If you’ve ever delved into the world of social media, I’m sure you’re no stranger to the analytics dashboard. You know, the spreadsheet outlining impressions, engagement, and follower counts. If you’re lucky, you’ve even presented it to senior leadership and had them oohing and ahhing at your progress.
The harsh truth is that many of these numbers themselves mean very little for your business. One way to collect real, valuable information for your CMO is to identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Aligning Social Media KPIs to Business Objectives
When you first developed a social media strategy, did you define specific goals and objectives? If you included objectives like impressions, engagement rates, and the number of followers, it may be time to re-evaluate.
Social media objectives should be in lockstep with company goals for the year. Are you focusing on lead generation? Or increasing awareness of your brand amongst millennials? Whatever it is, it’s important that your metrics tie back to your company roadmap.
From there, figure out which metrics make the most sense to track. Klipfolio, a dashboarding tool out of Ottawa, states, “KPIs are measurable values that show you how effective you are at achieving business objectives. Metrics are different in that they simply track the status of a specific business process.”
For example, if your goal is to generate 20% MQLs this year, you can use UTM codes to track how many leads you received each month through social media. If it’s not that clearcut, you can see how many visitors clicked through to your website.
Outline these social media KPIs in your dashboard and record the results on a weekly or monthly basis.
Quick Tip: Work backwards. Are there specific questions your CMO has been asking lately? Is there pressure from your CMO to prove organic social media is worth their while? Decide which KPIs can answer those questions for you and go from there!
Once you have a substantial amount of data on how your social media channels have been performing, it’s time to delve into analytics.
How Social Media KPIs and Analytics Differ
MediaBistro states, “If metrics are The What, analytics is the So What? Knowing if a number is high or low, or if it went up or down since the last time you reported on it is easy. The real skill is being able to answer why. So what if more people clicked on your content than last month? So what if you got fewer likes on your tweets? Why did this happen?“
As such, analytics are tools to help you make decisions and draw conclusions. And there’s little to no point in collecting data if you can’t do anything meaningful with it!
Analytics That Are Useful for Marketers and Their CMOs
Let’s say you’re pulling information on how many MQLs you generated through social media. So, you take your spreadsheet to your CMO or Marketing Manager and report that you’ve generated 12 leads this week from organic social media efforts. That’s incredibly useful data for them to assess the success of each marketing channel.
But, what if you could also report on how many of those leads came from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter? Or the quality of leads that came through each channel? Maybe which types of posts led to the most conversions?
All of this information would be incredibly useful for your senior leadership and, more importantly, can inform your strategy moving forward. At the end of the day, analytics can help you optimize your social media efforts and produce greater results.
Using Analytics To Optimize As You Go
The best part about collecting valuable data and analytics is being able to effectively apply it to your social media efforts.
For example, let’s say you notice posts which include a video or GIF generate 10% more leads, especially those that make mention of a specific product line. Similarly to how you would optimize an ad, amplify the number of posts on that topic with multimedia.
By identifying and measuring the right social media KPIs, you can provide your CMO with valuable data as well as optimize and improve your social media efforts in real-time.