hand connecting a jigsaw puzzle on how to Measure Success on Social Media

Measuring Your Success on Social Media

Knowing which social media platforms are working and deserve your time and attention gives you more control over your social media strategy and how you measure your success on social media. Sure, you can keep doing what you are doing with your current social media efforts, or you can change things up and fix what is going wrong. As a result, you will get confidence in continuing to focus your efforts where you see success to get results.

Do you know which social media platforms are getting you business results? If you answered no, then you are probably not looking at these platforms’ analytics. And if you don’t know what is currently working (and what is not), we can’t improve to make the changes needed to be made. Furthermore, if you have a strategy in place for social media, how do you define if it is truly a success?

Let’s break down three ins and outs of how to define and measure success on social media. First, we will define your social media strategy. How can you track your efforts if you are posting blindly on social media? Next, we expand on what metrics you should be measuring. Finally, look to translate those metrics into long-term success.

“If it doesn’t add value, it’s waste.” – Henry Ford

There are over 200 social metrics to track. Only track the ones that matter to you. Conversely, measuring your success on social media is not as scary as we make it out to be, and today, I want to simplify this tool for you with the hopes of encouraging you to dig deeper into the data behind your efforts and make changes to your strategy that will help you reach your business goals more efficiently.

It is important to know whether all this time and effort that you spend posting on social media aligns with your goals and adds value to your business. None of us have time to spare. Every minute of running a business counts. Let us make sure the time you do have is focused and well spent. Here are the three ins and outs of how to define and measure success on social media.

Setting a Social Media Strategy

Every time we get into content creation mode for social media, I ask my clients what those business goals are and how social media can help them reach those goals. Then, we expand on those goals for future posts and replicate what may already be working.

We have to start with a strategy before discussing measuring your success on social media. You may have a strategy, or you may not, or you don’t know what you have is an actual strategy. Maybe you just have a sense of what you want to accomplish. Diving into social without a strategy is similar to writing an essay without first mapping out your main arguments and body paragraphs. You won’t see real success in your social efforts without setting a strategy first.

Why Are You on Social Media?

You may have the notion of being aware that operating a business today has a silent stigma of needing to be present on social media. It could be you are losing business to a competitor with a stronger brand on social where they are consistent with their efforts. Simply put, you want to increase engagement with your audience. As you might be thinking, these are all valid statements to think of. If this is your goal, my advice would be to start with creating a defined strategy so you can collect the data of your efforts and look for areas you can improve. Regardless, these statements all allude to the value of social media.

As we mentioned in how to grow your followers, you need to know why you are on social media before you can begin to track your social media efforts. The above statements are all real reasons to want to be on social media. But they do not necessarily amount to a strategy. You will want to focus on what social media can do for your business.

Simply stating I want to grow brand awareness and ignoring all the steps it takes to get there will get you minimal to no results. There are many ways to grow your brand awareness. Therefore, if you state I want to grow brand awareness, I know I need to be on social media, have a website, email campaigns, and so on. Then you are inching closer to achieving this goal. For example, we will narrow our focus on social media. Once you are on social media, there are a lot of platforms to choose from. You could choose Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. If you are on social media and you are posting engaging content and knowing you are getting engagement, likes, or reactions, then these are just some of the signals that tell you that you are accomplishing the goal of brand awareness.

You can also choose these common business goals. You can choose one goal or many. At the end of the day, these goals are then tied to your social media. Increasing brand awareness, driving sales, building trust and partnerships, can I support a physical location are just a few of the common goals we hear from our clients regarding what they want social media to do for them. Your strategy will drive to one or many of these. Additionally, there are many more goals out there.

Tracking Meaningful Metrics

It’s time to track your metrics that match your social media goals. Do you remember the comment about there being over 200 metrics? It’s time to narrow it down to a few.

Knowing which metrics to track will eliminate the feeling of being overwhelmed. It will reduce your chances of not tracking anything. In this case, visualize the business goal of growing your brand awareness. How do I know if, through social media, I am successfully contributing to brand awareness for my company? Where do I see this data? You guessed it, the metrics I have chosen will answer this. If this is your goal, then looking at reach and impressions are two metrics to start utilizing. You will know these are always on content metrics. Other areas to get insight into would be views and follower growth. I will track a few of these metrics if I care about brand awareness as the ultimate goal. Yes, there are more. You will need to answer that question for yourself and how it aligns with your business goals.

If I care about brand trust and partnership in the community, I need to ask myself how I know if people like and trust me. How do I know they like the content I am posting? Some signals to answer this goal and these questions would be likes, reactions, comments, shares, or earned mentions.

Finally, if growing sales is a goal for my business, then I ask myself, how do I know if people see my posts converting into customers? In this case, look at link clicks, web page views, email sign-ups, and ad conversions.

As you can see, this is not a perfect science but a sense of which metrics can connect back to which goals. It is all about analyzing the signals or data that tell me I am on the right track. It is also important to remember that your goals will always shift. You must keep reevaluating and adjusting to ensure they align with your business and drive growth.

Measuring Your Success on Social Media

You have set your strategy and figured out how to connect those metrics back to the strategy. We now want to track this success long-term.

Keep in mind this will not happen overnight. It will take some sweat. The first thing to do is simple. Get started. Create those accounts if you haven’t already. Next, be consistent. Just like going to the gym, going on a routine basis will get you results. It will be hard to track your efforts and how it contributes to your business if you are not posting consistently. This is why consistency and time are critical to success.

The final piece of the strategy is to track your results. You want to know if your efforts are paying off. You should know your progress. How often do you track your progress? The way I see it, this is not a daily effort. Why? Once you set up your goals and key metrics to utilize that relate to those goals, you should be tracking them at most monthly. Looking at it on a large scale, like monthly, will give you many posts and trends to track versus small daily posting metrics.

Celebrate your wins. Certain posts will be more popular. This is important to be aware of. This will be a reason to celebrate. This will signal to you that your content will resonate with your audience. Ultimately tracking progress over time will get you great data on what works.

Action Items

Hopefully, I painted a better picture of how to measuring your efforts on social media can be a valuable tool (and not so scary) to help focus your efforts in your business that align with your goals. I hope you take a dive into the data these platforms offer so you can get a better idea of your efforts and time are being spent how they should. If you have any further questions, please reach out.

Hey there I'm kayla dammann of KMD Marketing.

Thanks for stopping by the blog—I love educating small business owners + nonprofits about event marketing, SEO, website design, and social media strategy.

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