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Social Media Measurements that Matter

“Doing” social media is not enough. We need to know what we want to achieve and whether we are getting there. That’s where social media measurement comes into play. Be sure your marketing strategy includes social media measurements that matter.

Know Your Social Media Marketing Goal

First, you need to know your business goal. If you’re not working towards achieving a specific outcome, you’re not marketing. You’re just using up resources of time, and often, money.

The very first step in getting business value from social media marketing is understanding exactly what you want to achieve. More website traffic? Generate leads? Brand awareness? Etc.

Measurement begins with setting a specific goal.

Pay Attention to the Data

Every social platform and most social media tools give you data. You need to take time to look at the information against your goals. Aggregating data isn’t enough. You need to analyze and extract insight from that data.

Understand Value Beyond Direct Purchases

Be sure you are setting realistic expectations from social media. Not every post will lead to a direct purchase or a phone call, and that’s okay.

Data shows that people are more positively inclined to brands that they follow on social media. You are building a relationship. That connection has long term value.

Not only are consumers more likely to buy from brands they follow, they statistically spend more too. Perceptions are enhanced when people they know interact with your content.

Measure by Listening, Too

When it comes to a social media content strategy, many brands are quick to think about what they want to tell people. Too often, they ignore what people have to say about the brand.

Listening online means paying attention to the conversations that are relevant to you, even if you did not start or directly engage in the content. There is valuable measurement in understanding sentiment and interests, even if the conversations are not on your channels.

With measurement in mind, here are more tips for effective social media marketing.

Social Media by the Numbers

A lot of anecdotal information gets passed around about social media. That can be helpful in eyeing trends, but it is best to check with an authoritative data source to know the real numbers. For me, that is Pew. Here’s their latest snapshot.

Today around seven-in-ten Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information and entertain themselves. In all, 72% of Americans use some type of social media.

The social media user base is representative of the broader population. Young adults were among the earliest social media adopters and continue to use these sites at high levels, but usage by older adults has increased in recent years.

YouTube and Facebook are the most-widely used online platforms. Smaller shares of Americans use Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Pew Data on Social Platforms

For many users, social media is part of their daily routine. Roughly three-quarters of Facebook users – and around six-in-ten Instagram users – visit these sites at least once a day. Frequency is less on other platforms.

Which Social Media Platforms Are Right for You?

Digital marketing success starts with picking the right channels to use for your marketing. Choosing the right social platform for your business and your goals takes some research to determine.

There is no right choice for all businesses. Don’t blindly model what another business is doing. Take time to assess what is really right for you.

The key is understanding your specific target audience and determining where they are  active. There are several ways to do this:

  • Visit Pew Research and check out the latest data on social media platforms and their use
  • Ask customers, members and others who represent your target audience
  • Visit various social platforms and do some searches for your brand and related content

Once you know where your audience gathers, consider your content. You may not want to commit to an image-centric platform like Pinterest if you don’t have unique images to share. YouTube may be a great option if you have a lot of video. Understand what you have to share and select the social channels that are best for that content.

While there is no right answer for all businesses, Facebook comes pretty darn close.  Facebook is the biggest social platform, with more than 2 billion active users. You likely do want to establish and maintain a presence there.