The biggest problem facing business marketers today is how to measure their social media efforts.

Of 3000 surveyed by Social Media Examiner,

One- third of all social media marketers want to know how to monitor and measure the return on investment (ROI) of social media and integrate their social media activities.

Businesses want two graphs to line together:

  • Social media engagement
  • Revenue

If social media engagement increases, followed by an increase in revenue (all else being equal) then one is causing the other. Yet if social media engagement increases and revenue does not, then the CFO may take another look at their marketing budget.

How to measure your social media engagement

The same survey found that in 2011, business marketers will be focusing primarily on Facebook, Blogs, News Sites, YouTube and Twitter. Here is a summary on how to measure your social media engagement for each of these outlets:

Facebook

If you have a Facebook Fan Page, head over to facebook.com/insights. There you can see the number of likes, unsubscribes, impressions (misleading), per post views and most importantly – percentage feedback.

  • Percentage Feedback is the number of likes and comments divided by the impressions (Social Media Examiner has an example here).

Follow the percentage feedback everyday and record the data into an Excel spreadsheet. This is your Facebook engagement score. The higher the percentage the better. The higher the percentage, the more people are interacting with your page.

Record this everyday, with each new post you publish on Facebook. Over time, you can then produce a graph looking at how its changed and match it to your business revenue.

Twitter

There are many tools for measuring your Twitter engagement score. The best is Traackr.

In short, they ‘sort through the massive amount of data on social media to identify the most influential individuals in their community around specific issues, markets, brands.’

Again, the number of Twitter Followers you have is irrelevant. They might all be robots. Many of them probably are.

What is important is analysing who is following you, the extent to which they influence others, spark conversations, generate views and their relevance.

Recording your daily Traackr score in the same way as Facebook percentage feedback can provide you with an accurate social media engagement measurement.

YouTube

Like Facebook, YouTube does provide its own insights (go to ‘my videos’ and click ‘insights’ next to each video displayed). However they are quite limited.

It tells you how many views your video has had, where they came from (geographically, on a mobile, through another website) but not if they shared your video. And it doesn’t provide a simple ratio of the number of ‘likes’ and comments divided by views.

So you do not know whether the viewer gained value from the video. Nevertheless a view is a view, your brand name got seen, so for now collecting data on your view count, subscriber count and the ratio of comments and likes to views will be suffice.

Blogs

Back onto familiar territory, blogs are easy to measure engagement scores. Normally, there are four points to consider: active subscribers (email and RSS), comments, citations (or backlinks) and traffic stats (page views, bounce rate, time on site).

Active subscribers are those that you know are reading your email newsletters and RSS feeds (Aweber and Feedburner provide this information). Both the number and percentage are important data to watch.

Comments just got easier. Sync blog comments with your Facebook page and you’ve made your job easier. Now you can use Facebook insights. This also removes the hassle of filtering spam, trackbacks and your own comment replies.

Citations or backlinks are the number of other blogs linking to your posts. Majestic SEO can help there. Yet as per usual, it’s a case of quantity over quality. Traackr also analyses blog feeds to help you distinguish between the two. You should cross analyse these with the following.

Traffic stats are all too easy to fuss over. 10,000 page views is great, unless they last two seconds each and go somewhere else immediately. When you’re interested in social media engagement, you ought to be focusing on the time people spend on your blog and the bounce rate. Increase one and decrease the other.

News Sites

News Sites are popular websites that follow a certain market and consequently gain mentioned brands much public attention. Measure your frequency of mention, alongside the traffic gained from these sites and you can plot a nice graph against time displaying both.

If you have any other tools, tips or thoughts, please let us know in the comments below

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