Are you getting as much benefit as you anticipated from social media marketing? Maybe you’ve ticked all the social media boxes but your strategy still isn’t delivering the goods. Do you even know how well you’re doing?
There was a time when social media was considered a bit of an irrelevance for B2B. How that view has changed!
Social media offers great opportunities to make your MSP business more visible – both locally and globally. And if the figure of two billion plus social media users worldwide doesn’t convince you, then the fact that your customers, partners and prospects all expect you to have a strong social media presence should.
Most MSPs reading this blog will already use social media as part of their marketing strategy. I wonder how many can quantify how effective it is – or even be confident that they are tracking the most appropriate metrics? Many of us are struggling to link social media impact to specific business outcomes – perhaps through lack of time, resources or expertise.
We are not alone.
Some 44% of marketers say they haven’t been able to show the impact of social at all, with another 36% saying they have a good sense of the qualitative, but not quantitative, impact of social initiatives.
It’s certainly more complex than counting the number of ‘likes’.
So, what should you be measuring? Inbound traffic? Number of leads? Increased sales and referrals? None of the above?
It depends on what you want to achieve and the tactics you use.
Your social media goals are likely to include some of the following:
- Build awareness of your company and your services particularly among new audiences
- Engage regularly with customers and prospects
- Increase credibility by developing a reputation as an industry thought-leader
- Promote customer loyalty
- Drive leads for the sales team
For each goal, you need specific targets. For example, your goal may be to capture leads for the sales team – but how many and by what date? How many of these leads do you expect to convert into sales? How much revenue would result?
You also need to specify key performance indicators (KPIs) for each so you can measure how you are doing in terms of meeting your goals.
It can be difficult to know just where to start.
Metrics that can inform your KPIs
OK, so now you have a plan to work to – but where do you get the metrics you need to inform your KPIs?
A wealth of stats are available from social media channels; so many in fact that they can be overwhelming.
If you are confused, you may find this table published by Total Product Marketing (TPM) useful as a summary of the main metrics available and how they can help.
And beware the so-called ‘vanity metrics’ that you may be tempted to use, although these flatter the company ego rather than deliver real insight.
10 Social Media ROI Metrics Worth Measuring
|Social Metric||What Does It Measure?||Use It For…|
|Follower Count||What marketers call a “vanity metric,” follower count is not as important as you might think. The size of your following doesn’t matter if they aren’t engaged and interacting. Focus on follower quality, not quantity; after all, one influential fan can be more valuable than 1000 unengaged followers.||Measuring follower- count growth rate in the early stages of building your social profiles. Initially, it can be an indicator of the health of your social strategy.|
|Impressions||The number of times a post appears in a social feed.||Learning how the channel and timing of posts affect the visibility of your content.|
|Reach||The number of people who see a post. One person may see a post multiple times, so reach is often less than impressions.||Gaining context by seeing the total possible audience for your social content.|
|Engagement||Likes, favourites, retweets, shares, mentions, and comments are signs of engagement. Like follower count, these can be “vanity metrics,” but tracking them over time can help you spot useful trends.||Understanding what kinds of posts and content capture attention.|
|Engagement Rate||The percentage of your followers — or of all people who see a post (your reach) — who interact with that post.
Number of interactions / Followers (or Total Reach)
|Assessing and comparing the success of social campaigns.|
|Traffic||The number of people who visit your website by clicking a link in a social post or profile. A similar but more refined metric is Clicks to Website by Source, which breaks down traffic by social media channel.||Learning whether your social strategy is generating web traffic and which channels and content are most effective.|
|Click-Through Rate (CTR)||The percentage of people that click a link you post in order to view your content.
Number of Clicks / Impressions, Reach, or Followers
|Another tool for assessing and comparing the success of social campaigns or individual posts.|
|Bounce Rate||The percentage of people who abandon your website, or content, after viewing one page. If followers continue to another page after your landing page, your bounce rate decreases.
Tip: Tracking CTR with bounce rate can reveal if a compelling tweet is leading to a weak landing page or vice versa.
|Compare the bounce rate of visitors who come from a social post with the bounce rate of those who visit from other sources. If your social media bounce rate is lower than Google, for example, it’s an indicator you’re engaging quality followers.|
|Multi-Touch Attribution||Measuring attribution from social media is tricky, but the ‘multi-touch model’ is generally the most useful (though it may require an advanced analytics tool). Unlike last-click attribution, which gives all credit for a conversion to the customer’s last touch-point, multi-touch attribution distributes credit across each interaction in the customer’s conversion journey.||Determining when, where, and how social media plays a role in driving conversions.|
|Traffic-to-Conversion Rate||Whether your conversion goal is email signups, content downloads, or sales, this is the percentage of visitors from social channels who complete the goal.||Identifying your highest- converting social tactics as well as weak links in your conversion funnel.|
These metrics will help you to track the impact of your social media content and can be a good indicator of how well social media campaigns are driving your strategic marketing goals.
Combined with your CRM analytics, they could also help you to quantify a tangible value to your business from social media –by enabling you to track and attribute a notional social media contribution to revenue, for example.
Never mind the metrics – social media is all about connecting with people, isn’t it?
Yes it is, but it’s about connecting with the right kind of people – the people who are most likely to be interested in your IT services and influence the decision to partner with you.
Tracking social media metrics will help you to identify the social channels and campaigns that are most successful with your target audience and see where you get greatest returns. You can build on that feedback when planning future campaigns.
Are you a social success? I think we’re all still learning, but being able to measure where we are on the ‘success scale’ is a good start.
Success won’t happen overnight: you need to dedicate the necessary resources, work to a regular editorial programme and keep it going… 24/7 if you are operating internationally.
And if you feel that the organic benefits from social media are too slow coming your way, you may decide to give your online presence a boost by paying for online advertising.
We set out your options in our next blog:
Online advertising: are you prepared to ‘pay to play’? If so, where?
And catch up on the earlier blogs in our sales and marketing series: