Social media marketing, measuring what matters

James Armstrong, co-founder of Digital Firefly
James Armstrong, co-founder of Digital Firefly

For businesses, charities and the public sector social media provides a direct channel to have conversations and build meaningful relationships with potential customers and audiences.

But in a world where resources are stretched and budgets are tight how do you break through the noise, justify your efforts and show true return on investment? It starts with measuring what matters.

Here are three top tips to get you started:

Stop obsessing over vanity metrics

What are those? I hear you cry! Vanity metrics are measurements such as the number of followers your account has and the impressions your posts have achieved (how many times your posts have been seen).

They can be used as a proxy to work out whether you’re heading in the right direction but they don’t tell you the full story. Engagements such as comments, likes and shares are so much more important to ascertain whether your strategies are actually working.

Link social media KPIs directly to business objectives

So you’ve decided one of your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) is the amount of likes you receive – that’s great, but why? How does that link to your business objectives? If you can’t link what you’re measuring in social media with what you want to achieve at a strategic level then you’re measuring for measuring’s sake.

For example if your business objective is to increase online conversions through improved website traffic and leads, an appropriate KPI could be an increase in link clicks to your website from social media.

Connect real world actions with online activity

Social media cannot work in isolation, you need to think about a mixed marketing approach – how you can create campaigns that work across multiple channels, both on and offline and measure their success.

For instance, you could do something exclusive for your followers in a certain social media channel to show the link between social media and actual sales.

For example, an Instagram exclusive coffee or cocktail. Don’t put it on the menu, just offer it to your followers – if they request it you know they’ve come from Instagram.

Finally, a bonus tip: You DON’T have to use every channel out there!

Understanding where your potential customers are spending their time will help you determine where to spend yours.

James Armstrong, co-founder of Digital Firefly, is leading a Bite-Size Learning: Social media – measuring what matters for Brighton Chamber on May 22. For more information about Brighton Chamber training and networking events, visit: {http://www.businessinbrighton.org.uk/events|www.businessinbrighton.org.uk/events