Each day the role of social networks in our lives is densely growing. Some people can hardly imagine their lives without facebook page as well as without a mobile phone and daily access to the Internet. Such mass and stable accumulation of people in social networks creates an excellent platform for advertising and brand promoting, what, however, has features and complexities. One of the difficulties is tracking social media effectiveness.
To begin let’s define what effectiveness is:
Effectiveness is a ratio of a useful result and costs required to achieve this result.
Metrics of the social network effectiveness is directly dependent on purposes of advertising in social networks. The main goals are:
1). Brand marketing (distribution of information about your brand to increase brand awareness, interest, establish contacts with potential clients and so on)
2). Targeted action execution (visits to a site, goods or service purchase, phone call, PDF file download, registration on a site etc.)
So, to understand the efficiency of an advertising compaign in social media you need to measure:
• spent efforts,
• audience coverage,
And now in details.
1). Spent efforts is a measure of your efforts in the social network space. A parity of this indicator with other metrics will allow you to estimate efficiency of your actions.
Some of indicators which can be included in calculation of efforts:
- Publications on a personal blog
- Guest publications on blogs
- Comments at forums
- Posts in Facebook, Twitter
- Publications on YouTube
For the general understanding it is enough to count publications a day / week / month, but for a deeper study of PR campaign effectiveness you should also take into account an average number of characters in messages, quality of information, time of publication, day of week, etc. and to track relation between effect and some parameters changing.
Further I consider efficiency measurement according to stages of users’ reaction and information expansions among themselves. Such order of measurements will help to draw the whole picture of people behavior on a way of your goals fulfilling.
2) Audience coverage is a scale of audience that has learned information.
I will divide audience coverage measurement into two stages: initial coverage of audience and information expansion.
Initial coverage of audience
а) View – a kind of passive acquaintance with your message. Views quantity allows you to estimate how your publication draws attention, if a theme is interesting for audience, brightness of message design.
Metrics which can be used for count include views of:
- Facebook page
- Blog pages
- YouTube Channel
b) Involvement is an indicator of your brand or company discussing activity. Here you can estimate not only quantitative indicators but also qualitative, i.e., you can understand not only number of active users, but also their mood in relation to your brand. And if the first category helps us to understand how bright and beautiful wrapper you have created, than this and the following parameters allow you to understand how tasty a candy seemed to users
Metrics of engagement:
- Comments to a blog posts
- Comments and quantity of “likes” in Facebook
- Interactions with YouTube (like, don’t like, to add to favorites, send to a friend)
- Ratio between positive and negative responses
c) Connection is an expression of obvious interest to your brand or company.
If a user gets interested, he/she makes the next step beyond simple contemplation of a message: he voluntarily enters “relations” with a company.
- Subscription to your blog
- Subscription to newsletters
- Facebook fans / likes
- Twitter followers
- YouTube friends, subscribe
- Number of group members on LinkedIn
Audience expansion – distribution of your information by users among themselves.
a) Information distribution in social media:
- Facebook share
- To send video in YouTube
- Brand mention in SM.
b) Referring sites tracking through Google Analytics. Information distribution can go beyond social networking sites, for example, you can be mentioned in articles at thematic resources, in press and so on. Google Analytics will help in tracking traffic from these sites.
3) Conversion – performance of targeted actions if any were covered by an advertising campaign.
To calculate a conversion rate you can track sales, phone calls, files downloads, registrations, and so on.
Let’s consider some ways of sales tracking which were performed through promotion in the social network:
- The easiest way – to ask where you have learned about a product or a service. As the saying goes, you can get anywhere if you know how to use your tongue
- Using of “Promo Codes”. This is a unique number consisting of several figures. Using promo code gives a customer a chance to get a reward or discount on a product if he uses this promotional code while ordering.
- Using URL Builder. In case of payment for goods (services) online, with help of URL Builder can be tracked particular message from which a user comes to a product page.
Phone calls can be tracked
- Using of a unique phone or phone extension line
- Using of code identifiers. When using this method you must generate unique codes. When a customer calls to the company, a dialogue with him should begin with phrases like “For optimum redirect of your call read, please, the code under the telephone number” or just ask for promotional code while communicating with a client.
- Using of scripts for tracking conversions from search engines.
As we have already mentioned, which metrics is better to use depends on goals. You may need to count a number of negative feedback for further reputation management. Or you might need to combine the proposed metric of engagement and enlargement into one. I just offer a comfortable in my opinion scheme of collecting figures, analysis of which helps to track goals achievement by stages and estimate effectiveness of a final result.
Good luck and wish you effective advertising campaigns!