Measuring social media efforts is an important piece of the puzzle that needs to be addressed for anyone doing social media. But how do you address that? How do you know when your efforts have paid off. How do you even know what to measure?
Know What You’re Going to Measure
The first step in measuring social media is to identify what your are going to measure by setting a goal. So, if you want to set a goal, for say, 10,000 Likes on Facebook, then you know what to measure later. You have to set the goal first, though. You have to know what you’re going to measure before you start.
Set Your Path
Once you have your goal, you need to start thinking about what you need to do to reach that goal. If you want 10,000 Likes on Facebook, you’ll need a Facebook Page first. That’s kind of a no-brainer, I know, but you have to include these “duh” ideas in your plan so they don’t slip through the cracks. Another thing you need to do, if this is your goal, is to get the word out about your Facebook Page. If no one knows about your Facebook Page, how are you going to get those Likes?
The second part of making a plan for your goal is to set a time limit. Especially in today’s age of instant gratification, no company wants to hear that it’s going to take five years to reach your goal. If that is the case, consider knocking your goal down a few notches. Any progress is better than the appearance of no progress.
Measure Based On Your Goal
Now we come to the actual measurement part. This is also a no-brainer, but you’ll need to measure data that is associated with the goal. If your goal was the 10,000 Likes, why would you track sales that you received through your Facebook Page? That’s good information to have, of course, and if you wanted to use how many sales you received as your measuring stick, then that should have been one of your goals to begin with. So, whatever your goal was, make the data you measure match it, then you’ll know for sure whether or not your work was worth something.
Things You Can Measure
There are so many things that you can use to measure your social media efforts. It doesn’t all have to be about Likes or sales. You could use social media to reduce the time your employees spend on the phone by designating one or two of them to answer questions via Twitter or Facebook. You could use it to boost awareness for your brand. This is a bit harder to measure, admittedly, but it’s not impossible. Take, for instance, Facebook’s new “Talking About This” metric. If through your efforts you’ve had a steady growth of this for the past three months, than you can say that you have raised awareness (at least on Facebook) by whatever percentage went up.
The point is that there are lots of ways that you can measure your social media efforts and that all it takes is a little planning and perseverance to see if those efforts worked or not.