So you want to be successful at social media?
The natural follow-up question is, what does a successful social media presence look like and how do you measure it? Does it go 'ting' when it's done like food in the microwave? What are KPIs you should keep an eye on?
TL;DR Your measure of success on social media is derived from your goals as a business.
Let's go a bit into detail about what that means.
Broadly speaking, a healthy business needs
- a recurring revenue stream from happy customers,
- a steady influx of new customers to keep growing,
- a general awareness of the brand among its target audience and future employees.
Here's the thing, folks. Organic social media alone will not assure that you'll achieve all of these goals. And this is coming from an organic social media business, so there might be some merit in that.
[Organic social media is all the unpaid activities you do on social media like posting, engaging with other people etc.]
Here are the goals that organic social media CAN help you achieve with their KPIs (measures of success).
📢 Promote the brand
To build brand awareness among target audiences about your brand. Visibility is the focus here.
On social media, visibility translates as Reach, Impressions, and Mentions.
Reach: The total number of people who have seen your content. If 1 person saw your post twice, your reach would be 1 person. Today, your reach is a fraction of the number of your followers you have.
Impressions: The total number of times your content was seen. If 1 person saw your post twice, you would have 2 impressions. If this is number is high, then your post is being shown on people's timelines. Keep track of what kind of post and what posting practices cause this number to increase or decrease.
Mentions: The number of times your brand (or related terms) were mentioned on social media. This is more applicable to established brands who can monitor mentions after launching a big campaign.
🙌 Build an audience
To build an engaged audience on your channel. Engagement & following are the keywords here.
Engagement: The number of likes, comments, clicks, and shares your post receives. The higher this number, the more chances of them coming back to you.
Engagement rate: The total of likes, comments, shares, and clicks divided by the total number of people who saw your post. This is a good measure of how interesting your content is to your audience.
Following: Following or subscribing is a really good sign that people are interested in what you have to say. Keep an eye on the rate at which you get new followers rather than the total number of followers to see what's you're doing that causes people to follow you.
Side note. It's easy to post whatever makes people interact with you and follow you, but pandering to them might lead to you losing track of why you're building an audience in the first place.
In our experience, and in countless other B2B's experience the best way to get new followers that align with your goal is to provide value. Teach people something. Share data driven insights that might help them. More on that in our free e-book.
📞 Get visitors and leads
To convert target audiences (followers and good fit audiences) into top of the funnel leads, so they're part of your CRM.
Clickthrough rate: The people who clicked on the link you posted as a percentage of the total number of people who saw it. This is a great indication of your ability to attract website visitors from your social media posts. It can tell you how intriguing or valuable your posts are to your audience.
New visitors: Google Analytics allows you to see how many people you managed to attract to your website through social media. Try keeping an eye on how many new visitors you manage to attract to the website through social media and compare it with what you posted that week.
New Leads: Your CRM will be able to track how many new leads (people who left their email address) came in from social media and referrals.
💳 Get new customers
To convert leads into customers by promoting your product or solution to them.
Conversion Rate: The percentage of leads that convert to customers. Of course, the total number of leads might include sources other than just organic social media. Filtering on social media would give you a better idea of the quality of leads your social media activity brings.
If the conversion rate is high, it indicates that the message you put out on social media matches your value proposition as a business among other things.
As I mentioned earlier, organic social media alone might not bring you new customers at a steady rate. You have to invest in paid marketing simultaneously to create a robust funnel that creates customers.
👩🏿 Attract future employees
To actively promote your employer brand to attract more and better job applications.
How do you measure whether your employer brand is working well on social media?
There isn't a simple KPI to understand if your employer brand is successful just through social media activity. Here's what you can look at though:
Job acceptance rate: The percentage of acceptance on your job offers. The better your employer brand is functioning, the higher this number will be. It is especially important to track rejections of your job offer and get feedback for it.
Time-to-hire: The time from the first engagement with the candidate to the final hiring decision. A well-oiled employer brand is said to decrease time-to-hire by 200%. So it might be interesting to track how this number changes over time.
Here's more on about building a successful employer brand with social media.
Here's what really matters...
As standalone figures, any of these KPIs is easy to obsess over as a social media manager. The key is to always track them together so there's always context.
Often viral posts, or PR publications can cause temporary spikes in these measures of success. Seeing things in context allows you to treat them as outliers, while focusing on the averages.