October 21, 2021
By Editorial Team
Most of us have come across Facebook and Instagram accounts with a massive amount of Followers–which makes us expect compelling content that will capture our attention. Yet, once we get to the posts, they often turn out to be unexciting.
The world of Social Media is somewhat peculiar in that way. Many people follow a page because they see potential in the moment and then become disinterested later. This results in accounts that may have many Followers but generate low engagement.
These accounts may consider themselves successful because of their Followerbase, but it’s crucial to evaluate engagement, as well, when measuring an account’s performance. We don’t want a Follower base that ignores us or passively reviews our content–we want a base that connects with us, advocates for us, and shares their ideas with us.
Engagement data provides us critical information on the type of content that resonates with users and motivates them to pursue those types of interactions. It can also direct us toward a powerful, vocal subset of our audience and, potentially, customers, who can influence others through their self expression.
Below, we explore the foundational elements essential to measuring your social media performance, taking into account both Followership and Engagement data for a more holistic view of your efforts.
It’s essential before embarking on any efforts to measure performance that it is clear what you hope to achieve. Only then can you identify an approach for evaluating your progress. S.M.A.R.T goals require you to determine specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely objectives.
For example, do you hope that by launching an online marketing campaign for a new brand you will increase the brand’s Follower base within the next 2 months? Or generate traffic to the brand’s website within the first week of the campaign? Measuring your success will depend entirely on how you define success.
It can be challenging initiating a program of measurement and evaluation. Social Media Market Research firms like Maven Road partner with brands to understand their needs and goals. Maven Road works in collaboration with its clients to develop specialized plans tailored to their specific challenges, and identify milestones for measuring progress along each step of the way.
Likes vs. Shares
If the goals your brand has established are related to engagement, then you will likely be interested in tracking the likes and shares that your Social Media posts receive, the most visible and straightforward metrics to monitor. This data will provide you insight on the type of content that resonates the most with your customer base. Learning what doesn’t perform to expectations is also extremely valuable and can help you further customize your content, given your audience’s preferences.
Audience Growth Rate
If your goals are related to building your audience and raising brand awareness, then tracking your Follower growth is a strategic way to monitor your success. When Followers like and share your content, that content is shared with their audiences, resulting in its exposure to an even greater number of users, including those that may not be following you currently. This raises the chances of increasing your own Follower base.
In contrast, if you notice your audience is shrinking, you’ll know there is a disconnect. You can then consider increasing the posting rate or improving the quality of your content for better engagement and to foster growth.
If your goals are related to customer service and building positive brand perception, then you’ll want to focus on user commentary on your posts. Every touchpoint the user has with your brand is an important one and should be treated as an opportunity to generate a positive impression, gain information about customer preferences, or communicate information. Ensure that you regularly respond to user commentary and monitor the highly-engaged users that interact regularly with brand pages. They could be potential customers or brand advocates.
Simply collecting data won’t impact your social media presence or drive positive business outcomes; you also need to design effective strategies for harnessing it. These strategies will be dependent on your resources and internal capacity to perform this work. To that end, many brands consider securing the services of a social media market research firm that specializes in making sense of data and who can support you in designing monitoring infrastructure and strategies for achieving your goals.
Thus, measuring your social media performance requires a vision for what you want to accomplish, an understanding of what data and metrics you will need to evaluate your progress in getting there, and a plan for collecting and analyzing that data. Following these steps will ensure you get that much closer to a valuable online audience for your brand, composed of engaged users and loyal Followers that can provide you critical insight on user preferences and potentially be advocates for your brand.