Determining whether or not the time and money you spend on social media is justified will often come down to three things – how many new followers you have gained, how many likes any given post has and how many shares or comments you’ve racked up. While these are all useful metrics and certainly data that should be tracked, there are a number of other things that you should also measure. Read on to find out which other audience insights you should pay attention to.
1.Comment to follower ratio
While you can easily see comments on any given post, do you know what percentage of your audience is engaged enough to communicate with you via social media? Rather than check how many comments a post has in isolation, it can be useful to know what the ratio versus your overall number of page likes is. To calculate this, look at how many comments you have on a post in comparison with the total number of social media followers you have on that platform. This is the comment to follower ratio.
As you invest more in social media marketing, grow your follower count and focus your activity more on what your data tells you, you will want to see the ratio growing. The usefulness of this insight is that it tells you exactly what percentage of your audience is investing in your social media presence. A consistently small percentage could indicate that much of your audience either isn’t seeing your posts or, isn’t interested in the content. This would warrant further investigation followed by the appropriate remedial action.
2. Optimal posting times
It goes without saying that you want to schedule your updates for the optimal engagement. That only comes through knowing your audience and their routines. The optimal post time will vary from industry to industry and, even within your own community, you’ll have different personas that are active on social media at different times of the day.
You can use this guide to the best times to post on social media, segmented by platform, to get you started but, it’s also an audience insight you should be measuring independently using a process of trial and error - vary your testing times and keep a record of audience engagement to work out your own brand sweet spot. This will help you to understand how your own particular audience operates and when the best time to post is to generate maximum impact.
3. Click through rate
It’s nice to see posts clocking up likes but, how many of those post appreciations translate into actual website traffic? Use Google Analytics to measure how many of your social media fans are actually clicking through to your site to read more when you share a new blog post for example, or publish an offer. As a business, social media must deliver a measureable ROI for it to be justifiable so, looking at how much traffic it generates is a useful insight to have.
In addition to click through rate, you could also look at bounce rate ie how much of that social media audience clicking through stuck around and how much left without exploring other pages on site? This insight can then be used in a number of different ways. If the bounce rate is high from social click throughs, you could implement measures to draw readers to other parts of the site, such as including product links or a revised menu structure.
If bounce rate is low, you could look at the Traffic and User Flow reports to see what pathways social media fans are taking through your site once there.
4. Leads generated
The number of leads generated is a standard marketing metric, used to measure how effective any given activity is. However, it’s infrequently used with social media – adding this insight into your social media intelligence arsenal can both justify your social activity and make the case for additional investment. On the flip side, it can also show you if your social media presence is failing to hit the mark and flag up budget that isn’t pulling its weight.
It’s easiest to measure the number of leads generated from your social media audience with paid social advertising, as the ad platform will make it easy to track conversions. For non advertising activity, you could measure actions such as sign-ups, contact form completions and purchases by having a UTM code appended to links posted on social media. UTM codes can be tracked via Google Analytics and will record data such as source and campaign name. This code means you can trace conversions back to their origin.
Do you stick to measuring likes and comments or do you use other audience insights to shape your social media strategy? Share your most useful metrics with us in the comments.