In the age of the social media, the age of information, the age of the Internet, not being online is the equivalent to not existing. Virtually everyone uses some social media platform. Social media is simple to use and understand, and it is fun as well, making it enticing for a plethora of users from around the world.
And it is not just individual people – more and more businesses started noticing the benefits and the opportunities for effective marketing and trading by using social media. Companies are able to reach millions of customers and prospects of all ages and places which otherwise would not be accessible.
It does not matter which social media you use: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitch, etc. In a world where everything and everyone is online, it is vital for every business to make the most out of all the unique opportunities which the world of the Internet has to offer. Graham Kelly, one of the chairmen from the leading assignment writing service on the market, shared his experience about the importance of social media for the success of their company, saying that the first couple of positive mentions of their company on social media paved their way towards instant success.
Depending on your audience, i.e. your customers and clients, some of these platforms will prove more useful than others. So, what’s the difference between effective marketing on the social media and a waste of time and resources? What are the core parameters that’ll help your company become a brand on the social media? How should you decide whether a certain platform is working for your company or not?
Stay with us and find out which social media metrics are essential for the success of your Internet marketing campaign.
First things first – the number of followers your social media channels/fan pages/profiles have does not make your company more or less successful.
Some people claim that the number of followers is completely irrelevant, since not all followers are active members of a brand’s community and the number of followers does not reflect their engagement with the brand per se. They perceive it as a vanity battle between companies leading to no avail on the long run.
And although there is a point to that claim, the truth is a bit more complex. One of the fastest ways to ensure growth of your company is to build a strong community (especially online) for your brand. And there is not a better way to build a community than to use social media.
That is where the number of followers comes into play. Although not all followers on your social media channels will be active and contributing members of the community, the fact of the matter is that extending the brand’s network and increasing its reach play crucial role in the marketing success online, especially if your brand’s online activity is spanned over a few social media platforms.
The best way to monitor and analyze the number of followers a brand gains over time is through the rate of the channel’s growth. When you monitor and analyze the growth of your brand’s profiles on more than one platform, you can effectively detect which social media fit the needs of your brand’s community, being your loyal customers and future prospects as well, best and allocate your marketing resources accordingly, or even cut the use of some channel altogether. What is more, you can use the popularity of your more prominent channels on some platforms in order to promote and boost the popularity of your less popular channels which exhibit promising signs of growth.
The most important point to take is that although monitoring the number of followers on social media might not directly reflect the success of your company’s marketing campaign, it is the most reliable method to monitor the popularity of your company, its reach on the Internet and the way your brand’s community expands. What is more, the number of followers on social media might be used as a reliable indicator of other trends concerning your business, such as the fundamental features of your typical customer and, consequently, your target audience, geographical allocation of your most loyal customers, their needs, wants and expectations, etc.
Although it might sound elusive at first, sentiment as a specific parameter or social media metric to monitor and analyze is not that complex. It is simple, really – sentiment shows how people talk about your brand online or, rather, in which context is your brand mentioned online. It is the emotions, feelings, attitudes and opinions which surround your brand on social media.
This parameter encompasses not only the simple emotions and opinions people convey in their reviews on your own website or popular reviewing platforms, but also the social sentiment of your brand’s mentions on social media, including people’s tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram tags and posts related to your brand, etc. In other words, your brand’s name being used with positive tone might boost the company’s reputations, while negative mentions might negatively affect your community, your reputation and your sales.
The big question is “How does analyzing the social sentiment affect my company and why is it important?” It turns out that the social sentiment your brand generates, especially online, is vital for the analysis of other metrics, i.e. it provides context for other metrics. And there are a number of ways you could use the analysis of the social media sentiment to boost those profit margins.
- Prioritize Social Media Engagements
Simply put, by analyzing the sentiment in a social media post about your company, you could always perceive and anticipate the possible effects of the post. This will effectively help you deal with the most striking examples of negative sentiment towards your company and promote the instances of positive sentiment. Pro tip: whenever you promote an instance of positive mention, follow it up with a post using some striking graphic designs and design templates.
- Monitor Brand’s Reputation
By following and analyzing your company’s social media sentiment, you could discover possible shifts in the public’s perception of your brand. For instance, if there is more negative sentiment at some time compared to the past, you will always know that something needs to be done in order to remedy the problem. This is especially helpful when you instigate large-scale changes, such as launching new products, big-scale marketing campaigns, etc.
- Measure up to the Competition
The best thing about analyzing social sentiment is that it could be conducted for other companies as well. By analyzing the social sentiment your brand generates and comparing it to others, you could discover some previously unknown trends about the market. In other words, analyzing the sentiment might help you improve your company by comparing it to your rivals.
