Jaimi Koechel, Henry & Horne
It is important to measure your social media marketing efforts when fulfilling your plan for the year. When you have these analytics, you can determine if something needs to be adjusted within your strategy. You do not want to continue to spend time on social media tactics that are not working, so it is best to invest in tools to help you track performance. If spending money on additional software or tools is not in your budget, then a spreadsheet in Excel can work just fine.
Before you can jump into measuring how well your social media efforts are doing, you need to determine what it is you are measuring. What are your goals for each social media platform you are using? What are you trying to accomplish with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.? Once you answer these questions, you can easily figure out how you can measure the accompanying goal.
At Henry & Horne, we keep all measurements in an Excel spreadsheet and have a sheet for each social media tool we are using in addition to an overall spreadsheet. Each month, the marketing department meets to discuss analytics and determine what is working and what is not working. The following are items you can measure on social media. I hope that these can help you determine if you have met your strategic goals.
Social Network Reach
Keep track of your followers to determine if they increase or decrease each month and year. Our spreadsheet shows that our firm grew our social media followers by 10 percent last fiscal year. If you find you are losing followers, you should see if this is a result of a trend on social media.
Postings by Topic
We started our plan with a social media content calendar, and within the calendar, we categorized our posts and measured the content based on the category where it falls. Categories can include company news, niche blog posts, community service, firm newsletters, and industry trends. By tracking the posts by topic, it can show you what is relevant to your followers. If a topic continues to perform poorly, you might want to remove that category from your calendar. A social media calendar is not concrete and can be changed as needed. It is simply a guideline to keep you on track with your goals.
You can determine how much engagement you have with your followers by tracking how many comments, re-tweets, mentions, likes, and shares you have for each platform. For example, we noticed last fiscal year that we had the most engagement during the month of July. Using the analytics we tracked, we can review what content was so popular and plan additional tactics around it.
Facebook allows you to measure the total reach your posts received, so you can understand how many people saw your post. You can determine if boosting your post that month was worth the investment based on the number of people your post reached. That way, you can see the difference between a boosted post and an organic post.
Highest Engaged Users
With Facebook, we measure the top three posts each month to determine if there is a trend. This also helps us see where our boosted posts fall versus our organic posts. For example, we determined that a video with an organic post reaches more people than a boosted post. For the month of April, we received the highest reach with our organic post of our tax party day off video and had high engagement with a post on a firm community service event. We also have determined that our firm e-newsletter is usually one of our top three posts each month.
If you are placing any ads on social media, you will definitely want to understand how they are performing. If they did not do so well, you might not want to spend money on that particular ad again. You also can try to determine what did work so you can try it with the next campaign. Was your ad supposed to drive traffic to your website or a landing page? If so, did it work? Your analytics will tell you this. With online advertisements, you can easily track how well they performed and determine your return on investment.
Finally, these metrics can help not only drive your social media strategy and your content calendar, but they also can help you figure out which social networks to focus on. If you are not getting a lot of engagement after modifying your approach, it could mean that is not the correct platform to reach your target audience. However, you will never know if you are not measuring!