5 Social Marketing Metrics Brands Should Measure
Social marketing programs differ from online advertising or marketing campaigns. They're not about hard sells to consumers; they're about connecting with them for the long haul, on their terms, and sharing information and experiences together. They're also about building relationships first, and selling second — and can be a valuable part of a brand's marketing strategy if done right. Like all marketing efforts, such programs should be measured to ensure that business objectives are being met.
That said, here are five metrics that all brands should consider when evaluating the performance of their social marketing programs:
1. Engagement. Determine how engaged visitors are with your site and how deep of an experience they're having. A few baseline metrics to measure and evaluate include the number of first-time visitors, number of returning visitors, average time spent on site by visitors, and posts and comments by visitors.
2. Brand awareness. Increasing awareness about your company should be your primary objective of social marketing. If your customers are getting to know you better, and are learning things about you that they'd never learn in an ad, commercial or product page on your website, then you're on the right track. Polls within your site are an easy, noninvasive way to get opinions.
3. Purchase consideration. Ultimately, companies want to know if their social efforts are making an impact on sales and market share. Clicks on merchandise or “calls to action” are good indicators. But get more specific and ask visitors about their intent to purchase your brand as a result of your social marketing presence, as well as their past purchases.
4. Brand loyalty and advocacy. Find out if your social marketing presence is making a difference. Ask visitors if they're satisfied with their “social experiences” with your brand. Would they recommend your brand because of its social marketing program? What percentage of visitors would refer your social marketing site to friends?
5. Customer retention. Keeping customers is key; know what percentage of visitors are returning unique visitors and what percentage of consumers you've retained year over year.