Do you use social media marketing to promote your business? Are you wondering how to measure the impact of your social media campaigns? The answer is to build a social media dashboard that tracks the right metrics related to your business goals.
In this article, you’ll learn which social media metrics to track and how to organize them into a simple dashboard that you can use everyday to monitor your performance.
Step 1: Define how social media marketing is tied to your business goals
If you’re responsible for managing the social media of your business, then it’s possible that you aren’t actually involved in coming up with the overall business and marketing goals. On the other hand, if you’re running a small business, then you may have to oversee the whole marketing strategy, from start-to-end.
Either way, the first step is to look at your overall business objectives. As long as you’re tracking those goals, it’ll be easy to get a buy-in for your efforts and ensure that you’re on the right track.
For example, let’s say you’re a B2B firm and your objective is to introduce a new line of products with a sales target of $500,000 by the end of this year. With this objective in mind, you can come up with a marketing strategy with measurable goals.
Now, if your product is priced at $500, you know that you’ll need to sell 1,000 units to achieve your target. If you’re able to close only 1 out of every 5 leads, then it means that your marketing strategy will have to provide at least 5,000 leads to the sales team.
Although social media may only be a part of your overall marketing strategy, if you know your target audience, you can set measurable goals for your social media campaign. For example, if you know the audience size, budget and engagement levels, you’ll be able to estimate that social media will be able to bring in, say, at the most, 500 of those leads.
Step 2: Outline Social Tactics to Meet those goals
Once you’ve defined your social media goals, you can go a level deeper and determine the social tactics to achieve them.
In the above example, you can start looking at different ways to drive traffic to your website, especially to the pages the convert the most. These might include a download page for white paper or ebook, most popular blog posts, a Contact Us page.
As you lay out each social media tactic, think about how you’ll measure its effectiveness.
Ensure that you include specific social media channels for each tactic and outline the tactics for each channel.
For example, you may use the following tactic for Facebook:
- Collect user data from your website using Facebook Pixel, create a lookalike audience and serve it paid ads that drive traffic to your top converting landing pages. Use A/B testing to optimize your ads
- Share your blog posts on Facebook News Feed, and boost those posts that contain links to your top converting landing pages
- Run social media tests to learn more about your target audience, and optimize your content for engagement.
Step 3. Track Metrics that help Decision-Making
This step is all about deciding what really matters. You can slice & dice data in numerous ways to track tons of metrics. But only a handful of them will even be useful. The key is to focus on those metrics that tell you a story about customer behavior, and enable you to improve your future performance.
In our lead generation example, the most important metric is the conversion rate for each landing page, due to the traffic that comes from social media. However, this metric alone will only give you a partial idea of how your campaign is working.
On the other hand, if you track the clicks, impressions, users on the landing page, and then measure their conversions, you’ll begin to see a much clearer picture – which parts of your campaign are working and which ones aren’t. This approach will give you actionable insights.
For example, here’s what you might do with the information:
- If your impressions are lower than your target, then you can focus on boosting them
- If impressions are good, but clicks are low, then you need to work on your CTA
- If people click your ads, but not many are converting on your landing page, then you need to optimize it, ensure that your landing page actually delivers what’s promised in your social post.
- If you find that people are converting from paid search ads but not from paid social, then you may need to change what you promise in your social ads.
Step 4. Create a Simple Tracking Dashboard
Dashboards provide a great way to track all the key marketing metrics about your business and monitor them from one place, in real-time. They allow you to evaluate the performance of your marketing campaigns and optimize them quickly.
Your dashboards need not be fancy, or highly complex to be actually useful. They can even be simple Excel or Google Spreadsheets that help you track weekly, monthly & quarterly metrics. What’s important is that it will help you keep an eye on all your marketing activities and highlight areas that need your urgent attention. It will also help you identify what’s working, give you insights and recommendations for action.
Most social media management tools like Buffer & HootSuite contain inbuilt social dashboards that allow you to track social media metrics. However, they can’t include internal data sources and web analytics. To be able to analyze the impact of social media marketing on web analytics and sales, you can try BI solutions like Google Data Studio, Ubiq BI and Tableau that allow you to connect to a number of diverse data sources (Google Analytics, Google Sheets, MySQL, Facebook and more) and create customized dashboards.
Here’s a sample dashboard in Google Data Studio:
As mentioned earlier, your dashboards need not be sophisticated to be useful. They can even be simple spreadsheets as long as you’re tracking the right KPIs. Here’s a simple dashboard that your marketing team can use to track its performance.
The key to creating an insightful dashboard is to break it into 3 sections:
- Where your business is today – Its domain authority, web sessions, social media followers on various channels and their engagement
- Monthly KPIs – Include KPIs for each month. Use simple coloring to highlight progress. For example, green for areas where you are on track and red for areas where you’re lagging. This will help you spot areas that need improvement.
To determine the right KPIs, look at your long-term goals, understand what you need to do get there, refer to your own performance history, and factor in industry benchmarks
- Action items – Use text to call out insights, recommendations and action items
The goal is to create a dashboard that’s useful and easy to maintain. Most of the above mentioned dashboard solutions have auto-refresh capabilities to automatically show you the latest numbers & trends. However, if you’re using a spreadsheet, then you can update your KPIs every week to see how you’re doing against the monthly KPIs.
Ensure that you share these numbers with your team every month, so they can spot key patterns and dig deeper for insights. Use these insights to come up with the action steps for the next month. This will help you build forward momentum that you can track effectively.
By starting with the business goals, you can come up with a social media measurement plan that helps you focus on what’s truly important to your business. Once you’ve chosen the right metrics, it’s easy to build a dashboard to track them regularly. This data-driven process will ensure that you’re headed in the right direction and allow you to constantly improve your social strategy & execution.
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