Social Metrics and Small Business: What You Need to Know

Almost every small business owner and entrepreneur knows that they should be involved in the social media world right now to take advantage of the marketing and branding opportunities sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and increasingly Instagram and Snapchat have to offer.

And like any other form of marketing you need to know, as far as possible, just what is working, what isn’t working and just who your posts/tweets and or boards are reaching. No matter what your business is – whether you’re a DUI attorney, a dog groomer, a baker or anything in between mindlessly following a failing strategy just because it’s already in place, because or familiar or simply because you think you ‘should’ really is pointless.

Here are a few tips for measuring your social media metrics the right way, because you need to know more than how many followers and fans you must decide whether or not all your hard work in the social media arena is actually working or not.

Check Out All of Your Referring Traffic

Google Analytics – truly the best way to monitor all of the stats relating your business website or websites – is getting more and more useful every day, especially when it comes to seeing the impact that all your social media sites are having on your traffic in a single place.

If you sign into your account, navigate to the ‘traffic sources’ tab and then search for the site you want to see statistics for. You can also use the goals feature to set up reporting for certain actions that you are hoping site visitors will take and that can then be measured separately.

Examine the Quality and Relevance of the Content You are Posting

Great content is the driving force behind any social media marketing campaign. There is more to understanding just what content works best than keeping track of how many likes or retweets you get though. These are nice but to a certain degree they are “vanity metrics”. Just because 10 people liked your last post does not mean that they actually clicked through to your site or acted in the way you wanted them to.

Going back to Google Analytics you can begin to get a clearer look at just how relevant and effective each piece of content you have posted really is. For each piece of content monitor unique page views, time on the site and number of pages visited.

“Interpreting this data is pretty straightforward,” comments Jason Hennessey, marketing consultant for Los Angeles DUI Attorney. “For example if your Facebook referrals spend more time on the site than anyone else then that is a pretty good indication that the content was relevant to them because they stuck around long enough to read it. Or if your Twitter traffic is bringing in more people who are visiting several pages on your site then that probably means that they have an interest in what you have to say in general and therefore hopefully what you have to sell.”

Tracking Your Social Network Community Size and Engagement

Each individual social media site you have a presence on will tell you how many followers or fans you have, but if you can see the size and the level of engagement for all of your communities in one place you may be able to make a better decision about just where more of your attention should be focused, or where you really need to work harder.

There are a number of “social CRM” tools out there that brands can use to do just this. One great budget choice is Sprout Social which gives even free users a good basic overview of their audiences across the social media world and even offers helpful suggestions about just what you need to improve. Others include the very widely used Hootsuite, and, if you are willing to spend a little more, the excellent tools provided by MOZ.

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