The whole concept of measuring social media marketing success is a very old question. In fact, you can tell which marketer knows what he or she is doing based on his or her answer to this question.
The correct answer really is all about building brand awareness with the right people. That is the right answer.
Can you get traffic? Sure. Can you increase your clout score? Absolutely. Can you get a lot of re-tweets and shares and measure that way? Yes. But ultimately, the way to measure your level of success on social media comes down to brand awareness.
If you are going to hang your hat on getting a certain amount of traffic on social media, you are basically just setting yourself up for disappointment. The reality is, the way social media’s internal dynamics play out direct traffic, clout score, re-tweets, shares, favorites, really are imperfect metrics of success. They all have certain sections of the overall picture you should be focusing on.
The overall picture you should be focusing on is branding. Social media is a very powerful tool to that you can use to establish a solid and credible online brand. You have to find the right people to influence the social media, engage those people, build solid relationships with them, and these can lead to the right traffic, SEO benefits, and a wide range of other benefits. It all begins with brand awareness and building brand equity.
I have outlined below the component parts of the overall process of measuring brand influence. All these lead to influence building. All these lead to online branding. Don’t get too fixated on specific parts, but look at the big picture.
One key measure of social media marketing is the direct traffic that you get. Make no mistake about it. You can get direct traffic when you share your links in social media platforms.
The problem with measuring your success primarily in terms of direct traffic is that there are seasonal variations, there’s weekly variations, and there’s also niche variations. Ultimately, social media traffic really follows a general rule of less is more.
Instead of focusing on direct end users and getting them to click a link, focus instead on the small number of highly influential people in your niche or industry who can then market your brand within their circle of influence. This can lead to a larger and more sustainable flow of online traffic.
Klout.com is an online social media prestige ranking service. Klout uses a sophisticated software algorithm that factors in a wide range of signals to estimate how influential you are on social media. One way to measure your social media marketing success is your Klout score.
The problem with this kind of metric is that it’s easy to manipulate. There are many fake accounts on Twitter; there are many robots handling fake accounts on Facebook. It’s very easy to appear very influential online, but in reality, very few people pay attention to your online brand. I would take Klout score with a grain of salt. Is it a measure of success? Yes. Is it the only measure? Absolutely not.
Re-Tweets and Shares
Another way you can measure how much weight your online brand has online, is the number of times your content has been re-tweeted and shared. Usually, when people re-tweet, share, or favorite a particular piece of content, it means that that content touched them in a profound enough level for them to take action on that content.
The problem with measuring your social media marketing success this way is that it is very easy to fake. You have to understand that there is thriving market online where people sell millions of Twitter followers for a few dollars each. People will follow you on Facebook, add you in Instagram, add you in Google+, re-tweet or share you, but for a few dollars. The problem is, these aren’t even real people. These are all software-driven accounts. These are fake.
If you are simply measuring your success based on re-tweets and shares, you might be basing your success on a very faulty metric. You have to look at the big picture.
Measuring Success Based On Who Follows You
This is probably the most accurate way to measure your social media marketing success. Pay attention to who’s following you. As I mentioned earlier, in any niche and in any industry, there is only a very small number of highly influential people. If you get enough of these people to follow you, that is a great endorsement.
That is a great measurement of success. Why? These people have a huge influence on your niche and industry. By getting in the good graces of these people, they can lend their credibility and authority to your online brand, and you can become more credible in your niche. The more credible you become, the more people will trust you. The more people trust you, the more people will buy from you.
That’s how it works. That’s the whole purpose of social media marketing. It all boils down to influencing the right people enough that it leads to a high level of trust around your online brand.Share