Master carpenters operate by an age-old proverb that prevents wasting time and money. Before cutting a piece of wood, they check for accuracy by measuring twice and cutting once. In case you’re wondering what a master carpenter and a small business owner have in common, it turns out they share a universal objective…both want results without wasting valuable resources.
When it comes to social media, tracking results and measuring progress is just as important to you as it is for the master carpenter who measures twice and cuts once. Your resources are equally as valuable. Using your time profitably is critical.
Although I’d love to give you a list of all the metrics to monitor with social media, it’s not that simple. Much depends on the results you intend to achieve. To invest time posting, liking, commenting, linking, tweeting, and 1+ on social media without an outcome in mind is much like the master carpenter randomly cutting wood without a blueprint or design in mind. (Hey, I think those guys remodeled my kitchen! :-/ )
Additionally, there isn’t a cookie-cutter approach for social media – or at least there shouldn’t be. (Run quickly from the so-called social media experts suggesting one-size fits all plans.) Hence, the goals you set and the metrics you track are unique to you, your business, and the resources you have available.
About now, you’re probably questioning the kind of help this blog post provides. Something simple and easy, please. Oh, how I wish. However, I can provide a few questions for you to establish what you need/want/should measure to get results from your social media efforts.
- What strategic goal is social media helping you achieve? Social media is merely a tool to help achieve your goals; therefore, it needs to be linked with the bigger picture of your business.
- What role will social media play in achieving your goals? Do you want to increase awareness of your business and its brand? Grow your network? Drive traffic to your website? Generate leads? Acquire clients? Hmmm, interesting question, isn’t it, and one that deserves a solid answer. No wishy-washy, ho-hum responses allowed!
- What is your social media strategy and goal? It all starts here, doesn’t it? Knowing the end game makes it easier to figure out where to start.
- What’s your social media plan for achieving your goals?
- What are the important indicators or metrics connected to your goal? Finally! With your objectives, goals and plan defined, it’s easy to identify the factors you’ll measure. Depending on your goals and objectives, this could include tracking any of the following:
- # of unique visitors to your web site from social media
- # leads generated from social media
- # of Facebook likes, Twitter followers, Linkedin connections or blog subscribers, etc to measure audience growth
- # of engaged users by tracking blog comments, Twitter retweets/replies, or shared links
- # of blog viewers of various posts
- rate of conversion from leads to clients
- How often will you track results?
By now, you probably understand why I was evasive. Tracking your social media efforts contain too many variables to give you a cut and dried answer. The bottom line? Make sure social media is worth your time. Use real data to track, measure, analyze, and readjust your plan as needed.
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