Social Media is ubiquitous and most brands understand the importance of having an active social media presence due to this. As such, marketers spend quite a big proportion of their budget on social media. However, while it's everywhere, social media is still considered to be quite a 'new' platform. The means that all the social media theory, best practices, thought leadership and “experts” are not as established as they are when it comes to other forms of marketing. Unfortunately, this means that many marketers or business owners aren’t exactly sure on where to begin, or how to best use the data available to them.
An issue that stems from this for many people, is not knowing how to prove the impact of their social media campaigns in a clear and quantitative manner. Some marketers quantify the success of social media in terms of likes, shares, re-tweets, followers, subscribers and so on. Others, turn to Google Analytics and look at the amount of direct traffic that their social media platforms are bringing to their website and or resulting in a conversion.
Still, there is no doubt that many people sill fail to measure the effectiveness of their social media campaigns. We believe this can come down to two things.
- Firstly, many people haven't yet defined their KPI's when it comes to social media marketing.
- Secondly, people often consider the last marketing channel that a user has visited, to be the only channel that has contributed to the customer journey completely disregarding the role that their social media channels may have had in developing brand awareness. For example, a customer might initially view your companies Facebook Channel. Two days later they may arrive on your website after completing a Google search and either buy something, fill out the contact form etc. In this situation, many people instantaneously give all the credit to Google and completely ignore Facebook.
In this article, we provide some guidelines to help you deal with the complexity of measuring social media campaigns, to ultimately help you to improve their effectiveness.
Part One: All the metrics you need to know
Marketers measure various factors to monitor their social media value. The most common ones are:
The monetary values of the social media campaigns are calculated by the revenue that they generate. For example, the revenue of Twitter campaigns can be the sum of revenues from users who landed on your website from your tweets or Twitter campaigns. In order to calculate ROI, in addition to revenue, the costs of social media campaigns are required.
Measuring engagement with social media posts is crucial and it helps to measure what is interesting to your audience. The engagement rate can be calculated by measuring the total number of audience comments, likes and shares per social posts against the number of impressions.
The amplification is the number of shares per social posts. This metric is very important and according to Nielsen, 92% of customers trust the recommendation of their friends.
Advocacy measures the opinion of customers and how they perceive our brand. This metric can be calculated based on the comments of customers which is the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors.
Part 2: A step by step process to help you to get the most from your social media campaigns
The above-mentioned metrics are undoubtedly useful and can promote our understanding of the effectiveness of our social media campaigns as well as customers’ perception of our brand. However, because of the complexity of the customers' behaviour in the social media, marketers came to understanding that these metrics are not sufficient.
In the rest of article, we explain a process that guides you to make the most of your social campaigns and the techniques that should be used during this process.
Step One: Planning A Strategy
In order to plan a strategy for your social media, you need to know your customers. By knowing who to target and who to avoid, you are able to greatly reduce the advertisement cost and increase ROI. Regarding your advertisement, your customers are primarily divided into four categories which are called Sure Thing, Lost Cause, Sleeping Dog and Persuadables. Among your potential customers, some people have already decided. In marketing science, they are called a "Sure Thing" if they plan to buy your product even if you don't advertise to them, or they are known as a "Lost Cause" if they are definitely against your product. The third group of people is are given the name "Sleeping Dogs", when they find advertisements as disruptive, annoying or disturbing ultimately to the extent it has a negative effect on their decision.
Advertising strategy is all about the fourth group or Persuadables. We are interested in knowing which customers buy our products if they receive an offer on social media. We believe uplift modelling is the most promising approach that can predict who are the persuadable customers as explained in this article.
Step Two: Measuring ROI
As we explained here and here, most digital advertisers use the last click attribution model to evaluate the success of during their marketing channels. In other words, during the customers’ journey and among different touch points or ads which impressed customers, only the very last event is considered as significant while the others are ignored. This is simple and easily implemented but, in most business cases it doesn’t help in making smart marketing decisions.
The last click approach ignores and undervalues the impact of social media’s contribution to business success. Most of the time that we use social media, we are not in “buy now” mode and we do some research before a purchase. As a result, we cannot expect that customers immediately have a transaction after exposing to a social media campaign. In reality, customers visit the website from a social media link and they do not often convert the first time. Instead, it takes them a couple more visits to our website. As a result, we believe that by using an attribution modeling approach, we should go beyond the last touch point and the default models in Google Analytic to give a fair credit to our social networking campaigns.
Step Three: Measuring Engagement
Similar to ROI measurement, in measuring the engagement of customers, we should go beyond the last click approach. To do that, we can use two datasets, the first dataset, called treatment group, applies when a customer is exposed to a campaign. The second dataset, called control group, applies when that particular campaign never exists in the journey of customers. We can compare several metrics such as average session duration, bounce rate, transaction, number of events and so on in these datasets. Some statistical analysis provides a deeper insight into the effect of exposing a customer's on a campaign on her / his engagement. For example, Odds Ratio can be used that provides information on the strength of the effect of presence or absence of one variable over another variable (channels and customer journey / positive transaction). It represents the odds that an outcome will occur given a particular exposure, compared to the odds of the outcome occurring in the absence of that exposure.
Step Four: Customise your Message
Customizing the message of your social media campaigns is crucial. Recent works on customising the messages in the social media have significantly shaped the understanding of our world. The company behind USA President Donald Trump's online campaign was the same company that had worked for the British "Brexit" campaign, called Cambridge Analytica. It focused on measuring psychological traits such as personality to customize the messages in online networks, and it has been argued that they successfully changed the opinions of numerous people in the “Trump”, “Cruz” and “Brexit” political campaigns. This points towards the significant role that analysing and segmenting customers.
We can divide customers into different profiles based on various factors such as consumers, businesses, priorities, demographic information, needs and so on and personalize our messages.
In this connection, we can measure Customer Lifetime Value. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) or Lifetime Value (LTV) is a key metric that illustrates a prediction of the net profit of an entire future relationship with a customer in marketing. Knowing the lifetime value of your customers have various benefits that are elaborated in this article. In the social networking context, they help you adjust communication campaigns and messages.
Once you've completed this process, time to start it all over again!
So, what can be said about measuring social media marketing?
In this article, we argue that the current well-known metrics do not provide the whole picture of your marketing campaigns and you should go beyond these short-term metrics. Use the above guideliness to help with your process for measuring the impact of your social media campaigns and you will be able to put together a strategy that helps you to accurately report and improve the impact of you social channels. Now, run a long now and go make the most of your social marketing campaign.
Still stuck? Why not get in touch. Internetrix provides a number of services to do with social media.