Laughed over a YouTube video? Drooled over an Instagram post by a food blogger?

 

Chances are that the content which you regularly consume online are created by social media influencers. From mega-celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Ronaldo to micro (and even nano) influencers with more modest followings, social media influencers like Instagrammers, YouTubers, TikTokers, bloggers, and Facebookers play vital roles in brand marketing campaigns around the world. 

 

With social media influencers on the rise, engaging with them can effectively boost your social media marketing efforts. 

 

In this article, you will learn and understand how influencer marketing can help to achieve your marketing goals. In addition, you will also learn how to approach influencers and increase your probability of receiving a reply from your targeted influencers on the different social media platforms. 

 

Let us begin by defining who exactly is a social media influencer.

Who is a Social Media Influencer?

A social media influencer is a social media user with credibility in a specific domain or industry, has access to a sizable audience, and can persuade others to act based on their recommendations.

 

Typically, an influencer would have the following characteristics:

 

  • They could be bloggers, Instagram users, YouTube video creators, Facebook users, or TikTok video creators.
  • They are specialist content creators and are fairly consistent and regular in generating “episodic content” on their channels.
  • They have the charisma and authenticity to consistently attract viewers, grow their fanbases, and motivate their fans or followers to take action.
  • They have websites or YouTube video channels that utilize basic principles of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Food, travel and fitness bloggers are especially adept at this. 

 

Influencer marketing, if executed well, can be extremely effective. Interestingly, 40 per cent of Twitter users make buying decisions due to an influencer’s post based on Twitter statistics. 

 

An example is Seth Lui, the most-read online local food publication. Seth and his team regularly offer balanced reviews on the F&B outlets that they visit. They cover a wide range of F&B options in their blog posts, YouTube videos, and Instagram posts —  from articles on heritage hawker food to reviews of fine-dining restaurants. 

 

Influencers like Seth Lui have garnered a loyal following by virtue of the quality of their content. Their followers trust their recommendations, and they’ve built a robust reputation over the years. These social media influencers can be great advocates and spread positive word-of-mouth about your brand to their followers. 

 

Beyond Twitter, 72 per cent of Instagram users have made fashion, beauty or style-related purchases after viewing something on the app. This demonstrates Instagram’s continued influence on purchase decisions in the 2020 digital marketing environment.

 

An influencer who successfully harnessed fashion in social media is Andrea Chong. A talented blogger and influencer, she received a Fashion Icon of the Year Award due to her fashionable beauty tips. Her insights into the latest fashion trends and sensible tips have helped thousands of fashionistas to achieve classic and timeless looks. Brands that she has worked with include Superga Singapore, Kate Spade and Adidas.

 

So, how can these social media influencers effectively boost your company’s digital marketing outcomes?

 

Here are some of the more common benefits of hiring an influencer:

 

  • Build a larger brand following – your organisation can gain greater brand awareness, top-of-mind brand awareness, and brand recognition
  • Increase your company’s credibility – you can improve your company or product brand image through positive reviews by influencers.
  • Generate more sales, new leads and conversions – you can grow your customer base, trigger sales, and attract more leads through partnerships with influencers.

How to Find the Right Social Media Influencer?

The right influencer can help to create confidence and drive interaction with your target audiences. To maximise your engagement with influencers, you should only collaborate with social media influencers whose vision, audience, emphasis on content, and values align with your own. With that said, listed below are some crucial characteristics to kickstart your journey in search of the right social media influencer.

 

Relevance

Influencers help in sharing market and industry-relevant content. Their fans, followers and audiences should be aligned with your target market. One such case study would be Intrepid Travel which partnered with Erin Ireland, a committed vegan advocate, to launch its new vegan tours. In an engaging and honest manner, the influencer had a highly critical audience to which the business gained access.

 

Another case study would be Singapore vegetarian travel blogger, Keith Yuen who made a list of vegetarian food in Bangkok that catered to the vegetarians in Singapore who love to fly to Bangkok in his blog, Travelinspiration360.

 

Reach

The ability to deliver content through an influencer to your target audience helps increase your brand and product recognition. As social media users with a large following, influencers are able to reach out to new potential customers that your brand may find difficulty in reaching. 

 

To determine your influencer’s reach, consider the following variables:

 

#1 Impressions

Impressions define the number of times a post appeared in a news feed or timeline for a user.

A viewer does not have to interact in the post to count it as an impression. An individual may also have multiple impressions for a single post. 

 

However, there is a difference between reach and impressions. Reach is the total amount of audiences who view your content while impressions are the number of times your content is displayed to them, regardless if it was clicked or not.

 

#2 Post Reach

The reach of posts defines a group of unique individuals who view a certain piece of content at least once over a period of time. To be counted as reach, a viewer does not have to engage with the post.

 

#3 Number of Fans/ Followers (also known as Potential Reach)

Potential reach describes the potential number of people within your company’s audiences, compounded by friends of these audiences or audiences in a community who encounter a piece of content over a period of time. For social media influencers, it normally includes the total fan base (i.e. followers, subscribers or page likes) of that influencer. 

 

Resonance

Resonance measures the engagement that an influencer can generate with an audience similar to your brand. In relation to engagement, the engagement rate is measured by the number of engagements or interactions divided by either the post’s reach or impressions. The engagement rate varies depending on the social network you select.

 

Engagements or interactions include the following: 

  • Likes
  • Reactions
  • Favourites
  • Saves
  • Swipes (for Stories)
  • Comments
  • Replies
  • Shares
  • Clicks
  • Reshares
  • Retweets

 

Increasingly, engagements or interactions have superseded no. of fans or followers as the most important metric in hiring influencers. A large number of followers does not mean greater engagement as those followers may not be interested or keen on the content posted by the influencer. 

 

With the rise of nano-influencers (influencers with less than 1000 followers), brands have found that some of these smaller influencers actually deliver better engagement rates per post than the mega influencers. This is because such influencers may be able to engender a higher level of trustworthiness amongst their loyal supporters. They may also be more selective regarding the goods, services and brands that they endorse, and be perceived to be more authentic as they know their followers personally. An example is Abigail Brookes, a lifestyle nano-influencer who is the brand ambassador for creative studio By Forms.

 

Research

The final R is Research — an important task that all brands looking to hire influencers should undertake. 

 

There are several tools that assist in finding the appropriate social media influencers for your brand. You can use these tools to objectively evaluate each influencer based on established metrics and reduce the subjectivity of working only with influencers that you like. 

 

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a powerful tool that uses specific algorithms to help you search, follow, reach out and evaluate information about influencers. Their powerful search engine helps you find important influencers around topics and places, as well as additional resources to assist with your outreach efforts.

 

You may also export information about influencers to other channels or for reporting purposes. It is an ideal platform to locate social media influencers with strong engagements on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

 

While Buzzsumo is not a free site, they do offer a 7-day free trial, hence it is worth taking advantage of that to analyze the tool’s efficiency.

Buzzsumo Influencer Tool

Followerwonk 

Followerwonk has a tool that enables you to find Twitter influencers by searching for keywords on Twitter profiles or Twitter bios, which can then be further personalized by adding a place, name, or URL. The search results will give a list of Twitter influencers along with their number of tweets, fans, how many people they are following, their account age, and social authority.

 

Followerwonk also enables you to build a list of potential influencers which you can then engage with. This free tool helps in organizing by using Twitter lists to track influencers and remain on top of the engagement activities.

Followerwonk Twitter Influencer Tool

 

Hootsuite 

Hootsuite offers a platform for brands to utilize their search streams by tracking related conversations to identify social media influencers. The platform allows the creation of Twitter lists and easily saves them into trackable streams. This significantly simplifies the interaction efforts with the various influencers.

HootSuite Stream Searching via Synthesio

 

TrendSpottr

TrendSpottr is an app built by the intellects of Hootsuite that allows marketers to spot trends, including trending influencers. Images, videos, and influencers can be found via the app for any tag or topic. There are also resources for communicating with key influencers, viewing which hashtags are trending, choosing common tag lists, and sharing trending content. However, TrendSpottr is a paid tool, but it will not break the bank at only $4.99/month.

TrendSpottr Pro Search Tool

 

Google Alerts (Free)

Googling your audience’s interests would possibly lead to LinkedIn groups, Reddit discussions, popular blogs or websites that are often visited by your audience. An example would be googling interest in learning how to play the guitar, enabling you to find groups and discussions relating to music and stringed instruments. By utilizing this method, you would be able to discover your target influencers.

Influencer Marketing Platforms

There are several influencer marketing tools that help you find the right brand influencers such as Partipost, Kobe and Narrators. They have various forms of payment for influencers, such as pay-per-post, pay-per-engagement, and other models. For example, Partipost allows influencers to directly withdraw their earnings from the app to their bank account after posting content that promotes the brand. 

