As many businesses know a good social media presence can do wonders for not only the reputation of a business but also with widespread awareness of its brand. But building up that social media presence can be tricky, especially if you do not know where to start or what your specific goals are. It may seem that social media is as easy as occasionally typing out a quick post to let your followers know you’re active, but have you ever thought of how to get those followers to begin with? Or how an un regimented posting schedule could actually lose you followers due to an ‘unprofessional’ appearance? To build up your name within social media you will need a good social media campaign, if you do not have one you can find how to make one here. Once your campaign has some basic outlines you can start working towards your goals, what you decide to achieve with your profile largely determines how your company will act online, and measuring how well you are working toward these achievements is what will build your fanbase steadily and securely.
There are two kinds of social media use that you can and should measure. When just starting out online it is a good idea to set overall long term goals that the company would like to achieve over time. Such as the level of reputation they would like to build up to, how many new followers per month or year they would like to gain and even how much interaction they would like to receive from their fan base. Measuring these kinds of goals allow a company to obtain slow but steady improvements and also allow for forward planning when it comes to content creation, job allocation and even organising online social media events.
The second kind of use to measure is the effects of running campaigns. Campaigns are usually ran over a short period of time with specifically set short term goals. They can include coupon campaigns for an increase in traffic and sales, content competitions to increase engagement and awareness and even banner or image adverts to increase awareness and website traffic. Tracking these campaigns not only shows you if they are working, but also lets you know if any changes need to be made in future for campaigns to be successful. Keeping them separate from normal social media use statistics will also show the expected jump in use due to the campaign in comparison to everyday presence of the company.
There are four common goals for any kind of social media use, and different measurements that should be taken for all of them.
Many businesses like to increase awareness of their company and brand, simply meaning that they want to get their name out there and have more of the general public be aware of who they are and what they do. This will commonly lead to curious shoppers who come to their brand to try their products or services and possibly turn into customers. If this is the kind of goal your company have set for their social media use they will need to focus on measuring the volume of people who talk about their posts, the reach of them and how much exposure their brand is getting from them. This means keeping an eye on increases in followers, usually by percentage rather than per person, seeing if the people talking about or liking your post follow you or they found it some other way and even search to see where your brand is mentioned to check if people are taking it upon themselves to mention you. It is also a good idea to keep a check on increases in followings, comments and likes whilst being sure to reply to every comment you get.
Other businesses prefer to encourage engagement with their fans, putting things in place to allow themselves to build relationships with their customers usually by adding more content that allows comments or discussion that both can get involved in. If your company decides to take on this kind of goal it is important to measure the amount of your company’s posts that are re-tweeted / shared, commented on and replied to. Make percentage comparisons from previous data on how many people are interacting with your company in these ways and how often they are doing so. On twitter, you can even create a individual hashtag for your brand and track how often it is used or incorporated in others tweets. If you would like to push your reach further than your own current followers, comment on and reply to posts that are similar to or related to your industry and try and answer any questions people may have on them, this will not only get them to engage with you but also expand your brand awareness at the same time.
Not all businesses use their social media presence to make their name on social platforms, but rather use their influence there to solely benefit their store. When done right, this usually turns social media followers into customers by utilising website links and product promotion to get them to click through to their official website. If your company decides this approach is for them, take up monitoring your use and others use of your website’s URL, clicks onto the URL’s you are able to find, and the amount of conversions that come from the clicks. Keep a note on how many people start coming to the site through social media, either weekly or monthly and track what they went there for, including what they do once on your site and how long they spent on each page. Use the data of their browsing habits to refine what kind of URL’s you put up in posts in future to save using links that no followers are interested in, therefore decreasing its effectiveness.
Advocates and fans
Another approach to social media is to attempt to gain advocates and fans. Doing this can increase brand awareness but it also builds up credibility for a business. This usually helps a company gain a reputation of being reliable and trustworthy within their industry which helps build stronger bonds with clients. If your company has decided this is the right approach for them it pays to measure or keep track of contributors to your page and people who are influenced by you. Do this by keeping a check on individuals who are regularly involved with your page and then take note on how they are contributing to it. If you feel necessary reach out to these people and see what it is that they love about your brand so much and if their influence is large enough collaborate with them for more exposure. Another way to measure this is also to check retention rates of customers, as if people are becoming fans of the company, they are more likely to continue using your company more than once.
To ensure the data you collect is useful and used to its full potential, be sure to make report on your chosen social media statistics weekly and aim to have a review with anyone involved weekly or monthly, depending on the speed at which you expect to get results and whether you’re measuring long term results or those of a campaign. At these reviews take the time to check over and make a note of any improvements that have been made as well as weaknesses, the areas that aren’t performing as you had expected them to. Take these strengths and weaknesses and make improvements to both throughout the next week or month until the next review and repeat the process again. Be sure to emphasise at a reasonable level any features or topics that seem to work well for your social media and keep them going, while either removing or improving content that isn’t performing as well. Doing this often will eventually streamline your content and approach to social media into a routine that suits your followers a lot more and adapts with them and their interests.