Congratulations to Facebook on your 9 year anniversary this week. Thank you as well, for bringing us the Like. Which leads me into today’s topic on the kinds of metrics that may be useful to measure the success of our online and social marketing efforts.
There are various tools and products available that can help us collect this information on performance of our social, online and mobile efforts – Google Analytics, HubSpot, CRM tools, etc. Rather than review specific tools in this post, I will take a step back and consider some of the things that we want to measure and why they are meaningful to us.
Likes / Unlikes, Follows / Unfollows
As a ratio to # visitors to the site, and as a trend over time, these metrics figures provide information on quantity of possible prospects. Spikes in a time graph can provide a high level indication of response to specific marketing or social campaign activities. Unlikes and unfollows can also provide information on staying power.
How are potential customers finding our site? What is this relationship to our social media efforts?
What we want to know with these metrics is whether our efforts to attract potential customers to our site is really working. A referrer is the previous page/site that a person was on before coming to our site. Combined with activities on social networks such as Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, it help us to understand if these efforts are successful. Are people clicking through on our status updates and tweets? Referrer can be helpful in measuring the success of SEO – are people finding us in search engines? We can also see whether visitors come directly.
What actions are taken on the site? Are people following links? Or sharing our information?
Collecting information on actions people take on our site can give us an indication of the community we are building. As well as what interests this community. Are our customers tweeting and posting about us? Are there actions we want to record, such as which pages are most popular. Are we providing links to other sites that people are visiting? Are advertisements effective?
How many of these visits translate into actual leads or sales?
This is the crux of matter. Does our online activity actually translate into real dollars and cents? If it is an eCommerce site then it is easy to measure statistics around actual visitors, number of sales and quantity of sales. To measure leads, we need to have a method to collect information from prospects. Leads can be gathered by providing something of value, such as a white paper or other giveaway, and asking for prospect information to be collected to receive it. Measuring the ratio of visitors or likes to actual prospects who provide contact information can be useful. Also, further company sales metrics can provide statistics on whether these prospects become customers.
To effectively use these metrics we need to set out a plan of which metrics are important to us, how we are to measure them and what actions we want to take based on the measurements. The information can help us to understand our business and our sales cycles. The individual statistics alone are simply numbers.