Social media can be a harsh terrain to navigate. Whether for businesses or freelancers, the social media landscape is often fraught with uncertainty and only one unfortunate constant…change. The best way to understand where to start or where to go next is through consistent measurement. No, the number of “likes” or favorites is not useful, nor are they any indication that you’re “doing” social right.
In an attempt to shed some light on the subject and steer individuals and businesses back on a path toward meaningful social media marketing, here’s a list of 5 social media metrics that are actually worth measuring.
- Resolution Rate
It’s a pretty well-known rule that if you have an idea on the Internet, there’s at least one person who will criticize it. Businesses on social media know this feeling all too well, as miscommunication among staff and outright faux pas have received intense backlash from followers. Anticipating these types of interactions and developing processes to resolve them quickly is a great step toward a more successful social media presence. Enter Resolution Rate: the ratio of inquiries that were resolved to all other inquiries. This social media metric allows you to ensure you’ve got a grip on the two-way street that is social media interaction.
- Social Authority, Klout, etc.
These social media metrics are a little more specialized, but they can be really useful when it comes to comparing you against your competitors. Understanding aggregate metrics (those that take many factors and boil them down into a single number) is a great way to understand areas in which you can improve. These metrics can also offer a glance at whether a particular user is influential when it comes to content sharing.
- Follower Loss Rate
As you market via social channels, it’s easy to lose track of whether the content you’re creating is relevant to the social media users to whom you’re connected. Measuring your net gain (or loss) of social media followers across different platforms can give you some context around which channels are most effective. This metric is also great for testing purposes. If a post with a hyperlink pointing to a vlog causes users to unfollow or block your Facebook page, you can test variations with a featured image or the video embedded into the post itself.
- Advocacy Rate
A great indicator of whether your message is captivating your social audience is when users begin sharing your content on their own. In other words, they’re acting as your social media advocates. Measuring the rate at which you acquire advocates can be a little tricky, but some simple brand monitoring can get you started. How often is your social media content “picked up” by an external source? How often is it shared by other social media users after you post it? Understanding when this occurs allows you to hone in on promotion tactics or times of day that have the greatest impact.
- Assisted Conversions
While a presence on social should never be strictly about sales, that doesn’t mean that your actions on social media aren’t contributing to the process a user takes toward being your next customer. It’s worth noting that this social media metric will require some knowledge of a platform such as Google Analytics. Basically, an assisted conversion occurs when a user interacts with any marketing channel prior to converting. This is a very important metric, because users almost never convert after the first touch point. Once everything is setup appropriately in your analytics platform, understanding how your social channels affect conversions is a few clicks away.
As you market yourself or your business, it’s important to understand that developing goals around the “low hanging fruit” of social media just isn’t worth it. A social media metric that doesn’t contribute in any way to your approach or offer insight into whether or not you’re achieving your goals simply isn’t worth measuring.