Understanding how to effectively measure social media is challenging; oftentimes marketers aren’t sure how to identify and use specific metrics. Every business needs a strategy tailored to its own particular objectives.
Start with setting objectives according to the SMART acronym: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timed. This practice will ensure your objectives are in line with your metrics.
Choose very specific social media goals that support the company’s overarching objectives, such as generating leads, retaining existing customers, reducing costs, increasing awareness, etc.
Be clear about who qualifies as a “lead,” which could vary depending on your type of business. B2B leads, for example, may be those who fill out forms or download eBooks, whereas B2C leads may be linked to who made actual purchases or signed up for a newsletter. Tracking codes within links sent out through social media can be used for shaping future social media initiatives.
Additional tips include defining ROI from the outset (not after you begin tracking), deciding what series of actions would necessitate a potential sale, measuring cost savings, using a centralized dashboard and staying flexible and open to shifts in strategy.
For more information, check out the following infographic by ExactTarget, which outlines five steps to effective social media measurement.