I was chatting up a colleague and asked how her executive team responded to her presentation about how much success she was having with her social media campaigns. She said, “They looked at me and said, ‘so what?’ They just didn’t get it! Period. They said if I couldn’t show the economic value of my activities and the direct impact on the bottom line, they really weren’t interested.”
Well, being that she’s a good friend (and not a direct competitor!), I shared four metrics which are SOP in social management circles to prove the worth of social media marketing.
Engagement. Basically, an engagement rate measures the total number of audience actions – comments, likes and shares. In laymen’s terms you are connecting with the target audience in a social media conversation. After all, engaging customers in conversations is the primary function of social media. If no one is responding to your posts, why even bother? So, tracking engagement is rule #1. It allows you to go back and evaluate what works, what resonates, and what your customers are interested in discussing or learning more about. This is also the first critical step in having a successful social media campaign. The audience needs to like what you are posting about to become a customer of your business.
Amplification. The amplification rate is simply the number of forwards per social post. Having customers share your posts is really important – over 90 percent of consumers trust recommendations from their friends and social contacts. Think of amplification as the word implies – people are amplifying your message. This is digital word of mouth and shows that your audience has now taken the next step to wanting their friends and followers to check out your products or services. This increases followers and brings your company or product more attention. Which allows you to build on your engagement strategy (mmmm . . . are you beginning to see a pattern?)
Affinity. This is one of my favorite social media terms! The affinity rate represents the number of positive clicks you get per social media post. This is a direct measurement of the ‘quality’ of your post. It measures how many people like what you’ve posted enough to give you a thumb’s up response. It measures the ‘value’ of your post, which, combined with your amplification rate helps you further improve your engagement rate. (Okay, I’m seeing some light bulbs going on!)
Value. Economic value isn’t always easy to determine unless you have a website. Which I’m guessing you all do. Through analytic reporting a marketer can track how the audience arrives on your website, what they do when they are there and if they purchase and/or ask to be contacted. These analytics are given a dollar value and in a simple report you can show the executive staff how much revenue was derived from the social media campaign.
At the end of the day, you can get to the point of determining the overall worth of your social media campaigns by looking at your engagement rate, amplification rate, affinity rate, and the economic value via analytic reporting and demonstrate what your campaigns are bringing to the company. Remember, it’s a cumulative game – the more you post, the more you engage, the more likes and shares you get, the more amplification you get . . . you have to be all-in to be successful.
Next week, I’ll dive into a discussion about analog marketing (specifically print ads) versus digital marketing (specifically social media) and give some insight on how marketing campaigns have evolved . . . and will continue to evolve.