Article

Sruthi Narayanan
Sruthi Narayanan 8 November 2016

The Metrics You Should Be Measuring Social Media On

Are you still measuring the success of your social media channels on metrics like clicks, opens, likes, and retweets? If so, you're not capturing the full breadth and depth of your customers' engagement with your brand.

The landscape of social media today is all about likes, retweets, and shares – in our personal lives, it’s perhaps the first way we determine the success of a Facebook status or a Twitter update. After all, these metrics are relatively easy to track and measure, and direct response campaigns are the most obvious way to understand who is engaging with what kind of content. But if you’re measuring the success of your social media marketing campaigns based on clicks and opens, you’re not actually capturing the full worth of social media as a channel – or the full worth of your customers’ engagement with your campaigns across multiple devices.

Consider this: According to Business 2 Community, 80% of surveyed marketers use trackable conversions like clicks and opens to measure social media engagement, but most of those marketers reported being unable to quantifiably measure the social media’s impact on their business. Coincidence? Not really. If your long-term goal is to maximize customer lifetime value, using channel-specific metrics like clicks and opens won’t give you the kinds of insights you’re looking to surface on how social media is actually affecting these goals.

Historically, measuring conversions was thought to be enough to really impact ROI and drive revenue. But gathering channel-specific data about conversions doesn’t provide much more information beyond a sale that can be directly attributed to a particular social media channel or campaign – and as marketers know, social media doesn’t drive sales nearly as much as mobile or web do. If you don’t understand what your customers’ needs and preferences are at different points in their lifecycle, it becomes impossible to contextualize how well a campaign is performing with regards to maximizing their lifetime value.

What if you could:

  • Understand social media's role in converting first-time purchasers to repeat shoppers?
  • Measure the impact that Facebook has on your customers' Average Order Value or Purchase Frequency?
  • Determine where in their shopping journey customers are most likely to use social media?

The solution: Instead of maintaining a siloed view that prevents you from having visibility into customers’ priorities across multiple channels, conduct cross-channel attribution to understand how social media is driving other metrics that are related to customer lifetime value. Hopefully by now, marketers understand that social media works best for strengthening the brand-user relationship, but their options for measuring that impact beyond reach and sentiment remain limited. With cross-channel attribution, marketers have an opportunity to attribute customer lifetime value to engagement within a social media channel – it not only becomes easier to maximize customer lifetime value and form stronger brand-user relationships, but it becomes easier to measure the strength of those relationships.

Social media marketers need to be able to measure attribution based on the number of conversions each campaign drives, in order to have more insight into which campaigns are impacting key metrics that are linked to the kind of long-term goals marketers actually care about. It’s all about making sure that the insights you surface actually empower you to meet your business goals, and then measuring the metrics that actually align with those goals.

This post originally appeared on the Zaius Blog - to learn more about getting started with cross-channel attribution, click here.

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