With social media gaining popularity, every one almost instantaneously jumped in to make the maximum out of it. Very soon, the challenge of measuring the return on investment (ROI) through social media came up for which very few had the answers. Although social media marketing is one of the most inexpensive methods used, it does have some cost and it needs to be justified. Especially the higher management needs data that shows some tangible benefits of using social media. Are social media metrics hard to measure? Not anymore.
Know Your Goal to Measure Against
For anyone to know whether they have succeeded, it is important to know what their goal was. Without a goal, there is no success or failure. In social media measurement, we define some key performance indicators or KPIs that set the benchmarks against which the performance is measured. The goals can vary from company to company and from time to time. Basically what most people want to measure is a combination of impressions, engagement level, loyal customers, sales, reputation etc. Specific goals can be set for customer acquisition and retention, sales and leads generated, brand awareness and reputation management.
Social Media Metrics Tools
There are many tools to measure the success of social media efforts. You can use a combination of these tools to measure social media success beyond the number of fans and followers. To start with Facebook now offers ‘Insights’ for every Facebook fan page free of cost. They offer in-depth analysis of the posts you have made, the number of likes, comments etc, along with an analysis of your fan base like their demographics, age range, gender etc.
Google Analytics is another free tool that can help you measure the number of sales and leads generated. There is an option to create goals within the Analytics tool and get weekly and monthly reports. You can also customize reports and get them automatically created on a specified date. There is also an option to compare it with the reports of the past.
Brand Reputation and Network Health Measurement Tools
If you use a link shortening service or an update scheduling service like bit.ly or Hootsuite, they also offer some level of analytic data based on the social media posts. Tools like Klout help you detect the strength and health of your social network and also offer tips on improving it.
There are different tools for monitoring and managing your brand reputation in the market. Google Alerts and Social Mention are the two most popular web applications that can be used to monitor your brand. The moment someone mentions your brand name anywhere on the web, you get a notification. Based on that, you can analyze the sentiment involved in the post. It also helps you to respond to any customer complaints.
Today there is no dearth of social media metric tools in the market. Paid social media metrics tools like Radian6 and Sysomos have already build their reputations in the industry. Apart from these there are many more free as well as paid tools related to social media that can help you measure your social media efforts. Until a few years ago, measuring social media efforts was a big challenge. But the huge demand came a huge supply of tools and applications that has made social media metrics an easy task today.