Social Media Measuring Your Efforts 03. Step One Align Your Objectives 04. Step Two Measure Reach and Share of Conversation 05

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2 Social Media Measuring Your Efforts 03 Step One Align Your Objectives 04 Step Two Measure Reach and Share of Conversation 05 Step Three Measure Conversions and Sales 08 Step Four Track and Measure Your Leads 12 Step Five Measure Your Cost Savings 13 Conclusion 16 Helpful Equations 17 2

3 Social Media: Measuring Your Efforts If you re going to invest time in social media, you need to measure performance, but it can be difficult to identify relevant metrics. There s no one-size-fits-all method of measuring social media success because goals vary from brand to brand. But you can certainly find ways to measure all the work you re putting into your social presence. Get started now with the practical applications explained in this guide. We ll help you: Create strong measurement objectives from the start. Save money training employees by using social media tools. Weave social media into your customer service approach in a trackable way. Determine which social media channels are best suited to boost your bottom line. Focus on the metrics that indicate a shift in the way your audience is viewing or interacting with your brand. Put a dollar value on social media metrics such as Facebook likes. 3

4 Align Your Objectives Your social strategy should always lead with measurable objectives. Vague, imprecise objectives like get more Twitter followers aren t easily measured and can leave you frustrated. Instead, your objectives should follow the SMART methodology, first introduced by Peter Drucker in his 1954 book The Practice of Management. The acronym stands for a Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timed definition of your goals: Specific: Establish objectives that are specific to your desired results. For example, if your objective is to increase brand awareness, try a more focused approach like, Increase brand awareness by 10% in the next six months through a targeted social media campaign. 1 Measurable: Use consistent metrics in your review process to verify the effectiveness of your efforts. Outlining your specific objectives helps you assess your results and decide how to move forward in the future. Achievable: Often, a goal of 90% customer satisfaction is more attainable than a goal of 100% customer satisfaction. The same is true for your social media plan, so consider what s feasible when setting your objectives. Relevant: Your goals should always support your company s big-picture plans. Goals that are worthwhile, align with other internal goals, and champion your team will always receive better support. Timed: Incorporate a time frame into your objectives to make yourself accountable for their fruition. Utilize tools like content calendars, review and edit timelines, and analytic checklists to make your objectives more real and tangible. 4

5 Measure Reach and Share of Conversation Social media makes it easy for your customers and prospects to share information about your products or services online. It also enables you to influence buying decisions through direct relationships with customers. But how do you measure the effectiveness of these conversations and relationships? Calculating reach and share of conversation helps you gauge your social value and make any needed adjustments. Several different metrics aid in this process, but remember, only focus on the ones that help you move toward your goals. Social Media Reach Your social media reach looks at the potential number of people your campaign touches. It s important to note that this is an approximate calculation and not an actual number. Unfortunately, not every Twitter follower, blog subscriber, or Facebook connection reads or even sees the content you publish. Here are some ways to check your potential reach: Monitor your social media networks for raw numbers. Check your website and blog for daily or monthly peak times and estimate what percentage of your followers you can reach with a single post, a week s worth, a month s worth, etc. 2 Look at the resonance of a single post by watching retweets and shares. Measure secondary reach, or the friends of your friends who might see your posts. 5

6 Share of Conversation Check your share of conversation to understand how much buzz is surrounding your brand. As you re mentioned in relevant conversations, you become more visible and it becomes easier for your audience to substantiate you over a competitor in the same market. Remember, the goal isn t simply to gain the follower, but to move them to action. Validating this action conversion requires: Looking at your average monthly reach across all your social properties Counting the number of transactions/conversions that originate in those channels during that same month Establishing the ratio: For every 10 potential people, we can count two conversions, or five new blog subscribers, or three sign ups, etc. Number of posts mentioning chosen topic and your brand Number of posts mentioning chosen topic Share of Conversation People who shared content Their networks Social Media Reach Calculate share of conversation like this: 1. Determine your topic, subject, or market of focus. For example, if you work for a diabetes foundation, you might want to look at conversations around diabetes research or diabetes support. 2. Within that topic, track and count the posts you want to measure during a specific time period. Thirty days is generally a good time frame. 3. Also track posts that mention both the topic and your brand during that same time frame. 4. Divide these metrics to get a resulting percentage: your share of conversation. You ll also want to take a look at inbound links, social bookmarks, and customer recommendations when gauging online conversation about your brand, as we explain next. 6

