An article prepared by jamjar PR for Hatched, the latest newsletter from Yolk Recruitment http://www.yolkrecruitment.com/hatched-issue-3/ (@Yolk_Recruit)
More and more businesses are cottoning on to the power of social media, which is music to the ears of us communications professionals. But if you’re using social media for your business, you should be measuring it. Otherwise what’s the point of doing it and how do you know what you’re doing is having an impact?
Before you jump into measuring every single tweet or post, the first step is to determine your goals. What are you actually trying to accomplish by using social media? Broadcast news; engage with a particular community; respond to customer queries; direct people to your website? Once you have a list of what you’re trying to achieve, think about what you want your audience to do with your content – read, share, reply, purchase or engage? Then match your goals to actual metrics that you can measure.
So, for example, if you want to measure awareness, use metrics that show how far your message is spreading such as volume, reach and exposure. If you want to measure engagement, choose metrics that show how many people are participating in your conversations such as retweets, comments and replies. If your goal is to drive people to your website, track URL shares, clicks and conversions. As soon as you start to think about it, you’ll realise that none of it is rocket science.
When you’ve got the list of metrics you want to focus on, only then should you start measuring activity. Many of the social media platforms provide some form of analytics, such as facebook insights and google analytics. There are also a number of free independent tools that can be used from the internet, such as Social Mention which is useful for assessing qualitative measures such as share of social media voice and brand associations. You may need to use a few different tools, with each one delivering a different measure, to get a more rounded picture of your social media results.
Use your findings to set a benchmark for future measurement and compare against competitors’ campaigns. More importantly, use your findings to improve and make changes to your content, before measuring some more. Track your numbers over time and pay attention to how things change. Success lies in having a measurement process which consistently uses analytics to track progress and improve where necessary.
Lyndsey Jenkins is Managing Director of jamjar PR (@jamjarPRLtd) – a creative communications agency specialising in PR, marketing, digital and social media. www.jamjar-pr.co.uk