How to Measure Social Media Marketing Success, According to 41 Experts

How to Measure Social Media Marketing Success, According to 41 Experts
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Understanding social media metrics can be tricky – there are just too many.

So, how can you know whether a metric is worth tracking?

To answer that question, I reached out to lots of business owners, entrepreneurs, marketing consultants, and professional bloggers and asked a simple question:

If you could measure social media success with only 3 metrics, which 3 would you choose?

The answers I received from these experts are enlightening. 

You can see all of them below:

Guy Kawasaki is an author, speaker, and prolific entrepreneur. He has founded several successful businesses, including AllTop.com, Canva, and Garage.com. 

Answer:

2. Jeff Bullas

Jeff Bullas is a professional blogger, speaker, strategist, and founder of JeffBullas.com, one of the most popular blogs in the world. He helps business owners improve their brands with effective digital marketing.

Answer:

The first two are obvious. Sharing volumes on social media and the traffic to your website from social networks.

There is a third metric that is not often discussed or mentioned. Conversion. This is leads and sales.

3. Jenn Herman

Jenn Herman is the founder of Jenn’s Trends, an award-winning blog that discusses social media and business trends and how to get the most out of them.

If I could measure social media success with only 3 metrics, they would be:

1) Engagement

The ratio of likes and comments compared to the number of followers. I’d rather see a highly engaged audience with 25% engagement and 1000 fans than a misleading popularity metric of an account with 10,000 followers but only 1% engagement.

The more engaged your audience, the more targeted and relevant they are to your business, and the more likely you will see this audience buy from you.

2) Brand awareness

How well your social media profiles are helping you reach new audiences and promote your business to potential new clients.

Regular monitoring of post reach (how many people see the post), shares, and 

accumulation of new fans will represent the general increase in brand awareness.

This metric should increase over time, even if smaller time periods (daily, weekly) don’t show much change.

3) Website traffic

It’s all good and great to have a lot of activity on social media, but if this engagement doesn’t translate to traffic to your website, how well is it benefiting your business?

Whether you’re driving people to your blog, a landing page or a sales/product page, you should be able to generate traffic – and subsequent sales – from your social media profiles.

Beth Kanter is the author of Beth’s blog, which focuses on helping nonprofits get the most out of social networks. Fast Company Magazine says she is one of the most influential women in technology and innovation for social media.

For my own work, I think of outcomes or results first:

5. Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan is a successful speaker and marketing expert. Forbes says he is one of the “Must Follow Marketing Minds” and listed his blog as one of the top 100 websites for entrepreneurs.

I track zero social media metrics. I track revenue, subscribers, and unsubscribe rates (on my email platform). Beyond that, I track opens and clicks.

There are zero social media stats that matter to me. Friends/Likes/Hearts/Klout are a quick way to lose your business and become poor.

6. Lee Odden

Lee Odden is an outstanding author and blogger. He’s also the CEO of TopRank Marketing, a digital marketing agency based in Minneapolis.

Many people focus on specific social media measurements as standalone indications of success. We take the approach of measuring the success of marketing that involves social media.

The difference is that social media marketing efforts do not operate in a silo. They function best as part of an integrated marketing strategy.

As a result, the same marketing metrics that apply to other tactics, channels, and platforms apply:

Focusing on these three basic measurements across marketing keeps social media marketing efforts accountable and focused on the kinds of outcomes that help the business vs. vanity metrics like fans, friends, and followers alone.

7. Glen Gilmore

Glen Gilmore is the founder of Gilmore Business Network, a recognized social media firm. He’s one of the top 20 social media power influencers, according to Forbes.

Your measurement of success must match business objectives.

For me, my three most important metrics of social media success, in no particular order, are:

8. Ian Cleary

Ian Cleary is a renowned blogger and die-hard geek. He’s the founder and CEO of Razor Social, an award-winning blog focusing on social media technology and tools.

Answer

9. David M. Scott

David M. Scott is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, and professional blogger. Also, he’s considered one of the best marketing and sales strategists in the world.

