In the days before social media, measuring ROI on campaigns had it’s challenges. You heard terms like reach and frequency and were given vague numbers about how many people saw your ad. Times sure have changed, haven’t they? Now, with the continual rise of platforms like Facebook and Twitter, measuring social media success has become a bit of a beast. With multiple ways of gauging success, it’s more important than ever to understand what each interaction actually means.
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Social Media Engagement
So how do we measure the effectiveness of social media? Some brands want to get more page likes, others want to be viewed as thought leaders, and some just want to have meaningful conversations with their customers. While the key performance indicators (KPIs) vary from brand to brand, the means to reach them are all the same when it comes to social media engagement.
The best way to understand the value of social engagement is to first clearly define the general social media engagement types. For our example, we are measuring engagement on a scale of visibility and action. The higher the level of visibility and the greater the amount of effort (action), the higher the value of the engagement.
To start, let’s first break down and define what each of these terms mean:
Views: Video views are important for building awareness, but are not a visible form of engagement (i.e. a user will not see their friend’s viewing activity in their newsfeed) and they do not always generate action. The autoplay functionality of many platforms further muddies the waters, as it is engages viewers by default rather than by intent.
Likes: Likes (and reactions) are the first type of engagement that begins to move the needle in terms of visibility and feedback. Content that a user likes is often displayed in the newsfeeds of a user’s friends, and is an implied endorsement of your product or message. In the case of Facebook, even if your post gets a negative reaction, that is valuable audience feedback to incorporate into future messaging.
Comments: Now we’re talking. Literally, comments make it possible to have a two-way conversation with your audience. Brands should strive to acknowledge and interact with all relevant comments to keep the conversation going. Not only do comments have a heavier weight than likes in the algorithms which decide what content to push toward the top of newsfeeds, this is an active form of audience feedback and participation that is also visible in friend’s newsfeeds. Ideally, the comment is positive, but if not it still presents the opportunity to continue a conversation with your audience and change a negative opinion.
Shares: Jackpot. Shares are the ideal engagement type. A share holds the highest value because someone is taking your branded content and sharing it with their personal audience as a form of endorsement or as a point of conversation. The user is increasing the reach of your message, and algorithms love to promote content that is highly shared. Plus, because audiences care more about their friend’s opinion than a brand’s, they are validating your message as a third party.
The business value of social media can be wildly lucrative, if implemented right. Each brand will have a different set of overall social goals ranging from awareness, to community building, to driving traffic. Understanding the value of social engagements helps you measure how effective your content is in terms of reaching your goals.
By: Erica Johansen
Source: Splash Media Group