Mentions, as the name suggests, are public online posts which include (mention) specific terms or phrases. Based on that, every company should be interested about the mentions concerning them, since mentions, as a parameter, define how much people talk about the company, who talks about the company and in what context.
Now, the analysis of the mentions and the myriad of features they come with, such as number of mentions, time of the mentions, type of people behind the mentions, etc. might help you adjust your social media engagement and activity so that it could reach the widest audience possible.
Obviously, you should prefer being more active at times when people mention your brand the most, does maximizing the possibility of increasing your influence. Moreover, you need to analyze the type of people who mention your company the most, since it’ll help with your brand’s public perception and the way you want it to develop in the future. What is more, tracking and analyzing the mentions, especially the negative ones, will help your company deal with unsatisfied customers and even turn bad situations PR wins.
Another important aspect of mentions is tracking, analyzing and measuring not just your brand’s mentions, but your competitors’ as well. By doing so, you could always measure your company’s performance with your rivals, see if there are some significant “shifts in power” and decide whether something needs to be changed. What is more, tracking your competitors’ mentions will, without a doubt, help you and your company discover and follow the trends on the market.
By tracking mentions, you and your company are given the unique opportunity not only to follow the brand’s position on the market, but to react to it and make it better.
4. Influencers and Influence Scores
The age of the Internet and the social media gave birth to a new type of celebrities – influencers. Influencers are people who are able to influence the behavior and the opinions of the others, usually fans, and act as a form of authority in a certain field.
An interesting phenomenon about tracking and analyzing other metrics, such as followers, sentiment and mentions, is that they create byproduct parameter in the form of people whom they are influenced by. Namely, by analyzing your followers and their opinions online, you cannot but analyze their interests as well, often reflected in the influencers they follow and respect.
The perk of tracking and analyzing the most prominent influencers in your brand’s community is that you get the chance to expand your customer base with other likeminded people by cooperating with the influencers and their fanbase. And the best part about it is that the service provided by the influencers is a lot cheaper and more effective than the same service by your average everyday celebrities.
The secret is in the fact that, contrary to regular celebrities, influencers are usually normal everyday people just like any of us who have gained popularity on social media by doing something the masses find interesting. There are a number of ways in which influencers promote a product or a service – it might be an honest review of a product some company provided, using publicly some products and/or services which were given to them for free, testing the limits of certain products and services for the entertainment of the audience, etc. The possibilities are endless!
The best thing about tracking influencers is that all social media platforms have add-ons or use external websites which track users’ influence score. The influence score is a combination of a number of parameters, including the number of followers different users have, what is their reach, their most discussed topics, etc.
Needless to say, following and analyzing influencers and influencer scores might greatly benefit your company, since it might not only help you reach wider audience (and increase profit!) without investing too much resources, but it can also help you predict and project the next trends on the market.
5. Return of Investment (ROI)
The ROI is, without a doubt, the most important parameter which you need to analyze when it comes to social media metrics.
It is simple, really – your company invests resources for handling social media – human resources, person-hours, marketing development, etc. And, since every business exists to make profit, the point of the investment is to generate as big of a return as possible. That is why the return of investment is a vital social media metric to be analyzed – without a return of investment, all other metrics are pointless.
When it comes to Internet platforms which offer the so-called BTC service, being “business to customer”, the analysis of the ROI is simple – the company makes a simple calculation of how much it invests in the website and how much does it make from running it. However, when social media is involved, the analysis becomes trickier – you need to factor in many other variables, such as value of increased public exposure, brand awareness, customer satisfaction and loyalty, etc. Fear not – there are a number of desktop apps and online services on the market which will help you analyze the ROI of your social media engagement. These services even offer the business owner to track the online path of the customer – they show which social medium and link brought them to the trading point.
And if the return on the profit is the only thing that interests you, there are simple and effective solutions even if you advertise online, but sell offline – if the increase in the online traffic of your social media is reflected in the overall revenue, you could easily determine the effectiveness and return of your investment.
No matter whether you are old-school and choose to calculate ROI based on averages or you used high-tech software to track your customers individually, the bottom line is that monitoring and analyzing the ROI when it comes to social media is vital for the efficiency of your marketing plan online.
Although this article presents only the top 5 social media metrics, there are many more that a business owner could analyze and track in order to improve the performance of a company online and in real life. The most important thing is to stay focused on your company’s goals. After all, the most important thing is to stay aware of the developments on market and make sound and informed decisions based on that knowledge. Doing social media metrics analysis will help you manage and market your business properly.