Are you measuring social media success? Really measuring or are you going with your gut feeling?
It happened to me again recently. I found myself staring at my computer screen wondering if I was wasting my time with content marketing and social media. I’m sure many of you reading are familiar with this feeling. You can beat it with a good measurement plan.
I used to be a terrible measurer. I knew, or I thought I knew sales were coming from social media but I wasn’t able to prove it.
The thing is, if you measure you won’t only be proving to yourself that you aren’t wasting your time but you’ll also be able to identify what you are doing well.
What are the benefits of social media measurement? Watch below
It’s human for us to question ourselves but we shouldn’t let it get in the way.
One trick that I’ve picked up is measurement. Knowing what you are aiming at, setting steps along the way and religiously measuring your results is all it takes to fight off the demons.
When vanity stats aren’t vanity
The term vanity stat suggests something frivolous. It refers to statistics that mean little on their own, like the number of followers your have on social media. It may sound frivolous but I think it’s important to measure these.
You can’t sell unless you have an audience, you can’t build relationships without connections. Headline statistics are important but to stop them being vanity statistics you need to delve deeper. Rather than just the number of Facebook likes, look at how many of those likes fit into your target market. Where do they live? What age are they? What are their interests? If you don’t know spend some time building a customer or reader persona and measure your actual audience against the one you want to create.
Use Facebook Audience Insights to see if you are hitting the right people on Facebook and delve into your Google Analytics, Twitter Analtyics and Instagram Stats to find out more about your audience elsewhere.
What are your readers doing?
For me the most interesting part of my statistics is not just how much traffic I get to my website but what people do when they arrive.
I look at each channel that drives traffic to my website and look to see how valuable that traffic is. How many people visit but also how long do they stay and how many pages do they look at. It was using this method that I realised I was massaging my stats by using StumbleUpon.
To find this info on Google analytics click on ‘Acquisition’ on the left hand side, select social and then ‘Network referrals’. As you can see from this screen grab I took last year, Twitter is doing really well for time on site compared to other networks.
Don’t rely on data from one month, expand your analysis to at least 6 months to get a good overall view of what is working.
The problem with Instagram
Instagram traffic registers as direct traffic in Google Analytics. If you want to measure traffic from here, or any specific link you post online use Google URL builder to create tracking links. You can then monitor performance in the ‘campaigns’ dashboard on Google Analytics.
What to do next
Define your goals
What do you want to achieve with your online marketing? Don’t try and run before you can walk, identify your long term goals and map out the steps you need to take to reach that goal. Here are my tips on goal setting.
Keep a weekly measurement chart
Set a specific time every week to do your stats. Choose the statistics that will help you measure your progress towards your gaol. You can download my excel template here, select the metrics that matter from it and hide or delete the rest.
Learn from your measurement
Your statistics will tell you what is working and what isn’t. Make a note of your most popular posts on social and from your blog. Update any popular content to make sure it’s still relevant. Identify the types of posts that are delivering the most value on social.