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#DearB2B: With so many social media metrics out there, which ones should I be measuring?

Godfrey content marketing director and social media strategist Jenn Vitello outlines the four questions to ask yourself when deciding which metrics to measure

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Dear B2B, with so many social media metrics out there, which ones should I be measuring?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are some definitive guidelines you can take into consideration as you’re plotting your metrics. (Secret – you’re going to want to have separate metrics defined by each platform.)

Before diving right into what you should measure, there are some factors you first need to take into account in order to avoid drowning in a sea of data. To narrow down the playing field, ask yourself the following questions:

1. What are the goals and objectives of my marketing strategy?

This is always a great first place to start because your goals and objectives are what keep your efforts focused – whether it’s on social media, your own website, email campaigns or even internally. And if you’ve got actual KPIs attached to those goals, even better!

2. What's the purpose or reason for being on each of my chosen social platforms?

Is it brand advocacy? Recruitment? Education? They may differ by channel, but knowing if you’re using Facebook solely for recruitment purposes automatically hones you in on the metrics you want to measure. For example, if you post about an open position with a link to your careers page, you’ll want to measure clicks from the post. You may even take it one step further and measure if there were any clicks off your careers page. Perhaps someone applied for the position after seeing it on your Facebook post. 

3. Do you have a content strategy that supports your social media strategy?

What content do you plan on publishing and promoting? If you plan on promoting a new whitepaper, remember that those metrics will differ to the metrics used when promoting your latest YouTube video (impressions versus views).

4. How often do I plan on checking my metrics?

You’ll want to have a plan for evaluating performance. Maybe it’s once a month or once a quarter. But knowing, and scheduling, a check-in time puts you in a position to be proactive and really optimise what you’re finding.

Now that you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to start thinking measurement. Before I give you some examples, I want to reiterate one point: it’s incredibly important to know the purpose of each of your social media platforms. After you’ve identified each platform’s purpose, you can then start to dig in and apply metrics to each.

Sample social media metrics

  • Followers: How many followers per platform are you picking up per month?
  • Engagement: Likes, shares, comments, clicks
  • Reach: Impressions

Content within context

While this isn’t a hard metric, it’s important to evaluate the context of posts, looking for themes within sets of topics that are performing well for each channel. This information helps determine what types (photos, videos) and topics (how-to, product promotion) resonate best with your audience on each platform.

Once you’ve identified your metrics, you’ll want to put together a schedule for checking in – whether it’s on a monthly or quarterly basis – so you can optimise your efforts. Capitalise on what’s performing best. Do less of what isn’t grabbing attention. Remember: it’s okay to course-correct. That’s what the metrics are there for – always improving the value of what you deliver to your audience.