Measuring the success of your social media marketing campaigns can be difficult. Unless you invest in sophisticated marketing automation software, directly connecting a new client to a social media campaign is a challenge. While the number of leads, prospects, clients, AUM and revenue generated ultimately are the most important metrics, it's wise to monitor other key numbers as well so you can continue to improve your social media presence. After all, a bigger, more engaged social media network expands the possibilities for your business.
Before you can identify the social media metrics that will be most helpful for you to monitor, you must first establish your goals. Generally, there are three possible goals for social media:
1. Increase awareness
2. Generate leads
3. Nurture existing client, prospect and center of influence relationships
After you determine your goals, you can select one or more metrics that you can use to monitor your progress toward your goal: network size, reach and engagement.
Tracking the size of your network across social media channels helps you monitor growth trends and achieve your awareness, lead generation and nurturing goals. While building your networks has benefits, be careful not to become obsessed with how many fans, followers or subscribers you have. The quality of your network ultimately is more important than quantity. Engaging in campaigns merely to expand your network without attempting to reach your target audience will not necessarily result in greater success.
Measuring reach is important if your goal is to increase awareness. Reach is defined as how many times a social media post is seen. By measuring reach, you can determine the times of day your posted content is most likely to be seen. You can also measure the volume of content that you need to produce to achieve your goals.
Engagement is one of the most accurate indicators of how well your social media is performing. People are engaged when they click links or share, like and comment on your posts. The more people are engaged, the more effective your social media. High engagement means you are staying at the top of people's minds and that your followers are exposing you to their social networks. A higher level of engagement will result in more overall social media success.
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When analyzing any of your social media metrics, the key is to monitor trends and reflect on what action you took that resulted in that growth. If you aren't seeing the results you want, experiment by varying the volume of activity, time of day for posts, and content types to see how it impacts your metrics. You can also experiment with other tactics such as ads and other promotions to see how this affects growth. Don't get too hung up on raw numbers; instead focus on growth trends.
Kristen Luke is president and chief executive of Wealth Management Marketing Inc. and co-founder of The Mercato, an online marketplace featuring do-it-yourself tools, templates and training for financial advisers. Follow her on Twitter: @KristenLuke.