Back to School Series: Math
Put those graphing calculators away and let those protractors stay hidden in your desk drawer. We're keeping it simple with our math lesson today. Metrics are a principle of social media analysis. They guide social goals and provide social benchmarks. Here are 5 suggestions for digging a little deeper into your metrics so you can multiply your social successes.
I. Evaluating Social Opt-in Audience
Fan count isn't everything, but it's simple math, the more Fans and Followers you gain the more opportunities you have to reach your target audience. When consumers follow you on social channels, they are "opting-in" to receive digital updates about your brand. It is important to know where your audience is choosing to connect with you across your social channels to understand engagement and volume of social conversations (both of which we'll touch on in a second). If you're unclear on the network numbers, the numbers can't help leverage your content. Have your community managers and team leads keep an active pulse on social followers to build social goals and widen your audience.
II. Calculating Social Impressions
Consider social impressions a ripple effect that begins with your content. Let's look at a Spredfast Facebook post as an example.
We shared news that the FAA has loosened regulations regarding in-flight electronic devices. This helps our audience stay social and reach their brand content more quickly even when they're traveling. For every Facebook fan that 'likes,' comments on, or shares that post, it will ripple through their social network, reaching their friends who may also find the content interesting. Social impressions are not only made up of your immediate opt-in audience but also the audience your core group reaches through their Likes, Retweets, and Pins. By posting consistently compelling content, networks are more likely to surface that content into users news feeds more regularly.
III. Measuring Engagement Through Interactions
We've already walked through evaluating your audience and establishing how your audience can interact with your content. Growing a large network and publishing regularly allows social brands to heighten visibility and awareness across social channels, but now it's time to add those moments of engagement up. Knowing that your message has been seen by thousands, if not millions, of unique users is valuable information for your brand. It reinforces brand affinity and helps build digital endorsements. Some questions to ask your social team:
- What is our highest performing content?
- What is the percentage of organic versus viral views?
- How much of our audience is engaging with us?
IV. Defining and Tracking Social Conversions
Social activity can be measured from broad, lightweight interactions to fewer, more meaningful interactions and can be thought of as a funnel. Building an audience and increasing social impressions is the first step, but once your community is present, what meaningful experiences are you providing? Are you linking to more in-depth information about the brand? Providing calls-to-action to drive users to donate or purchase? Brands can track this activity through incorporating link tagging (bit.ly, for example) into their social media management tools.
V. Using Metrics to Formulate Future Decisions
Social media isn't one-dimensional and metrics, while important, are only one part of your brand's social experience. Use metrics to help identify trends, to optimize content, and understand how social activity is contributing to other parts of the business. A saavy community manager will be able to take the raw data provided by metrics and use them to create a larger portrait of your brand's social successes.
See? Simple as 2+2=4. Hope this little lesson in crunching numbers was helpful and we'll see you on Tuesday for the next installment in our Back to School series. Want to see what we've already covered? Check here. Looking to jump ahead? We suggest downloading The Social Business Textbook. Class adjourned!