How To Measure Your Social Media Marketing [Research]
Do you track your company’s social media results? If so, what do you measure and what benchmarks do you use?
Before you respond, check Hubspot’s analysis of 3 key social media benchmarks: post frequency, following size, and follower engagement.
Hubspot collected data from 7,000+ businesses. Further, they analyzed the data by industry type and number of employees (as a proxy for business size).
What Hubspot found out about 2015 Social Media Benchmarks may surprise you. Keep reading because there’s 1 key social media benchmark every business should use but may not.
2015 Social Media Benchmarks
1. Small businesses post more frequently per week on social media.
If you enlist social media support from all of your employees, not just those with social media or marketing titles, the number of social posts per week should increase as the number of employees increases. Tap into your social media employee opportunity.
Contrary to this logic the smallest businesses based on employee size post more frequently than all except the largest businesses. The reason: The smallest businesses are resource constrained so they substitute employee time on social media to compensate for a lack of financial and employee resources.
Check 2015 small business social media trends for more insights.
2. Real estate firms post more frequently on social media than other industry categories.
Real estate companies post an average of 19.21 times per week. While this may seem high, consider that they’re probably providing content on each of their listings by geographic area.
What’s surprising is that on average retailers post less than once a day. They average 6.02 posts per week. With 24/7 ecommerce and mcommerce, you’d expect that they share content on social media at least daily to drive purchases.
3. More frequent social media posting doesn’t necessarily yield more interaction
Posting more often on social networks does NOT necessarily result in greater engagement with your social media followers.
Broken out by company size, the pattern for post frequency and interactions would be the same in the chart below if more social media posting produced more interactions on social networks.
But they don’t.
Nor is there a correlation between social media post frequency and social media interactions when analyzed by industry type.
- Not-for-profits and education organizations post the least, yet yield the highest social media interactions per post.
- Real estate companies post the most and receive the least social media interactions per post.
But, when you consider the nature of these organizations, these results make sense.
- Social media participants feel strongly enough about not-for-profit and educational organizations to like, share or comment on their posts. Millennials tend to be socially conscious compared to other generations. Hence, they’re interested in not-for-profits.
- While social media participants may check real estate postings when renting or buying property, only a small proportion of them will care about any one post enough to act. Millennials tend to rent (often with roommates) or live with mom and dad.
Get the complete analysis: Social Media Marketing 2015: Where Is Your Audience?
4. Social media following size isn’t necessarily a better predictor of social media engagement than social media post frequency
There are 2 errors with using social media following size to project social media engagement.
- Social media followers may not see your social media post depending on their personal social media habits, the social media platform, and the timing of your post.
- Social media followers may not be active. They may no longer be using that social media profile or be a bot.
Social media following size correlates with social media participation for not-for-profit organizations and retail. This is attributable to the fact that these social media audiences are truly interested in the content these organizations share on social media. Also, many people follow retail brands to get discounts.
By contrast, marketing services firms have large follower bases and very little follower interaction. People follow them to get information and expert insights, not necessarily to engage with them.
Interestingly, Hubspot’s analysis found no correlation between social media interactions and social media following based on company size. This is surprising since more employees trained and empowered to engage on social media should yield greater engagement.
The ONE key social media benchmark every business should use
Bottom line based on Hubspot’s social media analysis:
- No one social media benchmark that works for every organization every time.
Then, what should you use to benchmark your social media marketing efforts?
Hint: You’ve got the information to benchmark your social media progress within your organization.
The ONE key social media benchmark every business should use is your own past social media performance.
- Measure the current period, generally a week or a month, compared with the past period and the prior year.
Bear in mind that social media performance varies based on day of the week and week of the year. Additionally, social media can vary from year-to-year based on the timing of business events and marketing campaigns.
10 Actionable Social Media Benchmark Tips:
- Know your social media audience. Include your influencers, buyers, end users and fans. Understand where they are in the purchase journey, what information they’re seeking, and where and from whom they’re seeking it.
- Determine the most effective topics for your business by social media networks. Track your social media shared content based on your firm’s keywords. Add hashtags to broaden your reach.
- Brand social media content. Your audience must recognize the content as yours when it’s not on your owned media.
- Track the number of social media posts per week. Schedule posts based on your social media audience’s habits, not your employees’ work schedule. Neil Patel has a great infographic to help your scheduling.
- Assess social media post quality (a factor not covered in the Hubspot research). Incorporate titles, images and author. Check Andy Crestodina’s post on ideal social media length.
- Maximize existing social media supporter engagement, namely employees and owned media. Promote social media sharing and interaction on internal and owned media. Encourage but don’t force all employees to participate on social media to support your presence.
- Make it easy for prospects to get to your owned media. Offer your social media audience an incentive to visit your owned media, keep landing pages visually consistent, and only ask for an email to continue the conversation. Measure your email list increase attributable to social media.
- Track internal resources used for social media. Employee time isn’t free. It’s a valuable resource, especially for small businesses. Also consider other resources such as content and customer service.
- Quantify social media’s contribution to sales, where possible. This is tough. It’s social media metrics nirvana. Social media is not often the first or last media touched during the purchase process. YouTube, Pinterest, Slideshare and blogs aid trackable revenue generation.
- Keep improving your results. Try different approaches to determine what works. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Read broadly to get input from a variety of sources.
The best way to benchmark your social media is to track your organization’s results against its past experience.
Use third party findings such as this Hubspot research to guide you regarding what to measure and what your peers are doing. But understand that ultimately you need to track your results against your prior experience.
What 2015 social media benchmarks are you using and why?
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