3 steps to measuring engagement on social media

engagement2 If you’re feeling frustrated with your social media efforts or unsure if your input is actually generating any kind of return, it could be that you need to introduce a more effective means of measurement. Social media is notoriously hard to judge because its perceived success or failure is so subjective. With an activity such as pay per click advertising or SEO, it’s easy to track conversions and ROI with very little effort. Often, the yardsticks for determining success across social media are much broader.

So exactly how can you brush off this uncertainty and create some real parameters on which success or effectiveness can be defined? Try these three steps.

Step 1: Decide what matters

Engagement is usually defined as an interaction and most commonly it will be measured in likes, shares or retweets. The more of each you have, the more engagement you have. This is a poor way to measure engagement because there is so much room for error – if those likes or shares are from people not important to your brand (ie potential customers) what is the value of that action? The answer is very little. If a post you have curated from elsewhere goes viral and gets lots of likes, is that engagement as valuable as a post of your own generating hundreds of likes compared with viral millions? Probably not.

The first step to measuring engagement in a way that is strategic and will be insightful to your other digital activity – such as your painter marketing or interior design marketing – is therefore to decide what you’re going to measure and what is actually important to your brand. Right away this forces you to dig deeper than vanity shares, meaning the info you pull out will be much more useful to your future planning.

Step 2: Set up Analytics

The second step is to set up your Google Analytics account to help you keep track of social media activity. Analytics is a very powerful tool and will provide a broad depth of data that offers real insight into your audience. It will tell you where your website traffic comes from for example – so you can see if Instagram is sending significantly more visitors than Facebook, and how long those visitors stay on your site. This will tell you if they are actually interested in your service. You can also see where in the world they come from, what content they consume and where the conversion takes place. With URL tagging you can additionally create specific social media campaigns for even deeper insight.

Step three: Refine, refine, refine

With all of this knowledge, you can now feed back what you have learned into your social media campaign. Use all of this data to create content that closely resembles the posts generating the most website click throughs, based on interests and identities identified in Analytics.