7 Building Awareness: Inbound Links Think of inbound links as your online currency, contributing to things like your search visibility in Google. Your inbound link results should correlate with your digital content goals. For example, If you are trying to build buzz around a new widget, explore some content marketing options that you can share on social media: write a few blog posts about how to use it, its top features, and highlighting the best customer reviews of the widget. Include great visuals and buttons for easy social sharing, and you ve built yourself a firm foundation for inbound linking. Be sure to look at your analytic web tools to see if any of your prospects website or social media accounts are are top referring sites to your website. Don t forget that the quality of your content is key to engaging your customers and driving those inbound links. Getting Attention: Social Bookmarks Social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon or Reddit are great tools for putting your content out there. Social bookmarking makes it easier for people to view, share, and comment on your content. The goal is to get your content in front of real people, not bots, who are interested in what you have to say and can share it with other people, thus boosting your SEO. Try setting up a search on these sites for your company or blog name to see hits for bookmarks. How many people have bookmarked your particular link? Look at your referral analytics to see where these sites sit on the refering site list and correlate your traffic volume per month with the number of bookmarks in the same time period. Strength of Referrals and Recommendations Checking online recommendations and referrals helps you assess the impact of word of mouth on your brand. To check your brand s referral strength: Monitor mentions of your brand name and any variations and common misspellings. Look for direct recommendations or referrals. For example, a response to a request for information. Look for implied recommendations. For example, Bob s Towing is great and I d use them anytime! Monitor the percentage of posts that are direct or implied recommendations over a period of time. Again, 30 days is a good benchmark. For a deeper look, map names and profiles that are recipients of the direct recommendations. Overlay these recipients with your prospect/contact database and see how many have actually entered your pipeline. 7

8 Measure Conversions and Sales If you re new to the world of social media strategy, you may think that measuring social is all about the number of eyeballs that see your content. But the actions that your social visitors take are much more important to your success than total eyeballs. This next-step interaction from your audience is known as a conversion. Conversion measurement always depends on your organization s goals, whether it s clicking a link, filling out a form, or making purchases on your website. Attribution 3 Attribution describes what you should consider when measuring a sale. Your social efforts often assist in a sale or conversion, yet these assists are generally underrated when looking at bottom line results. There are three main kinds of attribution you can use to measure a sale: first action, last action, and linear action. First-action attribution gives 100% credit to the first interaction your customer had with you, or the activity that first made the prospect aware of your company. Last-action attribution gives the last thing a prospect encountered 100% credit for driving a lead. Linear action gives credit equally to all stages of the process. As a company, you need to decide which model makes more sense for you and where your social media efforts fit into the puzzle. If this metric sounds interesting, you may want to do some further reading on measuring the success of social media. 8

9 Correlation Correlation tracks your overall sales and website referrals and then compares them to your online activity. If your followers, blog subscribers, and social shares have all increased along with sales, you can indicate a positive correlation between social media initiatives and sales. If social media activity goes up but sales stay flat or go down, something isn t working in your conversion model. Your correlation can also be measured in ratios. For example, you might make a $50,000 investment in social media (time, money, or both) that correlates with a $250,000 increase in sales over the same time period. You have now determined the proportion in sales or lead traffic increase over the time period in which you track your social media activities, and are able to extract a relationship between the two. Note Correlation isn t an exact measurement, but rather, indicates general trends and possibly related events that you may want to research further. 9

10 Value of a Facebook Like Tracking the value of your Facebook likes in monetary terms means looking at the revenue generated via leads and traffic originating from your Facebook efforts. If your Facebook page doesn t drive leads or sales and is more of a brand awareness tool, it may be too difficult to determine the value of each Facebook like and this metric may not be for you. Total revenue in 30 days from Facebook Total number of likes Value of a Facebook Like Checking your number of likes is easy, but how do you determine the total revenue in 30 days from Facebook traffic? Here are a few ideas: Build landing pages within your website that are only accessible via Facebook. Use your analytics software to track referral traffic from Facebook. Look at the percentage of conversions to leads from Facebook traffic (i.e., they filled out your contact form or ed you for more information), then track which ones become customers through your sales/crm database. Or, if you have e-commerce on your site, track the completed transactions that originate from Facebook. Note that this method doesn t take into account outside factors such as past correspondence or offline influence. For a more holistic view, consider cross-referencing your Facebook likes with your sales database for the bigger picture. 10

11 Conversion Rates The real value of social conversion comes when you take a collective view of all of your social media initiatives. Anything you qualify as a successful interaction according to your goals should be considered a conversion. An newsletter sign-up, a blog subscription, a contact form submission, a content download, a contest entry, or, of course, a purchase could all be considered conversions. Another way to look at this metric is to identify lead to sale conversions that are affiliated with, but don t necessarily originate with, your social properties. When a lead comes in through any channel, cross-reference it with your subscribers, Twitter followers, or Facebook likes and indicate the associations in your database. Look at the conversion percentage of those who have social network associations versus those that don t. Look to see if leads associated with your social networks convert to sales more quickly or more slowly than others. Track this from the time the lead is opened in your database to the date of the sale. Increasing Direct-Response Sales The purpose of direct-response sales is to provide a unique way for people to buy from you that s exclusive to your social media channels. The key here is to create a VIP-type environment that encourages people to interact and share with their network. You can try: A promotional code you distribute only inside your online community A specific and unique landing page you create only for your Twitter followers A coupon available only to your Facebook network Track the sales that are generated through these initiatives. These direct-response campaigns are one area where you can calculate true ROI by meticulously tracking the time, resources, and expenses you put into a specific social media effort and the direct sales that come from that effort. 11

