Which Social Media Metrics Will Matter in 2018

When it comes to building your social media strategy, the goal isn't just to be good at social media, but rather to be good at business because you're great at social. Being great at social means understanding how to measure the metrics that matter most. Last week, I had the pleasure of joining Jay Baer, president of Convince and Convert, on a webinar to discuss social measurement in 2018.

As marketers, it can be easy to get lost in adding up the likes and retweets, and lose sight of the true heart of your strategy: business need. Here are three planning recommendations to help you connect your social strategy to your business.

Map social to how your business talks about your business

This may seem like common sense, but do you know if your social strategy is really in line with how your business talks about your business? Different departments often discuss the same pieces of your business in different ways. From product lines to geographies, different things matter equally to all pieces of your organization.

One method in connecting your social strategy to your business is investing the time to build a social content tagging approach that will allow you to bring insights to different groups. The way you tag your content is how you’re going to report on it. If your tagging doesn’t reflect your business language, you’re only seeing half the picture.

The best way to tag your content is to think about how you’ll report on it to the broader business, and use that language. — @jimrudden

 

For example, a fitness organization might tag their content based on content pillars like nutrition or by product like outerwear. But to build a system that represents your whole business, you need to expand your tags even further. Ask your colleagues how they talk about the business at a macro level. What kind of customers are you targeting? Potential, new, loyal? Are you targeting specific regions like North America or EMEA? What about interests like hunting or fishing?

This is not an “either or” for your business. This is an “and.”

Plan for your customer to interact on social (a lot)

It’s official. Social media is the channel of choice for customers to reach out to brands. Fifty-two percent of millennials report using social as a support channel in 2016. Fifty-three percent of customers expect a social customer service response in 1 hour or less. Volume is going up, and the expectation of a quick response along with it.

Last year, to learn more about how brands are using social media for customer care, we looked at the tweets of 20 enterprise brands in our social iceberg report. We found that the majority of social content created by brands is not 1:many marketing messages, but 1:1 interactions, initiated by customers. Five percent of interactions were started by the company while 95% were responses to customers. To put things in perspective, 89% of the time brands don’t respond when they are mentioned online.

Social care is just getting started. You need to be ready for this increase in volume and develop a plan for how, and when, to respond. Who are the types of people that reach out? What volume have you had in the past? What types of questions do you answer?

Run an analysis on your 1:1 interactions and understand what you might be missing. Content tagging can be helpful here too for categorizing what’s coming in, as well what’s going out. Distinguish between a problem and a question and narrow down an issue to a specific region.

Make time for social innovation in addition to social ROI

Last but not least, the real number on the top of every marketer’s mind: budget. Striking the perfect balance between investing in proven tactics and new opportunities can keep any marketing team running smoothly for years. I recommend shaping your budget around the 70/20/10 rule. Seventy percent budget of your budget goes to proven methods, the workhorses of your marketing campaigns. Twenty percent goes toward what you believe will be your next workhorses that still need a few trail runs. Ten percent should go to the experimental. The crazy, risky ideas you know won’t amount to any ROI but want to see what happens with. This 10% is also your direct feed into the 20% section and encourages you to make room for R&D.

Keep your marketing team running smoothly by balancing proven techniques with new opportunities. — @jimrudden

 

The 70/20/10 rule helps you understand how good you are at moving tests to practicality while incubating new tactics.

7 metrics that matter in 2018

To close out the webinar, Jay Baer emphasized that social is no longer an experimental piece of your marketing campaign. Social media is a real piece of your business, with real expectations and proper measurement is required to justify budget and optimize success. Just because you can measure something doesn’t always mean you should.

Jay shared 7 metrics to remember when creating your 2018 strategy:

  • Post Volume - Each time you post to social, it improves or diminishes your relationship with your followers. There is an ideal cadence for every brand and every channel.
  • Stories Consumption - Instagram Stories has more than 300 million daily users, per Facebook stats. Understand how people are watching your stories.
  • Relevance Score - Like SEM on Google, Facebook use a 1-10 “relevancy” score to give paid posts more or less exposure. Every ad on Facebook (and Instagram) has a relevancy score, based on how well an ad is performing, positive interactions, and negative interactions.
  • Video Minutes Viewed - Total and average minutes watched are better metrics than video views, especially on Facebook where just 3 seconds counts as view. Video is growing in relevance and prevalence.
  • Response Time - Speed matters. Fifty-three percent of customers complaining in social expect a reply within 60 minutes.
  • Post-Click Conversion Rate - If social is driving people to your site or landing page, the click by itself isn’t really a success metric. What matters is what happens after the click. How many people do the thing you want them to do. ROI - The formula for calculating ROI is always return minus investment, divided by investment, expressed as a percentage.

I hope you find these recommendations helpful in planning your 2018 strategy. Make sure to watch the full webinar for a more in-depth look at the plans and metrics I’ve outlined.

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Jim is responsible for worldwide brand, product and revenue marketing at Spredfast. For more than 20 years, Jim has helped market, build and deliver software that helps people and companies work smarter.