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5 ways to make social measurable

The near monthly propagation of new channels, tools and terminologies makes measuring social media activity an upheaval. Unlike other marketing tacks – such as email or telemarketing, where a handful of available metrics can get you by – there’s no simple approach to analysing performance on social. 

But there's a big difference between measuring something and making it measurable.

That's why, paradoxically, measurement shouldn't be thought of as reactionary: there are many steps a marketer can take to factor measurement into the planning process. Here are five simple but effective ways to help you do just that. 

1. Always provide a CTA

Providing a call-to-action (CTA) is taken as read for any other digital marketing activity, and social shouldn’t be any different. Include links with every post and start tracking them; if you haven’t already, bookmark a link optimisation tool (such as Bitly) and use it religiously. Make it policy to divert traffic back to your website or area of interest with every post.

You'll then be able to check link clicks and subsequent page views or registrations. These figures offer relatively hassle-free and meaningful measurement, thus a #QuickWin. 

2. Choose the right platforms 

Whether it’s because the social media platform is right for your products or content, make sure you’re there for a reason. The most important considerations for deciding which platform works best for your brand is where decision-makers will be, and how to convert their browsing into leads. 

What platform lends itself to making your gated content irresistible? As opposed to Twitter’s 140-word limit, will the longer form afforded to a Facebook post be enough to compel your prospect to sign up and part with the details sales need? YouTube will trump other video sharing platforms for in-depth, product-focused posts, while blogs will help direct to your product pages. 

3. Advertise

There’s no better way to make social media measurable than to frame your activity around something quantifiable. Let’s say you spend £10 a day on a Facebook advert that results in the downloading of 15 ebooks, with one of those leads converting to a £1000 sale. It’s easy to reflect on activity of this nature: use the numbers to evaluate the results and weigh up investment against return.

Perhaps that was a slightly optimistic example, but these are meaningful numbers that analyse your activity.  

4. Use sales promotions (sparingly)

I remember a marketing tutor telling me sales promotions are the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll of marketing, which is as true today as it was back in the swinging noughties. Relying on them is a sure-fire way to damage your brand reputation. But that’s not to say they can’t be used sparingly to good effect – especially on social. 

Create a targeted discount code which references the social media platform it was found on, share it and measure the outcome in terms of offer redemption.  

5. Harness the data you already have

Your prospects and customers are giving you all the information you need already, brands can measure and grow their social media presence by using that data that’s already available. Many social media management tools and web applications (such as SproutSocial and Hootsuite) will collate data from your existing channels and help you analyse your output. 

Once implemented, you’ll have access to a dashboard of activity from your platforms and metrics perfect for measuring activity. The best way to harness this data is to review progress on a weekly or monthly basis, spotting trends to identify where you need to make the changes necessary for continued growth.

B2B Marketing Social Media Benchmarking Report

This report takes an in-depth look at some of the major social media trends within B2B organisations. Based on an exclusive research project, it is divided into seven sections, covering a number of aspects including platforms, activity and culture, among others.

Download your copy

Social Media Benchmarking Report 2015