The good news is social media has finally made it to the grand stage of “accountability.” A place where there are lots of people who want to measure it. The bad news is there isn’t a single clear-cut answer.
However, with a few simple steps, you can build a measurement strategy that accomplishes your goals.
To start, let’s agree that brand awareness is a measure of how recognizable your brand is to your target audience. For those looking to get ahead of the curve on social media measurement, the first step is to align your social media metrics with metrics your company is already comfortable with.
Also, let’s agree that the measurements for social media aren’t all that different from how you’ve been measuring traditional media. To put brand awareness measurement into the context of the sales funnel, the key areas to evaluate fall into three categories: social media exposure, influence and engagement.
With that understanding, let’s look at how you can level the playing field between your traditional media metrics and your social media metrics.
#1: Measuring Social Media Exposure
How many people could you have reached with your message?
In social media, this measurement is about as reliable as a print magazine’s circulation, but knowing your potential audience does have value because it represents your potential sales lead pool.
Unfortunately, as of the writing of this post, some of these metrics have to be accounted for manually, so you’ll have to balance the level of effort to track the metrics versus the value you’ll receive from them to determine their importance to your overall strategy.
A good example of where there can be unreliability in social measurement is when isolating unique users for each of your metrics. You want to avoid counting the same person twice in the list below, but realistically it’s difficult to do.
These measurements highlight the number of people you’ve attracted to your brand through social media. To mitigate the potential for duplication of users, track growth rate as a percentage of the aggregate totals. This is where you will find the real diamonds.
- Twitter: Look at your number of followers and the number of followers for those who retweeted your message to determine the monthly potential reach. You should track these separately and then compare the month-over-month growth rate of each of these metrics so you can determine where you’re seeing the most growth. A great free tool to use for Twitter measurement isTweetReach.
- Facebook: Track the total number of fans for your brand page. In addition, review the number of friends from those who became fans during a specified period of time or during a promotion and those who commented on or liked your posts to identify the potential monthly Facebook reach. Facebook Insights provides value here.
- YouTube: Measure the number of views for videos tied to a promotion or specific period of time, such as monthly, and the total number of subscribers.
- Blog: Measure the number of visitors who viewed the posts tied to the promotion or a specific period of time.
- Email: Take a look at how many people are on the distribution list and how many actually received the email.