If you’re developing your business online by using social media, you’ll need a way to determine if your campaigns are successful. Luckily, most online platforms provide a range of metrics which you can use to see if you’re achieving your objectives. This article will look at some of the most important metrics you can use to evaluate the effectiveness of your social media campaigns.
Having hundreds or thousands of followers is meaningless if none of them are paying customers or clients. Therefore, if you are marketing products or services online, the most important metric is your Conversion Rate (CR) —that is, how many of your followers took action as a result of your ad or Call-to-Action button. How you define a successful conversion will depend on what it is you wish to achieve; it could be as simple as having someone sign-up on a webform, download a file, watch a video, or complete a purchase.
Closely associated with the conversion rate is the Click-through Rate (CTR). This is how many times your ad has been “clicked” divided by the number of impressions. If the ad has been shown 50 times but only clicked once, you’ll have a 0.02 click-through rate.
If you know the total cost of your campaign you can easily determine the Cost Per Impression. This figure will help you determine if your marketing investment is delivering good value for money.
Using the total cost of your campaign, you can also determine the Cost Per Click. This is particularly useful in ad campaigns and measures in dollar value how much you are spending on average to gain a single click on your ad. A high cost per click might indicate that you need to tweak your ad to make it more enticing. Consider hiring a copywriter to improve your ad, or doing market research to understand your target audience better.
Then there is Cost Per Conversion. This measures whether the clicks on your ad lead to successful conversions. If people have clicked on your ad, this means that they are somewhat curious or interested in your product. Failure to follow through and purchase (represented by a high cost per action ad spend) could be caused my multiple factors: e.g. an unprofessional looking landing page or even technical errors with your online shopping cart.
Another important area to consider is the traffic your social media page or ad generates back to your website. As well as measuring the general traffic, most social media websites and search engines provide tools to analyse traffic metrics more specifically.
One such metric is the Bounce Rate. This is how many people have visited one page on your website then left without visiting another. A high bounce rate suggests that your content isn’t captivating or engaging enough or that your website seems unprofessional e.g. spelling and grammatical errors, poor design or inconsistent branding.
Similarly, the average time spent on the page because it will give you a direct measure of how interesting your visitors find your content.
For those businesses with large websites, you may also be interested in the average number of pages viewed per visit and which pages are the most popular.
Finally, you can make use of Google Analytics’ graphs function. This is where the traffic to your site can be viewed as a line graph which charts the traffic over a month with each day represented. What you are looking for are spikes because this will show you the exact days of your highest traffic levels. Once you know what these days are, you can then look back at the content you posted to social media on these days. High spikes are a positive indicator of which pieces of content have been most effective in engaging your audience or even going viral. If you pay close attention to the content and method of delivery related your spikes in traffic you can then replicate it for your other offerings.
I’m not saying that followers are a complete waste of time, however. Gaining followers is useful. After all, if your site has thousands of followers, you probably won’t have to spend as much on social media ads to extend your audience. Followers are only a valuable asset if they are engaged. Engagement can be measured through likes, shares and comments, and most importantly conversions. If you consistently share content that adds value to your audience’s lives then this should, ultimately, be reflected by downloads, word of mouth referrals, positive reviews, email subscribers and paying customers.