A lot of businesses know that using social media is important, but they’re not sure how to measure how well they’re doing or how it’s giving them business. Some effects of using social media are difficult to measure directly, since they involve building relationships and improving long term sales, but there still are some general measurements you can use to help you get a feel for how you’re doing overall: Attention, Influence & Conversion.
Measuring Attention – Attention is a measure of how many people view your content and how long they interact with it. How you measure this depends on the social media in question. On a website or blog, numbers such as visitors, unique visitors, pageviews, bounce rate, and time on site would be helpful.
Measuring Influence – Influence is a measure of how strong your voice is. Think of it in terms of how often your content gets shared or passed on. On a site like Twitter, this would be measured in terms of retweets (or original tweets of your content), tweets with your name (conversations people have with you), and clicks on links you send out.
Measuring Conversion – A conversion happens when someone takes an action you’ve asked of them. So if you’re advertising a product and send people to a landing page where they can buy the product, a conversion would be when they actually buy the product. What a conversions means can vary depending on your business, goals and particular marketing campaign (for example, it could be a signup for a newsletter or requesting a free report). Conversions give you a measure of how effective that particular marketing campaign is as well as the landing page. For example, you may be sending people to a webinar signup for Twitter, and you want to measure how many people who clicked the link actually signed up. Conversions are very common on eCommerce sites where merchants want to measure how many people actually buy things from particular promotions, but they are a useful measure for any business.
Measuring helps you figure out what’s working, what to improve and where to spend your time, among other things. Use measurement as a guide to help you. Don’t get too caught up in the actual numbers (like checking them every day). Instead, use your measurements as an overall guide to how you’re doing.
How do you measure social media?
(photo by aussiegall @ Flickr CC)