Answer

10. Jay Oatway

Jay Oatway is a best-selling author, public speaker, and social media evangelist. Forbes says he is one of the top 50 social media power influencers. 

The first metric is something I call “Pass-on Value.” You can find out more about this in my book, Mastering Story, Community & Influence

In short, it is about building social capital through earned media. When you share something of value with your community, the best thing to happen is that they share it with friends who do the same, and so on.

Everyone in the chain benefits, and the bonds between them grow stronger. Ideally, the content you shared was owned, but it doesn’t have to be for this to work. This is a bit tricky to track and measure.

One of the best ways is by using a customized traceable link shortening tool (like the ones provided by Hootsuite or Bitly). This lets you do searches against a unique URL and get data on click-through (which is useful when the link doesn’t point back to a site where you have access to the analytics).

The second success metric has to be how many website sessions you can generate via social. This isn’t necessarily about bringing in lots of new users (although that’s never usually a bad thing). But it’s about giving your loyal fans a reason to come to your site again and again.

The simplest way to measure this is by looking at how many return visitors are associated with links you are sharing via your social channels. More advanced methods would include some sort of social sign-in (like login with Facebook connect) where you can generate more specific user data.

Learn who your superfans are — the ones who come to visit the most — they are the true leaders of your online movement.

And the third would have to be “likeability.” This one is often disregarded by the hard-nosed marketing managers as a “soft metric” as there is seldom any way to prove a correlation between sales and “likeability.”

But I believe this is the key to unlocking your “dark social” potential. A lot of recommendations people make to friends and colleagues don’t happen online. We can’t track what is happening at the water cooler.

But we do know that popular and well-liked brands do get referred the most. So how to be “likable”? This isn’t about getting likes on Facebook (although those can be good too). This is about providing extraordinary customer service. It’s about listening to your customers and responding promptly.

It’s about truly caring for them. You can measure this by tracking how frequently your social media team engages in 1-on-1 with customers (or potential customers) — and how good they are at actively solving problems. Small, friendly conversations can grow into bis business and deeper loyalty.

11. Josh Turner

Josh Turner is a public speaker and the founder and CEO of LinkedSelling, one of the most popular LinkedIn training courses worldwide. 

The key to tracking the success of social media is narrowing it down to just a few metrics that you track week after week. 

Seeing how those numbers change over time should be a good indicator of your success. If I had to choose just three, I would choose traffic, opt-ins, and sales.

1) Take a look at the traffic coming in from your social sites. Free tools like Google Analytics and Bitly will show you how many clicks you’re getting and from where. The more engagement you have on a site, the more engaged your audience.

2)  Engagement on social profiles is great, but you really want their email address. In a prospect’s inbox, you’ll have much less competition and a more direct way of communicating with that prospect.

3) Once you’ve gotten a prospect through your funnel, figure out how to attribute sales back to specific marketing efforts, like social media. Find the channels that result in the most sales, and focus more of your time and dollars there.

12. Alex Turnbull

Alex Turnbull is the CEO and founder of Groove, a simple help desk software that helps small business owners deliver personal customer support.

If I could use only three metrics, I’d use unique visitors, shares, and visitor-to-trial conversions. 

For our business, the ultimate goal of social media isn’t being social; it’s getting more customers. So action-driven metrics are most important.

Unique visitors tell us whether our social media content is doing its job of driving traffic to our site. Shares let us know that what we’re producing is effective and useful enough that readers want their friends and colleagues to see it. 

And conversions give us insight into the quality of the traffic we’re attracting. Are those unique visitors people who would get value from becoming Groove customers?

13. Kevin Duncan

Kevin Duncan is the founder of BeaBetterBlogger.com. There he teaches their readers the principles, values, and codes every person must follow to become a successful blogger.

On the surface, choosing only three metrics for measuring social media success sounds hard. In reality, many of the metrics we spend our time analyzing and dissecting are dangerous because they distract us from the things that matter.

Track conversions. Track leads. Track engagement. Track the metrics that involve people getting to your content, subscribing to your content, buying your content, and actively engaging with your content.

