Social Media: Quality Vs. Quantity

Social media is notoriously difficult to measure, especially when you are trying to track the effectiveness of a recent strategy or campaign. It can be easy to get too caught up in numbers and to ignore the wider impact and broader dimension of your activity online. Using metrics such as Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers can provide a degree of insight but these should never be used in isolation. Why? Because they are not representative.

Here are four new dimensions that you should consider when measuring the effectiveness of future campaigns and strategies:

  1. Your influence: so you have increased your Twitter followers twice fold within the past 6 months: so what? What does this actually mean? Have the new additions to your fan base been enticed through rewards? Are some of the accounts automated spam bots? Are some of your followers passive? Use tools such as Klout and PeerIndex to measure the extent to which you are influential to your fan base. These tools have been tightly developed by data scientists who will calculate a numeric score using numerous measurements, such as the amount of people ReTweeting your content, clicking through to your links and responding actively to your posts. Contrast your influence with your follower count for a more accurate representation of how much leadership you actually have within your market.
  2. Your e-bottom line: social media is often criticised for having a weak correlation with your bottom line but you have to consider the long lasting effect of gains in brand recognition, trust and relationships with your customer base. You can however start to track the volume of traffic coming to your site from your social media profiles, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest by using a web analysis software package such as Google Analytics or Piwik. Some packages can even show which visitors directed from your social media sites purchased products from you or reached a desirable stage on your site.
  3. Your overall presence online: it’s no secret that social media can significantly boost your SEO strategy and position on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo but what about your increased presence elsewhere on the web? What about the conversations that are focused around your business on blogs, forums and other social networks as a result upon increased exposure through your social media strategy? Web analytics can tell you exactly where your visits have been referred from. It is a good idea to also track the amount of external site referrals you receive on a weekly basis to provide a wider impact measurement.
  4. Your response rate: you could have the highest resourced, most ambitious social media strategy in the world but if the new additions to your fan base fail to engage with your content or brand online then it will be a total waste. You should consider the response rates of your content throughout the entire campaign; not only does this provide an indication of influence but you can also use it as a process of trial and error market research so to fully understand what makes your market tick. All social media sites provide numerical representations of response rates; whether this be YouTube video likes and comments, status comments or ReTweets. Build a tally or use the tools provided by the social networks such as Facebook Insights to do the hard work for you. Make sure that you closely monitor your response rates continuously to ensure that you gain as many actively engaged fans as possible.

At Forever Young, we believe that it is important to educate our clients when it comes to the measurement of their social media campaigns. It is important to understand that an increase in fan count isn’t necessarily a good thing; it could represent a wasted budget if it isn’t managed correctly. To find out more about our measurement techniques or to see how Forever Young can bring your social media to the next level, drop us a line and we’ll do coffee.