How To Measure Social Media

It’s the never ending question: How do we, as business owners really understand if we are getting what we pay for when it comes to investing all the time and money into social media?

I found an interesting social media measurement article on, and thought I would condense it a bit for a 20,000 foot level view.

As a small business owner, I read a lot of blogs, newspaper articles and downloads on untitledeffective social media measurement to ensure I am getting a return on my investment and time. Most people say it’s pretty darn hard to measure it based on likes, fan base and how many people you’ve reached.

To me, the bottom line is increased revenue.

Are your sales up from last year? Can you attribute the increase in your revenue to your social media strategy? If so, how did you do it? Here are a few guidelines:

Step 1: Align Your Objectives With Your Metrics.

This isn’t new to marketing people. Your goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed just right. So, if your goal is something like, “I want to have 10,000 facebook fans by next month,” you can be sure you’ll fail.

I’m a realist. I know when I’m swimming in the deep end of the pool and I don’t have my floaties on. I also know that in order to achieve a goal, it should be done in bite sized pieces, and not eating the whole enchilada in one gulp. That’s just a prescription that the doctor didn’t order.

Step 2: Measure.

How do you measure social media conversations or relationships? You have to start with awareness, attention and reach.

When you talk about reach, don’t measure actual reach because not every single person following you is going to see every single thing you post. What you want to measure is potential reach.

  • Go to Facebook Insights and look at the numbers.
  • If you have a website, use your Google Analytics to check out peak times and dates. What were the peak dates? Why? Did it align with any social media update or e-blast that you sent out?
  • If you’ve made a post on Facebook or Twitter, check to see if you have any shares or retweets.

People who shared content + their networks = Potential Reach

Usually the goal is to get people to do something. And, what I mean by “do something,” I don’t mean the Harlem Shake. You want them to call you. You want them put stuff in your online shopping cart and actually buy it.  What to do…what to do….

  • Look at your average monthly reach across your networks
  • count the number of transactions (this could be click thrus or conversions)
  • Establish the ratio. For every 10 people you’re potentially reaching, you can count two sales or new sign-ups, or calls for services/proposals.

The value of a fan or follower is the total dollar value of a transaction which resulted from a conversation on one of your social media outlets. Again, it boils down to your bottom line.

Step 3. The Power Of A Referral.

  • Keep tabs on how many times your business name is mentioned on any social media network.
  • Look for recommendations and responses to a request for information from referrals
  • Track over 30 days the percentage of posts that are direct or implied recommendations for your business.
  • Inbound links. Check your Google Analytics to see where your traffic is coming from. You can search StumbleUpon or Delicious for your business or blog name to see hits for bookmarks.

This is a just a few ideas from their ebook. You can get the whole download here.


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