Track anything that helps you find your ideal reader. Most of us can ignore the rest.

14. Andrea Vahl

Andrea Vahl is an author, speaker, consultant, and co-founder of Social Media Manager School, a training course that focuses on helping people to become successful community managers or consultants.

My measures of success are Email sign-ups, Website clicks, and Sales. 

I think social media works best when you are getting people connected to your email list, and that is your main priority – serving a valuable piece of information in exchange for an email address.

15. Adam Connell

Adam Connell is the Marketing Director of UK Linkology, an ROI-driven marketing agency focusing on content marketing and link building.

There are plenty of metrics to choose from, but which metrics you focus on ultimately depends on what your goals are.

I prefer to look at a mix of engagement and conversion-based metrics, for example:

1) Share of voice

Monitoring how often your business is mentioned on the web can provide a great visual overview, especially when compared to competitors. Social monitoring tools have become very useful here.

For example, tools like Brandwatch will allow you to monitor social mentions and compile them into a dashboard. Alternatively, you can run a manual search following this guide by Jay Baer.

2) Engagement

Whether it’s a retweet, +1, or a like – it’s some form of interaction that is great. I quite like the interaction statistics provided by SproutSocial for this.

3) Conversions

This could be an email sign-up or a purchase. Ultimately it translates into ROI for your business, so this is seriously important. Goal tracking within Google Analytics is a quick and easy way to track this.

16. Ron Sela

Ron Sela is one of the top 50 influencers in B2B Marketing, according to Onalytica. He constantly shares insightful content on his personal blog: RonSela.com.

To get the most out of your online efforts, use these three social media metrics to monitor how well you are doing.

1) Total Incoming Traffic

The goal is to get traffic to your website or landing pages from social media. This is true whether your content is new or curated.

You want to get an accurate idea of how well your social media posts, tweets, images, and other content are engaging your targeted market. To do this, you need to measure the total number of visitors each month that come to your pages from each social media platform you use.

Of course, you don’t need to worry about the numbers if you are doing this as a hobby or for branding. But even in those cases, it is interesting to periodically check the relationship between your social media efforts and the resulting traffic.

2) Conversion Rate

Lots of traffic is nice, but the traffic you are generating must help you reach your business goals and beat your competition. You can tell how you are doing by measuring conversion rates for visitors from your social media networks to your website.

For example, one platform might send lots of traffic, but very few of those people buy anything. This happens for a variety of reasons, including the fact that your offering isn’t what they are looking for.

In order to spend your time wisely, you need to know the rate of conversion for each social media platform you use. Then you can focus your time and money on those that send buyers to you.

3) Return on Investment

Every website owner has a limited amount of time to work online. Time is also money, so you want to be cost-effective by putting your efforts where they do the most good. Either time or money, you want the best return that’s possible on your investment.

Free social media campaigns can produce very little result. Since you need to factor in the cost of your time, this means some platforms are poor choices for you.

Here’s how you check this: estimate the cost and income of each social media campaign. Then calculate your return on investment or ROI. This will help you determine if free or paid campaigns are the best way to invest your time and money in each social media network.

17. Bob Jones

Bob Jones is the founder of Visible, an Australian digital marketing agency that specializes in search engine optimization and social media.

This really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. For us, we’re often utilizing social channels to drive more traffic to our client’s websites and strive to track everything we need to effectively measure the ROI of all our online efforts.

If we can’t effectively measure ROI, there’s no way of knowing if a campaign was successful, and we’ll be taking stabs in the dark when it comes time to provide recommendations for future campaigns.

With this in mind, I’d have to pick the following metrics as my top 3 for measuring social success:

18. Kane Jamison

Kane Jamison is the founder of Content Harmony, a Seattle-based marketing agency that helps people develop effective content marketing strategies.

I’d go with the following for organic social metrics:

We do a lot of paid social. For that, I primarily care about impressions/reach with a target audience and CPC for website traffic.