Partipost: How It Works

How to Engage Social Media Influencers?

Once you have decided on the appropriate influencers, the next essential step you will need to know is how to engage with them.

1. Research Potential Influencers’ Content 

From the outset, you should research every aspect of your target influencers’ online activity and the history of their online content. If the influencers have previously touted your competitor’s advantages, it might be seen as insincere to the influencers’ followers. Therefore, any posts advertising your brand might have a significantly lower influence on their followers.

 

Investigate all of your target influencers’ social real estate – while they could be a suitable candidate to work with on Instagram, their Twitter behaviour may be off-brand. In cases like this, it would not be ideal working with an influencer who may garner recognition inappropriately.

2. Send Them a Personalised Direct Message

A direct message is an excellent place to start, but you should be mindful not to send a generic direct message or mass email. You can make it easier for influencers to trust you by providing as much data about your brand and what your campaign aims to achieve.

 

It is possible to use template messages of what you engage them for, but there must be elements of personalization that make them feel that you know what they stand for and how your beliefs match with each other. Invest time to write a personal message to each influencer and demonstrate a willingness to collaborate. This will help to improve the chances of reaching an agreement.

 

When you have a template for engaging influencers, you would have a higher chance of achieving your desired outcome. By using a personalised template, influencers would be more likely to have a positive impression of your brand and work with you. 

Template For Engaging Influencers

3. Let Influencers be Authentic 

The heart of influencer engagement lies in working with social media influencers who are transparent, authentic and real. These individuals have been influential through crafting great content in reaching a specific audience online. It is vital to enable the influencers to lead you based on the type of content their followers will respond to and allow them to use their own personal voice.

 

You should avoid forcing a certain method of doing things as it will result in ingenuine sounding content on your influencer’s social feed. This may lead to a negative and vexing work relationship between you and the influencer.

4. Process and KPIs

Although allowing creative independence for influencers is essential, your hired influencer should also recognize your expectations for the collaboration. Where possible, they should sync their messages to align with your brand sentiment.

 

There are three common ways of engaging influencers: 

  • Paid commitments: This can vary greatly, from $50 per Instagram post to as much as $30,000 per YouTube supported video. Typically they are for macro-influencers or celebrities.
  • Supported goods/services: Giving them gifts and premiums or vouchers can be helpful for micro-influencers and nano-influencers. Some of these influencers may post an Instagram story featuring the goods or services based on what they receive.
  • Events: Typically, these are unpaid and include inviting an influencer to a launch event. Commonly, a goodie bag of samples, freebies and food and beverages would be given to the influencer which they can, in turn, take pictures or videos of to upload on social media.

 

From the start, be specific about the number of posts you expect, the rough content or message of posts and the cadence of posting. A robust process from interaction to payment through the entire influencer relationship would allow you to scale more effectively and efficiently.

5. Rules of Social Media Advertising (Singapore)

When hiring influencers, do note that some degree of transparency should be observed. 

 

Wherever possible, social media influencers must disclose if their posts are paid or sponsored.  Such disclosure clauses should be included in your agreements with the influencer.. To ensure greater transparency in online advertising, the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) have developed guidelines regulating transparency in influencer engagement.

Identification of Commercial Message

Marketing correspondence should be easily distinguishable from, and should not be made to look like, personal views and editorial content. Marketing communication does not say or suggest that another company or individual has endorsed the product or service because it has not. Marketing communication should not take the form of social media content that seems to originate from a reputable and unbiased source, but it should be from a marketer who produced that solely for promotional purposes.

Disclosure

Disclosures in marketing communication, using plain terminology and grammar, should be simple and concise. Avoid legal or technical jargon. Disclosures should also be transparent and prominent for supported content.

  

Elements such as graphics, sound, text, links leading to other screens or sites, or “add to cart” buttons should not distract consumers from the disclosures. Disclosures should also be identifiable.

Clarity of Offer & Conditions

Software or other technological devices should not be used to mask or obscure any content factor likely to affect customer decisions, such as price and other terms of sale.

6. Influencer Marketing Ethics

Beyond the above guidelines, you should also adopt high standards of integrity in hiring the right influencers. Influencer marketing ethics is important as trust and authenticity form the cornerstone of successful brand-influencer relationships. Hence, influencers should bear the responsibility to be transparent and disclose all types of benefits in their sponsored posts. 

Content Plagiarism 

Respect the intellectual property of another person. If we have cited the material of another person (even if we have rewritten them), it is common courtesy to acknowledge them and if possible, provide them with a link. For images and videos, a link with the right credit should be provided to the original source. While you may be inspired by another party’s work, it is important to respect one’s intellectual property by providing credit and citation.

Buying Fans and Followers

The issue with buying fans and followers from click farms is that in the long run, it will just sabotage you. Click farms refer to a commercial company that hires a large number of people (often from third world countries) to click on web content products continually in order to falsely inflate traffic or engagement.

 

The danger of buying from click farms is it might tarnish your brand’s reputation because once it is exposed, your genuine followers would unfollow your brand. Not only is it inappropriate, but buying fans from fake accounts also reduces legitimate contact with genuine fans and clients. 

Ending Thoughts

Done successfully, influencer marketing can greatly improve your brand’s online reputation, and allow you to expand into new audience groups. It allows you to tap on a ready market of potential buyers who are keen in a specific domain.

 

However, do not rush into influencer marketing without thoroughly studying the space and each target influencer you are considering working with. The key is to implement a method that includes every stage — from influencer selection and contract negotiation to publishing and payment agreements. 

 

Lastly, let influencers have the freedom to lead with genuine content and avoid controlling the content they post to ensure authentic content. 

 

If you are eager to learn more, sign up for our Social Media Marketing course where you will be well-equipped with the fundamental frameworks, concepts and tools needed to succeed in social media. You can also browse and sign up for the other courses which cover the remaining five core modules in Equinet Academy’s Digital Marketing Curriculum. 

 

At Equinet Academy, the remaining five core modules of Digital Marketing include:

At the end of all six courses, you will be awarded an industry-recognised Certified Digital Marketing Strategist Certificate which will put you in good stead with potential employers and business partners.

In social media marketing, it is essential to track, measure, and optimize your social media marketing campaigns.

 

Love them or loathe them, social media analytics are here to stay. By deploying the right social media analytics tools for your business, you are able to track what your competitors are doing, monitor the success of your campaigns, and drive more interest amongst the right target audiences. 

 

In this article, you will uncover the importance of social media analytics, learn what a good social media analytics tool should have, and be introduced to the top 10 social media analytics tools.

Importance of using Social Media Analytics Tools

“You cannot manage what you do not measure” — Peter Drucker. This age-old statement is still relevant in today’s digital-first world where the right data on the right channels drives important business decisions on a day-to-day basis. 

 

(If you have not already done so, do read our article on how you can measure your social media analytics.)

 

After you have a better idea of what social media analytics are, the following pointers should assist you in better understanding how and why it is important to utilise social media analytics tools. 

#1 Track the performance of your marketing goals

Social media analytics allows you to assess how well your brand performs in relation to your marketing objectives. It also compares your social media performance against your competitors’. To truly assess how well your brand is performing, you need to benchmark it against your competitors’ and the average industry performance.

#2 Understand what your audiences prefer 

Using the right tools helps you to analyze and track the engagement rate of your brand’s previous posts, allowing you to determine the optimal time to upload your posts on your social media channels. You can also assess which post types are more well-received, and which are less popular amongst your users. This ensures that your content will resonate with the right audiences which will, in turn, boost overall marketing results.

#3 Reveal the ideal social networks to share your content

You can leverage social media analytics to also understand the engagement, traffic and sales that your brand acquires for individual posts and campaigns. You can then focus your attention on social networks that work best, and eliminate or focus less on those that perform poorly.

#4 Understand your brand’s competitors

By legally monitoring and spying on what your competitors are doing on social media, your brand can decide which social networks work better for you. It also prevents you from making the mistakes your competitors are making, allowing you to focus on result-oriented strategies. You can adapt and change your competitors’ best practices to suit your own purpose.

What a Good Social Media Analytics Tool Should Have

The properties of a suitable analytics tool for your brand need to achieve the 5W and 1H (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How) of the litmus test. To get you started, consider the following properties of a good analytics tool.

 

  • Who? 
    • The right demographic and psychographic information on the audience segments engaging with your posts.

 

  • What?
    • What is your reputation like? What are people saying about your business?

 

  • Where?
    • Where can you get the best results for your social media campaigns? Which platforms and channels to focus on?

 

  • When?
    • When is the best time to post? This often hinges on when your audiences are most active online.

 

  • Why?
    • Why are people engaging with your posts? This may require you to do some investigation, and possibly conduct some A/B/C testing to determine which content types or themes work better.

 

  • How?
    • How should you improve your social media performance? This is based on the data which the different analytics tools are telling you.

