How to Determine KPIs on Social Media

Understanding your brand’s KPIs on social media is going to be crucial to measuring the success of your program.

kpis on social mediaROI remains one of the key concerns for marketers and executives alike when it comes to social media marketing. While there exist a number of ways to measure your returns on social campaigns, few marketers know where to look in order to find them. The first place to start is by establishing your KPIs on social media – they are going to be invaluable down the road.

Think about it: how can you know if you are successful, if you do not know what your measurement for success is going to be? For those that do not know what KPI stands for, these are Key Performance Indicators, and they vary from brand to brand.

There are a few steps you are going to need to take in order to determine your KPIs for social media. Below is the set of steps to follow in order to figure out what, exactly, you plan on using as a criteria for success with social media efforts.

Establish Your Goals

Before you can determine how you want to measure your returns, you need to know what you want to accomplish. As it states above, KPIs are going to vary from business to business. Of course there will be some that are fairly general, and observed by almost everyone. But to know what you want to be measuring, you need to know what is going to contribute to achieving your goals.

There are a few goals your brand might have. Maybe you want to increase brand awareness, or drive direct sales. Maybe it is something in between those two. Whatever it is, you need to start by establishing your short and long term goals.

Understand Insights

When it comes to social media, insights are going to come in all shapes and sizes. They can also be assisted by tools and technologies. When looking at KPIs, you are going to need to sift through quite a bit of data. Conventionally, the top-down approach to measuring KPIs started with your goals and simply looked at the processes that led to results as the KPIs. This is not the case with social (well, not entirely the case). While you are going to be looking at processes as KPIs, you are also going to be looking at a number of other resources. Enter insights.

Know where your insights exist both on and off social networks. Look at your activity on Facebook Insights, and compliment that with data collected in Google Analytics. Knowing where all of your data is being collected (and yes, all of your data is being collected) is going to be extremely useful when determining your KPIs and where you can find them.

Simplicity is Not a Bad Thing

Sometimes, the simplest answer is going to be the best. Measuring your return on investment does not have to be some convoluted set of equations that generate a mysterious, variable-filled result. You can look at some of your more simple KPIs and find a whole lot of value.

Something as simple of your number of interactions – a hard, straightforward number – can be an extremely valuable KPI and you shouldn’t go out of your way to complicate things.

Some Helpful Starting Points

When it comes to KPIs on social media, there are going to be some standard ones. No matter what you are trying to achieve, you will ultimately want to keep at least a few of these in mind.

  • Cost-per-lead/conversion: You have to spend money to make money and social media is no different. Pay attention to how much you are investing in every one of your conversions in order to ensure that you are profitable.
  • Engagement: Look at how often your fans are interacting with your brand in order to see if your content strategy is successful. If you are talking to no one, how can you expect to drive any business from social media?
  • Referral traffic: This relates closely to your engagement KPI. How often is your content leading to users visiting your website? What types of content are leading to users visiting your website, or finding landing pages?
  • Network growth: It might seem trivial, but a lot of people tend to overlook the value of a large network. Whether that is an email database, a group of Twitter followers, or followers on your company’s LinkedIn page, a growing network can have a lot of value if leveraged correctly.

What KPIs are you using to track your work on social media? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

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