Most social media platforms and social media management tools provide some recommendations for the kinds of metrics (measurements) we should be tracking. There’s a lot of information available. Much of it is very helpful for influencers who attract advertisers and sponsors based on the number of followers and interactions they have on their social media accounts. For those of us who work business to business or organization to organization, we have to temper that information with more meaningful questions.
We may not find ready answers to these relevant questions by looking at the numbers provided by social media platforms and social media management tools:
• How can we look at social media metrics and understand how they translate into advancing our professional relationships or earning more business?
• Does engagement with a follower on Facebook convert to the submission of an application for employment, a consultancy project, or a contribution from a donor?
• What should we measure to give us a better idea of the success of our social media campaigns?
• How do we define social media success when it comes to our overall communications or marketing strategy?
Two words: budget and accountability. For some, social media can become a time eater. For some who pay to boost posts or advertise on social media, that time eater can also eat cash. There’s no “set it and forget it”.
We’re looking for correlations.
All social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) provide basic analytics for your organization’s social media pages’ performance, including measurements for post engagement, impressions, and click-throughs. Most provide those analytics through a dynamic administrator dashboard accessible by those who have been expressly authorized by the owner of that social media page.
Most subscription-based social media management tools, like Hootsuite, consolidate and overlay your social media activity across several platforms and individual social media profiles into one dashboard. Additionally, they suggest optimal future posting times based on computer-analyzed past performances of posts. By offering a consolidated picture of posts and post performance, management tools aim to foster efficiencies in scheduling and reporting. As social media features continue to evolve, social media management tools continue to expand their service offerings to remain useful.
For those of us not engaged in retail transactions, we must find the correlation between social media performance, other communications initiatives (advertising, direct mail, etc.) and our ultimate growth (transactional) goals (securing contracts, forming partnerships, increasing application submissions, etc.) to understand the effectiveness of our activity. To do that, we must also work outside social media management tools for the most meaningful analytics.
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