 

Now that you’ve gained some knowledge on what a good social and digital analytics tool should have, the following list of tools should guide you in kickstarting your social analytics journey.

1. Google Analytics

On top of the list, Google Analytics is one of the best methods in tracking the outcomes of social media campaigns which drives traffic to your website and landing pages. It aids in measuring the social media marketing Return-On-Investment (ROI) as it relates to achieving specific conversion goals on your website.

Measuring Social Values to demonstrate the effectiveness of various social media channels.

 

Google Analytics tracks your website’s user engagement, including data such as pages per session, bounce rates, and average session length. This helps you to monitor the digital behavior of your customer’s ABCs :

Acquisition (which channels do they come from, new versus repeat customer) 

Behavior (bounce rates, pages per session, and average session duration) 

Conversion (goals completed)

 

It shows the different sources of social media traffic, thereby providing companies with accurate statistics on which social media networks have the highest number of visitors to the website, as well as their actions afterwards.

Chart featuring various social media channels with useful data that can greatly assist with the business direction of a company.

 

Google Analytics also tracks the number of conversions from numerous social media posts. This data on goals completion enables you to assess which social media platforms and campaigns generate the most revenue or profit.

 

Beyond this, it also presents data on assisted social media conversions. These are interactions that a consumer has with the different social media platforms, contributing to a conversion. It is a crucial method to ascertain the role of social media in the funnel.

2. CoSchedule

CoSchedule enables you to handle multiple social media platforms and distribute content from your website seamlessly. It consists of reports which can be used to convert data into information, enhancing the social media strategy and ROI of your company.

CoSchedule displaying multiple levels of analytics that help steer businesses in the right direction.

 

With CoSchedule’s Social Engagement Report, it provides businesses with an overview of the growth (or declines) in your social media marketing efforts.

CoSchedule’s Social Engagement showcases engagement growth over a period of time.

 

CoSchedule also has a feature on the customization of social reports. This allows you to segment your social performance metrics such as engagement rates and total engagements by different categories.

CoSchedule’s example of generating reports on specific initiatives (i.e. promoting membership).

 

In conjunction with the previously mentioned features, the key to improving is to always track and measure the level of success for your campaign.

 

CoSchedule can also generate reports which demonstrate the impact of social media marketing on specific campaigns. It does this by allocating a score. Finally, CoSchedule contains features that allow reviews of your social performance on specific channels.

Diagram presenting different profiles (day and time) and message types that perform best on a specific channel.

 

On top of its wide range of features, CoSchedule has a free 14-day trial and various pricing plans depending on factors such as whether the plan is for an individual, a business or an agency, and the size of the business.

3. Hootsuite

For the best user accessibility, Hootsuite provides a central dashboard view for each social media platform that your brand is on.

Dashboard overview helps to set performance benchmarks and monitor improvements over time.

 

With Hootsuite Impact, you can calculate the return on your social media investment in terms of achieving your social media performance goals. This helps to solidify the business case for social media in your organisation.

Dashboard features are customizable to display easy-to-read graphs, tables, and KPI summaries.

 

Furthermore, it gives businesses the opportunity – through Hootsuite Amplify – to expand their reach by leveraging the social influence of their advocates (employees, influencers or devoted fans). This is done through sharing of approved content on their social networks.

Using Hootsuite Amplify to empower employees to share content with their friends and followers.

 

Hootsuite also permits ease of management in interactions on Instagram with Panoramiq Multiview — this allows you to monitor and respond to comments, mentions and photo-tags all in one stream.

Paroramiq provides a convenient 360-degree view of Instagram activities within Hootsuite.

Finally, Hootsuite has a professional plan that offers a free 30-day trial, allowing businesses to try its services and features before committing to pay for its service.

4. Cyfe 

Cyfe is another analytics tool you should consider. It features one of the most intuitive user interfaces amongst the other social media management and analytics tools.

 

Cyfe boasts a social media dashboard that helps to track:

  • Facebook likes, comments, and reach
  • Monitor tweets and Twitter followers 
  • LinkedIn followers by observing interactions and impressions. 
  • By focusing on Instagram photos and followers

 

Optimizing a suitable tool that has a consolidated dashboard for each social media channel may be like finding a needle in a haystack. There is an abundance of social media analytics tools in the market but there are not many featuring a seamless user experience.

 

To provide a seamless workflow between Cyfe and the various social media channels including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, it has several dedicated dashboards that allow monitoring of the metrics in real-time. This makes the preparation of management or client reports on a monthly and annual basis extremely fuss-free.

Cyfe’s consolidated dashboard that monitors all the social media analytics of a business.

 

 

Cyfe’s master dashboard that analyzes Facebook campaigns, ad sets, ads and engagement metrics to boost return on investment (ROI).

Cyfe’s centralised dashboard, that displays YouTube channel performance having key metrics like views, average time duration, and average view percentage.

Cyfe’s integrated dashboard, that tracks the highest performing tweets, retweets, follower growth, favorites, mentions, and more.

 

To top it off, Cyfe has 4 pricing plans for you to choose from and allows you to get started with a free 14-day trial period.

5. Hashtagify

Hashtagify is a Twitter and Instagram tracking tool that helps you to identify the best hashtags for influencing your audiences. It can be used to monitor your competitors and connect with influencers who are relevant to your business.

Hashtagify’s consolidated dashboard to retrieve data within one place and use it to improve a business’s performance.

 

Hashtgify helps by suggesting useful variations of the hashtag of your choice.

Recommending different influencers from the hashtag of #wanderlust.

 

Hashtagify offers 3 different price plans that allow for a free 7-day trial.

6. Keyhole

Keyhole is a hashtag analytics tool for these social media platforms – Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

 

It excels in these four areas:

  • Assisting you to understand your customers better
  • Simplifies reporting
  • Reveals which content attracts your consumers’ attention most
  • Being efficient — you do not need to toggle across the different social platforms to analyse your social analytics

 

Beyond this, Keyhole also generates ready-to-print PDF reports based on your social campaign’s performance. 

The user-friendly dashboard, that displays the latest data every time.

It further provides data on various campaign’s metrics and performance, helping clients realize their social media marketing goals for hashtag-oriented campaigns.

Diagram displaying common metrics like the number of engagements and reach across a specified period of time.

 

Additionally, it enables ease of tracking among relevant influencers — these are accounts that have performed well in getting higher engagements (reactions, likes, shares, retweets, or saves) on their posts, tweets and images.

Chart representing helping brands to locate relevant influencers by gauging the average engagement with their followers.

 

Keyhole also conducts an in-depth sentiment analysis of social media posts over a period of time.

Visual representation of keywords driving sentiment by analysing both positive and negative sentiments across a period of time. 

 

Keyhole features 4 pricing structures. Custom pricing is more suitable for large organizations that work with influencers or leverage consumer insights to make critical decisions.

7. Sprout Social

This tool is extremely useful for brands that handle multiple social media platforms and channels. Sprout Social analyzes cross-channel social media analytics by tracking and measuring the health and success of your entire social strategy. It effortlessly extracts actionable insights by leveraging its comprehensive toolset. 

Representation on ease of onboarding with the familiar interface of Google Cards Style design.

 

In addition, it displays an overview of all the connected social profiles from one location.


Colored charts displaying the performances of the various social media channels across a period of time.

 

More often than not, social media analytics tools may fall short of delivering key actionable takeaways. However, Sprout Social succeeds in presenting the relevant metrics in a concise format. This helps businesses to effectively strategize both paid and organic campaigns by easily accessing publishing and engagement tools.

A diagram that depicts insights such as paid impressions which let businesses target the right social channels, maximizing the impact of the ads. 

 

With Sprout Social, you can gain a competitive edge by understanding the performances of your competitors and exploring new opportunities — it does this by showing you the specific posts that perform best.

A chart showing research on competitors by analyzing historical data and benchmarking results. 

 

Moreover, Sprout Social offers 3 different price plans, together with the option to opt for a free 30-day trial.

8. HubSpot 

As a marketing automation site, HubSpot integrates your social media marketing activities with the downstream activities on your website, emails and other platforms. It assists you in associating your social media performance with revenue growth. 

A comprehensible dashboard that gives a comprehensive overview of the previous postings and the number of interactions involved.

 

HubSpot possesses an integrated publishing management application that publishes to various social networks and allows you to optimally schedule content at the best times to gain the most impressions.

Publish to different social networks all within one consolidated interface.

 

The tool also monitors every social mention and is capable of creating custom keyword monitoring streams to highlight interactions.

Activity monitoring within HubSpot’s Inbox Streams.

 

Moreover, it has the ability to inspect reports to easily compare the performance among different platforms, campaigns, and publishing times across the funnel.

Analyzing YouTube Reports to understand the target audience’s engagement with the video content. This helps to fine-tune the brand’s video strategy.

