You have now seen the light and brought your business to social media platforms. You have a well-populated Facebook fan page, a Twitter account, and a great Pinterest board. You have taken all the lessons to heart about maintaining these social networks by keeping them updated, responding to all comments and inquiries promptly, and following followers.
However, how do you know that your social media marketing strategy is actually working? How do you know what you need to change or improve? The best way to do that is to check the metrics. It is not hard, because there are many tools available for just that purpose. You still need to know what to measure, though.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media sites, so let’s start with that one. Below are five of the most important metrics you should be measuring and how you can improve them.
1. ‘People Talking About This’
Volume is one of first things you want to measure in social media, which is basically the number of retweets, pins, or likes you get. Volume indicates the level of interest in your brand—people will only take any action if they love or hate something. You can measure volume on each post on your Facebook page by using Facebook Insights, which you will find in your side navigation bar.
You will see the number of unique people talking about the post for any period, and whatever changes (up or down) occur. It only measures direct actions by people, which are likes, shares, and comments.
You will also be able to track what time and day people are talking about your post the most. If you get a lot of people interested in it (compared to other posts), you know you posted something interesting. If the number goes down, then you know that interest is waning, and you need to post something new but similar.
2. Organic Reach
Another metric you should know for your Facebook page (which you can also see in Insights, by the way) is organic reach. This does not include paid reach, which reaches people that are not yet fans of your page.
Organic reach is different from volume because it doesn’t just measure the number of direct unique “hits” on your post, but how many other people know about that initial contact through shares, replies, and clicks (for links). If you are a Facebook user, whenever a friend shares or likes a particular fan page, it shows up on your News Feed. If you click on it or interact in any way, your friends will see it in their newsfeed. As you can imagine, reach involves a bigger set of people than volume.
Reach is, basically, the number of people that can potentially see your post. However, reach alone is not a good measure of the value of your post. Volume and reach taken together, however, can tell you a story. For example, if your reach is 100, and your volume is 80, then a good number of potential viewers actually do see your post.
If you get a low volume to reach ratio, you can improve it in a number of ways. You can replace links with images or videos, post questions to stimulate a discussion, share privileged information, or focus on high-quality text-only posts, which are easier to spread than one with images.
This measures the number of people that have directly acted on the post in any way. It is typically a larger number than volume, but smaller than reach. This includes likes, shares, and comments, of course, but it also tracks clicking on an image, viewing a video, and clicking on a link. It also tracks liking a comment, clicking on the name of the person that commented, and clicking on the page name.
Most experts agree that engagement is one of the most important metrics for measuring success of a Facebook post. (highlight to tweet) You can easily find this in Insights under “Engaged Users.” It is a measurable indicator of interest, but you need to crunch the raw numbers to get the right picture.
You need to divide the number of engaged users by the reach and multiply that by 100 to get a percentage. You should then be able to compare the success of one post over another. The value of this is to discover if engagement is due to the quality of the post, or if it simply reached a lot more people.
One of the things that Facebook Insights does not measure is influence.
Social media users look to influencers to guide their behavior, and you can be an influencer with your Facebook page if you play your cards right. However, measuring influence is controversial because there is a degree of interpretation that influences the results produced by different tools such as PeerIndex and Klout. These tools give you a score based on the number and type of interactions on your post. You can also use these tools to pinpoint people that are driving traffic to your posts, so you can engage with them more fully and directly.
5. Share of Voice
This metric basically makes a comparison of the level of attention your brand gets (online conversations and content) with that of your competitors.
You may consider this as a slice of the social media pie for your market niche. You can calculate your share of voice by using a free tool such as SocialMention to find out the strength, sentiment, passion, and reach of your brand mentions, and then do the same for your competitors. This information can help you evaluate how your social media marketing strategy compares to the competition.
Measuring social media success on Facebook is not that hard. However, you need to understand what these metrics mean. Knowing their significance, and how to find them, can go a long way to improving your social media strategy, particularly in Facebook.
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