There is no doubt that social media is now so established that every ambitious company and brand needs to strategise for it. The problem is that it can be difficult to measure and analyse its impact.
Social media uses the same principles when measured in "traditional" media terms. At the end of the day, it all comes down to converting the strength of your brand into increased sales.
Measuring social media usually falls into three categories; reach, engagement and influence.
How to measure reach
The number of followers your brand enjoys, and the number of followers of those who retweet your posts gives you an indication of your reach. Compare how this growth looks over time for these two categories. Where you make the greatest gains, relatively speaking, is an opportunity to concentrate a special effort.
Though the general number of likes on your brand’s page is an indicator of your reach, you can also dig deeper. For example, explore influxes of new likes in relation to a campaign.
YouTube reach can be measured in both the number of subscribers to your channel, and how many viewers engage with the clips you publish (e.g. comments, shares, etc).
Estimating blog reach is easy to measure, by looking at the number of visitors you attract. In addition, exploring how this affects different campaigns can tell you about your audience.
Revise your distribution lists for relevancy. Do they need to be updated? How many emails did we send, and how many were opened? Services such as bananatag.com offer the ability to see what happens to your emails once they’re sent.
How to measure engagement
What happens to those you have reached? How committed are they? Will they move on to make a purchasing decision?
Several tools out there assist in gauging the commitment of potential customers, such as Biz360 and TweetEffect. Features enjoyed by Observify users which achieve this include Statistics (providing an overview of your brand at a glance), and My Audience (easy organisation of the top talkers among your customers). All this helps you see the big picture, as well as detail on leads for your business.
Check how many times your message was retweeted, how many times links were clicked and how many people used your hashtag. Compare these figures with the number of people causing them, and you get a sense of commitment to your brand. Tracking specific campaigns with Observify’s social media monitoring enables your team to see reactions in real time, and communicate with users easily - straight from the interface.
Monitor engagement via Facebook through how many people click on a link, the number of likes, as well as shares and comments. Again, comparing these amounts with the number of people who take these actions gives you a picture of their potential as customers. Valuable insight comes from looking at results for the entire campaign - or simply a part of it. Ask questions - such as which image brought about the most engagement? By fine tuning the message and its design (within the same campaign), you get a solid idea of what is most effective.
YouTube engagement takes shape in the number of your channel’s subscribers, views, how many users rate your videos and the number of shares. Features such as Statistics in your Observify account provide a quick overview and thanks to the unlimited number of keywords available to you as a user, defining and refining your searches is simple.
Engagement for blog content is invaluable thanks to indications like the number of post shares, and across which channels they were spread, examining the number of comments and any further referrals (links or connections) to your company’s blog.
How to measure influence
Generally, making sense of influence is more challenging in comparison to the numerical nature of reach and engagement. However, there are tools such Twitalyzer, Social Mention and the solutions Observify presents in real-time to help measure sentiment quickly and easily.
In connection with the launch of a campaign, it is possible to get an impression rapidly as to how it has been received if you have a powerful tool that provides you with a brand analytics overview. Even if you use an automated tool to measure the sentiment of your business, it is important to do a manual check to really get a feel for how your communication is received.