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Tracking your social media plan

Social Media Marketing: Measuring Results – Social Media Tracking 101

Blog Post – Part 3 of 3

In Part 1 of this series, we reviewed the three T’s of Social Media Marketing: timing, tone and tools. Then in Part 2, we reviewed the top social networks and explored how to determine which networks will be most impactful for a marketing program. Each of these components is integral when building the social media plan for a company. The final piece we will explore is measurement and social media tracking. The goal is for each team member to align their expectations and to clearly identify the most important and beneficial ways to track campaigns as described in the social media plan.

When pinpointing campaign measurement, the best place to start is with a benchmark report. The benchmark will essentially serve as the “Before” picture while also creating a standard format for future reporting. Key Performance Indicators (or KPI’s as we call them) can be clearly identified so that all stakeholders are using the same measurements for success.

The success of a social media program can be determined by recognizing clear increases in the KPI’s that are most important to an organization. For branding or visibility campaigns, a rise in fans and followers can be the most impactful measurement. However, direct response or sales focused campaigns will look to increase web or search traffic from social referrals. It is essential to clearly define goals and objectives at the outset of the campaigns in the road map, in order to then align the measurement.

Web Analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Web Trends offer reporting capabilities. Social Media management tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Sprout Social are excellent ways to organize this data on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis. Many tools offer free versions as well as enterprise-level paid versions. Facebook and Twitter also offer social media tracking and reporting applications but those will limit capabilities to just one network. The benefit of using a third party tool is that data can be merged into one place and offer higher level analyses as well as detailed tracking.

When building a social media plan for an organization, it is imperative to describe in detail what is expected from the team who will be responsible. This can include the tone, timing and tools for social media as well as which networks will be most significant to the organization. Finally, determining the most suitable social media tracking and KPI’s in accordance with the goals of the business will deliver a recipe for success. For more information or a social media evaluation for your business, please click here.