Years ago, when social media was first gaining popularity, it got a bad rap in the business community because it was difficult to measure metrics. After all, companies want to see a direct relationship between the time and money they invest and their bottom line ROI. Back then, you couldn’t. Fortunately, now you can.
Today social media metrics are so advanced that you can not only see your ROI, but spot very specific strengths and weaknesses in your campaigns. You can use this information to create deliberate strategies for accelerating your growth even more.
These are the five most important social media metrics you should keep an eye on.
Metric #1: Virality Quotient
Your virality quotient is the percent of people who create a comment, tweet, like or share based on your content. In other words, it’s a numeric representation of how viral your content is.
Think of it like a real world virus. If the virus only infects on person at a time, it probably wouldn’t grow very fast. On the other hand, if the virus infected five or ten people every time, it could very quickly become an epidemic.
The same goes on social media. The higher your virality quotient, the better. You can actually split test landing pages and fan page call to actions with the virality quotient as the primary metric you’re optimizing for. In other words, you can systematically optimize a campaign to be as viral as possible.
Metric #2: Growth Rate
What’s your month over month growth? How quickly are you gaining followers or likes?
The key isn’t your actual follower number, but your follower percentage growth. Track this number. You want your social media to be growing at a faster rate every month. Think of it like paying attention to a stock’s growth trajectory, instead of just its current profits. That’s what really matters.
Metric #3: Engaged Users
Likes and follows are really just vanity metrics. Yes, it’s great to say you have 10,000, 100,000 or even 1 million followers. Yet believe it or not, many, many of these huge pages don’t generate any income at all. Why? Because they don’t have user engagement.
Instead of paying attention to and trying to grow your likes or follows, pay attention to growing your engaged users. These are the number of people who actually like, retweet, @reply, comment or share your content. These are the people who’ll make you money.
Metric #4: Your Time Spent on Social Media
This is a softer metric, yet still a critically important one. Social media can be a great investment … but it can also be a huge time sink. Spending 30 minutes a day to post and reply to your followers is a great time. Getting sucked into Facebook or Twitter land for 3 hours is not a good idea.
If you suspect that you might be spending too much time on social media, use a browser plugin like StayFocusd to only allow social time between certain hours. For example, you can set your browser to only be able to access social media between 9:00am and 10:00am and after 8:00pm. You can do your professional social networking in the morning, then save any other social time for after work.
Metric #5: Assisted Conversions
Did you know Google Analytics can be used as a social media metrics tool? To do so, just tag your links. Google Analytics will track not just direct conversions, but assisted conversions. Let’s say someone clicks on a Facebook link that takes them to a blog post of yours. They don’t buy today; but in two weeks.
Google Analytics can let you know that Facebook played a part in that conversion. It built the trust and nurtured the relationship. More often than not, that’s how social media works. You build relationships, rather than market directly. Setting up goal tracking and multi-channel flow tracking will give you a much better idea of how social media actually results in conversions.