Whether you’re a social media manager, marketer, or a brand owner using social media to build brand awareness and drive sales, metrics are going to matter. And not just any metric, but those that paint a true picture as to how your content performs and whether it’s serving your pet brand goals.
The reality is, however, that there are so many metrics to choose from (and track) that it’s hard to tell which ones give real insight into your social strategy’s success. Not to mention, these metrics will show you how well your testing and updates to content, posting, scheduling and more do on different platforms.
So, which metrics are worth tracking, and why?
Creating a loyal and engaged following on social media is tough, especially with all of the content proliferation and product fatigue users are inundated with on an hourly basis. But when you do build and eventually see that engaged audience, it can truly be priceless for your brand. That’s because you want people talking about your pet brand and engaging with your content. These are the people who have built up an interest in what you say and what you sell and are most likely to purchase from you. But more than that, they become brand ambassadors for you, telling others about your products and getting people to hop on board with buying from you.
It’s why most marketers focus on engagement ahead of Likes or Followers. If you’ve ever noticed larger brands or influencers with thousands of followers but little to no engagement, it doesn’t mean they’re successful; it simply means people like their content but aren’t engaged enough to interact.
Bear in mind that engagement isn’t solely on the social media user; as a brand, you have to engage, too, which means responding to comments, inquiries, questions, DMs, and messages on your social platforms. Especially true when people ask questions about your products, you’ll find that community management is a great way of building loyalty and trust while encouraging people to engage with you.
One of the biggest challenges brands face is getting their brand in front of customers that are already shopping with competitors or haven’t even looked for their brand or product in the first place.
And that’s why brand awareness is an important metric to monitor; it’s the attention your brand gets over a certain period of time that determines whether people are aware of your brand and what they think of it. While it’s not the same as sentiment, when people share your content, mention others in it, Like it, or Follow you because of your content, it’s a sign that those people find something of value in your brand.
You can measure brand awareness differently depending on the platform - Facebook will measure it differently than Instagram, for instance - but you mainly want to look for how often people discuss, mention, or tag your brand on social media.
New Followers & Viewers
Followers may not be the ultimate metric to track, but new followers and viewers are important, because you can use these similar metrics to understand where these people came from and how they found you.
For example, if you click on ‘View Insights’ on any of your Instagram posts, you can see how many people saw your content or followed your account from that post, and what proportion of those people were and weren’t already following you.
You want to monitor the rate of people who weren’t already following you, because it shows that the strategies, you’re using to gain exposure of your content are reaching those who don’t already know about you. The same can be said for users who view or watch your content on Instagram Stories or Facebook videos. And this doesn’t apply solely to paid social ads, but regular, non-promoted or boosted content.
You’ve likely tracked conversions outside of social media to track and understand how people come to make a purchase from your pet brand, but social media platforms can offer similar insight, and this is one metric you don’t want to lose focus on.
Any time you promote a specific link on social media (say, a link to a new product release in your Instagram bio, or on your Facebook Page’s feed), you can use custom URL parameters or a custom link builder to help you track which portion of customers came from which social platform. This doesn’t have to be relegated just to paid social ads, but can work for regular social posts, too.
Let’s say, for example, that you just launched a new all-natural beef bullystick treat, and you want to post to Instagram and Facebook to help promote it. If you create a custom link with different parameters, you can use it to drive traffic to your site or product page and track the conversions from that link versus other sources. And this will show you how many customers came from Instagram versus Facebook versus search or other sources.
Conversions as a metric thus tells you if your content was relevant enough to audiences to drive them to take your desired action, which ultimately is making a purchase. For some brands, this might be downloading a free e-book or writing a review in exchange for a discount, but the end goal should be to build a loyal following of customers.
Share of Voice
When it comes to share of voice, you’re really just monitoring what people are saying about your brand and how often they’re talking about it, otherwise known as sentiment and volume.
The reason why these simple yet interrelated metrics matter is because how people feel about your brand, what they say about it, and how often they say it, can be do or die for your brand’s reputation. If you see a brand get enough low-rated reviews and complaints online, especially on multiple platforms or channels, chances are you’re unlikely to purchase from that brand. That’s because too many people have said negative things about it online, and the brand now has a negative sentiment.
On the other hand, if you come across a brand that has glowing reviews, great rapport with its customers, and is mentioned online often and in a positive light, you’d be more likely to buy their product versus a competitor with negative sentiment.
You can increase your share of voice by looking at which competing brands have the most share of voice in your industry, and then learn from them. Look at what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong, and how you can improve upon their strategies to benefit your own brand.
Most of us probably aren’t looking at leads as a metric to track, especially from a social media perspective, but this is undoubtedly the most important metric for businesses, aside from conversions. From a business point of view, leads help you determine what you’re doing right, and wrong, in attracting customers and getting them to buy.
Simply put, a ‘lead’ is anyone who shows interest in your product and/or has expressed intent to buy. And that person becomes a potential customer, which makes them worth focusing your attention on. It’s why many brands develop robust newsletter lists and focus on initiatives like content marketing, to help draw people in through free value and encourage them to become paying customers.
You can track leads on social media by monitoring things like newsletter signups, content downloads, social engagement, or inquiries through DM (direct messages). And, if people continue the conversation or are open to hearing more of what your brand has to say or share, the better!
If you’re stuck on social media and aren’t sure how to make different platforms work for your brand, let’s chat. At StreetDog, we have intimate knowledge of social media marketing and management and are here to support your small business goals!