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A retweet wont pay your bills
Shaun Smith

A retweet won’t pay your bills

Insights into measuring social success online

Data and personality don’t typically go together. Like devising a matrix to rate a first date it is a fruitless task to use only data to determine your social success. However, understanding the goals, objectives and metrics by which you will measure those outcomes will help improve your social standing.

Social media has been one of the most popular forms of communication for the past decade. This trend continues to grow and as it does, the influence of marketing and perceived value continues to rise as well. Between the marketers and the consumers, there is a bridge of social media medium that spans the two. And, while marketers may have set a clear path for consumers to follow, individuals are blazing their own trails. So, how can marketers and small businesses reach their intended audience and measure that success? Key Performance Indicators.

Before embarking on any expedition into the digital realm have a destination in mind. Having clear and also realistic expectations is the best place to start. “I want 1,000 Facebook likes on my page,” is the opposite of how you want to begin. What does a Facebook like mean? How much is that Facebook like worth to you? A better goal to would be to: “Create a consistent digital footprint;” or “Drive five sales on my site from social media accounts to my website.”

Setting up the key performance indicators will allow you to measure your success over time. These measurements can be adjusted over time to allow flexibility and growth as you narrow in your goals or pass benchmarks. Here are some examples of KPIs to begin expanding your digital footprint:

  • Number of Facebook posts

  • Number of photos on product page

  • Number of Facebook page likes

  • Number of Facebook post shares

  • Number of Twitter followers

  • Number of Twitter retweets

  • Click-through rate on social media posts

  • Website bounce rate

  • Landing page retention rate

  • Number of visits to product page

  • Number of purchases made by social media referral

As you follow the KPIs down the marketing funnel, you will ultimately be measuring your conversions. Over time you will see correlations between a successful social media presence and the tactics involved in getting them. If new, high resolution photos of old products led to an increase in social media likes than that is a positive tactic that leads to social interaction. And, if that positive social interaction leads to sales, than that is the ultimate measure of success.

Establishing KPIs will help you determine your return on investment. By measuring the success of your tactics and the goals that you have established, you can find ways to increase that return on investment and achieve the success you intended when you began this journey. Facebook likes doesn’t equal sales. A retweet won’t pay your bills. However, determining the avenue that your customer takes on its journey to purchase and measuring the retention of that customer on that journey will help you use KPIs to begin a successful expansion of your digital footprint.