The Best Metrics to Show Off Your Social Media Efforts

SIMPLE1Social media and its myriad metrics introduced a whole new landscape of accountability to communications professionals. In the early days, it was exciting and interesting to watch how a piece of content would generate likes and shares. Or to see how just one tweet could bring you so many retweets or new followers.

Then Facebook and Twitter started adding metrics like “engagement” with their own specific formulas while platforms sprung up like Pinterest and Instagram that offered even more metrics. Thinking that they would make sense of this clutter, vendors emerged like Simply Measured and Audiense (formerly Social Bro) that offered even more metrics and the ability to slice and dice data a million different ways.

All of which led to mass confusion (and frustration) among professional communicators and their agencies. Most of them threw every metric available into a report in order to justify the time they were spending (or wasting) on social media. As a result, reports rarely contained comparable data, and none of them accurately reported the actual impact that a program had on one’s business.

Today, there’s a growing consensus among professionals that most social media metrics are BS. It’s a far more useful exercise to focus on meaningful metrics than to get overloaded with many. So to help cut back on any confusion (or frustration) you may have, here is a chart with 9 popular communications questions, social media metrics to address them, and how to calculate those metrics:

GoalMetricTool Required
Increase leads or other conversion% goal conversions to lead URL Google Analytics, Omniture (now part of Adobe Marketing Cloud), or Webtrends
% increase in qualified leads from content marketing sourcesCRM
Increase positioning as a thought leader% share of your spokespersons quoted vs. the competition in social and traditional media
% share of voice on your particular subject matter vs. the competition
Media analysis or monitoring
% increase in perception/recognition of your organization as a thought leaderAwareness/perception survey
Increase search rankings% increase in search engine rankings SEO Tracker or Google Search

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