12 Track and Measure Your Leads Whether you re using a spreadsheet or a CRM system to keep track of your prospects, it s important to track and designate your lead sources. There are many ways to split these sources into specific, measurable digital funnels. For example: Note leads that come from a direct source, like a blog subscription. Include a field on your website s contact form that asks visitors how they found you. Note leads that come in from offline events. Note referral traffic to your site from social networks. 4 Map a contact form submission or a click on a Contact Us link. Track social networking shares for specific landing pages. Track requests for content downloads from signups. Overlay names on your followers list with your lead pipeline. After you ve gathered all this information, take a comprehensive look at these stats and determine: How many social leads do you generate each month? What percentage are from your overall lead pipeline? What percentage of that group of leads are unique? Can you take leads that are inactive or aged in your database and try to reactivate them through a social media touch point? Many CRM platforms, such as Salesforce, allow you to track lead stages. You can look at the leads that originate in social networks and see how they re distributed across these stages over time. 12

13 5 Measure Your Cost Savings Sometimes, the value of your business endeavor isn t about what goes up (like revenue) but what comes down (such as costs). Social media can have some very clear efficiencies, most notably in customer service, but also in areas like training or communications. 13

14 Cost Per Issue Resolution How much does it cost to solve customer issues, and can social media bring that cost down? In many cases, yes. Determining cost requires you to determine the expense of resources (like hardware or software) as well as salary and benefits. If you re tracking cost per resolution through channels like phone or and web support, you can also track it through social media. If you have the resources and an established social presence, you can start by allocating resources to handle some issues only through social media channels, while others continue to manage traditional channels. Average Resolution Time How much time does it take for your company to resolve an issue from the moment it is captured to the time it s closed and archived? Most CRMs can generate these reports for you, but you ll need to have tracking in place to evaluate this properly. You should look at several different scenarios that play into your issue resolution time: Daily support costs Average number of issues handled Cost Per Issue Resolution Total work hours resolving issues Number of issues resolved Average Resolution Time Issues that originate in social media channels, like a Twitter complaint or a blog comment. Issues that are resolved in social media channels and how long they take from the initial post to delivery of an answer or resolution. Hybrid issues, such as those that start on the forum, but require carryover resolution through phone or . Compare traditional resolution time ( /telephone support), resolution time that begins on social media and ends through telephone or , and issues handled exclusively through social media. Once you compile all the data, find your average time spent resolving issues and look at your efficiency on social media. 14

15 Training, Idea Generation, and Employee Education There s no doubt that you have hidden costs associated with training employees. Social media capabilities and tools can help enhance your efficiency and save bottom line cash. Consider the following ideas: Create a YouTube or Vimeo video library of employeegenerated tutorials, tips, and ideas based on your common training needs. Use an internal social network or communication platform, such as Chatter, for employees to share their best practices and knowledge on an ongoing basis. Create and share webinars, Twitter chats, and SlideShare presentations about need-to-know information. Survey your employees to see if they re taking advantage of social tools and how they re impacting job performance. CPM and Cost Per Dollar Raised Has fear of the unknown deterred you from running social campaigns, higher-price display ads, or promotions on social media? Determine the cost of that potential reach. Using CPM (cost per thousand), you can compare the total campaign cost against the total potential reach, and then calculate how much it would cost you to reach every thousand people. Track the approximate potential reach of a particular social campaign, the time and effort put into managing that online presence, and any hard dollars spent for items such as landing pages or ads. Take a look at your total potential reach and break down either the CPM or the cost per dollar raised. These calculations can help you determine whether or not a particular social campaign will be worthwhile. 15

16 Conclusion Developing an effective measurement strategy requires relevant data and the flexibility to tweak your tactics. There is no universal way to measure every social media initiative, but these calculations are at your disposal. Choose wisely and don t overwhelm yourself. It s up to you to choose what to track. Remember that measurement is time-consuming work, but it s impossible to be serious about tracking and bypass the work involved. Measurement is a discipline, and it takes a consistent investment of time For tools that get results and start conversations that convert, discover ExactTarget Marketing Cloud s next generation social marketing solutions at exacttarget.com and effort. 16

17 Helpful Equations Number of posts mentioning chosen topic and your brand Number of posts mentioning chosen topic Share of Conversation People who shared content Their networks Social Media Reach Total revenue in 30 days from Facebook Total number of likes Value of a Facebook Like Daily support costs Average number of issues handled Cost Per Issue Resolution Total work hours resolving issues Number of issues resolved Average Resolution Time 17

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