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How to determine what’s working in your social media campaign

Even though social media has been around for a quite a while and is still trending, many digital marketers are struggling with how to measure the ROI of their social media campaign. This question gets asked a lot, even though many large and small organizations have already integrated this communication medium into their traditional marketing efforts.

Naturally, it’s common sense that businesses want to see if their social media campaign is helping them reach their goals. Social media is all about the community which you do your business with, and actually has little to do with “media”. So in truth, if you are measuring your social media campaign, it must focus on and reveal insight about the members of your community and how engagement with them impacts your business. Social media is a medium that works because it allows people to communicate with each other and it’s not about disruptive communication where you don’t have a say.

With social media it is key to continuously evaluate and monitor what people are talking about that is relevant to your company and respond to them appropriately. There are hundreds of tools available that you can use to measure basically everything regarding your social media campaign, but in reality it’s a waste of resources, time, and money if you fail to monitor only selective metrics that matter to you.

There are many metrics you can use to measure your campaign and many of the tools that measure this will have their own metrics, but which actually matters? Find below a couple of metrics that I use as a baseline for all my social media campaigns.

Social media measurement metrics

Engagement: How many comments or replies are generated by the updates and posts that you make? This is a key metric that will reveal the level of interaction that will show you what content works and what doesn’t. Tracking and analysing the responses you receive from your posts, tweets, and status updates will give you a view of which topics are the most effective in engaging with your target market/community. By measuring this, you can adjust your content plan to get the best engagement.

Number of shares: How many shares do your updates and post receive? This metric takes advantage of the fact that each update and post that you make to your community is the start of a conversation or share on another network. It can gain momentum if your content gets shared outside of your direct network.

Reach: What is the size of your network and how many people are you reaching with your updates? Your target audience consists of the people who complete an action or interact directly with your brand. If you combine reach with engagement, it can allow you to prepare magnetic content that has the ability to go viral. If you have a bigger reach, you have the potential that your updates can turn into a snowball and increase your exposure.

Sentiment analysis: What are the emotions expressed by your network in regards to your updates and posts? This metric isn’t always easy to measure and can be hidden by your social media efforts, but there are many tools (like socialmention.com) where you can view how people feel about your business and brand.

It isn’t always easy to measure the success of your social media marketing strategy, but using these metrics as a baseline in your reporting will give you a good indication of what is working and what is not.

Author | Anton Koekemoer

Anton Koekemoer
I'm your friendly neighbourhood digital marketing specialist. I specialise in helping brands connect with targeted customers by enhancing their online presence through emerging web-based communication channels. I translate business objectives into comprehensive initiatives that focus on humanising brand identity while maximising measurable business results. More
  • Social media is also extremely deceptive in that it shows you how many people have seen your posts, but it doesn’t really indicate engagement 100% accurately. For example you post a piece of advice and you can clearly see that 2000 people have seen that post on Facebook and of those 300 shared it with their networks and 230 of them commented on the post, but it doesn’t tell you about the 100 people that took that advice and implemented it. Then 3 months later you get 12 comments on that same post that gives you feedback on how well that advice worked for those who implemented it. So engagement using social media platforms will never really be accurately measurable.

    Then you seem to break it down into categories like REACH and SHARES. Isn’t that all ENGAGEMENT? The only metric that really matters when you use social media as a marketing tool is engagement. Your CTA will determine what you want your community to do, but at its core all social media enables that traditional marketing cannot is to induce and facilitate engagement.. back and forth communication. I rejoice in telling people: “You can’t talk back to a TV ad, but you can to a Youtube video” when I explain Al Ries’ first law of internet branding – INTERACTIVITY. Engagement is all that should matter because that is all social media enables. (measurability too but but then what do you measure? engagement again)

  • That is true Arthur. Social media at the end of the day is all about engagement, but how do you measure your campaign? Do you only look at engagement? How about ROI and how it’s supporting your other marketing campaigns?

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  • Teeks

    use Klout to measure your campaigns performance

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  • Yes that is the difficulty. Tracking online influence offline is extrememly difficult. I guess that is an area that Twitter is trying to develop by tracking relationships between activity on Twitter and connecting this with events, such as realtionshsip to stock movements, voting etc.
    And I agree that engagment is the primary metric. It indicates that they actually read and consumed the inormation and took some action so that it has had impact on a deeper level, as it involved thinking and responding, when it is easy to share, retweet, like.

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  • A great article focusing on the major concerns for any brand running a social media campaign. Engagement, reach, and shares are all valid metrics to analyze how well your content is resonating with your audience. However to truly utilize social media presence many brands have found it effective to implement on-site social tools so they can engage users even when they’re not on social networks. At Social Annex we build out these tools and give you detailed analytics to show incremental revenue as well as granular customer data. If you’re looking to monetize social media, feel free to reach out: http://bit.ly/109LGRJ

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  • “so it’s not a complete open representation of the Black Friday console
    purchases worldwide, but it does make for an interesting discussion

    Not really–it means these “results” are statistically meaningless and therefore not worthy of any discussion.

  • Charles – The Great and Powerf

    Hmmm… I think the title is misleading. I think the author is an idiot…

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