12 Mind-Blowing Social Media Metrics Facts (Charts)

What Social Media Metrics Mean For Your Business

12 Mind-Blowing Social Media Metrics FactsTracking social media performance in achieving key business objectives is critical to proving your marketing effectiveness. Without it, your ability to get additional budget, resources and (dare I say it?) keep your job are at risk.

To understand the disconnect between social media engagement and driving business results, examine these 3 data points:

  1. 88% of businesses will use social media for marketing in 2014, based on eMarketer’s projections.  Tweet This Social media use for business is mainstream. It’s baked into companies’ business plans. Yet don’t jump to the conclusion that businesses can measure how social media contributes to achieving their goals. US Firms Using Social Media For Marketing-eMarketer-2014-1
  2. 88% believe social media is important to be competitive, according to Hootsuite’s Social Business Benchmark Survey. Translation: At a minimum, you need to be present on social media to keep up with your competitors, even if you can’t figure out what it’s doing for your bottom line.
  3. 50% of the c-suite understand social media’s power based on Useful Social Media’s The State of Social Media 2014.  Tweet This Social media metrics facts-chartSimilarly 43% say executive buy-in is a challenge in the Social Business Benchmark Survey. Rememberyou need c-suite support to get budget and resources.

12 Mind-blowing social media metrics facts (with charts)

So, what do businesses track to determine social media success?

Here are 12 mind-blowing social media metrics facts. 12 Mind-Blowing Social Media Metrics Facts

  • 34% of executives are confident they measure social media correctly according to The State of Social Media 2014.Social Media Metrics Facts

YIKES!!! This means 66% of executives doubt that they’re tracking social media right. This is consistent with the Social Business Benchmark Survey that found that 39% of respondents believe they can transform social media data into actionable insights.

Why do they believe that?

1. Assessing the easy-to-measure stuff.

This should be no surprise. Social media started as something marketers did on the side and backed into social media metrics later.

In The State of Social Media 2014, the top 3 metrics were:

  • 48.7% measure activity or engagement.
  • 47.3% measure web traffic.
  • 47.0% measure followers or likes.

social media metrics facts - chartAt best these metrics show that your social media marketing yields interaction. But, that’s not enough.

Social Media Explorer’s Jason Falls clarified this challenge best, “Fan acquisition means doing something to get the attention of users on a social network so they will opt in to your messaging. Customer acquisition is doing something to convince a person to purchase something.” 

Actionable Social Media Metrics Tips:

You can improve your ability to convert traffic into leads or sales in the following ways.

  • Include a social media call-to-action to increase response. Consider driving prospects to join your email list or other interim step in the purchase process.
  • Use tailored landing pages to drive sales related actions. Keep the branding and scent consistent so social media followers stay and take action.
  • Incorporate unique tracking codes that can be measured on your sales systems. I’ve seen many firms use fewer codes and be unable to measure the origin of the sale.

2. Tracking branding.

Even traditional media has difficulties measuring branding impact. Therefore it’s no surprise that less than 1 in 5 can do so via social media, according to The State of Social Media 2014.

  • 18.1% measure sentiment. Sentiment can be a soft metric attributable to branding.

On social media, your branding must go beyond your name and logo. It must be recognizable in an image, photo or presentation to help make an impression on your target audience without being promotional.

Actionable Social Media Metrics Tips:

3. Monitoring reputation on social media.

Based on Social Business Benchmark Survey, monitoring what’s said about your company is highly important. Specifically:

  • 81% of respondents use social media to learn about their firm’s reputation.
  • 79% of respondents use social media to monitor external communications.

A key reason to have social media monitoring is to track potential issues with your company, brand(s), and/or senior executives so you’re able to respond quickly and appropriately. If you’re lucky there should be nothing to track.

Actionable Social Media Metrics Tips:

  • Ensure your firm has a set of social media policies. Don’t just create a set of social media policies. Make sure your employees understand how to handle themselves when they’re representing your firm.
  • Have a social media crisis plan to respond to an issue. Be prepared. Make sure key people are on call when a crisis hits.

4. Measuring leads and sales.

According to The State of Social Media 2014, less than 1 in 4 marketers measure sales.

  • 23.3% measure leads.
  • 19.5% measure sales.

These metrics contribute to your firm’s bottom line. They’re the type of hard data I recommend tracking.

Yet they’re difficult to measure. In most cases, it’s not marketers’ fault. Unfortunately that’s not a good enough reason to give you more budget and resources.


Convertro_SocialMedia_report 2014-Social Media Purchase Funnel Chart-AOL

Purchase Funnel Position By Social Network – Chart via AOL

8% to 46% of the time, depending on the platform, social media is the first, last or only platform touched by the customer, based on AOL research. Social media has its greatest impact on the middle of the purchase funnel where it’s difficult to track.

Actionable Social Media Metrics Tips:

You can improve your business’s ability to generate leads and sales using social media. Here are a few suggestions

  • Create a business blog to support sales. Focus on answering your customers’ questions and showing them how to use and style your products. Link to your product pages where appropriate.
  • Use LinkedIn to build relationships with prospects. Get your employees, especially your sales team, engaged on LinkedIn on a regular basis. This works better for B2B although it can be useful for supporting your B2C business through supplier and distributor relationships. (Here are some useful LinkedIn tactics to help you.)
  • Post presentations, ebooks and PDFs on SlideShare – B2B social media gold to get qualified sales leads. At a loss for ideas? Take the Lee Odden Epic Content Curation approach to ebooks.
  • Build your Pinterest presence. B2C marketers can take this social media interaction to the bank. (Here are the Pinterest tips you need.)

50% of respondents in The State of Social Media 2014 said they could track social media ROI, up from 44% in 2013. This compliments Extole research‘s finding that 52% of marketers find it difficult to measure social media ROI. Social Media Metrics Facts-Chart

This should be no surprise. As any MBA student can tell you – without the ability track sales, you can’t calculate ROI.

5. Reducing costs and returns.

Social media can save sales and returns (a form of negative revenues).

  • 73% of respondents value the ability to resolve customer complaints and questions on social media, according to the Social Business Benchmark Survey. These factors help convert prospects into customers and keep customers from making returns.

Actionable Social Media Metrics Tips:

  • Promote your social media customer service across all of your social media presences and owned media. Let people know where to get problems resolved.
  • Count hard numbers in terms of comments, reviews and issues to ensure that they’re handled appropriately.

In total, these social media metrics facts make the case for better connecting your social media activity with your lead generation and sales processes on your website, via phone or in your retail establishments.

To this end, it’s important to ensure that your firm’s sales and costs analytics systems can capture your social media tracking codes.

What other social media metrics do you think are important and why?

BTW, here is a useful related article on:  5 Things You Can Do Get Social Media Driving Revenue.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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