19. Harsh Agarwal

Harsh Agarwal is a professional blogger, consultant, and founder of Shout Me Loud, one of the most popular internet marketing blogs in the world.

Social media marketing is all about helping your business.

As a blogger, for me, Social media is about increasing brand visibility & getting traffic to my blog. If, after all the efforts, any particular social media site is not driving traffic, that means either the strategy I’m taking is wrong or that social media platform is not right for my business.

So traffic is the #1 metric to measure success for me.

2) Engagement

This is the 2nd metric that I measure & most important, I ensure that all comments or messages are getting answered. Since I work alone, so it makes the task more tedious as the #1 rule of social media engagement is to respond in time ( in 5 minutes or less) – most of the time, an engaged social media channel increases the reach & a sign of a healthy brand value.

3) Growth of subscribers

This is vital from many perspectives. If numbers are not growing, that means the social media reach is slow & we are not tapping the viral nature of social media sites.

I mostly monitor growth on my Facebook page (52K followers) and Google plus page (613K followers) & I recently started focusing on a Twitter channel.

20. Joel Widmer

Joel Widmer is the founder of Fluxe, a Dallas-based agency that focuses on helping authors and business owners to develop smarter content marketing strategies. 

If I could only track 3 metrics —I’m going to assume we’re on a budget and have a limited team, so I’m not going to worry about my competitors and focus only on making my audience happy— I would choose:

21. Simon Penson

Simon Penson is an SEO expert, content creator, and the founder of Zazzle Media, a digital marketing agency with over six years of experience in the industry.

Social media can be measured in a myriad of different ways, and ‘success’ is completely dependent upon setting the right objective initially and being clear about what that looks like.

If your campaign is about engagement or sentiment, make sure you agree on that as a primary objective and then have secondary measures such as reach or audience growth as backup metrics.

For me, social is about engagement, and so if I had to name three metrics, I’d include a solid measure around how many times your posts/content are interacted with, with audience growth in there as a result of that activity.

22. Sandi Krakowski

Sandi Krakowski is a renowned social media consultant who specializes in Facebook Marketing. Forbes says she is one of the top 20 women social media influencers. 

Answer

Many people measure social media success by ROI (Return On Investment). The return you’ll get on any investment into social media will be directly related to the culture and relationships you grow.

Just like a great email list with highly targeted clients increases conversion ratios, the basic components of any successful social media campaign will be related to your targeting, reach, and engagement.

23. Sujan Patel

Sujan Patel is a digital marketing strategist with over 12 years of experience and the co-founder of MailShake, a tool that helps entrepreneurs grow their Twitter following.

Traffic, engagement & brand mentions are the 3 most important metrics.

Traffic is pretty straightforward – I track the number of visitors I receive from each channel.

Engagement breaks down into a few parts: Share ratio per channel (number of shares per session) & action taken per visit. An action could be a comment, share, email subscription, etc. I use tools like Filament.io & App Sumo to measure engagement.

Lastly, brand mentions – I monitor weekly/monthly the number of times my brand is mentioned on websites (links) & social media.

24. Sanket Patel

Sanket Patel is the Founder and Director of Blurbpoint, a digital marketing agency with over 100 certified professionals.  

The most important social media success metrics that come to my mind are;

1) Conversions (this includes subscriptions, email sign-ups, form submissions, leads, sales, etc.)

2) User Engagement (including Re-shares, Re-tweets, Likes, Comments, etc.)

3) Traffic

These are 3 important factors for me, but most of the time, our client is more care and concerned about their followers and likes, and always bother to look at the numbers increasing on followers and likes as they feel they are spending money for this. 

Sometimes it’s hard to make them understand the true metrics of social media they should consider or what bring ROI for them.

25. Garin Kilpatrick

Garin Kilpatrick is a marketing strategist, writer, and social media influencer. He’s also the founder of several social media blogs, including fbadvance.com and Marketingstrategyhq.com.

Here are the three metrics I recommend using:

1) How many new connections do you create per week

New connections are important for a strong and growing network and will drive traffic as new connections explore your content and links.

