Are you collecting Twitter followers and Facebook fans? It probably feels good when you see those numbers inch up and up. It might seem like your growing audience is the measure of social media success, but when it comes down to it, those aren’t the numbers that really matter.
When we talk about social media return on investment, followers and fans are a very small piece of the equation. Yes, you need more followers and fans to reach a larger audience, but if that audience isn’t engaged, you aren’t reaching them anyways. Let’s talk about the metrics that really matter; let’s talk about how to measure social media ROI.
As I’ve mentioned before, more followers doesn’t mean more reach. Facebook is always changing things up making it easier for others to ignore your content, and the average Twitter stream flows by so quickly it’s impossible to keep up with everything. So, I’ll say it again, just because you have 1,000 followers or fans doesn’t mean you’ve reached them all.
Reach metrics let you know how many people actually saw your post. Knowing where that number is and why it fluctuates will help you create more meaningful content that will help you convert more followers into customers.
On Twitter, when someone uses your handle in a tweet, that’s a mention. A mention puts your brand in the news feed or tweet stream of anyone following the person who mentioned you. It introduces your brand to a whole new network. What’s more, it does it in a way that allows the new audience a way to easily click back to your official Twitter account, an account you control. Mentions gain your brand exposure; they’re word of mouth marketing at its best.
Now, just make sure that when you’re mentioned it’s in a positive way and respond appropriately to any mentions on social media.
Engagement is a measure of conversation. Who’s liking, sharing, commenting on, retweeting, replying to you on social networks. Engagement means that people are talking to and about you. It’s the social part of social media. The more conversation, the more exposure for your brand to your audiences networks. The more exposure, the better brand recognition, the more likely someone is going to find you online and follow you.
Engagement is typically measured in a percentage based on how many of your followers you have who are interacting. Tracking engagement can help you determine what type of posts get people talking and which don’t.
And, here’s why measuring social media ROI matters:
Social media plays a crucial role in the sales funnel
Getting conversions from social media is a process that starts with awareness (reach), moves to engagement, research (clicking on your links) and eventually a purchase. A recent study shows that when someone follows and interacts with a business on social media, they are more likely to actually become a customer and are more likely to recommend the business to someone else. Each step along the path to purchase is a metric you should be tracking. Those are the metrics that mean something to your bottom line.
Collecting fans might give you an ego boost, but engaging the right followers will boost your sales. If you want to see big numbers, work at increasing the engagement, mentions and reach. Those are the numbers that help you measure if you’re getting a good return on your social media investment.
If you need help making social media work for you, we’d love to help.