Selecting the right social media metrics is an important part of a social networking plan because proper metrics will give you a better return on the energy you put into networking. Good metrics also enable you to use social media to grow your business.
This article will give you a framework to develop metrics that go past growing a network; it will focus on measuring your community engagement. Engagement is what really matters, because it creates relationships with people who might become your customers or recommend your business to others. Social communities have become a great place to build relationships.
Social Media Metrics That Count
Many people only measure Facebook “Likes”, Twitter “Favorites” or Google “1+s”. The problem with these metrics is they don’t spread awareness about your business. Instead, a focus on the following metrics will help people discover your business and retain your current customers.
- The number of positive testimonials about your products or services.
- The number of people who talk about or share a good customer experience you provided.
- The number of people who talk about or share your social media posts.
- The number of replies to questions and comments about your business within 24 or 48 hours.
- The number of people “talking about this” as reported by Facebook (see image below).
Create SMART Goals for Your Social Metrics
Now that you know the metrics that will improve your business, establish SMART goals to help you build an engaging community. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and timely. For example, five people share Facebook posts in two weeks.
- Specific – five shares of Facebook posts.
- Measurable – five shares.
- Actionable – sharing.
- Relevant – it exposes your business to other people that may not be in your network.
- Timely – two weeks.
Set up attainable goals by starting out small.
Consistently Review Your Metrics
By reviewing your metrics on a weekly basis, you’ll learn what type of content and social activities spark engagement with your community. Use past performance to help you improve your content strategy by including more of the information and tactics your community liked. These reviews will also show how you are progressing towards your goals and enable you to make any necessary adjustments to meet them.
Businesses that experience high levels of engagement usually provide content that’s valuable to their community, shares heartfelt stories and creates fun experiences. They also respond to all comments, create dialogues and keep conversations going. They don’t promote their products and services often. Instead their community usually does that for them. To help jump-start your “creative” content and engagement ideas, take a look at these businesses that are engaging well with their communities:
- Seventh Generation’s Facebook Page
- Mayo Clinic’s Facebook Page
- Jet Blue on Twitter
- Dunkin’ Donuts on Twitter
It doesn’t hurt to ask customers who have had a good experience with your business to tell others about it in your social networks. Happy customers are usually willing to share.
You’ll have a more successful social media journey if you foster engagement because business growth is so dependent on creating good relationships with people. Setting goals, developing metrics and reviewing your progress regularly will keep you focused. It’s the best way to get the most return from your social networking effort.