More than Metrics: Measuring Social Media Results
One thing we discuss with our clients before beginning a marketing plan is what their goals are for marketing. We do the same thing before starting a social media marketing plan. Though the results are different from a standard marketing plan to a strictly social media marketing plan, two things are often mentioned: increase sales and increase awareness.
Once goals have been determined, we turn our heads to how we will actually track the results. How will we know if we actually meet our goals? Usually, the books at the end of the quarter are a fairly good indicator of whether or not we increased sales, but tracking awareness can often be a bit more difficult.
With regards to social media, there is often a debate over whether likes, comments, shares, etc. (all of those terms that vary from site to site that we like to lump together and call “engagement”) actually count for anything. I personally have been on both sides of that debate, but the truth is, sometimes they do count, and sometimes, they just do not.
For instance, let’s say that you are a retail store and your goal is to raise sales 10% in the 4th quarter over last year, and you increase your social media activities with this goal in mind. You do a great job at increasing awareness and engagement, which are important, but if no one buys, you have not met your goal.
So how do you do a better job of making sure that your goals and your social media marketing activities are more in line with one another?