You’ve spent days strategizing your social media campaign, designing the perfect concept, developing a launch plan and managing your posts across multiple networks. Now what? Did your efforts make an impact on your consumers? Are there ways to optimize and change your work in real time to reach a broader audience?
Measuring the success of either a paid or organic social media campaign can be done in a few different ways. The overall effect of your campaign depends on your end goal. Whether that’s an increase in engagement or direct link clicks to your brand’s website, it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for and ensure you have tracking mechanisms in place so you can change and rework future campaigns for an even higher ROI.
Why Tracking Results Is Important
Before we take a look at what you should be measuring in your social media campaigns, it’s important to understand why you should be monitoring success. Tracking campaign results over long periods of time is beneficial to see how your brand has grown through varying channels, and it can be as simple as knowing what works and what doesn’t.
By using website analytics to track engagement and click-through rate, you can quantitatively analyze the success of your campaign. If performance is less than as expected, you and your team can optimize moving forward by changing audience targeting, language or positioning. If your campaign is using paid/sponsored ads, you can also adjust your bid strategy or overall budget. Analytics help you establish a baseline and understand areas of opportunity.
The beauty of social media is the ability to make real-time adjustments to your marketing campaigns. Traditional print marketing, for example, may be more challenging to optimize due to high production costs and longer timelines. On social media, however, it can cost close to nothing to pause an existing campaign based on performance data or make immediate adjustments.
Measuring Your Social Media Campaign Success
There are many ways to measure the success of your campaign. Here are a few of the most common ways to determine whether or not your campaign is effective at driving traffic, conversions or brand awareness.
Tracking Link Clicks
A link click is documented when a user engages with your ad or post and clicks the link that appears, directing the user from the social media platform to your website. Link clicks are an effective tool for measuring overall engagement and can include clicks on images and call-to-action buttons.
Distinguishing Between Reach and Impressions
“Reach” and “impressions” are common lingo in the social media world. It’s important to learn the difference between the two so you can not only understand what they mean, but also use them to your benefit.
Reach: The reach of a post refers to the total number of unique users who saw your post. These users may or may not have directly engaged with the post or clicked anything. Each user is counted once, regardless of how many times the post is shown in that user’s feed.
Impression: Impressions are the total number of times your post was seen. If the same user encounters your post more than once, each of those times is factored into your impression count. Like reach, impressions also don’t account for interactions or engagement.
Knowing when to use which metric is key here. If the goal of your campaign is to get content in front of a specific number of people, you would measure the reach of your campaign rather than the number of impressions. However, if you’re looking to have your campaign displayed on the same timeline or feed multiple times, or, adversely, you’re worried that an ad may be displayed too many times on a single consumer’s screen, then you would be measuring the impression of those ads.
Bonus tip: following the impressions of an ad shortly after its published is an early indicator that there could potentially be something wrong with the dimensions of your ad. If your campaign is launched and there are little to no impressions within a short amount of time, then there must be an error that needs to be fixed.
Understanding Organic, Paid & Viral Ads
When strategizing your social media campaigns, be prepared to measure organic reach, paid reach and viral ad reach.
Campaigns that have money behind them can reach a specific audience and receive many more impressions than an organic post. However, if your organic post is shared multiple times and sees high engagement, your campaign may do well without any money behind it. Creating something with the intention of it “going viral” is near impossible, unless you have a high social media following. It’s important to prioritize your best means of advertising that will give you the highest return on investment.
Conversion Tracking on Paid Ads
If you’re looking to put money behind your social media campaigns, then conversion tracking is worth measuring so you can understand ROI. Conversion tracking is a Google Analytics tool that measures specific interactions on your website, such as click tracking on CTA buttons or important form submissions. These links would require a unique URL and allow you track exactly what you are spending on marketing efforts, as well as your overall cost per conversion (marketing dollars spent divided by total conversions).
Engagement is an umbrella term for likes, shares, tweets, ratings, comments, reposts, retweets, etc. By understanding and measuring engagement with your social media posts, you will gain better insight into how your consumers interact with your brand. Are they interested in what you are posting? Is your content encouraging conversations in the comments? Are your fans excited when you post? These are things to keep in mind when measuring engagement.
So, Was Your Campaign a Success?
After your campaign has launched, give it time to circulate around your audience’s newsfeeds and timelines, take a look at your metrics and see what’s working and what’s not. Were your goals met from the start, or is there room for improvement? If your campaign didn’t achieve its goals, it’s time to take a step back and take a look at copy, creative and target audience to determine how you can optimize.
If you’re interested in launching a social media marketing campaign and would like help gauging successes and opportunities, it may be wise to seek assistance from an experienced digital marketing team that specializes in this type of work (hint, hint—that’s what we do). Contact ZAG to learn more about how we can help.