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If you’re not skilled in certain subjects like business, economics and math, two words might cross your mind when trying to decipher the methods used to measure the success of a social media campaign: “Holy crap!”
Core objectives, metrics, conversions, leads, retention, CBA, ROI, value formulas – many marketers using social media simply do not understand how to compile, analyze and read statistics in this manner. What’s worse is that the people around the net who attempt to explain these issues via articles sometimes forget that everyone is not familiar with these concepts.
Let’s do something very unconventional here and explain how an average social media marketer can measure their campaign’s success without having to be Jonah Hill from Moneyball.
1: Always Establish Baselines
This stands as #1 because it’s the first thing you want to do, especially if you’re not that adept at deciphering the analytics. They will eventually make sense to you, believe it or not, but before you can understand any level of success, you have to understand where you’re at right now. So, you’re looking for:
- Your current number of sales
- Your current number of fans/followers
- The current reach of your brand
- The total number of comments, hits, Likes, shares, etc
- Where your traffic is coming from
- The conversion rate of visitors to customers
- And other simple baseline stats based on where you’re at prior to instituting a campaign
The idea here is to simply create a baseline so that any success will register. Of course, understanding if new success is due to your campaign is another story. You will have to extrapolate that information specifically. For right now, get your baseline reads in order.
2: Monitor the Destination
Most of your advertising is going to share one thing in common, especially paid advertising. And that’s the fact that you’re driving traffic to a specific location. With ads, you’re enticing people to take an action, and you’re hoping they click-through to the destination. How can you tell if your advertising efforts have been successful in this regard? You monitor the destination.
If, for instance, you have a series of Facebook ads out that are attempting to drive people to your main website’s sales page, you want to track the incoming traffic to that page. You can Google Analytics, to track that traffic from its source. From there, you can see how effective your ads actually are at their intended purpose.
If you want to drive traffic to your Facebook page, this can also be monitored with the right tools.
3: Create Your Own Metrics
If those Xs and Ys and other symbols are Greek to you, then you can always create your own metrics to measure social media benefits. How does this work? It’s simple in concept. You want to define your own goals and subsequently create different metrics for deducing whether or not those goals are being achieved. A good example here would be, say, setting a goal of attracting 300 new leads/sign-ups with a specific ad. (Pick your own number.) Once this goal is created, you can create different metrics in order to track the effectiveness along the way.
But often the goal with being active in social media is not conversions (at least not as the first step). Your goals could be based on increased number of fans, comments, re-tweets, site traffic from social channels etc. Measuring your success means tracking your success, so that if you’re not having success as quickly as you projected, you can start to tweak things and supplement promotion to achieve that goal.
4: Find the Right Assist with Apps
There is a wide assortment of programs out there that help you monitor your statistics. And, the best part, they help you analyze and draw conclusions from the data by simplifying the data, offering suggestions, and only showing you how B was extrapolated from A, not the math it took to get there.
For ads you’re using on Facebook, a program like Qwaya does this for you. Google has many tools to help with analytics, as well as a slew of other tools and apps on the market that are specific to your website, to Twitter, to Facebook, etc.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to be a statistician to understand whether or not your social media campaign is experiencing success as a direct result of your actions. You just have to understand where you are, understand where you’re going, and track the journey.