Social Media Metrics ABCs

Social media metrics must track back to your business goals in order to determine your social media marketing strategy’s effectiveness.

To help you, here are the ABCs of social media metrics.

  • A is for analytics that go beyond measuring. Analytics makes sense of the tracking information collected. A is also for actions, the specific things social media participants do as a result of your social media marketing. (Understand there are actions associated with video and audio players so, by their nature, they appear more engaging.) It’s also for amplification rate (hat tip to Avinash Kaushik ) the extended reach due to sharing by your followers and fans.
  • B is for branding, often measured via traditional methods. On social media platforms, it includes brand mentions and sentiment. Also B is for budget, the money spent on social media marketing. Lastly, B is for bounce rate, the people who don’t stay.
  • C is comments, conversations and check-ins. C is also for call-to-action that prompts participants to do something; as well as for coupons to entice shoppers with discounts. C is also for click-throughs (CTRs) where participants go from a social media platform to your website or landing page. It’s also for customer service inquiries that are less expensive to handle on social media than through your call center. Of course, don’t overlook social media costs (aka expenses).
  • D is for dashboard where you track social media metrics. D is for demand – how many people want your product. It’s also for demographics, the attributes describing your target market including sex, age and geographic location. D is also for discounts that attract prospective shoppers.
  • E is for engagement, how social media marketing communicates with prospects, customers and fans on various platforms. It’s one attribute that sets social media marketing apart from other forms of marketing. It’s also for earned media, the additional impressions that accrue due to pass-along and sharing. Lastly it’s for eyeballs. (Just kidding—I was checking whether you’re paying attention. Eyeballs are so 1998!)
  • F is for fans and followers marketers connect with on social media platforms. F is also for Facebook, the current 900 pound gorilla of social media.
  • G is for goals you need to determine before you start any marketing program, including social media, since they determine what you need to measure. G is also for Google as in Google Analytics and Google Trends as well as its latest entry into the social media arena, Google+.
  • H is for housefile, your list of prospects, customers and past shoppers. It can include physical addresses, email addresses and/or mobile phone numbers. H is also for hidden costs.
  • I is for interactions, the exchanges businesses have with prospects, customers and the public on social media networks and owned media such as blogs. I is also for impressions, the old fashioned way to measure advertising.
  • J is for jumpstart or giving your social media marketing a quick start and tracking whatever metrics you have later. Often these measures don’t tie back to your business objectives.
  • K is for KPIs (aka key performance indicators), the heart of any metrics dashboard. KPIs are determined by your business and goals. K is also for the knowledge you gain by tracking various metrics and analyzing them. It informs your marketing. On social media platforms, k is also for Klout, one of the services that assess influence.
  • L is for lifetime value (LTV). It represents the profitability of a customer over the time. It’s also for loyalty that’s measurable on social media platforms in terms of fans and reviews. L also stands for leads, a metric tracking new prospects, generally for B2B. L represents locations at the heart of LBS or location based services. L is for lurkers, the people who visit your social media executions but don’t take any action or create content. Lastly, L is for links that support your search optimization efforts and drive visitors to your website and/or landing pages.
  • M is for metrics, how we track social media and other forms of marketing. M is also for mentions, the number of times social media participants reference your brand, company name, product or senior executives. Don’t forget to track mentions of your competitors since it’s critical to follow the Godfather’s advice.
  • N is for numbers the way you track people, actions and mentions. It’s also for new customers you acquire via social media platforms.
  • O is for optimization, ensuring that your social media marketing and website convert interested prospects as efficiently as possible. O is also for offer code to track your social media marketing.
  • P is for participants, the social media users who engage with you. P is also for profiles on social media networks that give you insights into your audience. P is for photos posted on Facebook and Flickr. It’s also for posts, the content added to your blog, Tumblr and other related social media sites.  P is also for the products you sell via social media. Lastly and most importantly, P is for profits, the money left from your revenues after you’ve covered your costs.
  • Q is for quality that’s critical amidst the social media noise. It relates to a wide range of engagement and content. Q is also for QR codes, that connect users via a 2D matrix to social media. (Here’s data on QR codes.)
  • R is for reach, a metric at the heart of many forms of marketing. It’s how many people see or hear about your brand. R is also for retweets, the number of times people share your tweets with their followers. It’s also for response rate and RSS subscriptions (yes some people still depend on them!)
  • S is for sales, as in how much stuff did we sell? S is also for sentiment that needs to be analyzed to determine how do people feel about your brand and company. S is for social media ROI or the return on a firm’s social media marketing efforts. It’s difficult to measure if you don’t create the right metrics associated with your business objectives.
  • T is for time spent, an indicator of how involved your social media participants are. T is also for the number of tweets that mention your product, service or brand.
  • U is for unfollow and unsubscribe, what participants do when they feel you’re bombarding them with too much marketing information when all they really wanted was your coupons and discounts. U is also for unique visitors, the number of people who come to your social media execution.
  • V is for views, videos and visits, the basic tracking of the numbers on your social media platforms. For greater insights, do analysis and check how these data points vary over time.
  • X is for x-axis or horizontal axis on a two dimensional graph.
  • Y is for y-axis or vertical axis on a two dimensional graph.
  • Z is for zero response. While any marketing execution has a range of possible effectiveness, zero response is a sign there is likely a major issue needing attention.

When it comes to social media, it’s critical to determine the appropriate metrics associated with your business objectives while you’re planning your campaign to ensure that you can collect the relevant information.

Do you agree with these social media metrics? Are there other metrics that you’d add to this list? If so, why?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

BTW, I’ll be at eMetrics New York this week and I hope to see you there.

If you enjoyed this column, you’ll enjoy Social Media’s Dirty Little Secret and Forget Social Media ROI.

Here’s social media marketing ABCs.

Photo credit: Enokson via Flickr


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