Thanks to   of ClickZ for sharing this information about measuring social media marketing.  He recommends formulating your social media monitoring strategy that envisions awareness and exposure leading to desired action. The chart below shows how to place key measurements into their proper context to help you evaluate how each leads you closer to desired results.

progression

5 Key Categories You Can Measure

  • Awareness/Exposure
  • Share of Voice/Sentiment
  • Influence
  • Engagement
  • Popularity

1. Awareness and exposure

Building brand awareness is an important goal for social media. For new campaigns, it can take time to build awareness before you can get some traction and begin moving forward. You therefore need to be able to measure your progress in gaining awareness.  While there are no d direct ways to measure increases in brand awareness, here are some signals that can give you some idea of your brand awareness:

  • Amount of website traffic/site visits/page views
  • Number of searches for brand keyword terms
  • Video and content views
  • Number of followers
  • Number of subscribers

2. Share of voice and sentiment

Share of voice is to the number of conversations about your brand versus competitors. A monitoring program that can assist you in keeping track of all mentions of your brand and your competitors’ brands over a given time period can help you track positive, negative, and/or neutral sentiment. Assigning a weight to each of these categories lets you calculate your average sentiment. For more information, see Ron Jones’ 3 Tips for Improving Your Online Share of Voice.

3. Influence 

An influencer is an individual who is trusted and and whose opinions, thoughts, or ideas people listen to or are agree with. When a person is exposed to messaging through an influencer, they are more likely to buy or engage. This exposure is likely to lead to more visibility and engagement. Influence measures tell you to what degree you are able to motivate people to action. .  Here are some signals of influence:

  • Number of (and quality of) inbound links to your content
  • Twitter links that are retweeted or commented on
  • Facebook posts that are commented on and “liked”
  • Content that is shared/”liked” (and to what extent)

To calculate influence, look at how many influencers mentioned you and the reach of their audience. So for instance, let’s say an influencer who has 1.5 million followers’ tweets about your product or service. You can count that as an influencer impression with a reach of 1.5 million estimated impressions. If you can identify the number of followers or readership for each influencer, then you can estimate the influence from each mention.

4. Engagement

 This metric measures how social media links to audience action,  and thereby demonstrates its true value.  Engagement is the extent to which people interact with you and your content. Engagement shows that people are interested in what you are offering and are interested enough to participate. Measuring engagement is important so you can see how much and how often users participate with your content.

Some of the signs of engagement include:

  • New page “likes” (of a Facebook page and of your content)
  • Number of shares
  • Mentions (positive, negative, neutral)
  • Blog comments
  • Ratings
  • Retweets
  • Photo/video views

5. Popularity 

Online popularity is the number of people who subscribe to your content. Sometimes the quality of your following is more important than the quantity, but  if you’re looking for advertisers or sponsors, you will do better with more followers. Some of the information you can use to measure social media popularity include:

  • Number of RSS/email subscribers
  • Number of followers on Twitter
  • Number of members of a LinkedIn group
  • Number of people who “like” your Facebook page

Social Media Monitoring Tools

There are several tools to choose from to help you in your measuring efforts, including paid tools like Lithium, Radian6, and Trackur. Free tools include Social Mention, and of course Google Analytics for identifying where visitors are coming from.

Snap! principle of measuring Social Media Success:

Measuring the success of a medium that is by nature  conversational can be challenging. Identify which metrics best fit your needs and the insights you gainwill help you drive your social media strategy to success.


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