There are certain ways to leverage social media metrics in order to drive results when it comes to your business.
There are plenty of great measurements that marketers can (and should) pay attention to when it comes to efforts on social media. But in order to really capitalize on the economic value of these social media metrics, it is important that the majority, if not all of them, are tied to business goals. Social media should be used as communications tools, and like any aspect of your communications strategy, they need to be measured in relation to how they are helping your bottom line.
Of course, lead generation is key. But too often when marketers or social media managers share content to different networks, there are no tracking mechanisms in place to track leads. Moreover, the lead generation features available on networks like Twitter and Facebook (often through advertising) go underused.
Link tracking and site tracking (using urchin tracking in your links, for example, or behavior flow/goal analysis on your website) matter. While you can rely on your website tracking software (e.g. Google Analytics) to do the work for you, you’ll want to ensure that once those social-driven visitors have made it to the website, you create goals and track those leads in order to better your content strategy and improve the way in which you leverage social media in order to acquire leads. In terms of advertising, making a small investment in things like boosting your Facebook Page call-to-action, create Twitter lead gen cards and taking advantage of Facebook’s new lead gen ad option are great ways to go about driving that financial return from your networks.
Inbound Social Links
The growth of your inbound social links and subsequent traffic are key to the growth of your business from several angles. As your inbound links from social grow, it is indicative of the relevance of your content (particularly the content being shared to the respective network). This helps you improve the investment you make (both from a financial and time perspective) in your content strategy. The second reason why this is a hugely important metric has to do with search.
Here are the correlative data of social with respect to the rankings of some of the most powerful sites on the web:
Though Google says that these social signals do not directly change search rankings, the reality is that the correlation between this social clout and high rankings is on par with traditionally (and still) important metrics like number of backlinks and click-through rate. High rankings are good for business.
Customer Service Capacity
With Social Care (customer service on social media) one of the many benefits is the increased capacity that your customer service representatives can now handle. That increased capacity means that the 75%+ of consumers that want their issue addressed by an agent within 60 minutes have a higher likelihood of seeing that happen. Considering 80%+ of those simply want to be heard by an organization (and don’t necessarily care if the issue is resolved, as it oftentimes can’t be) it means your brand’s reputation stands less chance of being hurt by any issues and a good chance of actually improving in the public’s eye.
From an economical benefit standpoint? That has to do a lot more with money saved than money earned (directly, though improved brand reputation is a factor to consider). With a higher volume that can be handled by your customer service team, it means there is less need to employ such a significant customer service staff. Of course, this works best if you are just getting started, but in terms of transition, it could mean becoming a leaner team down the road as these improvements make an impact.
Just as with lead generation, you’ll want to take advantage of all of the opportunities that come with conversion tracking. Simple pixel tracking or social integration with your eCommerce or CRM are readily available and make your ability to track socially-driven conversions infinitely easier. Apart from tracking social conversions from the obvious reasons, why else would you want to look at this metric? Again, this has just as much to do with money management as it does with money making.
Everything you’re doing with social media takes an investment. Whether you’re investing financially in something like ads or spending time and other resources making social work, there is an investment. When you minimize your investment only to those strategies that work, your profits are maximized. That’s the goal here. It’s not simply paying attention to those conversions to see how much money was made, but rather to pay attention to those conversions to ensure that whatever you are investing in is leading to increased revenues. You might love a strategy you developed, but if your target audience is not responding to it, or they are, but not in a way that you had hoped (for example, likes instead of signups) then you need to cut that one loose and focus on those efforts that are working.
There are a lot of ways to tie social to your business, but when it comes to what you’re measuring, these are some of the most important metrics out there. Of course, they are not always going to be black and white. You might (and almost definitely will) need to get creative with what you’re looking at, but there is always a way to tie economic growth to social communications, and it’s a must if you want to see social help you grow.