Almost all businesses, big or small, have a social media account. A robust social media presence can help achieve many business goals, from building brand awareness to boosting conversion rates. Brands often spend thousands on creating an effective content strategy for these platforms. However, unless you know the value of your social media performance, you cannot determine if your efforts are working.
This blog shares eight indispensable metrics you should track to assess how valuable your social profiles are. We discuss these metrics, how you can calculate them, and how to improve them – so read on!
ROI (return on investment) is a crucial metric that businesses track to analyze if their social media efforts were successful. It measures your social actions and spend to evaluate the return you received from those efforts.
Naturally, your social media brings value to your business if you receive a higher return than you invested. As long as your ROI is more than 0, your business gains profit. However, if you lose money, the ROI is negative — meaning you have spent more money than earned. Measuring ROI is crucial as it prevents you from losing hard-earned cash on inadequate marketing and encourages you to make efficient investments.
Calculate ROI with this formula:
[(Value achieved — investment made) / investment made] x 100
- Common investments in social media marketing include the cost of special tools, advertisements, and marketing agencies. Add the cost of all of these.
- Subsequently, define a business goal you want to achieve from your social media. It could be anything from business conversions to brand awareness.
- Now, track the metrics that align with these goals. For instance, calculate likes, shares, or user-generated content if your objective was to build awareness. Else, calculate your newsletter sign-ups or sales if your objective was conversions.
- Use the above formula to calculate your ROI.
Does your ROI social media value calculation show depressing results? Here are some simple techniques to boost your ROI:
- Test your paid and organic ways of enhancing your social media presence. Play with paid advertisements and content and monitor what gets the positive results. Optimize accordingly.
- Keep an eye on the ever-shifting pain points of your target audience and their priorities. Evolve and progress with your target audience’s preferences and interests.
- Cultivate customer loyalty and build lasting relationships by constantly engaging with users and offering top-notch customer service.
- Offer timely discounts and coupons to your audience to entice first-time buyers and get more repeat sales.
Website traffic indicates the number of users who visit your website. This metric is measured in visits that are called “sessions.” Social media has a vital role in getting your followers to visit your website.
Facebook is a fantastic catalyst in increasing the virtual footfall of your website, and sends over 50% of the total site traffic across the world. Higher referral traffic from your social media accounts to your website indicates more social media value. Therefore, measuring website traffic is key to determining social media value. Without evaluating website traffic, you will end up playing a guessing game and will never get a clear picture of your best-performing web pages or social media platforms.
One of the best ways to measure website traffic is through UTMs (urchin tracking modules). UTM is a snippet of code on the end of a URL to track performance and pinpoint the source of website traffic. UTMs can track traffic from common platforms like Facebook, Google, and Bing. You can even measure other aspects to your website through Google Analytics. This includes unique visitors, page views, bounce rates, and visits to landing pages.
Figure 1: UTM tracking in Google Analytics. Source: Buffer
If your referral traffic isn’t looking good, here are some tips to improve it:
- Optimize your social profiles: Clearly state your brand values on social media. Ensure your account’s bio resonates with your brand’s proposition. However, your social media value proposition should be short yet compelling. Trust, authority, and responsiveness are some examples of social media values customers appreciate.
- Incorporate social proof: Add reviews and positive feedback to your social media. This will build customer trust and encourage your followers to visit your website.
- Promote your content: Add your website content snippets to your social media. Blogs are a classic example. Always announce a new blog post on your social media and gently share an enticing excerpt to nudge people towards your website.
3. Brand awareness
Brand awareness refers to how familiar your target audience is with your brand and how recognizable you are. Brand awareness is key to getting more sales and promoting new products/services — no wonder Coca-Cola spent $4.24 billion on global advertising in 2019 to increase it!
Figure 2: Coca-Cola billboard. Source: Money Buzz Europa
From creating content consistently to engaging with their target audience, brands do all they can to gain recognition. The metrics you should keep tabs on to evaluate your brand awareness on social media mainly include:
- Brand mentions: This refers to the number of times people mention your brand or tag you in their social media content. This indicates if there is buzz around your brand.
- Reach: This is the number of people who viewed your profile — minus repeat views. Higher reach often translates to a more significant social following, indicating extended brand awareness.
Figure 3: Nike brand mention. Source: Hootsuite
If your brand awareness on social media is minimal, you need to work on your brand’s personality. Ensure your content is customer-centric and personal. Try adding a comedic element to your content if it suits your brand voice. In addition, engage in creative commenting. In other words, put more thought into your comments rather than simply saying, “Agreed” or “Cool!” Write comments that position you as an expert. Lastly, tag others to boost engagement, thereby spreading the word about your brand.
4. Engagement rate
The engagement rate indicates your audience’s active involvement with your content through likes, comments, and shares. Social sharing aids in word-of-mouth marketing, which allures and converts more customers. Engagements also lead to greater visibility, credibility, brand affinity, better customer service, and stronger relationships.
