For most B2B organizations actively involved in a social media program, the most important social media metric is the bottom line. Is the program getting results and are more visitors turning into sales?
To get the most value out of a social media program, this question needs to be answered. However, when determining program effectiveness, the first thing we have to do is to wait. Usually, it takes 13 months for a consistent and effective social media program to show results. That appears to be the tipping point. In the meantime, we can still follow what’s evolving.
For instance, we can keep an eye on metrics like these:
Social Media Increases Web Traffic
When my own social media program began in July 2019, Google told me I had 475 visitors to my company website. By January 19, 2020, that had jumped to more than 2,100 visitors. That’s more than four times more web visitors in six months.
So, that’s a great sign but we need to dig a bit deeper. It’s important to notice when you are getting most of your visitors, what times and what days. This can vary. With Facebook, it could be on the weekends. With LinkedIn, it could be during the middle of the week and in the middle of the day. However, I have found that I get the most visits to my LinkedIn page in the evening. You may have to do some investigating, but knowing this information helps you determine the best times to post for each social media platform.
Social Media Clicks
This is the oldest metric and still one of the best. One click on a social media post means that one person was interested enough in the image accompanying the post, or the “teaser” to the post, to click on it and see what it is all about. The more clicks, the more effective the posts.
But once again, dig a bit deeper.
When are most of those clicks coming in?
What days and times? And note what channels. Because my focus is the B2B industry, I find I am most successful – getting the most clicks and click-throughs to my website – on LinkedIn. Twitter is relatively good, but the same posts on Facebook do not get much attention.
First, a tip: if someone comments on one of your posts, good or bad, acknowledge them and thank them for taking the time to comment. Also, consider viewing the comment as a door opener, a way to introduce yourself to that person. Read their profile or find out about where they work and start a conversation. View these as 1-on-1 interactions. This is the human side of social media.
As to metrics, here is what we need to know. Comments tend to breed more comments, and more comments means your social media platform will likely get more visitors. The program’s algorithms will view the site as important and direct more visitors to it.
Social Media Reach and Views
The value of reach and view metrics is that they give you an idea of what is popular on your website. For instance, once I wrote a blog for a food service client about the importance of monitoring the temperature of food left out after cooking. Bacteria can build up in food that cools too quickly or is left out too long.
Interestingly, that one post experienced a wide reach– it was viewed by visitors from all over the world – and was viewed more than any other post on the site at that time. The subject matter was not unique, but we learned that the way the blog was written and presented helped make it popular. We replicated it in future blogs.
Followers and Page Likes
These social media metrics can be deceptive. Many visitors to a social media site will begin to follow the company or will like a post even though they have little or no interest in the company or its products. Something just caught their eye. Furthermore, unfortunately, there are a lot of fake profiles on social media. What they are up to is anybody’s guess. These are not metrics we are interested in. However, if the follower/liker is a potential lead, that can count as a social media metric.
Social Media Impressions
Ultimately, this is not a metric at all. As an advertiser on a social media platform, if the analytics indicate an ad had 1,000 impressions, this just identifies the number of times your ad – or post if it is not an ad – appeared on someone’s newsfeed. Essentially, it lets you know how many times your ad or post was visible on that platform.