There are tons of metrics you could track to enhance your social media efforts and monitor your success. However, time is precious and too much data can often just overwhelm you. If you’re only going to track a few social media metrics, here are four that are definitely worth paying attention to.
1. Brand mentions
Brand mentions do two things: provide you with feedback about your social media efforts, and give you an opportunity to join in conversations about your brand.
To monitor brand mentions, set up Google Alerts to monitor your brand name. Alternative/additional tools you might want to consider using are Social Mention and (I have only recently discovered this but it looks pretty good so far): mention.
2. Mentions of your competitors
Are more people talking about your competitors than you and if so, why? What are they doing differently to you? Is it that what they share is just a bit more awesome than what you share? Or have they got a more influential pool of followers?
Look at what it is that your competitors are doing better than you and learn from it.
However, just because people are talking about your competitors does not automatically mean that everything they’re saying is good.
It might seem a bit harsh, but there are great opportunities to be had from jumping on the back of a competitors’ mistake. Of course, if you have a good relationship with your competitors, monetising from their errors might not be a good move. However, in the spirit of true competition….
- When Starbucks refused to honour thousands of free drink coupons, rival Caribou Coffee saw an opportunity to win over Starbucks customers by honouring the vouchers themselves.
- SEO firm Blueglass recently went under, taking their upcoming conference, BlueglassX, with them. Distilled responded by offering free tickets to Searchlove to all BlueglassX ticket holders.
- Local butchers responded in force to the recent horsemeat scandal by emphasising the quality, and absence of, horse in their meat. Since the scandal broke, the Q Guild of Butchers reported a 30 per cent increase in sales of mince, and an overall sales increase of 20 per cent.
3. Referral traffic
Referral traffic will tell you how many people are being driven from your social pages to your website, as well as which social networks they are coming from, and where on your site they are going.
To get this data, go to Google Analytics, click on ‘Traffic Sources’, ‘Social’, and ‘Network Referrals’.
The page you will now be looking at will tell you which social networks are driving visitors to your site, and how many, as well as the average duration of a visitor from each network, and how many pages, on average, they visit.
You can delve deeper into this data by clicking on the name of a social network. You will then see which pages of your site people have landed on when following a link from that network. You’ll also see some very helpful data for each of those pages: the average amount of time spent on the site once they’ve landed on a specific page, and the average number of pages visited.
The knowledge you can gain from this is invaluable. Firstly you can establish which pieces of your content are gaining the most interest from social media. The average visit duration then tells you whether or not people are actually reading the content. If the average visit duration for a page is 10 or 20 seconds, and that page contained 1000 words, something has prevented people reading the full page. If the average visit duration is 2 or 3 minutes, you can safely assume most people are sticking around the read the full piece.
The fact that this is at the bottom of this list does not make tracking conversions any less important. In fact, I think that if there was just one social media metric you were going to track, it should be this one.
Your social media led conversions tell you the most important metric of all: how many people come to your site via a social network, and wind up making you money.
To access your conversion data, again go to Google Analytics, click on ‘traffic sources’, ‘social’, and ‘conversions’.
From here you can see which social networks drove conversions, how many, and (depending on your settings), how much they were worth.
This data will tell you which social networks are proving most valuable in monetary terms, and therefore which networks are worthy of more (or less) of your time.