 

HubSpot has several pricing plans with free features to have you started on generating and emailing new leads.

9. Agorapulse

Agorapulse demonstrates seamless social media management by helping to identify better performing content for a brand. This helps in pinpointing content that has a higher engagement with the customers. It has an array of options from scheduling, rescheduling, to bulk upload of posts. 

Simplifying the publishing process by incorporating bulk publishing into your workflow.

 

You can maintain control over complex social campaigns here, thanks to its ability to integrate granular scheduling with columns such as times and dates to your CSV file.

The convenience of having the system publish at the required dates and times without having to manually input a schedule for each post.

 

Furthermore, it allows you to review and modify individual posts before incorporating them into the schedule or queue. This provides control to the user in the form of either proofreading captions of the various posts or swapping links and images for Twitter Cards.

The ability to edit within the bulk publishing workflow ensures that every tweet looks just right before it goes live.

 

It also consolidates all your conversations in a single place for all your different social media profiles — this makes it more convenient to reply, review, assign, or label them. This can be very effective and efficient for brands that need to interact extensively with their potential customers on social media.

 

Lastly, it enhances synergistic relationships and team collaboration by:

  • Allowing members to review and respond to inbox messages from different social media channels
  • Assigning different user roles to team members for various social media tasks
  • Allowing team members to check whether their team members have started to take action
  • Having color-coding of the publishing calendar for easier identification of the content approval status
  • Providing a shared calendar of scheduled content that clients can easily review, accept, reject, and give feedback

Clients can post comments and give feedback to enhance workgroup collaboration.

 

Agorapulse showcases 4 pricing plans and lets you get started with a free 28-day trial period.

10. Oktopost

Oktopost is a social media management tool dedicated to B2B marketing. It helps to manage, monitor and measure social media activities so that users can achieve specific social media marketing goals.

 

It presents a real-time overview of all the scheduled and published content across multiple networks by utilizing the social media calendar tool. This allows users to plan their content in advance, and to space out their content creation and publishing activities

Scheduling of content to output to different social media channels. 

Oktopost also provides insights into engagement, conversions and ROI to help in evaluating a brand’s social media strategy.

Tracking and measuring the performance of every post, network, and campaign to ascertain the achievement of the marketing goals.

 

Finally, Oktopost helps you to analyze the impact of specific posts, channels, and campaigns to determine which social activities drive growth.

It has an interactive dashboard that displays the status of the campaign.

 

Content curation is made easier by discovering and sharing news and insights from social media, emails, and even newsletters without leaving Oktopost.

The convenience of transferring the information to your Social Media Management platform either by RSS feeds or using a content discovery tool helps keep content updated at any given moment.

Ending Thoughts

In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all tool. You are encouraged to try out the free or trial versions of these top 10 social media analytics tools to see which works best for you. 

 

Do conduct experiments in order to choose the tool that best suits your business needs. Before investing in any of these tools, ensure that you have a sound and basic understanding of social media analytics on their respective platforms — Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and others. 

 

In addition, you should bear in mind that most of the social media analytics tools are not cheap and have an ongoing subscription cost. Hence, do consider carefully if they are genuinely useful for your business objectives before you sink in your funds. With that said, utilizing these tools can increase the odds of success in your social media marketing campaigns. 

 

Tools alone are not enough. You need to build an effective social media marketing framework to enjoy sustained success in your marketing plans. We also recommend you to deploy the 6 steps of implementing a successful social media marketing strategy if you intend to tap on social media marketing as a digital marketing strategy. 

 

Intrigued and interested to find out more? Sign up for our Social Media Marketing course to be well-equipped with the fundamental frameworks, concepts and tools required to succeed in social media. You can also browse and sign up for the other courses which cover the remaining five core modules in Equinet Academy’s Digital Marketing Curriculum. 

 

At Equinet Academy, the remaining five core modules of Digital Marketing include:

article cover social media

As the saying goes, fail to plan and you plan to fail. In the hyper-competitive world of social media marketing, you need a road map and a compass to guide your campaigns. This is where social media marketing planning comes into play.

Contrary to popular belief, social media marketing is more than just creating content to advertise your products online. When utilised properly, you can reap the benefits such as building stronger relationships with your customers, and gaining deeper insights into your customer’s needs and wants. (You can read more to discover the various benefits of social media marketing.)

To take your social media marketing campaigns to the next level so that you can stand apart from your competitors, you need a detailed and systematic social media marketing plan to keep track of your marketing goals, align your resources to the right channels and campaigns, and ensure success.

How to Set Social Media Marketing Goals?

Before crafting a social media marketing plan, you need to determine what you are using social media for. What are the goals that your brand hopes to achieve? How do you determine success? Social media objectives should be aligned with your business goal, such as increasing brand awareness, attracting leads, triggering sales, strengthening engagement, or gaining website traffic.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics also play an important role at this stage. The social media goals are dependent on the KPIs that are chosen. You should always tie your KPIs to the goal you want to achieve.

You can read this article to learn more about how to set effective social media KPIs.

Keep in mind that to create an effective social media marketing plan, it is necessary to understand your priorities and areas of focus. Hence having proper goals are necessary to keep you on track.

Defining Your Audiences

When crafting a social media marketing plan, your first task is to narrow down who your target audiences (aka customer personas) are. This helps you to identify the appropriate types of content to be used, the best tones and styles, as well as the types of messages that can address their specific concerns. For instance, consider using humor and funny content like memes when reaching out to the younger generation.

Always do sufficient research and craft your target audience based on the data collected. Here are 5 ways to gain insights about your customers.

1. Gather input from your sales team

The sales team usually has the most insight as they are always engaging with your customers in the field. Consult with the sales team to understand your customer’s pain points and to learn what they do when they are online.

Use this opportunity to also identify suitable content types that will catch their attention. These are valuable insights that will come in handy when brainstorming for new content. This does require you to provide a set of questionnaires that your sales colleagues can use when they meet their customers, so that the right data can be captured.

2. Study competitors

To stay ahead of the competition, it is important to audit your competitors’ social media channels. Here are some factors you can look into:

  • What tone of voice does your competitor use?
  • Who are the people interacting with their social media posts?
  • Which social media channels are they active on?
  • What is their content mix in terms of brand marketing versus direct marketing posts?
  • How often do they post on social media
  • What are the types of posts which perform best

3. Survey Customers or Conduct Focus Groups

Another way to gather information is to approach your customers directly. Conduct surveys or focus group sessions to discover their demographic information such as their age, gender, occupation, housing types, income, and location.

It is also necessary to find out their motivations, challenges, and goals in life. The information gleaned will give you a deeper understanding of your customers, allowing you to uncover their underlying needs.

An advantage of conducting surveys or focus groups is that they help you to probe more deeply on the concerns of potential customers before you launch your campaigns on social media.

4. Search Facebook/LinkedIn groups or Forums

Not all customers are comfortable in taking surveys, especially if it involves providing personal information. A good alternative is to join the community that they are in.

Online communities are formed by users with common areas of interest. By joining them, you will discover insights about the trendiest topics or concerns they might have. This provides ideas on crafting new and relevant content.

The other benefit of participating actively in an online community is that you can build your brand amongst like-minded individuals.

For instance, NTUC FairPrice might join cooking or health food communities to understand their potential customer concerns. By listening and engaging in conversations, educational content can be crafted to educate customers on how to identify the freshness of fruits and vegetables, or what recipes would be of interest to those who cook.

Build a Buyer Persona

We want to target the right audience to prevent wasting of resources and efforts. Hence, it is essential to go one step further and develop a buyer persona.

Personas are fictional representations of your audience that gives you an overview of their unique characteristics. They give you a better understanding of your audience and helps you to curate content and messages that are more appealing and relevant to your target audience.

Consider the following factors when crafting the personas:

  • Demographics — Age, Gender, Education, Occupation, etc.
  • Psychographics — Their lifestyles, interests, beliefs, and behaviors
  • Product Use Cases — Map out how and when your products/services would come into their lives
  • Keywords and Topics — Content topics that would resonate with them on social media

You can download our e-book to gain a deeper understanding of buyer personas:

https://www.equinetacademy.com/resource/how-to-develop-buyer-personas-ebook/

Defining Your Customer Buying Journey

Apart from knowing their likes and dislikes, it is also important to be able to see things from their point of view. To achieve that, get into the buyer’s perspective and analyze the before, during and after-purchase experiences they may have with the brand. This is called the customer buying journey.

On social media channels, these experiences are often related to their interactions with your brand across the entire buying process — from awareness, interest, research and purchase to post-purchase. Customers utilize social media more as a discovery channel rather than a search related channel. Thus, your goal on social media channels to grab their attention and pique their interest (and recognition) of your brand, while cultivating brand trust.

