Social Media Metrics Simplified: Part II

Still seeking additional statistics to support your social media program?  Here are four key metrics you should routinely examine on each platform:

1)             Number of followers:  Are you adding or losing followers?  While this shouldn’t be your only indicator of success, it can be a contributing factor.  A new or even static following isn’t necessarily bad news; however, a decrease, particularly a dramatic drop in followers over a short period of time, is not a positive sign.

If you’ve actively promoted your group or feed and your efforts haven’t yielded results, it’s likely time to tweak your strategy.  Incremental slippage from month to month is perfectly normal:  peoples’ interests change and so do their jobs.  A sizeable drop in followers may be a cause for concern.  View recent posts (and responses) to determine the root cause of your followers’ dissatisfaction.

2)             Response rate:    Social media marketers should aspire to deliver posts that inspire response and ignite conversation.  Vigorous dialog, even if it’s controversial, is what social media community managers seek as a means of deepening their relationships with group followers.  If your posts are met with silence, it’s time to revisit your approach.

3)             Response tone:    The only response that is potentially more damaging to your social media program than silence is negativity.  A difference of opinion in a respectful tone can foster additional dialog.  Consistently negative responses to your posts, however, demand a change in strategic direction. 

4)             Engagement:       A critical social media metric is member or follower engagement.  Pages, groups and feeds should be designed to engage members with like-minded interests via meaningful discussion.  Your platforms may have comparatively few members; but if they have dedicated, credible and most importantly – contributing – followers, consider yourself ahead of the game!  Social media success isn’t gauged only by numbers.

One of the most advantageous – and free – methods of evaluating social media metrics is Google Social Analytics.  Launched earlier this year, Google Social Analytics delivers the metrics most marketers demand.  Acquiring an account is fast and simple and the site is intuitive and rich with data.

How often should you evaluate your social media program metrics?  The answer depends upon your program’s activity level.  At a minimum, monitor your results on a quarterly basis:  more frequently if your platforms are active on a daily and weekly basis.  Keep records of your evaluation activities so that you can build from the baseline analytics you’ve collected.  Define the metrics you wish to measure at the outset and be consistent in your comparisons.  Review your strategy on at least a quarterly basis and forge ahead if you’re finding success – or readjust and adopt a new strategy if your results don’t meet expectations.

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