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Beyond Likes and Follows: Measuring the Effectiveness of Social Media Campaigns

Clayton Stobbs
Director of Account Management


Let’s face it—we all want to be liked. People. Corporations. Nonprofits. Startups. But in social media, there’s much more than just being liked, linked or followed. How do you really know if your social media campaigns are effective? Metrics. Here are some important strategic considerations to get you started: 


  • Every effort should have a measurable objective. “We need to get this out” is not one. “We need to drive 1,000 people to this landing page” and “We need $2,000 in incremental sales” are. Without a measurable objective, there is nothing to measure.

  • All advertising measurement is suspect to a degree. The same goes for social media measurement.

  • Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to build an audience that feels affinity toward your brand, and even more time to engage and stay connected with that audience.


With those things in mind, here are eight top measurements to track on your dashboard:


  1. Cost. The first thing to measure is cost. Most social media costs are soft, but they can still be measured. Knowing how much you’re spending is a basis for all your measurements.

  2. ROI. It’s not that hard. Take what you made, divide it by what you spent, multiply it by 100 and add a percentage sign. For example: $1,000 in revenue, divided by $800 in costs times 100 is a 125 percent ROI. (See? Measurable.)

  3. Reach. On Facebook, reach is how many people see your post. With Twitter, reach represents the unique accounts that receive your tweet (or messaging). So, if you have 1,000 followers on Twitter, each tweet has a potential reach of 1,000. Check out Tweetreach [http://tweetreach.com]. 

  4. Impressions. On Twitter, measurements of impressions go beyond reach. This is the number of accounts that could see your message through retweets. If you have 1,000 followers and someone with 25,000 followers retweets your message, your impressions are 26,000, less the number of followers you have in common.

  5. Shares. On Facebook, shares are equivalent to Twitter’s impressions metric, but shares also indicate engagement. According to Social Media Examiner, as many as 90 percent of people who like a page on Facebook never return to that page and only see its content on their timeline. A share signals not only interest, but also advocacy.

  6. Sales. Every sale should include some way to collect customer information. Each online channel should incorporate a unique, tracking URL. Other order channels should include at least a general survey question, such as, “How did you hear about us?”

  7. Basic. Utilize Google Analytics where possible with your embedded social widgets. Sure, it’s general information. But it is benchmark data.

  8. Conversation. Also known as engagement, one-to-one conversation with your audience should be every brand’s dream. It provides a chance to say, “Thanks,” and “How can we make it right?” It’s a snapshot of sentiment toward your brand and a place to get feedback on how to make your product even better. Not measurable, but priceless.


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