A key component of your social media marketing campaign must be the monitoring and evaluation of your social media engagement. By evaluating how effective your social media engagement strategies have been, you will gain better insight into how effective your social media campaigns have been in reaching your target audience and in getting your message out there. Monitoring and evaluation are absolutely essential and must be built into your social media marketing strategy.
Monitor the Social Media Conversations about You and about Your Business
You may want to know who is talking about you. You may not receive this information directly but notice that people are talking about you on other sites. Identify if the tone of conversation; is it generally constructively optimistic or pessimistic? Are people generally happy or feeling frustrated? You can learn a lot about your business and your industry by monitoring conversations about the latest trends and topics. By keeping an eye on these conversations and any indirect mention of your business, you’ll get to know what you are doing well and where you may need to make improvements.
Monitoring social media conversations can give you some insight as to how you’re being perceived by the public which you could not otherwise obtain except by paying for market research using focus groups or by having social media marketing metrics organisations conduct surveys for you.
Monitoring conversations is about listening, not necessarily responding and reacting to something that your critics may have said. Often businesses are so focused on their outgoing messages that they disregard and fail to listen to what’s being said about the messages – the feedback. You need to track who is engaging with your message, what it is they are saying, and whether any issues can be resolved or improved, for example by better customer service. The more we listen, the more we learn, which benefits everyone.
Identify which social media engagement indicators to track
There is a colossal amount of metric data available to help you analyse information about your website’s effectiveness or how broadly your content is being shared on your various social media channels. How do you identify what results to look for? At an uncomplicated level, you can easily determine not just how many people clicked on your post, but where they clicked from and then how many of them went to your web page. Other information that you can easily uncover includes:
- what content is drawing the most attention (good or bad)
- the number of views, likes, re-tweets, comments or any other form of engagement on your various social media platforms
- you can see how much time web visitors spent on your social media pages or specific pages on your website
- the demographics and geographic location of anyone who has engaged in any way
- you can see how your content is being shared and from which specific platforms
- even which hour of the day and day of the week results in the highest number of views, clicks or conversations
- which content on which platform results in the best conversion rate.
Are 50 likes on your latest Facebook posting a good indicator? Are 200 fans a lot? How do we even know what these numbers mean? One way of seeing how effective you’ve been is to compare your efforts with those of your competition. This is one time where I will say look at your competitors. Not necessarily your direct competitors but those businesses that are of a similar size in your same industry. Consider how long they have been in business and been engaged in using social media to help promote and advertise their business brand. Their geographic location, market reach and population are other important factors. Being aware of what is happening in the wider industry will help you keep your campaigns and promotions more competitive and will help you to capture the awareness you need to stay as a market leader and not a mere follower in the crowd. The data that you should be most interested in and focused on should always relate back to your social media goals.
Improving your Conversion Rate
Conversion is an important metric to track. Conversion is defined as the number of visitors to your website or social media platform which have taken or completed the desired action. The conversion rate is the percentage of conversions out of the total number of visitors.
Each business will have an idea of what constitutes a successful conversion. For example – an online retailer may define conversion as someone who completes a purchase from their website whereas another business wanting to grow a mailing list may have ‘newsletter sign-ups’ as a key intermediary goal – enabling them to keep a potential customer in the conversation for longer – with the eventual goal of a sale.
One method to increase your conversion rate is to ensure your followers who click through to your website are sent directly through to the web page that describes the product or service or opt-in/sign up form or whatever action you intended them to take. If you mistakenly send them to your homepage or any other generic page on your website – you run the risk of losing that conversion. You want your web visitor to take the most direct route and take the least number of clicks to get to their final outcome.
Evaluate your results and review your social media engagement strategies
The more data you gather, the more accurately you can target your audience. Look at the best times of day that you are getting the most social media engagement, where your audience is coming from and who is responding – maybe only one segment of your target audience responds. Try running the same content on several platforms so you can determine which platform delivers the best response from your target audience. Remember different platforms are likely to be comprised of a different demographic of people.
Reviewing which of your website articles has received the highest number of views and how long people have spent reading your content will help you write future posts which are targeted to a more engaged and responsive audience. To make it worthwhile and meaningful for you, analyse the data you’ve collected and evaluate your efforts against the effectiveness of the time and effort you’ve put in. It’s a great way to receive feedback without actually asking for it.
After reviewing your data, you may even discover an untapped market that you didn’t even know that you were marketing to. So you can then redirect your content to meet the needs of this new audience. You’ll see very quickly what is working and what isn’t. You’ll find out if the time and money that you are spending on your various social media campaigns and promotions are paying off or not. You’ll find out what posts online visitors liked or not.
For example, your web statistics might show that find women are sharing your content on Facebook but men are not and conversely that men are retweeting your content on Twitter and women are not even following you. You can then use these insights to target your messages differently on the different social media platforms. You may notice a dramatic improvement in your conversion rate simply by changing your tone of voice, choice of headlines, or choice of image.