The customer journey marketing funnel allows you to develop a seamless and immersive experience across different channels, devices, and more. This will help you with your customer engagement and interaction — hopefully converting your most ardent customers and supporters into advocates who will bring in more buyers through spreading positive word of mouth.

customer journey marketing funnelCustomer Journey Marketing Funnel (rocket source)

Steps to creating a customer journey map

Plan

With the knowledge of your buyer personas, the ability to understand your product-market-fit should be based on your ideal buyer behaviours and motivations. It also helps in identifying the “WHY” factor, which is the core reason for your business’ existence. Understanding these factors helps to better align your brand’s story to the marketing message targeted at your specific audience’s needs and wants.

Attract

The attraction stage requires brainstorming and curating value-adding content to be pushed out all strategic channels. It’s more than just updating your company’s blog. Content needs to be creative and unique enough to draw customers in, and be considered across your entire range of social media channels.

Nurture

Once your brand is made known to these ideal buyers, assist them by providing solutions and ideas. This is also the stage when buyers are more curious about the brand, thus it is important to be there for them. It is useful to also consider educational and beneficial content that specifically addresses customer needs.

Convert users to customers

This is the main step that conversions happen. Make sure that the buying experience for a customer is seamless and easy. Include call-to-actions, focus on high-performing websites and landing pages, and streamline the buying process to make it easy to cart out. Often this process is outside of social media platforms, and on your websites, landing pages, events or physical sales channels.

Turn customers into advocates

Advocates will be willing to help the brand to get the word out due to their satisfying buying experience with them. Thus, it is important to emphasize a good buying and after-sales experience, converting them into advocates that provide free referrals.

You can read more about creating an effective customer journey map here along with examples and a free template.

Developing Social Media Content

A good set of social media content helps to attract users’ attention. This helps in increasing the chances of conversion, turning users into customers, or even advocates. Therefore, it is in the vested interest of businesses to conduct research and consider the best practices for the different social media marketing channels before creating the content.

Best practices for Facebook posts and ads

  • Curating fresh content ideas
    • Eg. Interviewing industry experts instead of product-focused content
  • Learn and make good use of Facebook advertisement campaigns
    • Eg. Creating an advertisement using an existing post to fully utilize social proof such as the likes and comments
  • Using videos
    • These content types have been proven to be the most effective of all the different content formats, and can be used to attract attention, stimulate engagement, and trigger conversion

Best practices for Instagram

  • Pay attention to your bio 
    • Tell your brand story with just 150 characters and an appealing logo
    • Attract Instagram users by using lesser words to convey big ideas
  • Experiment with different post types 
    • Instead of promotional and product-focused posts, try having other valuable content. For instance, Coursera’s Instagram is filled with testimonials and motivational quotes to encourage people to keep learning. They also give weekly tips regarding the career and learning industry.

IG best practices

Example of different content types by Coursera

  • Play with editing tools and stickers especially on Instagram Stories
    • Make full use of these tools to make your brand as fun and engaging as possible

IG best practices editing tools

Different editing tools and stickers on Instagram Story

You can read here for more Instagram best practices observed in 2020.

Best practices for LinkedIn

  • Understand the algorithm of LinkedIn
    • Eg. The “Golden Hour” of any LinkedIn post is within the first hour upon posting. LinkedIn measures the engagement within that hour to see if the content is worthy of appearing on other viewers’ feeds.
  • Craft LinkedIn-friendly stories
    • Consider how to craft text content that has a human story relevant to your specific professional context

Optimizing YouTube channel and videos for better search and social traction

  • Optimize your metadata
    • Metadata is information that defines the subject of video content. For instance, the video title, descriptions, and tags
    • Along with good content, detailed metadata helps to push up your ranking on both Youtube and Google, boosting the reachability to relevant audience
  • Title your video
    • Think from a user’s perspective and craft our titles that people would usually search for
    • Include keywords that people usually search for
  • Craft a good video description
    • Provide a URL that links to your website for users that are keen to learn more about the brand (also help drive traffic to the website)
    • Be as detailed as possible in your description and make it informative with several call-to-actions
    • Remember to include keywords once again

Zappos’ youtube video on “5 Ways To Cuff Your Jeans!” demonstrates the following points of a good title, detailed metadata, and description.

Zappos Youtube Example

Example of metadata by Zappos

You can read more optimization tips to create more traffic to your Youtube channel.

Measuring the success of your social media plan

As mentioned earlier, tying your KPIs and metrics to your social media marketing goal is crucial  as it helps you to interpret and understand the advertising ROI and the overall performance of your social media marketing plan.

Though it can be challenging to translate social media metrics on your own, you can consider learning about the different  social media analytics tools and platforms to interpret how well your campaigns are doing. Here are some examples of tools that you can use:

For Native Platform Analytics

  • Facebook Insights
  • Facebook Ad Manager
  • LinkedIn Insights
  • Instagram Analytics

For Social Media Analytics

  • Google Analytics
  • BuzzSumo
  • Google Alerts

There are hundreds of possible metrics out there to optimize, however not all are equally important. Metrics are fully dependent on your goals, and they usually fall under one of the 3 main categories:

Awareness Metrics

They help to indicate the number of current and potential audiences. Some key metrics that fall under this category are:

  • Post reach 
    • It describes the number of people who saw a certain post on your page
  • No. of impressions
    • The number of times your posts appeared to people, regardless of whether any action was taken
  • Pageviews
    • A pageview is when a page is loaded (or reloaded). It describes the total number of pages viewed.
  • Unique visitors 
    • The number of individuals who clicked to your site. It still counts as one user even if that individual were to visit your site multiple times on the same device or browser

Engagement Metrics

These metrics demonstrate how audiences are interacting with your content. Some key metrics that fall under this category are:

  • Average engagement rate
    • The percentage of your total audience that has engaged with your content
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
    • The number of clicks on your link/post/advertisement, divided by the number of impressions
  • Bounce rate
    • The percentage of visitors who clicked away immediately from your site after loading the page
  • Time spent on site
    • The total amount of time a user spent surfing on your website

Conversion Metrics

Helps to demonstrate the effectiveness of your social engagement. Some key metrics that fall under this category are:

  • No. of downloads 
    • The number of people who took action upon seeing your post/advertisement
  • Cost per lead
    • Determine how much does it cost to secure a lead
  • Cost per sale 
    • Describes how much it cost to attain a sale
  • Revenue earned
    • The total amount of revenue you earned from this initiative (before subtracting your expenses)

For your convenience, here is a full list of social media metrics for you to consider when crafting your goals.

Managing social media communities

A social media community consists of all the people who came in contact with your brand be it directly, or indirectly. The bigger your social media communities are, the more important it is to optimize community management. Community management is the process of building and enhancing relationships with the audience through online interaction.

With a proper community management plan, you can grasp onto opportunities such as:

  • Easing and managing customer complaints
  • Converting fans to customers, and customers to loyalists
  • Gathering accurate and reliable product feedback
  • Providing a personal touch for your brand

For instance, Wendy’s added a little humor to showcase the fun and interesting side of them in response to a Tweet from their customer.

Wendy case study on community management

Example of a humorous way to engage online communities (source)

This simple tweet garnered 3.3M retweets as of today, which brought a positive impact on Wendy’s reputation online. Here are some other tips on building a community management plan:

  • Layout your key objectives and priorities
  • Tune in and find out where your target audience is at
  • Craft a content plan that your audience can relate to and value
  • Build an email database to deepen engagement with your community
  • Find opportunities to connect with them in real life (Eg. Events/conferences)

You can continue reading these tips on building a community management plan here.

Ending Thoughts

Optimizing social media marketing is not just about posting content regularly or sharing viral content.

It requires a careful process with a structured and organized plan. With this plan, it will help to garner brand awareness, trigger engagements, attract leads, and consequently convert fans into paying customers.

With the knowledge of creating your social media marketing plan, you might be eager to learn more about the other aspects of social media marketing. Equinet Academy offers a comprehensive social media marketing course led by an industry expert to guide you on how to develop, deliver, measure, and manage your social media channels.

Also, if you would like to learn and keep up with the latest digital marketing trends, Equinet Academy covers all 6 Core Modules of Digital Marketing that include:

With the completion of these modules, it will lead the learners to attain a Certified Digital Marketing Strategist Certificate.

 

social media content calendar image

Wish to take away the guesswork in social media marketing? A well-optimised social media content calendar is a great way to instil discipline in your social media marketing efforts. It helps you visualise the content efforts needed in the coming weeks and months, and can potentially save you lots of time, effort, and heart-aches.

In this article, you will learn all about the art and science of social media content planning as well as some of the industry’s best practices in social media calendar building. To guide you along, we will also provide ample examples with a free downloadable social media calendar template in a Google sheet format.

What Is A Social Content Calendar?