To grow new connections on Facebook and Twitter, I recommend checking out these two posts I wrote on how to get more Facebook likes and more Twitter followers.

2) How many email subscribers do you get from social media per week

Ultimately social media profiles and pages are owned by those platforms – by building an email list, you are creating a powerful audience that no one can take away from you.

3) How many people does your content reach per week

Do you leverage all of your existing communities regularly?

The greater your reach, the easier it will be for you to achieve success, so share quality content and engage with your social media communities on a regular and, ideally, daily basis.

26. Des Walsh

Des Walsh is an executive leadership coach, blogger, and social media expert. He helps entrepreneurs and executives leverage their strengths and capabilities, as well as develop smarter social media strategies. 

It will always depend on the company’s purpose in being active in social media, and there will be considerations about short-term (e.a. campaign for a particular product or service) and long-term (e.g., establishing and maintaining thought leadership). 

I think B2B will often look for different metrics than B2C.

That said, for the sake of the exercise, pick three, they are:

27. Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is a professional blogger, entrepreneur, and Facebook Marketing expert. He’s also the CTO of BlitzMetrics, an education system for people who want to master social media marketing.

With only 3 metrics for social media health, I’d have to choose one at each stage of the funnel – audience, engagement, and conversion.

This way, you can figure out which of these 3 parts of your funnel needs the most attention at any point in time and, depending on the season, how your other campaigns are faring (especially search and email), the issue to focus on changes.

1) Conversions

Of course, the most powerful metric and one that most people mistakenly believe is hard to measure in society. Absolutely not. If you’re running Google Tag Manager, have conversion tracking in Facebook configured and custom audiences configured.

Do the same on Twitter and Google, of course.

You need to drive more conversions on social, yet that volume is largely dependent upon the volume of engagement you drive. This leads to our second metric.

2 ) Number of interactions (engagement)

If my engagement is low, it’s either because my ad campaigns are not as effective or my other marketing efforts aren’t contributing to society as much – hint, when other channels are doing well, social naturally gets lifted, too. Or it could be that my content is not in alignment with my audience anymore.

With all social networks now, it’s a pay-to-play game, so if you want traffic or deeper analytics, you will have to pay to get it. 

You’ll need to pull up insights from within LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google —which includes YouTube, which we consider the second largest social network)— Twitter, and now Instagram – part of Facebook and built into Facebook’s self-service ads system, too.

This leads us to the third metric of understanding who this audience is that is engaging and converting…

3) Audience (reach and impressions)

When my audience isn’t as strong, the factors causing it are due to the frequency of your content, sharing/commenting/liking on the content, and how much you’re paying to amplify it. Isolate what’s driving these changes, and you’ll know which of these factors to focus more on.

Usually, there are some audiences that have started to enjoy your content– so if you can identify them, you can produce more content for them, tied into your email sequences, blog, and other channels.

Because we’re talking about social metrics, we have to talk largely about Facebook, in the same way, that we must talk mainly about Google if we’re talking about search.

Certainly true in Mexico and the United States. If you want to get geeky on how to optimize the health of your Facebook ad campaigns, then you’d want to use the same 3 metrics of audience, engagement, and conversion here.

28. Neil Patel

Neil Patel is the founder of NeiPatel.com, Quicksprout, and several successful software companies, including Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and Kissmetrics.

Answer

These 3 metrics would help me optimize my social media efforts.

29. Daniel Scocco

Daniel Socco is a renowned mobile app developer and the founder of Dailywritingtips.com, one of the most popular blogging and online marketing blogs in the world. 

I would say the average number of Facebook likes per post, the average number of shares and retweets per tweet, and the total number of followers on all social accounts.

30. Phil Gerbyshak

Phil Gerbyshak is a professional blogger, speaker, and social media expert. He specializes in helping business owners and entrepreneurs grow their revenue by developing effective social media strategies.

3 metrics to measure success in social media:

31. Sean Clark

Sean Clark is a social media marketing expert with over 16 years of experience. He mainly focuses on helping start-ups grow authority through content and social networks.

