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48 Ways To Measure Social Media Success

Ultimately, as Olivier Blanchard has pointed out repeatedly, social media marketing has to demonstrate an ROI (though he acknowledges the questions have to be made more specific). In the b2b world, the “R” is generally leads (website call-to-action conversions) with some monetary value applied to them.

48 Ways To Measure Social Media Success image social media measurement 300x192But it’s crucial to the social media ROI debate to recognize that “R” is an end-of-the-process measure. There are numerous in-process measures that may be impossible to tie directly to ROI, but are nonetheless critical in producing that final “R” value.

Consider automobile manufacturing as an analogy. There are an abundance of measures, from machining tolerances on shafts to the temperature in the paint room, which are vital to track during the manufacturing process. The C-level folks may not know or particularly care what these numbers are, but if those values are off, they will affect quality, which impacts rework and warranty claims, which impact manufacturing and repair costs, which impact the ROI of each vehicle.

Similarly, in social media marketing, there are numerous intermediate “process” measures that don’t fit into an ROI equation, but which are vital in optimizing social media efforts in order to minimize “I” and maximize “R.” These metrics don’t represent the goals of social media marketing in and of themselves, but are critical measures to help optimize processes to achieve the ultimate objectives.

Here are 46 intermediate metrics (and two final measures) to help marketers evaluate the success of their social media programs and optimize their associated processes. Most of these are easy and free to track.

Nine Blog Metrics

  • Overall traffic
  • Traffic quality (e.g. bounce rate, average time spent per visit)
  • Most popular posts (indicates topics with highest interest)
  • Search traffic
  • Social media/network-referred traffic
  • Other key sources of traffic (e.g., company website, newsletters, syndication sites)
  • Number of RSS subscribers (regular readers)
  • Number of email subscribers
  • Top visiting organizations (measure of targeting effectiveness)

Six Twitter Metrics

  • Total number of relevant followers (exclude the inevitable spammers and oddballs who seem to be attracted to any active Twitter account)
  • Interaction (@ mentions)
  • Retweets (reflects both level of engagement and quality of shared content)
  • Most tweeted links (i.e., which content is most popular with followers)
  • Influence (e.g., Klout and Kred scores)
  • Brand and mention tracking (e.g., from HootSuite or other social media monitoring tool)

Six LinkedIn Metrics

  • Number of company followers
  • Recommendations on products or services
  • Page views (of LinkedIn company overview)
  • Unique visitors
  • Click-throughs (on product links)
  • Followers by industry, function and company

Five Facebook Metrics

  • Number of Facebook page “Likes”
  • Friends of fans (indicates an organization’s total potential reach on Facebook)
  • Number of people talking about you (the number of unique people who have created content about the company page on Facebook in the past week)
  • Weekly total reach (the number of people who have seen one of the firm’s messages on Facebook in past week)
  • Most popular posts

Ten YouTube Metrics

  • Number of subscribers to the company channel
  • Total number of video views
  • Change in views and subscribers over last 30 days
  • Engagement measures:
    • Likes / dislikes
    • Comments
    • Shares
    • Favorites added or removed
  • Top videos, last 30 days
  • Playback locations (e.g., regular YouTube page, company channel, mobile device, etc.)
  • Top traffic sources

Two Google+ Metrics

  • Number of people / organizations in company circles
  • Number of people / organizations that have company in their circles
  • Note: Google has indicated that it plans to introduce more advanced analytics for Google+ soon

Ten Company Website and Cross-Social-Network Metrics

  • Total social media-generated visits to the company website
  • Lift in direct visits (an imprecise but correlated measure)
  • Lift in branded search visits (another imprecise but correlated measure)
  • Major social network visits by source
  • Traffic quality by source
  • Most-viewed pages by social media visitors
  • Top visiting organizations (all social media sources)
  • Top visiting organizations (by major social network)
  • Lead conversions (all social media sources)
  • Lead conversions (by major social network)

If you’ve utilized the first 46 metrics to continually monitor and adjust your social media activities, the final two—the real return on investment for b2b marketers—should validate and quantify the value of all your hard work.

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