5 steps to measure your social media effectiveness

By Sophie Madgewick
27th April 2022

All too often, brands can let social media strategies ‘run’ without taking the time to step back and evaluate whether they’re really contributing to their overall marketing and business objectives.

So, now that we’re coming to the end of the month, schedule a block of time in your calendar and run through my following 5 tips to measuring how effective your social media strategy really is:

1. Define your objectives

Before you do anything else, you need to have clearly defined objectives. What is your brand hoping to get out of being active on social media?

For some, it may just be brand awareness or building a loyal online community, others may want to increase click-throughs to their site. It’s only once the objectives have been defined that you can begin to consider which metrics are important to your business.

Although every brand wants to make social media a hugely profitable channel, it’s important to consider the bigger picture.

Consider how organic social can work together with other marketing channels to deliver tangible results.

For example, organic and paid social should work together to increase brand awareness, community growth, website traffic, and therefore sales.

This is when you can start to delve deeper into success metrics but remember there are so many potential ways of measuring value.

2. What channels are you active on?

You do not need to be active on ALL social media channels.

To try is not only a mountain of a task, but it’s also pointless to use social media channels that your target audience isn’t active on.

Finding out which channels your target demographic do use is a good starting place to flesh out a strategy, and an easy way to gauge if your existing one is working or not.

Being active on a channel just for the sake of it is a waste of time, energy, and resources.

TikTok is a great example of this: many brands are jumping on this shiny new platform without stopping to think about whether it’s right for the brand – if your audience doesn’t use TikTok, then no matter how brilliant your campaign or the rest of your strategy is, it won’t be successful.

3. Engagement is king

A great indicator to see if your brand is active on the right channels is by looking at its engagement (likes, comments, shares, and saves).

Since the rise of TikTok, video content has become almost unavoidable on any platform, so video views are also a great indication of how well your content is performing.

Analysing engagement on a monthly basis is important if you want to understand what content followers do and don’t like. Often the platforms’ own analytics offer more than enough data to get a good indication of campaign and strategy performance if you don’t want to splash out on extra social reporting tools.

With Facebook specifically, you can delve even further into the engagement metric as there are different “reactions” the audience can use, both positive and negative, when they interact with the content currently being pushed out.

One of the most important metrics to consider is the “engagement rate”, and although social reporting tools can calculate it for you, the simple formula for it is:

4. Community growth

Although follower counts are considered by many to be a bit of a vanity metric, it can still be a good indication of how effective your social strategy is – especially if you start losing a considerable number of followers, so it’s important to keep an eye on those figures using a social reporting tool.

You should also bear in mind that the four top reasons consumers will unfollow a brand on social media are poor customer service, irrelevant content, too many ads and poor quality of product/service.

If an objective is growing a social following, then giveaways are one of the easiest and most effective methods of quickly increasing follower counts.

However, running them too regularly can have a negative impact on overall engagement rates as many of those new followers were only to try and win the giveaway, and so may not engage with any of your other content.

Follower growth is a great metric to include in monthly reports when you can consider it alongside the content that was published that month – you may be able to see a direct link between that month’s content and strategy vs. an increase or decrease in followers.

5. Website referrals

Studies show that 90% of people will buy from the brands that they follow on social media, so ensuring that you are set up to track the traffic coming from your social media is absolutely vital.

Creating a Google Analytics account for your brand is key, as you can measure the success of all different marketing channels on top of organic social, such as PPC, paid social, digital PR, etc.

Within Google Analytics you can analyse the traffic to your website referred from social organic sources. The platform provides breakdowns to understand which sources drive the most users but more importantly highlights the quality of those users, from metrics such as conversion rate (if you need some help ensuring GA is working effectively for you, feel free to contact us for some advice).

You can then use this information to influence your social strategy. For instance, if Instagram is delivering most of your revenue, it only makes sense to prioritise this channel and work on creating a bespoke content strategy.

To track specific posts, be sure to add UTM parameters to your links by using the Google Analytics campaign URL Builder. You can add campaign names to each link which can then be attributed back to a specific post.

Demographic data (found under Audience in GA) can also provide useful insights into age, gender, and location. This can be useful when it comes to understanding who your audience are and what content they might like to see from your brand.

Finally, if you’re struggling to assess whether your current social media strategy is providing the gains you need to achieve your wider marketing or business goals, get in touch for a free audit and we’ll identify the opportunities for you to improve performance.

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