To me, social media is more than just numbers. It’s the impact it allows you to have on others. I don’t measure my own social media activity. For me, it is organic, a natural part of my everyday life. The benefits I get from it are a by-product of my sharing and helping others.

If I were to measure it, though, it would be:

I know these are not tangible business objectives. But if you want to sell stuff, there are other channels better suited to the job.

32. Mike Gingerich

Mike Gingerich is an established blogger, Facebook expert, and business consultant with over 10 years of experience. He’s mainly focused on helping small and medium size businesses grow their revenue.

It’s all about the bottom line, really. So it’s got to be sales and:

Those are the 3 that matter most in my mind!

33. Brian Carter

Brian Carter is a 15-year digital marketing veteran and popular keynote speaker (with clients like NBC and Microsoft, but also small businesses and franchises) who delivers entertainment, motivation, and practical takeaways. His Brian Carter Group offers results-focused implementation, ideation, and innovation to boost profits for growth-minded businesses.

Your metric should fit your goal. Social media doesn’t define your goal for you. If your goal is profits, your metric should be ROI. If it’s awareness, perhaps it’s overall impression count. If it’s sales, maybe it’s sales volume or ROI – but some companies care more about volume and will sacrifice some ROI for higher volume.

If your goal leads, then do you care more about lead volume or lead quality? That will affect your metric choices. 

Social media doesn’t define your goal, but it also doesn’t restrict what is possible. We’ve seen people achieve high profits, high lead quality, low-cost per action, and major buzz.

So first, define your goal, then choose the metrics that fit that goal.

34. Joshua Parkinson

Joshua Parkinson is the founder of Post Planner, a Facebook Marketing App that helps you maximize social interaction and track more accurate metrics.

My top 3 SM metrics are:

Post Planner helps you maximize #1 and measure #2.

35. Robbie Richards

Robbie Richards is a professional blogger and full-stack digital strategist. He helps companies plan and executes customized marketing campaigns.

Jay Baer put it perfectly, “the end goal is action, not eyeballs.”

1) Conversions

This could be a number of things, including sales, trial sign-ups, form completions, e-book downloads, or any other goal you have set for a campaign. It could even be broken out further into “Leads,” but I’ll tie it all under one metric here.

One thing to note. Many marketers only pay attention to last-click attribution models. I like to also look at assisted conversion reports in Google Analytics to see if social media is contributing to conversions at the top of the funnel.

2) Referral traffic – how much traffic are you able to drive from each social media channel. 

Don’t just focus on quantity here. Even if you drive little traffic from the channel, if it converts well, find a way to scale.

3) Engagement – what resonates with your audience? 

Do more of it and amplify your content to new audiences.

36. Charlotte Waller

Charlotte Waller is the founder of Vis-e-bility.com, a marketing agency that helps you with everything from A/B testing to SEO, SEM, and Social Media.

Answer

Social media is fabulous for chatting with customers and —if they’re unhappy— dealing 

with the issue in real-time, and if they’re happy, shouting about it.

In my opinion, people feel appreciated when they get a personal response or post, so gauging brand sentiment and how many positive reviews you have either on Google, 

Facebook or any other big platform that has been reviewed and is linked in some way with social media, although fairly vague, is an important one for me.

37. Dave Schneider

Dave Schneider is a professional blogger and the founder of NinjaOutreach.com, an innovative new blogger outreach tool.

Firstly it comes down to what social platform is the one that is most useful for your business. For some businesses, a large Pinterest following will be way more valuable than a large Twitter following.

Regardless, I think you need a metric for size, engagement, and then referral traffic.

For example:

The idea here is about having a large, engaged audience that is interested in you beyond the platform on which they’re connected to you.

38. Marko Saric

Marko Saric is an experienced blogger and the founder of Howtomakemyblog.com, one of the most popular blogging blogs in the world. There he teaches people how to build and run a profitable blog. 

1) Clicks to my website

My main metric would be looking at what my social media activities have resulted in terms of clicks to my main website.

