MEASURING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROGRESS
There are some interesting and useful metrics which you will want to use to measure the success (or incremental progress at intervals) of each of the individual social media items in your social media mix. You'll find these simple guidelines indispensable – especially if you monitor them at consistent intervals with genuine vigilance.
And while these are not actually a means of measuring your actual return on dollars or time invested in social media, they are wonderfully basic and easily calculable rules of thumb to inform you as to how each of your social media tools is performing, and what the whether or not the associated performance trend is improving.
An example of this type of measurement is the number of “likes” that you have on your Facebook company page; while nobody can consclusively assign a dollar value to each “like”, it is commonly understood that the more “likes” that you have, the more probable it is that you are engaging your audience, and that that audience may contain some future customers or clients.
While the metrics used in this article are not directly dollar-equated, they will provide you with an indication of how well your campaign to engage an audience (and some possible prospective clients or customers) is going. These are “quick and dirty” tests and are not totally scientific – there's been no correlative study. This material is all anecdotal, and your Social Media Guru might even find some of this material objectionable. You've been warned.
The social media selected for this article include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus (G+) and business blogging. While this last item is far too often excluded from the general categorization of social media, it is actually critical in a demographic environment where “content is king.”
Other social media such as Pinterest, Instagram, Digg, Reddit, Foursquare, and a host of others are not covered because we're still experimenting with their metrics. We've also excluded such video media as YouTube, Vimeo, and others because of the already-extensive measurement information coverage available on the Internet.
The ratio of Followers to Following should be increasing. If this ratio is less than 1, you'll look like a beginner. The higher this ratio, the more of an influencer you will appear to be – and in dealing with social media, appearances are important in terms of harnessing the undisputed driving power of the herd mentality.
The ratio of your Tweets to the number of Followers should be decreasing, which indicates a higher and increasing level of engagement and influence (theoretically – these ratios are all theoretical), unless you are extraordinarily chatty or have a significant flow of RSS material from third-party sources being pumped into your twitterstream via Twitterfeed or some similar application, in which case this ratio would be falsely negatively affected.
The number of likes on your company or brand page should be increasing weekly. If your total page likes do not exceed 1,000, you'll look like a beginner. More page likes indicate the acceptance and recognition of your brand, and/or of the content that you place on your page. Try your best to provide some interesting or insightful content on the site daily. The more frequently that you post, the more likely it is that your page will acquire additional likes.
Also, as with Twitter, a greater amount of likes is more apt to generate new additional likes due to the herd mentality of many viewers. If a substantial number of the likes are originated through your company's blog, website or newsletter, the more potent those three sources are in terms of audience engagement.
The ratio of likes originated from non-Facebook sources to Facebook-originated sources should be increasing over time, indicating that your other branding campaigns are working well.
Getting positive page reviews and status update likes are generally indicative of the potency of your page and its flow of content, more than of your branding, per se.
Followers on your LinkedIn company page are similar to “likes” on your Facebook company or brand page, except that they are generally more difficult to get. As with Facebook, the ratio of followers originated from non-LinkedIn source to LinkedIn sources should be increasing over time, indicating that your other branding campaigns are working well.
Since LinkedIn is more of a business-to-business and professional-to-business platform than Facebook, which is far more consumer-involved and consumer-engaging, acquiring additional followers generally speaks more to how your company is being perceived as a professional or business thought leader or influencer than as an endorsement of or engagement with your brand.
In very general terms, if you have in excess of several hundred followers on your LinkedIn company page, you're looking good. It is much more of a challenge to obtain LinkedIn followers than it is to get Facebook page likes, positive reviews or status update likes. By the way, “status updates” are the same as posts.
=> Google Plus (G+):
Google Plus is arguably one of the most potent SEO media, and it is powerful way to refer viewers or followers to your website, blog, and other social media. Google Plus is akin to some combination of Facebook, Twitter and a blog posting platform, all rolled up into one. Your company can use Google Plus as a means of achieving brand acceptance and name recognition, as well as in garnering influencer and thought leader status from the business and professional communities. It is an excellent social media tool precisely because it lends itself to so much multi-purposing. Don't underestimate it and don't underutilize G+.
The variables to be looked at are “acquaintances”, “Followers” and “views”. Acquaintances will also be deemed to include, “friends”, “family” and any other category of person whom you can add to your list by your own action. At present, the maximum number of these unilaterally gathered parties permitted by Google totals 5,000.[If you don't believe me, just try to add some new acquaintances afterr you've hit the permitted maximum and Google will send you a cold reminder that you cannot add any additional persons to your circles 'at this time']. There are no limits to the number of followers which you may accumulate and the number of views (of your G+ profile page).
The first raio to be looked at is the number of Followers to the number of acquaintances, which should be rising. Once this ratio exceeds 1.0, and provided that the number of your followers exceeds 5,000, you are on your way. Once the number of your followers exceeds 10,000, you will become noticed, and the (now infamous) gravity pull of the herd mentality will bring you even more followers and even more views with less effort. If your posts to G+ are laden with links to your other social media, it will be feeding those other media with new likes, views, members, followers and so forth, as well. You'll find that your G+ results appear very early on in your Google search results, and that your other social media postings will be gaining prominence if you've been building them through the use of hyperlinks in you G+ posts.
The second ratio to be evaluated periodically is the number of views to the number of your Followers. While it is difficult to give you a benchmark objective on how this ratio should be rising and what it should ideally be, if you've exceeded one million profile views and you've gotten 10,000 Followers your G+ campaign is getting noticed. It should be noted that one million profile views if regarded (anecdotally) as a good benchmark to indicate that your post to G+ are carrying a good deal of influence. Having said all of this, a ratio of 100 views per Follower (on average) is an excellent target to meet and to exceed.
=> Business Blog:
Your blog's success (in terms of readership) is a major measure of your influencer and thought leadership status. It is also obviously a measure of the quality and magnetism of your content. You should be looking at posting one new article per week (or more if posible) to keep your blog “fresh” and have it frequently viewed by the spiders, robots and other cyberspace creatures that constantly search for an review new content.
The variables to be looked at are simply the number of posts and the number of views. As your number of posts (cumulatively) is growing, average number of views per post should be growing (for the blog as a whole), and the number of views per post (individually) should generally be tending upward as well, although you may expect some fluctation depending upon the strength of the individual post – and the strength and virality of posts will vary depending upon a wide variety of factors, from the number of illustrations (images) embedded into your posts, to the title of any given post. An exciting title can do wonders for the traction of a single post.
Monitoring each of the social media tools in your social media mix will tell you if you are heading in the right direction for improved status in terms of branding, name recognition, being an influencer and being a thought leader. I would strongly advise that you run a quick set of diagnostic ratio and growth tests on your social media weekly to be able to intelligently assess whether or not you are making progress.
Tags, Labels, Keywords, Categories And Search Terms For This Article:
social media, metrics, media mix, branding, influence, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, blogging, measuring, Douglas E Castle, GEI Consulting, business, marketing, success, analytics, views, Followers
Thank you, as always, for reading me.
Douglas E Castle
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