Social networking is fun to use for personal reasons, but when it comes to business, every
company should look for quantitative metrics to measure social media success. The hardest part is defining the goals for your company. Is it to boost traffic to your website? Cut costs in other marketing activities by replacing one with another? Increase conversions? Grow the mailing list?
Most likely, it’s a combination of all these things, but outlining each goal makes it easier to establish firm metrics to measure success. Let’s take a look at three common goals and the metrics that your company could be looking at right now.
1. Goal: Increase web traffic. Metric: Pageviews
This one is pretty straightforward. One of the benefits of the Internet is that everything can be easily connected. If you launch an account on a new social media website, check to see if web traffic is growing to your website as a result. If you’re running a social media campaign, monitor if the number of pageviews to your website correlates to the activity in the campaign.
2. Goal: Increase reach and boost referral traffic. Metric: Referring URLs
The devil is in the details. Knowing which social sites send you the most traffic and which blogs and news hubs are picking you up is very valuable. This helps you manage the conversation and invest resources into these key sites. Understanding the referring sites that send you the best traffic will help you in your future campaigns. Social Click-Through Rate (CTR) can also help you measure referral traffic by measuring the number of times a user clicks on a link to your website shared via social media.
3. Goal: Increase engagement and loyalty. Metric: Average time on site
“Enagement” is a tricky word because it could cover anything from the number of fans of your Facebook page to the number of comments you receive on a blog post. One way to tell if social media is increasing engagement is by looking at which social traffic brings visitors that spend more time on your website than the average visitor. Understanding which referrers from social sites create more page views per visit and longer time on sites is invaluable.
Truthfully, there are dozens of metrics that you could be looking at, especially with the rise of mobile technology. Tools like Google Analytics make it easier to track data, but ultimately, it is important to pick relevant metrics and look for patterns over time. After all, knowledge is power.