It is on the main website that I have full control over the presentation of content, call-to-actions, and monetization, so a good sign of the value my social media activities deliver would be them sending a lot of targeted and quality traffic converts into goals that are important to me.

2) Engagement rate

This one is key to understanding the quality and resonance of the content that I post on my social media channels with my audience.

Do people who see the content that I post actually engage with it by clicking on like or commenting on it or by sharing it or clicking on the link.

The engagement rate can be calculated by taking all the people who have engaged with a piece of content and dividing it by all the people who have seen that piece of content. 

Here’s a bit more from me on the steps I take to improve my engagement rate.

3) Organic reach

This one is a bit more of a vanity metric but is useful in determining how much exposure my content is generating on social media. There’s a decline in organic reach across social media, and it is getting increasingly difficult to get the word out organically.

Monitoring reach numbers allows me to see what percentage of my audience my content is reaching and helps me figure out things I may need to change, such as the day of the week or time of the day that I post, or even the content format.

39. Stuart Walker

Stuart Walker is the founder of NicheHacks.com, a blog that shows you how to find a hot niche and build a successful business around it.

Relationship building and traffic.

I primarily use my FB Private Mastermind group to build a relationship and trust with my audience, and then I also share content and any other blog notifications to that group, and that drives traffic back to the site.

A lot of people love the fact that I’m present in the group and active, which makes them feel more part of the NicheHacks tribe.

But I don’t really “measure” it as such.

40. Ivana Taylor

Ivana Taylor is an experienced blogger and business influencer. She’s also the publisher of DIYMarkting.com, the digital hub for small business professionals.

When I think about social metrics, I focus on three basic elements; reach, relevance and engagement.

1) Reach is, of course, the number of people following you.

2) Relevance is about who those people are. In my case, relevant followers are small business owners, small business experts, marketing folks, and brands who sell to small businesses.

So I would much rather have FEWER followers more RELEVANT to my brand.

3) Finally, there is the engagement piece. I’m pretty strict on engagement, meaning that retweets and shares are nice, but I’d much rather see a string of relevant conversations that might include questions, tips, links, and overall engagement.

One of the things I measure is the number of conversions I get from tweet to email. 

There’s no easy tool for me to do that, but I can look at my direct messages, or I start those tweets where I include my email, and the person then responds via email.

In essence, I’m talking about conversions and conversations. Conversations lead to conversions. The conversion can come in the form of an interview for me (in a lot of ways, that is a sale for me).

Conversions can also come from people clicking on links and signing up for something.

I differentiate between my audience (the main street business owner) and my client (a brand sponsoring content).

The brand wants to see engagement, relevance, and reach. The audience wants to see small business experts and rock stars sharing themselves and their strategies.

So, in essence, I’m measuring the quality of engagement between experts and brands — and the quality of engagement and conversion between my content and my audience.

41. Cody McLain

Cody McLain is a die-hard entrepreneur and blogger. He constantly shares educational content on his personal blog: CodyMclain.com.

I’ve seen a lot of digital influencers lose out on opportunities to help brands tap into their markets because those brands measure social media success based on followers, likes, and subscribers, instead of measuring followers that are fully engaged with said influencers’ message.

I think once an individual influencer has gone over the threshold of 200,000 followers/subscribers/likes, they have a voice that can be harvested depending on the ratio of engagement: followers/subscribers/likes.

2) Quality of Content:

Does what they post resonate with an even bigger audience than their followers? If the content is highly likely to go viral and have a far-reaching impact repeatedly, that is a social media success.

3) Variety:

Many brands recognize that they have to be on as many platforms as possible, but I think the quality of the messages on each platform has to represent different facets of the brand.

The audience gets bored if you cross-pollinate different channels with the same content, so the key is to choose the theme and message for each platform every day.

That will garner you greater success in your quest, and those who are already doing it will find that they have a different demographic of followers on each platform.

Metrics are crucial to measuring the impact of your efforts. Without them, you can’t possibly know whether you’re heading in the right direction.

Hopefully, these expert insights will help you understand how to track your social media marketing performance. 

This content was originally published here.

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