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Social Media Metrics that Matter

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 |

In today's business world, all you need is a few clicks to get the word out about your product or service. The modern-day marketer knows his way around social media and will regularly update pages and respond to customer queries. That is how marketing works these days. Most of the action happens online, where a brand constantly strives to lure its target audience in.

As a marketer, you ought to know whether your online marketing efforts are effective. Otherwise, there would be so much time, effort, and marketing budget down the drain.

Analytics can help marketers measure the success of a given campaign, and with excessive tools readily available, it is so easy to get lost in the heap that you might be tracking the wrong social media metrics for your business.

To help you better evaluate your marketing performance, we've provided a list of key social metrics that will be worth your time.

Reach: Audience Growth Rate shows your social media momentum and therefore allows you to evaluate which of your campaigns caused a spike in growth rate throughout your social media history.

Engagement: Similar to Audience Growth Rate, Average Engagement Rate shows whether your campaign is reaching the right audience. In addition to that, it allows you to check how your social media efforts are faring with your existing network.

Acquisition: Visitor Frequency Rate breaks down your visitors into two valuable groups to understand and target: new and return. Return visitor numbers signify the depth of engagement and strength of your social networks. New visitor numbers validate that your imprecise "reach" and "audience" metrics accurately interpret meaningful growth.

Conversion: Assisted Social Conversion shows the value of your efforts to build trust and influence on social media. Define specific conversion goals on your analytics tool for visitor referrals you can follow. This helps you court specific visitors and convert them into sales.

Activity: With information like Customer Service Savings, you can connect your social media activity with profits. Calculate your business' savings from social media with this equation:

Avg. Time x Costs per Hour x Customer Service Inquiries Completed = Savings

The average time to complete traditional customer service multiplied by the hourly cost of customer service gives you your business' savings. This can also be used to measure your social media manager's performance and which actions are working.

Although familiar and most obsessed-over, these metrics didn't make the top list mainly because they are least helpful:

Bounce Rate: Bounce Rates are closely monitored for business websites, but when it comes to social media, you should reconsider. Social media users have the shortest attention spans and if your annual bonus is tied to a website's bounce rate then you're going to have a problem. Remember that you are building awareness and loyalty, not selling a novella.

Click-through Rate: This is still important because you want as many clicks on links to your website as possible. However, in terms of social media metrics, there are other options you can use to better understand your socially connected customers.

Potential Reach: This might be the most enticing and misleading metric of all. You can tweet every trending topic as much as you want and still never get anywhere close to those numbers. Audience growth and engagement stats are the true drivers to further your reach and build your online presence.

Influence: Just like "potential" audience, influence scores are simple and all-too convenient. These can be used to identify influencers in your industry, amongst competitors, or within your follower base, but it is so limited that you can't really use the information to make significant decisions.

Your social media metrics should conform to your overall business goals. Evaluate these analytics based on how you're doing in pursuit of those goals, and use the information to make decisions for better positioning your brand in the marketplace.


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