A social media content calendar is a publication schedule that helps you to keep track of content deadlines, controls the content planning process, and encourages accountability and collaboration in the social media management team. As a social media campaign strategy tool, content calendars ensure that the different social media content types and schedules are aligned to your various target audiences and their interests.

Allowing you to monitor and keep track of your social media content strategies, your social media marketing calendar helps you to gauge what proportion of your content is used for building awareness, boosting engagements, generating leads, triggering sales or fostering loyalty.

Typically, a well-structured social media content calendar template should contain the following components:

  • All of your social media channels
  • Actual content — often in a summarized form
  • Use of Keywords and hashtags
  • Call To Actions (CTAs)
  • Link to assets, e.g. images and videos
  • Link to published post
  • Date and time

How To Plan A Social Media Content Calendar That Works?

To successfully plan a social media content calendar that works, you need to organise your content so that you can stay on top of publishing goals and needs.

A reliable social media content calendar makes it simple to plan ahead, make changes as needed, and have a visible pipeline of content at the ready. It helps you to focus on your marketing objective and minimize unnecessary content distractions. The following step-by-step guide should help you in the content planning process.

Step 1: Determine what your social content goals are:

First, you need to establish what your content goals are. Adopt the following guidelines:

  • Consider what your specific content goals are for each of the post
  • Categorise them by your objectives: are they for awareness building, engagement and interaction, lead generation, sales, or fostering of loyalty?
  • Abide by an 80/20 rule — 80% of the posts are written in a benefit-driven or educational manner, while 20% of the posts are sales-oriented and promotional in nature.

Step 2: Prioritise content type and publishing schedule

A key step in planning an effective content calendar is content-type prioritisation. To do so, you need to understand the types of content which best appeals to your audiences.

The prioritisation of content types in your publishing schedule ensures that your content is meaningful and satisfies your specific audience needs. You can also learn what works best for your company or your brand, and avoid wasting time and energy creating content that simply doesn’t work for your audience.

The following are some common social media content types to get you started:

  • Blog articles
  • Link posts
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Live videos
  • Lead Gen Ads

Step 3: Decide which channels to publish on

After you have decided on the right mix of content types to be posted, your next task is to consider which channels you should publish them on. The good thing about having a fixed  social media schedule is that you can establish a regular routine and rhythm in publishing and sharing your content, as well as to respond to fans who’ve commented on your posts.

Step 4: How often to post on social media?

Knowing the ideal times and frequencies to post on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram plays a crucial role in your social media marketing campaign. Often, they can determine the outcome of your average engagement rates (i.e. likes/reactions, shares/retweets, and clicks divided by post reach). The right timing and frequency of posts can also help to optimise traffic to your website (from blog articles) as well as your ability to build an engaged following.

According to data from 300 brands, the following are the most effective times for business-to-business (B2B) brands and business-to-consumer (B2C) to post on each social media channel.

Facebook:

  • For B2B brands, it is most ideal to post from Tuesday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST.
  • For B2C brands, post from Monday to Wednesday, 12 p.m. EST.

Twitter:

  • For B2B brands, post on Monday or Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST.
  • For B2C brands, post from Monday to Wednesday, 12 p.m. or 1 p.m.

LinkedIn:

  • For B2B brands, post on Wednesday, 7:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., or 5:45 p.m. EST.
  • For B2C brands, post on Monday or Wednesday, 7:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 5:45 p.m. EST.

Based on a study of an estimated 260,000 posts on Instagram, the subsequent times are determined to be the optimal Instagram posting times for each industry.

Travel & Tourism:

  • Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Media & Entertainment:

  • Tuesday and Thursday, 12 to 3 p.m.

Food & Beverage:

  • Friday, 12 p.m.

Retail:

  • Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 12 p.m.

Professional Services:

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.

Non-profit:

  • Tuesday, 10 a.m. or 4 p.m.

Non-retail e-commerce:

  • Thursday, 4 p.m. or 9 p.m.

Pharma & Healthcare:

  • Wednesday and Sunday, 9 a.m.

Personal Care:

  • Thursday and Friday, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., or 3 p.m.

Technology:

  • Monday and Tuesday, 2 p.m.

Education:

  • Thursday, 4 p.m. or 5 p.m.

Do keep in mind that these posting times are just suggestions. You should try different posting timings to determine what works best for your brand. It would be best to publish your posts during the timings when your target audiences are most active in order to boost your average engagement rate.

Alternatively, you may wish to refer to the infographics below to gain a clearer understanding of how to plan your social media posting schedule.

Facebook and Twitter social media post schedule LinkedIn and Instagram social media post schedule

Sample social media post schedule for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram from CoSchedule

Follow Stellar Social Content Calendar Examples

You can emulate what business leaders and top social media brands are doing on their social media channels by following and adapting from their best practices. This includes their content styles, posting frequency, posting schedules, as well as the types of posts which garner the most engagement. You may refer to the following brand examples listed to get a sense of how you can do so.

whole foods content schedule instagram whole foods content schedule linkedin

Diagram depicting the frequency of Whole Foods’ content postings across platforms

coolerinsights social media content calendar

Example of a social media content calendar from Cooler Insights

How to Use Excel To Create a Content Calendar

Excel is a handy tool for social media content organisation as you can customise it according to your priorities and needs. It also comes with many ready-made templates that you can adapt to your needs.

For your benefit, we have created a free downloadable Google sheet content calendar that you can use.

 

Ending Thoughts

In conclusion, the key to building a successful social media content calendar lies in following these best practices:

  • Consider what your social media marketing goals are
  • Plan ahead on the topics and types of content to be posted
  • Prioritize your content for the different social media channels
  • Follow optimal posting timings and frequencies
  • Emulate the best practices of industry leaders and global brands

In addition, always keep in mind to boost your social media’s ‘social’ aspect by monitoring your posts and interacting with your fans.

If you are eager to learn more, sign up for our Social Media Marketing course where you will be well-equipped with the fundamental frameworks, concepts and tools needed to succeed in social media. You can also browse and sign up for the other courses which cover the remaining five core modules in Equinet Academy’s Digital Marketing Curriculum.

At Equinet Academy, the remaining five core modules of Digital Marketing include:

At the end of all the six courses, you will be awarded an industry-recognised Certified Digital Marketing Strategist Certificate which will put you in good stead with potential employers and business partners.

equinet-academy-social-media-kpis

Social Media Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are critical in ensuring the success of your social media marketing campaigns. They provide invaluable insights to your company or brand’s social media performance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social networks.

But how do you know which social media KPIs to focus on, and what do these metrics tell you?

In this article, you will learn what social media KPIs are, what performance areas they measure, and how you can use them to transform your social media marketing efforts. Each of the KPIs come complete with relevant examples to make it easier for you to visualise how they are used.

What are Social Media KPIs?

Social media KPIs are values that measure the performance of your social media marketing (SMM) campaigns. The results derived from these different indicators are crucial for marketing teams to evaluate their social media-based performance across their entire social media funnel—from awareness to consideration, conversion and loyalty.

However, there are a few priorities that a marketer like you need to focus on to achieve greater success with your social media marketing. These are centred on three key focal areas:

  1. Reach: The total number of people who have seen your ad, post, video, or story.
  2. Engagement: How often your target audience engages and interacts with your content.
  3. Conversions: How many people have completed your desired goals—be it lead generation, sales or others.

Focal Area—Reach

Can you catch the attention of your audiences? Is your online brand visible to them? In making your presence felt, you need to make your content noticed by your audiences, This helps to reflect your message’s efficacy. There are several KPIs under the Reach category you might want to consider in Social Media Marketing.

1. Number of Impressions

Impressions is the number of times a post shows up in someone’s news feed, right column, story, message, or other placements. A viewer does not need to engage with the social media post for it to be counted as an impression.

A person can experience multiple impressions of a single piece of content. A Facebook post, for instance, could appear in the user’s news feed and appear again when a friend shares the publisher’s post. If both posts appear in the feed, then that is treated as two impressions for the same post. Thus, the frequency of the post will be two.

Having your content seen multiple times by people will increase your brand awareness and might potentially get your audience to take action. Take note of the marketing rule of seven which states that a prospective buyer may need to hear or see a marketing message at least seven times before taking action.

Most major social media platforms allow you to view the number of impressions as shown.

 

image-displaying-impressions-within-facebook-insights

Image displaying impressions within Facebook Insights

 

Image-displaying-impressions-on-linkedIn

Image displaying impressions in LinkedIn

 

2. Number of People Reached

Knowing the number of people who followed or “liked” your brand on social media provides a good gauge of the influence of your social media channel. They could be friends or followers with a specific interest in your content. However, do note that having lots of followers or fans will be useless if they are not engaging with your brand.

