Measuring social media success

Measuring the success of companies in social networks is a tricky issue that is not resolved satisfactorily in most cases. After going through the initial fever of having a presence in social networks almost by obligation and without thinking too much about how to value the return on investment, more and more companies are concerned with establishing measurement systems to understand what the real impact of Actions and efforts in Social Media.

Obviously each business case is different, but in order to elaborate the proposal to follow up the campaigns in social networks and later to design a dashboard with the most appropriate KPI’s, the priority business objectives must always be defined.

These objectives can differ for each company but to establish a case study we can choose three common objectives:

Build stronger relationships with customers
Promote the digital presence of the brand and a two-way communication between the user and the brand.

Learn from the community
Use the tools provided by web analytics to improve brand promotion strategy, communication with customers in offline and online media or product characteristics for upcoming releases.

Increase indirect sales conversions
Increase website traffic through actions on social networks.

MEASUREMENT STRATEGY
As with the objectives, analysis and monitoring strategies must be adapted to specific cases, but a common denominator is that we must analyze the different practices and online presence of both the brand and its competitors.

From here and bearing the objectives in mind, you can define the monitoring strategy and in this case we will focus our measurement plan in scope, interaction and results.

Scope
The number of mentions and the quality of the authors should be monitored, for which it is necessary to identify the actors who have the most influence in the follower base (visits and frequency of comments). It is important to know the feelings of the fans and especially those who can set a trend.

It is also important to understand where the social conversations about the brand and competitors take place: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, discussion forums, blogs … etc, to understand how the key messages are propagated in the social audience and at the same time Determine how the brand should develop presence in these media.

Interaction
You should understand topics of conversation and feeling composition and take into account the opinion of the authors of the social network when they talk about the brand or the characteristics of their products and whether these conversations differ from what the company wants to project.

First, identify the main themes and discussions, then analyze the tone and the feeling and finally decide the actions or interventions to be performed. By adding value to the audience and cultivating relationships with customers through conversation, the brand can generate influence on these topics of discussion.

Results
The results should be diagnosed in relation to the key conversion indicators. They can take the form of aspects relevant to the brand such as direct sales or increase the level of engagement with the web (video visualizations, point of sale consultation …), which can indicate an intention to buy by affinity. Monitoring economic benefits adds a lot of value to social media actions and efforts.

It should be analyzed in the web page of the company, whether electronic commerce or not, what is the influence of the strategies of Social Media and communication of the company, and whether actions in social media have had an impact on both quantitative increase As qualitative of traffic to the portal.

OBJECTIVES ESTRATEGY ACTIONS MEASUREMENT
Build deeper relationships with customers Scope Reaching a critical mass of audience and motivating communication with the brand Quantity and quality
Learn from the community Interaction Address topics of interest through interaction Themes and feelings
Generate indirect sales conversions Results Generate brand loyalty Site traffic and conversions

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

Identify the different types of segmentation for each case (languages, countries, products, etc.) and define key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help to understand how the different divisions of brands are integrated and to evaluate the reaction of its users and potential customers in social networks.

Only relevant indicators should be included in the dashboard and can be a mixture of basic metrics (Number of followers in different social networks) and key metrics with cross metrics that give us a more relevant insight at the business level (Site Conversions Web for SM traffic)

Due to the unique characteristics of the Social Media environment, the dashboard can count on possible quantitative key indicators (mentions in conversations, engagement events on the site …) and qualitative (topics of discussion and feeling …) that in some occasions Can be more complicated to measure but we can find tools that give us an approximation even if it is based on their algorithms.

To obtain a clear vision of the analysis of Social Media results we must relate the key indicators to the strategy derived from our objectives. In our case and by way of example, the indicators could be the following:

SCOPE INTERACTION RESULTS
Volume of mentions in the social web Topics of discussion Evolution of number of visitors from SM
Number of authors generating the mentions Ratio of feeling (positive mentions vs negative mentions) Ratio of SM visitors vs. total visitors
Channels in which the mentions are occurring Positive and negative keywords used Social networks that deliver higher quality traffic
Number of followers in social networks Level of influence in the medium Engagement level for SM traffic
Number of contributions in social networks Brand Mentions vs Mentions of Competition Website conversions for SM traffic

Dashboard for social networks
The social dashboard should be designed from the key indicators defined to understand the performance of efforts in social media and provide a guide for the optimization of subsequent actions.

The indicators must be accompanied by graphs that allow us to understand the context regarding periods of previous analysis. It is important that, whatever the chosen indicators, the dashboard also provides observations, performance diagnostics and optimization opportunities as conclusions.

Social Media dashboards can be minimal or very complex, can be created in formats like excel or Google Spreadsheets or directly in the tool. The important thing is to create it according to the real needs of the company so that its content can bring real value to the organization.

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