Social media is powerful. The growth over the past decade has been incredible. The ability to build brand relationships with consumers is unprecedented. But to me, the most important aspect of social media is that its impact is measurable.
Nearly every large (and small) brand is using social media. And like everything else a company invests in, it is important we measure its’ impact. Unfortunately, though, despite powerful data provided by social media platforms, most do not understand how to measure the success of their social media efforts.
The platform your company is most likely using, that also provides the best metrics, is Facebook. These metrics provide real-time message and content testing, unlike nearly every other advertising or marketing strategy.
It’s important to know what Facebook metrics mean and how they measure the success of your social media campaigns. Here are three categories:
1. Page Likes – Page Likes are the most commonly measured Facebook metric, probably because they’re one of the few public metrics. They are extremely important because of your ability to have a direct, free conversation with consumers. Facebook has devalued Page Likes some recently with changes to the platform that, for lack of a better term, ‘filter’ your content to only people who engage with your page. But they are still important as they allow you to communicate with large audiences of consumers without paying for content. These new rules will require some investment if you are going to engage your whole list of Page Likes.
2. Talking About or Engagement – These two metrics are frequently confused as they measure similar activities. They both count the number of people who Like, Share, or comment on your posts. Engagement, however, also includes the number of people who click on your post, whether to view a photo, watch a video, or go to a link. Both numbers are important and they operate similarly. Look around Facebook and you’ll see brands with tens of thousands of ‘Likes’ but only a few hundred people ‘Talking About’ them. These brands are letting their ‘Page Likes’ go to waste. It’s important to keep them engaged. The best way to do that is with quality content.
3. Reach or Impressions – Like the Talking About and Engagement numbers, Reach and Impressions operate similarly, but somewhat differently. Reach measures the number of unique people that see your content, while impressions measure the number of times your content is seen. The difference: think about logging onto Facebook multiple times in a day and seeing the same post. For the purpose of reach, that would be measured as 1. For Impressions, the total would be the number of times you see the content.
While unique, it’s important to use each of these key indicators to ensure your brand is growing.
Measure your Facebook metrics regularly. Use them to test messages. And watch your brand grow.
And, if you really want your social media marketing to take off, be sure to avoid the 5 most common social media mistakes.