Social marketers are overwhelmed with tools – tools for publishing, tools for listening, tools for planning. You name it.
In this busy space, it’s easy to let measurement fall by the wayside.
I recently gave a presentation to a new Simply Measured customer on the value of social media measurement, focusing on which metrics in social media paired most appropriately with established business goals.
After the presentation, it occurred to me that there’s a different story I should have been telling.
Instead of sharing specific use cases for social measurement, I wish I had focused on the power they now had because of consistent and complete measurement. In other words: what they have today vs. what they had yesterday.
I can’t go back in time, so I’ve decided to share this thought here. This is for all the marketers (big, small, angry, viral, awesome) that do NOT have a consistent way to measure their performance.
Here are the three ingredients to success that you’re missing without measurement:
So you sent a Tweet that racked up 620 Retweets, 112 replies, and 230 favorites. Was that good? Or was that bad?
At the risk of sounding like my son’s reading books, you should be asking yourself whether something is good or bad constantly. Social marketing is no exception, but you may phrase the question a little differently:
- How did your post perform?
- Was your campaign successful?
- Is this channel right for you?
Each network will give you the basic engagement metrics. And now Twitter will even share with you actual impressions and reach. But again, is that good? Or is that bad?
How can you tout your work if you can’t tell your higher-ups that the witty Tweet you crafted on the fly had 140% more favorites and 200x the impressions of an average Tweet?
Telling them you had 620 Retweets is great, but you will hear the question, “Is that good? Or is that bad?” Give your work the context it deserves so that you know exactly when something is blowing it out of the water, or when your posts start to underperform.
Back to the 620 Retweets on your Tweet. After your executive asks you if that’s good or bad, I guarantee the next question will be, “How did that happen?” or “How can we make that the standard?”
It may have been your crafty use of 140 characters, but do you understand the underlying factors that really caused your Tweet to take off?
In many cases, the success of a Tweet is based on a few influencers sharing that Tweet. Do you know who they are? Do you know how you can get them to share your content again in the future? Do you know what other topics those influencers are interested in? The best part about social media is that each user is their own distribution channel.
Having a user with 200k followers Retweet your content just earned you 200k more potential views…for free.
Taking it one step further, once you identify the influencers in your network, you can begin to develop nurture programs.
I saw a great quote by Pat Coyle from Coyle Sports Consulting recently:
All fans want 3 things: Camaraderie, recognition, and access.
Even if you’re not a sports franchise, this is true for any brand on social.
Camaraderie: You create the content to share with your audience and let them engage organically, creating camaraderie.
Recognition: Find your biggest fans, and favorite their best Tweet about your brand, reply to them, or even ask for their email or address and send them a swag bag. This positive interaction will come back around to benefit your brand when they take a picture of their gift and Tweet it out.
Access: Offering exclusive content as part of an opt-in program, inviting them to VIP events, and recognizing their involvement will make influencers feel like they have all the access to your brand that they want.
But before you can create a team of people who share your content, you must first know who they are.
I recently spoke to a group of top sponsors for an NBA team. Major sports teams have large social audiences, and sponsors are excited to leverage the passion of that fan base.
It’s an audience they want to reach, and are already paying big money for. As long as we think social has been around, it is just recently being added to these conversations. Sponsorship packages have a standard inclusion of TV spots, print ads, and maybe billboards or in-game placements, but many teams are not taking advantage of the audiences they have on social — audiences that are typically large and active.
A recent study by Wasserman Media Group found:
Fans are 164% more likely to purchase something from a team’s sponsor when it’s through social media.
How can your team or large brand take advantage of this if you have no data? Can you imagine a meeting in which you’re asking for money to reach your 600k followers, but have no insight into how engaged that audience is? The demographic breakdown of your followers? The potential reach of your follower’s followers? When you finally partner with the sponsor, and create a post or campaign with their messaging or brand information on it, how do you tell them it performed? Was that good? Or was that bad? And why?
Measure Your Success to Grow Your Success
Whether your trying to explain the reason behind a certain campaign’s success, or drive home how successful it really was, measurement must be part of your social marketing day-to-day. You know you’re clever. I know you’re clever. Measurement lets you prove to bosses, partner, sponsors, and influencers just how clever you are.