You can view the number of people reached in Facebook as shown below:

google-analytics-screenshot-displaying-the-various-social-media-channels-session

Google Analytics displaying the various Social Media Channels’ sessions (website visits)

 

3. Web Traffic

To assess the success of your social media campaigns, you will need to know the amount of traffic driven to your website from the various campaigns. It is indicative of the interest level shown by the customers as they find out more about your company. If the campaigns have generated low web traffic, then tweaking and fine-tuning of your creatives, offers, and calls to action may be required to improve clicks to your website.

You can use Google Analytics to give you a detailed report on the traffic. It helps to identify which social media platforms send the most visitors to the site and the ones that need more attention.

google-analytics-screenshot-displaying-the-various-social-media-channels-session

 

4. Share of Voice (SOV)

As brand awareness of your company or product brands start to grow, more people will be talking about your company. Share of Voice measures the amount of the conversation a brand owns with the target audience compared to its competitors. There are several tactics to inspire brand chatter from people in the industry:

Build a Proactive Social Media Calendar

You can start by implementing a Social Media Calendar that outlines all of the planned content for the month. Schedule content that has to be published on specific dates like special holidays. The content could be curated from your site or you can create them from scratch. The purpose is for your audience to hear from you.

Engage with Your Audiences

Social media allows you to directly engage and interact with your target audiences. Consumers expect a quick response to the problems and pain-points they have encountered. A brand that is highly responsive to consumers’ requests will enjoy greater brand likability—more people will talk positively about the brand on their social channels.

HOT TIP: Do you know that  45% of consumers will post a brand’s positive interaction with them if it manages to address their complaints on social media?

Create Share-Worthy Content

One of the best methods of increasing your brand’s share of voice is to generate share-worthy content. By sharing tips and interesting content about the industry, people will start to take notice and seek more of the brand’s content and share it with others. These actions will help to strengthen your thought leadership in the subject.

Encourage Conversations in Social Media

Triggering conversations within the various social media platforms about the brand increases your brand mentions and share of voice. You should also encourage your customers to communicate with you via social media platforms—sending and responding to a message is faster and more efficient than replying to an email.

Measuring SOV for Social Media

To calculate SOV for the specific Social Media platform, divide a target metric that represents the brand by the total in the market or industry. Finally, multiply that number by 100 to get the percentage of market share for that particular metric.

Your brand metric / Total market metric x 100

For example, if there are 500 mentions of three brands that you are tracking, and 133 of those mentions belong to your brand, then your SOV is 26.6%.

brand24-interface-displaying-the-filtering-for-mentions-of-ahrefs-on-twitter

Brand24’s interface displaying the filtering for mentions of Ahrefs on Twitter

 

Focal Area—Engagement

Audience interactions like reactions, comments, shares and clicks are useful in measuring the effectiveness of your social media marketing campaign, and the engagements which it can generate. Marketers have to find creative ways for consumers to connect with their brand and interact with the content—the more frequent the interactions, the higher the likelihood of purchase.

Here are some of the metrics that you can use to measure engagement levels.

5. Number of Reactions / Likes

Posted something interesting or intriguing? Chances are that you will be able to get more reactions and likes from your audience. Acquiring reactions from your customers indicates that your content has value and authority.  The more likes a post has, the better its engagement levels with prospects or customers. This also sends a strong signal that the product or brand is being perceived in a more positive light.

 

showing-the-number-of-likes-of-an-article-posted-in-facebook

Showing the number of likes of an article posted on Facebook

 

6. Number of Clicks

Clicking on a link or button is a fundamental aspect of an engagement. A person who clicks on the website or social media links displays an interest in the content that is displayed. This assists in cultivating qualified leads as link clicks are generally more likely to convert.

However, do note that the bounce rate needs to be taken into consideration as a high bounce rate could mean that the landing pages are not appealing to consumers or that the web pages load too slowly.

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Chart on Facebook showing the number of actions users took on the page

 

chart-in-facebook-showing-the-number-of-people-who-logged-into-facebook-and-clicked-the-go-to-website-cta-button

Chart on Facebook showing the number of people who logged into Facebook and clicked the Go to Website CTA button

 

7. Number of Comments

Brands need to generate relevant content to ignite conversations among customers. The more relevant your content is to the customers, the more comments your post will receive.

Conversational content helps to foster bonds with customers and create loyalty amongst your followers. However, do not be daunted by negative comments as these could help you to address the audience’s pain points. Just remember to respond to these comments if they are genuine complaints from customers.

To improve the number of comments, you can:

  • express a strong opinion on social media on a current topic
  • engage users with emotions
  • share content or articles that get people thinking

Encourage engagements and conversations by posing questions or sharing opinions rather than posting links to external content.

image-displaying-the-number-of-comments-in-facebook

Image displaying the number of comments on Facebook

 

8. Number of Shares or Retweets

If your target audience finds your social media posts useful, they may start sharing those posts on social media. This will bring engagement to the next level as sharing allows your brand to reach the social networks of your audiences. Very often, people share things that they have experienced themselves.

The act of sharing also signals a strong desire to recommend your brand to their sphere of influence and indicates the confidence level they have in your brand. Because of this, having shares on social media is indicative of the quality and relevance of your posts.

the-number-of-shares-as-shown-in-facebook-page-insights

The number of shares as shown in Facebook Page Insights

Here are some tactics you can use for your content to get more shares, reach and engagement on social media:

Tactics to Increase Content Shareability

Appropriate post type

One of the success factors in getting people engaged is on how the content is being presented. A good way to do so is to phrase your posts as questions. Doing so helps to prompt your followers to respond with their thoughts and answers.

Do also consider making your content more visual, by adding graphics (infographics) or animating it (video). Visual content is vital on social media as it immediately grabs your audience’s attention, provides entertainment (and edutainment) value, and improves shareability.

Posting at the Right Time

To rise above the noise and have your audience’s attention on your social media posts, it is crucial for us to know the ideal times of the day to post. It differs for different social media platforms however.

A good suggestion to determine the best times to post is to study the insights of the respective social media platforms to know when your audiences are the most active.

diagram-depicting-the-best-days-and-times-to-publish-in-facebook-page-insights

Diagram depicting the best days and times to publish in Facebook Page Insights. Do take note that this is in the Pacific Time Zone—add or subtract the required no of hours to match your country’s time zone

 

Keep It Short and Simple (KISS)

Many users utilize social media platforms to socialize and not to read long articles. Though the content posted might be beneficial to the users, having lengthy captions and status posts may not give the content due justice if you are targeting for increased shares. Hence, aim for snackable bite-sized content.

Employ Contests and Offers to Encourage Shares

Having innovative ways of engaging your audiences for your brand, like having social media contests and offers, will spur greater interest and generate more shares among the consumers. To encourage fans to share your brand’s content, the rules of the content can also be changed to facilitate sharing.

 

9. Number of Social Mentions

If you are to name a soft drink now, chances are that you will be thinking of Coke or Pepsi. Top-of-mind-awareness (TOMA) correlates with your brand preference and will also influence the number of mentions of your brand or product.

By investing in effective social listening tools, you are better able to analyze and respond to conversations about your brand on social media. This is a useful gauge to understand how your customers perceive your company or product.

Do keep track of your social mentions as they reflect your online brand reputation. Doing so also ensures that you are able to address your customer’s needs and pain-points by responding to them.

Social-searcher-free-social-mentions-search-tool

Social searcher is a free social mention search tool that allows users to monitor trending links from major social media sites.

 

To increase positive social brand mentions, you might want to attempt these few techniques:

Tap the Preferred Content Formats of Different Social Media Platforms

Different social media platforms target different audience personas. Users who are active on Instagram prefer posts to be expressed in images and videos, whereas LinkedIn users are more likely to expect thought-leadership articles, slides or text content.

Engage Your Audiences

Social media users expect interactions with the brand and would enjoy a much better experience if your brand responded to their queries. Acknowledging your consumers’ concerns by responding to their comments on your posts, or a simple “thank you” reply goes a long way.

Use High Quality and Relevant Imagery

Create relevant, and if possible captivating imagery to increase the interest of your social media fans and followers. Many businesses may hire professional photographers to take product shots and capture their brand story. Should that be infeasible, consider investing in relevant stock photographs and video footages.

Be Funny

Do integrate humour in your posts wherever possible as it triggers positive emotional and psychological responses from your followers. This also helps to build brand affection, a vital step in the conversion.

 

Focal Area—Conversions

Out of the three focal areas, many brands would prioritize conversion metrics as a gauge to measure the success of a social media campaign. After all, it is one thing to have a huge following on the various social media platforms, and another if none of your fans visits your website to purchase your products or services. So for marketers, they need to look beyond the likes and shares and focus on the work that affects the bottom line.

10. Sales Revenue

All companies who venture into the various social media platforms need to be certain that the effort spent working with social media results in real revenue and profits. Measuring the number of conversions that comes to your website from social media gives you an idea of the value of your social media channels. You will also get a better idea of the effort and planning you need to put into your social media channel to make that investment worthwhile.

