channel (Twitter, YouTube, Blogs, et al) can help identify potential engagement targets and help marketers understand if their message is relevant by “movers and shakers.”

    Most consumer-focused companies (and B2B) are still growing their networks. By engaging with key influences like @garyvee or @chrisbrogan (for lack of better examples) you can have the potential to reach hundreds of thousands or millions through one entry point, vs. sending/posting content to your existing base of contacts/readers/followers. This also facilitates creating new ecosystems via second-order influence (your friends’ friends). All of this is fairly easy to track with monitoring tools.

    Thanks for your post and I appreciate any comments you may have.

    Chris Kovac
    @chriskovac

  7. 7 phil

    How do we propose to measure all of these efficiently? (per James above)…

  8. At out marketing agency we use our own metrics tool (www.fbreach.com) to check out what the social reach metrics of our websites url on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc are. It gives a simple overview and raw data, and enough to check if a website is trending.


  1. 1 Popular on Twitter: Kickstarter’s growing, Instapaper free is fading and journalism is the most useless college degree » Nieman Journalism Lab » Pushing to the Future of Journalism
  2. 2 links for 2011-04-28 « Brain Music – Gadgets, Neuroscience & More
  3. 3 Social Media Affiliate Network » 8 social media metrics you should be monitoring « Technobabble 2.0
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