Measurement is fundamentally about performance against objectives. So, we measure our performance against the objectives established in the social media plan. A lot of what passes for measurement in social media is really data collection – tracking Followers or Likes, blog traffic or consumer engagement on Facebook.
Unless you have measurable objectives and targets in each of these areas, you are collecting data not measuring. What do you want to happen as a result of your social media campaign or initiative? You have to measure that.
We don’t measure ‘social media’, we measure what we are trying to accomplish with social media. This may seem like we are playing semantic games, but the distinction is very important.
Aligning Social Media Marketing Objectives And Metrics
So as we were point out, before delving into the details of social media marketing measurement, it is first necessary to establish the marketing objectives for social medial. This is necessary in order to identify metrics that matter and find out the best way to measure them. If we report results without defining objectives we will get just numbers that mean little in context of the larger business.
For example, let us compare the following two results:
“We received 5000 likes, 500 comments, and 10 shares last week on our global social properties, with 1000 likes, 5 shares, and 100 comments with 80% positivity (a 10% week-on-week increase) within the Latin Amercia.”
“One of the objectives of our social media program in Latin America is to foster customer interactions via social conversation, thereby increasing retention. Last week we received 100 comments on our LA properties with 80% positivity, a 10% increase in positive customer interactions over the previous week.”
The reason why the second example is much more powerful, despite containing less detail, is because it identifies a social media objective that can speak to a larger marketing goal (customer retention) and focuses only on those metrics that support the objective.
There are mainly three steps when establishing a measurement strategy:
- Identify high-level marketing goals for the brand, market, and campaign.
- Establish a set of social media objectives that contribute to the above goals.
- Define a measurement strategy that allows performance to be tracked against these objectives
Since marketing goals can vary for each brand, within each market, and even per product, social media objectives also need to be defined flexibly. The same applies to measurement and reporting. Different types of engagement metrics should be used to reflect differences in objectives and strategic goals across segments.