Social media has become a valuable and effective tool for marketers in all industries. In fact, 73% of marketers say social media marketing has been effective for their business.1 Due to how quickly social media is growing as a marketing tool, it’s difficult to stand out on crowded platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The solution? Metric driven strategy. Tracking the metrics for your channels gives you an opportunity to make more strategic decisions and test them out as you go.

It’s not so simple as beginning to chart your follower growth and likes. Followers and likes are some of the most touted statistics on social media, but they really don’t mean much for most business’ goals.

Find your baseline

Before you can even begin to gather your metrics, it’s important to figure out which metrics matter. Our suggestion is that you track interactions rather than impressions. While impressions are important, they don’t drive business the way interactions do. It’s easy to scroll through media and ignore business-focused posts in favor of funny cat videos – so it’s crucial to understand whether your followers are broken out of their trance to actually see and digest your posts. The best metrics to gauge this are clicks, conversations, and leads generated.

Once you’ve sorted which statistics are most important to you, get your most recent metrics together, along with past metrics if they’re available for your platform. This is also a good time to put together guidelines on how and where you get your metrics. Using a tracking tool can make this simpler, but it’s not 100% necessary. If you’re tracking by hand, just be sure that your guide gives the direction of how to get to each statistic within the management section of your media so there’s little to no variation among whoever is compiling the data.

Define your goals and strategy

Now that you’ve narrowed your understanding of which metrics drive your business, think about where you are and where you’d like to be. What is the end goal? More sales? Better brand reputation? Improving your SEO ranking? Now that you know where you stand, go ahead and set a goal for the end of the year. Don’t stop there and just track metrics to let them lie around while you wait for one long-term goal to happen. Set short-term monthly or weekly goals as well. These shorter-term evaluations give you the flexibility to adapt as needed.

Track and adapt

Going forward, keep tracking the metrics you’ve defined as crucial to your goal. Be sure that when you reach a point in time where a goal is measured, stop and take a look at the big picture. If you met your goal, that’s great! It might be time to increase the numbers on your goal to challenge yourself. If you didn’t meet your goal, take a look at what you did do – was there a specific kind of post or topic that got more reaction from your audience? Was there a time of day where your posts really went further? Lean into these strengths (although don’t let them monopolize your content) and adjust your strategy as you push forward.

With its prevalence among younger generations, social media can seem like a simple task – put together content and post it. While this may work out for some individuals, brands just don’t work the same way. Putting in the time to gather your strategy leads to better interaction and leads. 66% of marketers said they see lead generation benefits after just 6 hours a week spent on social media marketing.2 With this extra time devoted to strategy, social media can really become a valuable tool for reaching out to your audience and letting them reach out to you.

About Weber Associates

Weber Associates is a Columbus, OH-based consulting firm. Since 1985, we have blended the creativity of a marketing agency with the analytical rigor of a consultancy to help our clients solve real sales and marketing challenges so they can significantly grow revenues and customer loyalty.