Using social media is a great way to spread awareness of your brand to potential customers. However, it shouldn’t just be assumed that because your company has a social media account, it is generating leads. This is where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come in. KPIs help a company measure and evaluate success. Your company should be tracking the performance of its social media campaigns with specific metrics. However, although likes, retweets and followers sound as though they are impressive indicators of success, they do not illustrate how many leads are following through with a purchase, or even how many leads exist in the first place.
Your company should be looking for high quality tracking software so that data can be generated to allow you to make decisions about what needs to be improved. Tracking systems can measure metrics that show brand reach, engagement, the number of enquiries and, most importantly, how many leads are being closed into customers.
Like for Like
Many marketers might have the misconception that a good number of likes means that a post is popular but it does not necessarily indicate that the article is successful as a lead generating piece of content. In recent years, clicking the like button has become an automatic action, so it may not prove to be a useful test for the effectiveness of a post. Some users may not even click through and read the article, merely pressing ‘like’ because they agree with the sentiment expressed in the title. This means that potential customers may not even get to read your quality content and therefore, will not be closed into customers.
Similarly, though a high click rate shows that a post has generated interest with the use of an effective title, icon design or relevant topic, it does not prove that the article itself was enjoyed. If the post does not end up getting many shares or likes, then there is still some work to do to improve the quality of the article. Click rates do not highlight whether a reader becomes a closed lead or not.
If a reader decides to share a post, this shows an active decision on their part to spread your content to others, yet a share does not indicate the opinion of that person. Your article might even get shared because someone thinks it is not very good! Comments can be a great way to find out what customers or potential buyers really think. Readers can have discussions in the comments section and talk about what they like, dislike, agree with or disagree with. Note that someone being critical of your article does not necessarily mean that the outcome will be negative. Constructively critical readers are very useful from a marketing standpoint because it highlights what is working and what is not.
The Metrics that Matter
A Key Performance Indicator that shows how your company is at the forefront of popularity is a tag or a mention. If your brand is being talked about or recommended, this may generate leads. Another metric that can be tracked using some software is active followers. Active followers are users that have engaged with your posts within the past month. It may be possible, with some tracking software, to look at weekly followers, which would be a better indication of potential customers as these will be people who are invested enough to interact with your company regularly.
In truth, there is one set of metrics that is more important than all the rest when it comes to performance. Studying reach, likes and followers may show that your content is popular but it does not show who is buying your products or services. The best metrics to track are customer acquisition, lead generation and conversions from social media.
To put it simply, tracking conversions into customers is the only way to see if social media channels are really generating business. Closed leads mean that your social media campaigns are working.