The Most Important Social Media Metrics (and Why You Should Care)
Social media is great for a lot of things. It's great for growing your brand recognition, creating conversation and engaging with your audience.
But then again, there are also a lot of things social media isn't great at.
I hear the same comment from different business owners and managers, "I need to get my business on [insert popular social platform]" - most of whom don't know why they need to be on that platform in the first place.
Obviously I realize that being active on social media is a requirement these days, but I'm always interested in examining to what end? What is your end goal?
If your goal is to increase brand recognition and have your business become a viral success, then yes, social media is a great avenue for that.
Sure, a ton of Likes are great at making you feel warm and fuzzy inside but are they really helping you accomplish your business goals? Maybe you need to be tracking something else...
What social media metrics do I need to track?
For those looking to make sales or generate leads using social media there are only a few metrics that really matter: click through rate, bounce rate, and social media shares.
Why these metrics?
Each of these measurements are indicators of how good of a job you're doing at getting your target audience from your social media channels to your website, where you can then convert them into a sale or a lead.
By monitoring these key indicators you can get an estimate of how much social media as a marketing tool is helping you achieve a positive ROI.
Why click through rate?
Your click through rate (CTR) measures the percentage of people that click on the content you post - the higher your CTR is, the more you know that what you're post is resonating with your audience.
By monitoring the CTR of your posts you'll know what content your audience chooses to engage with and what they ignore.
Follow these steps to check your CTR on Facebook
- On your business page click on your "Insights" tab.
- Click on the "Posts" tab to the left.
- There you'll be able to see the statistics on each of your posts.
- Calculate the CTR by dividing the number of clicks your post received by the number of impressions.
Follow these steps to check your CTR on Twitter
- Head to https://analytics.twitter.com/ to see your Twitter analytics.
- Click on the "Tweets" tab in your menu.
- There you can click on each of your tweets to see how many people clicked your link.
To improve your click through rates
- Test and apply the messaging that most resonates with your target audience
- Experiment with more and varied types of visual content
- Use popular hashtags in your niche to reach more people
- Post during the times your audience is most likely to see your content
Why do I need to track bounce rate?
Bounce rate is the percentage of people that leave your website after only viewing one page.
In a literal sense your audience is seeing your content, clicking it, and arriving on your landing page - if they leave your bounce rate increases, if they stick around and look at something else on your website your bounce rate decreases.
Why is this important, you ask?
It's an important metric to monitor because you can compare it to your other sources of traffic in terms of the ROI it's bringing your business.
If your bounce rate is lower than say, SEO traffic, that tells you that the traffic you're bringing to the site is more qualified and more interested in what you're selling. Your visitors are clicking on your post, arriving on your landing page, and sticking around to see what your business is all about.
You can take a look at your traffic sources via the "Acquisition" > "Channels" tab in your Google Analytics.
To improve your bounce rate
- Test and improve the messaging of your posts to speak more to the people in your target audience
- Experiment with different types of content to find out what resonates most with your target audience
- Improve the messaging and user experience of your landing pages to compel your target audience to explore more of your website
Though a high bounce rate isn't always a negative - you may have matched their intent or answered their query on one page - it can be an indicator of whether or not you're reaching the right audience for your business.
Why social shares?
The declining reach of business pages on these platforms has been a hot issue for a while now - from what we know, the best way to have your content shown organically to more of your audience is to increase the amount of content that's shared.
The act of sharing a piece of content is an indicator of how valuable it is to a Facebook user, it tells Facebook that, that piece of content was so valuable that you wanted to share it with your friends and family.
The same goes for Twitter. If a like is a hit, then retweets are home runs. A retweet is considered content amplification - more eyes on your content.
Aim to get as many (high-profile) retweets on Twitter as possible.
To boost social shares
- Double down on the content you've had the most success with.
- Make a considerable effort to involve your followers in your social efforts for more shares to their networks.
- Simply ask for a share if they find your content valuable! (It's so crazy it just might work)
Putting it in action
Social media presents a host of possibilities for today's marketers.
With the recent algorithm changes it's more important than ever to know exactly what you're trying to accomplish on each platform.
And if you're using social media as a tool to increase your sales or the number of leads you collect, you'll want to focus on monitoring three metrics:
- Click through rate
- Bounce rate
- Social shares
By monitoring these three metrics you'll be able to determine whether you're posting the right content, connecting with the right audience, and if you're generating positive ROI.
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