As with any marketing activity you engage in, it's important to know whether your efforts are working, and whether they're advancing your goals.
When it comes to social media, there's no one-size-fits-all measure you can put in place – it really comes down to what you're trying to achieve as an individual and a business.
The potential power of using social media to build and enhance your personal and business reputation is high if used the right way to boost your business.
People do business with people they know, like and trust
When used properly, social media can help people get to know you better, to build brand affinity and trust. Over the long run, your engagement on social media can generate sales leads and revenue for your business – and ultimately – become your most important measure.
Here are some simple ways of measuring the effectiveness of your social media and content marketing activities.
An introduction to social media for small businesses - Small Business Victoria Workshops
An introduction to social media for small business
Measuring content results
Depending on your objectives, there are a number of ways to measure the success of your content marketing by asking the following questions:
- How many shares, backlinks and mentions does your content receive via social channels, for example retweets, Facebook and LinkedIn likes, shares and comments?
- What sort of traffic to your website is your content generating, and which articles are the most popular?
- How many people are viewing your videos on YouTube, listening to your podcasts or checking out your SlideShare presentations?
- Is your content having a positive impact with search engines, and are you increasingly ranking higher for the keywords and phrases you want your business to be known for?
- Is your content gaining placement in, or being featured on, relevant industry publications, websites and blogs?
- Critically, are people subscribing to your content, and is your email subscriber list growing as a result of your efforts?
Measuring social results
Measuring your effectiveness in regards to your social presence can also be done in a number of ways, including:
- the number of followers, connections and likes your brand has across various social channels – and if these numbers are growing steadily
- the level of engagement with your existing and potential customers
- your ability to reach out to, and build relationships with, key influencers in your industry
- whether people are promoting and/or recommending you on Twitter, Facebook and other channels
Measuring your profile and credibility
You can get a good idea of your credibility by looking at measuring your performance with these questions in mind:
- Is your brand's visibility, influence and authority being enhanced, and is this leading to offline opportunities, such as speaking engagements and boardroom presentations around the topics you want to be known for?
- Are you seeing increased PR opportunities, such as journalists, bloggers, podcasters coming to you for quotes or interviews? Or are you being asked to provide guest blog posts or opinion pieces in relevant on and offline publications?
Choosing the right monitoring and measurement tools
There's no shortage of (free and paid-for) platforms and tools available to monitor, analyse and measure your social media and content marketing activity.
- Google Analytics: measure your website and blog traffic
- Twitter Analytics: provides Twitter intelligence
- Facebook Insights: the channels in-built analytics
- Google Alerts: alerts you about any mentions (about you) online
- Talkwalker alerts: alerts you about any mentions online
Tools with paid options:
- Mention: includes mentions online – free with paid options
- Hootsuite: measuring social media analytics – free with paid options
- Sprout Social: measure your social media engagement – free trial, then it's paid.
It's important to determine what you're trying to achieve and then put realistic measures in place to help guide you towards your goals.
Experiment and try new things
Some things will work, others won't, so find what works for you and your brand – from the kind of content that resonates and gets shared around, to the frequency with which you post to Twitter and Facebook.
Use your content marketing plan to take note of:
- the connections you make
- the relationships you build
- the opportunities that have been created
Google Garage offers free training to help you make the most of online opportunities including modules to decide what social media platforms are right for your business, set goals, get noticed on social media, measure your success and avoid pitfalls.