The best social media value formula to measure engagement rate is:
(No. of interactions / reach) x 100
This interaction could be anything from likes to shares for a specific post. Using reach as the main denominator — instead of the number of followers — gives an accurate result since it factors in people who viewed your posts rather than including inactive followers.
For brands looking to improve their engagement rate and social media value, getting to know your audience is imperative — it is only when you know them and their interests can you create content they love engaging with. Understand the language and tone they use, the social channels they hang out more on, and the times they are active on social media.
Once you know who you are talking to, create valuable content that is engagement-worthy. Make sure your content addresses your audience’s pain points and solves their problems. Do not merely focus on how great your brand and the products are.
5. Lead generation and sales
Figure 4: Lead magnet. Source: Opt In Monster
A lead refers to people interested in your product. Usually, this lead information is their names, email addresses, or contact numbers. Many brands collect leads via social media, and lead generation and sales are core components of the social media value chain.
Most social media lead generation follows this path: engagement — opportunity — conversion. Therefore, measuring engagement will help you determine how successfully your message pushes your audience down the sales pipeline. Evaluate the number of retweets, likes, comments, and shares to check if your audience engages with your content. Also, notice the click-through rate, as it indicates engagement. This rate measures the clicks from your social channels to your landing pages.
After that, monitor people who spend the most time on your web pages and fill out your conversion forms. That is where your opportunities lie, and those are the people highly likely to convert. Lastly, keep giving them value until they make their first purchase.
Here are some tips to boost lead generation and sales:
- Ensure your lead magnets are enticing enough that people freely share their information. These could be from discount codes and webinars to case studies and white papers.
- Leverage lead generation ads with pre-populated forms to streamline filling in personal information. This saves people time, boosting conversion rates.
- Conduct a virtual event or conference about a topic your audience would be interested in. People would sign up using their email addresses, which you can collect to send promotional emails.
6. Customer retention
Customer retention is another critical metric to measure social media value that people often overlook. However, retaining customers is the primary goal of every social media account, allowing brands to stay connected with their audience. Customer retention refers to retaining existing customers through brand loyalty and building lasting relationships.
The classic formula to calculate customer retention rate is:
[(No. of users at the end of a period — No. of new users) / No. of users at the start of the period] x 100
If your existing customers are not returning after their first purchase, your retention rate is negative. Fortunately, you can increase your customer retention rate by:
- Reminding your customers about your existence through consistent, useful social uploads.
- Offering after-purchase customer service support.
- Leveraging customer retention strategies such as feedback emails and rewards programs.
- Delivering the quality of services and products you promised.
- Becoming your customers’ trusted advisor.
7. Amplification rate
A comprehensive social media fan following is essential. However, it is better when followers are also promoters that amplify your brand message. The amplification rate will help you measure if your social followers contribute to boosting brand awareness.
It is the ratio of social shares per post to the number of your total followers. This determines how valuable your social media is.
To track your amplification rate:
- Step 1: Add the number of times your post was shared during a specific period.
- Step 2: Divide this by the total number of your followers.
- Step 3: Multiply this number by 100 to get the percentage of your amplification rate.
If you are trying to convert your followers into advocates that vouch for your business, produce as much shareable content as possible. These include helpful bite-sized videos and carousels that are intriguing and solve a problem. In addition, ensure your content is mobile-friendly. Remember, most users access social media platforms on their mobile devices. To make your posts mobile-friendly, make sure they are legible, zoomable, and have the appropriate dimensions. Also, add line breaks, punctuations, and emojis to your captions to avoid text-heavy, boring captions.
8. Affinity rate
One of the key objectives of creating social media profiles is to increase buzz about your brand and products. You need to measure the affinity rate to assess if your social media efforts build up your fanbase. The affinity rate measures the number of fans and the depth of this audience around your business. It estimates how many people are delighted enough by your posts to like and add them to favorites. A zero affinity rate for posts highlights that the content is irrelevant or worthless.
To measure the affinity rate, all you have to do is assess people’s time on a particular post. You can evaluate the time spent on your website through Google Analytics. Brand search volume is another key indicator for measuring the affinity rate. It shows how many people actively search for your brand on search engines. You can use Google Search Console to calculate this metric.
To measure the affinity rate for your social profiles, calculate the shares, positive recommendations, brand mentions, and sentiment. These are clear indicators of brand affinity.
Figure 5: Brand search volume on Google Search Console. Basta Digital
To increase brand affinity:
- Promptly respond to your follower’s queries or comments on social media.
- Create a tight-knit community to build strong relationships. Communities can also serve as a platform for your followers to ask questions from each other.
- Work on customer service. Train your employees on ways to use social media that meet your brand’s standards.
Social media value creation can be challenging. Do you think your social media value chain is not up to par? We have a solution that can substantially increase your social media value and get you more followers and sales — influencer marketing. Today, the influencer market has a value of $13.8 billion, and the results exceed expectations.
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