Truly Measuring Social Media Marketing Success

Followers, Fans, Likes, Views, Pins, and Connections. There are many different ways to see how many people see what you create, but is there a way to get a true sense of how well your Social Media Marketing is doing. For all the measurement metrics and stat software’s out there the only number you need to look at when determining the success of your Social Media campaigns is the same thing you look at with any campaign. It’s the only thing we judge each of our social media campaigns on... but before that number is revealed let’s look at the pros and cons of the top 3 measurement methods.

1) Number of followers and Likes – I’ll admit that it was quite the ego boost when my Facebook page passed 5000 likes and I was ecstatic when my twitter account hit 49,000, but did this really mean anything. On the pro side it, is great to have an audience and if my goal is to get a book published or start a speaking tour, than these numbers will serve me well. On the other hand I know that I am giving very valuable information, I also know that over 35% of my followers are from other agencies and or freelancers who are looking for tips. So who am I really helping? Bottom line, an audience is great and reach like any other form of media is valuable. It’s far less expensive than an ad in the news paper or TV and the people that see my message are much more loyal. I’m also building creditability which in is really hard to put a value on.

2) Engagement – Some will say that the number of followers is useless if you don’t have a high engagement score. The problem with that is that a majority of Social Media users don’t interact with brands on social media sites. They watch. If you want to increase engagement you can run a campaign to prompt a reaction but for the most part people want to see what you have to offer and don’t want to be bothered. A recent study published In Ad Age stated that a 1% engagement score is the number to shoot for when it comes to the top 100 brands on Facebook. Less than 25% where able to achieve that. So yes engagement is a great way to listen to your customers but those top 100 brands aren’t hurting, so maybe there is more to it than this.

3) Revenue – This is the method we use at Innovative Impulses and it is the most important metric in my mind. Let’s face it, companies get into social media to get new clients not to make new friends. While this may not be true for some businesses, for the clients we work with it is. We are much happier when we hear that a client has doubled revenue in a year than when we get a thousand click troughs to a web site with no one making a purchase. I would rather have 100 people who account for a million dollars in sales than 50,000 who spend $5 each.

The fact is Social Media Marketing is just a piece to the greater Marketing Pie and cannot sustain a business on its own. Marketing takes a viewer from awareness to purchase, and hopefully turns that purchaser into an evangelist for your brand. Your message is not complete if it does not account for each step of that process. So while you may be tempted to get caught up in the numbers, remember the bottom line is the only number that tells you how you’re truly doing.

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