Five Social Media Metrics That Really Matter

After almost three years of metaphorical sweating and pondering about what I might do with a Politics degree, I joined the world of Online Marketing back in early July. So far, I’ve realised very quickly that this career path is a lot more than 'liking', re-tweeting, sharing and posting updates on Facebook and Twitter. It's also about ensuring that you're getting information to potential and existing customers at the right time.

In my opinion, it is also imperative that company social media accounts use correct spelling and grammar, have varied content which encourages readers to take action and are regularly updated. But do senior managers and executives generally give a damn about all of the above? Well, if I started sending irrelevant updates at 2am after a night out, with links to content not suitable for a family audience, I suspect I'd be fired so fast an ejector seat would be required!

Here's five social media metrics which I think matter:

Paid Campaign Reports

When you spend money, you want to know that you're getting good value, whether it be on candy floss or a new mobile phone contract. The same applies when you're trying to improve your presence on social media, except you're on the other side, trying to generate new leads. But how much does every click or purchase cost? Is it worth the budget you or your superior has set aside for the campaign? Are they on a sequent basis? Are they targeting the right individuals? Most importantly (especially if you're a private sector organisation), is it delivering a profitable outcome?

Total Reach and Impressions

So one of my colleagues decides to publish details about an Apprenticeship vacancy in the middle of Cornwall. Great! But there's little point of publishing if the number of people who see our posts continues to be static.

How can this be improved then? One way I've suggested, having assessed Facebook Insights data  from the more popular pages is to make use of capital letters, lines and stars in a post. It seems to bring extra people in, quite a few more on some occasions.

Initial Engagement

Now that you have regular updates which an increasing number of people are viewing and a professional looking presence, you now need those posts to provoke action. This could be a click on a web link, a like or a share onto the timeline of a friend who's unemployed.

Further Engagement

What you really want though is for someone to book a meeting, fill out a online form or ask the organisation additional questions. For the organisation I work for, it's also brilliant if  other companies seek to share their events, jobs or training programmes, with the aim of increasing the reach.

Likes and Follows

I realise that at this point, far more experienced marketers may ask 'what on earth are you talking about', and to be honest, if the social media accounts I were managing also had a trillion likes and follows, I would almost certainly change my current view. The reality though is that the pages I’m developing needs a huge amount work, and the number of likes and follows is something that had to be addressed from day one!

Of course, as I learn new skills and develop my experience in the world of Online Marketing, this list will change. In a further three months, the list could include potential customer acquisition sources for example. Will I be able to develop a much better understanding of Google Analytics for instance. I'm not going to put forward any sly and unprofessional public requests though.. (hint)

Alex Blakey

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