 

google-analytics-multi-channel-funnels-screen-shot

Using Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels (MCF), it indicates the different channel’s role play especially for social media prior to the actual conversion

 

There are, however, effective methods you can implement in social media to drive sales revenue. This includes:

Working with Social Media Influencers

A novel idea you can start implementing is to utilize the power of social media influencers if you attempt to make more sales through social media. You can have them tell a unique and engaging story about the brand or give honest reviews about the product they are reviewing. When doing so, make sure that you use UTM parameters or unique coupon codes to track their effectiveness in driving conversions to your page.

Use Customer Testimonials to Reduce Fear

Instead of relying on paid influencers, the best advocates of the brand can be existing customers. As they are already existing users, they can become effective brand advocates to promote the products or services in exchange for freebies and discounts. The trust level for existing users are usually higher than an influencer, as more people will believe in the experiences of a user as opposed to a paid individual.

Invest in Social Media Advertisements

A surefire way of getting your brand noticed is by investing in advertisements to leverage on the various social media platforms which have potentially millions of users. This ensures higher visibility for the brand you are promoting. It also helps to further improve the chances of a sale as you can target a directly relevant audience.

 

11. Lead Generation

For a lot of businesses, lead generation is an important aspect of digital marketing as you need a consistent supply of new leads in order to generate revenue.

To generate leads, consider putting up a form for prospects to sign up for a newsletter, download an eBook or enroll in a webinar. The contacts that are extracted from a lead generation form (via an FB lead generation ad) or lead generation opt-ins from LinkedIn are treated as non-revenue conversions.

 

12. Lead Conversion Rate

Lead conversion rate measures the number of leads that are converted into sales. In essence, it indicates how many of the leads end up buying something from you.

The formula for calculating the lead conversion rate is as follows:

(Leads converted to Sales/Total Leads) x 100.

So if an e-commerce site gets 100 leads in a certain month and manages to sell 10 T-shirts (conversion event), the conversion rate would then be 10%.

However, your conversion rate is not everything. In managing social media campaigns, there might be instances where the conversion rate might be higher for certain products but it might have a higher cost per conversion. Thus, you need to consider the ROI of each conversion and determine if the cost of getting that conversion is worth the eventual revenue that you can get.

To boost your social media conversion rate, you might attempt to:

Implement a Seamless Experience between Landing-pages and Social Media

To outshine the competitors, you need to provide a smooth and seamless customer experience from social media platforms like Facebook to your respective landing pages. It should follow the principles of ease of navigation and with minimal interruption.

An instance of this is the brand Bose, where it presents an intuitive and interactive landing page that is customised for customers on-the-go.

bose-mobile-friendly-webpage

Bose’s mobile-friendly webpage that appeals to specifically mobile consumers (Image via Bose)

Having a website that is mobile-friendly enhances the virtual shopping experience when most e-commerce transactions happen on smartphones and other mobile devices. A way to test whether your website is mobile-friendly is by using the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.

mobile-test-of-equinet-academy-website

Mobile test of Equinet Academy’s website

Integrating Videos in Social Media Promotions

Video-centric posts and ads tend to do better than static images or pure text content when it comes to conversions. Contrary to a common misconception, creating videos doesn’t need to be expensive—there are many low-cost video producing tools that you can use online.

animated-video-example-from-bibliate

An animated video example from Bibliate to explain the value of their services

Include Compelling Calls to Action

Implement small tweaks to your social media captions on your posts or text overlays to potentially increase your social media conversion rate.

jcrew-invites-followers-to-shop-at-their-instagram-feed-in-their-bio

J.Crew invites followers to shop at their Instagram feed in their bio

You may also wish to differentiate your brand from others in an overcrowded market by infusing your unique brand’s personality behind the promotions.

Consistency in Branding

As prospects and leads move through from social media platforms like Instagram to the actual landing pages, the user interface and creative elements such as tone, imagery and color schemes need to be consistent as the customers approach towards the point of purchase. Anything else will be disorienting.

 

halo-top-instagram-feed

Halo Top’s Instagram feed that showcases some of the image and video posts. Observe the pastel tones and the playful description

halo-top-website-that-showcases-similar-pastel-designs

Halo Top’s website that showcases similar pastel designs

Having a consistent thematic color scheme and creative elements could make a difference between having successful conversions or bouncing out of the campaigns altogether.

Ending Thoughts

As a marketer or business owner, you will need to ensure that you capture the right social media KPIs and metrics to generate success. To implement social media marketing strategies successfully, there are two stages you need to consider:

  1. Determine the type of Marketing Objective of a certain business model. Learn more on the four types of marketing objective of Awareness, Interests, Leads and Sales.
4-different-types-of-marketing-objectives

Diagram depicting the 4 different types of Marketing Objectives

 

  1. Start aligning your KPIs and Metrics with the associated digital Marketing Objectives. This is an effective way of determining the health of a business – by accurately and efficiently managing the agreed-upon targets and goals.
relationship-of-objectives-kpis-and-metrics

Diagram depicting the relationship of Objectives, KPIs and Metrics

Effective social media marketing isn’t just about growing the most fans on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter. Rather, it is a methodical and disciplined approach to setting the right social media marketing goals, creating the right social media marketing campaigns, and tracking and analysing your various social media KPIs. By doing so, not only are you able to grow your brand influence, but it will help to improve your conversions and sales over the long haul.

 

social media engagement metrics

 

 

essential metrics for social media campaign

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Companies nowadays place great emphasis on Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to monitor the health of their businesses. KPI’s showcases data to determine whether the business has grown or shrunk and offer snapshots to the management to take any remedial action.

This is also true in Social Media KPIs where we need definite data to ascertain the effectiveness of the campaigns and not just solely having the highest number of likes and determining that to be successful. For your benefit, we have compiled a comprehensive list of social media metrics with a brief explanation of each for your next project. Let’s delve deeper into the various metrics.

Click on any section to go to those metrics directly :

Social Media Metrics

Awareness Building

Awareness metrics is an important element in your bag of KPI’s as it illustrates on the level of awareness of your current and potential audience on your business. With the comprehension of the data, you can make better decisions on whether the customers will progress towards the evaluation stage and finally the purchase stage.

2-Sec/ 3-Sec Video Views

Total number of views where at least 2 or 3 seconds of the video was viewed. This means that your viewer would have perceived your video and its images, but not long enough to take any tangible action.

Ad Frequency

Ad frequency measures the number of times your target audience viewed the ad. Keep an eye on ad frequency to ensure that the same people don’t see the same digital ad continuously, as this can cause banner blindness and lead them to ignore the ad altogether. Overly frequent ads may also cause viewers to report or block your ad, and this will lead to a decrease in your ad quality or relevance score.

Awareness Lift (YouTube)

The aggregate increase in user familiarity with your brand, product, or service when compared to a randomized control group of users who did not see your ad.

Brand Mentions

This measure is unique in that it provides an insight into how many times your brand is mentioned online, which includes sources like social media, 3rd party websites, and blogs. This can be either your brand name itself, or the hashtag which you use for a specific campaign, or your company name, or even your personal brand name/ CEO’s name. To track brand mentions, you can use tools like Google Alerts, Mention, or Social Mention, or Talkwalker. https://www.klipfolio.com/resources/kpi-examples/digital-marketing/brand-awareness-metric

A group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame (A single session can contain multiple screen or page views, events, or social interactions)

Cost Per Estimated Ad Recall Lift

Estimated ad recall lift (people) rate is the estimated incremental number of people who recall your ad divided by the number of people your ad reached. Cost per estimated ad recall lift (people) is the average cost per incremental person we estimate will recall seeing your ad if asked.

Cost per estimated ad recall lift (people)

The average cost for each estimated ad recall lift. This metric is only available for advertisements that you run using the Facebook Campaign Brand Awareness Objective. It provides an estimate of the proportion of people who can recall your brand.

Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)

Cost per thousand, also called cost per mille, is used to denote the price of 1,000 paid impressions on a media channel. If the cost of your ad is $2.00 CPM, that means that you as an advertiser must pay $2.00 for every 1,000 impressions of your ad. The CPM is usually determined by a combination of your ad quality metrics, competitive bidding (hence festive occasions normally have higher CPM costs), and your page quality metrics.

Cost Per Thousand Reach (CPR)

The metric is calculated as the total amount spent divided by the reach, multiplied by 1,000. It measures people reached across the different social media platforms. In the case of Facebook ads, they may include Facebook Newsfeeds, Stories, Instagram, Messenger and the Audience Network.

Cost Per Thru-Play

The average cost for each ThruPlay. The metric is calculated as total amount spent, divided by ThruPlays.

Cost Per Video View

The average cost per video view, calculated as the amount spent divided by the number of video views.

Estimated ad recall lift (people)

An estimate of the number of additional people who may remember seeing your ads, if asked, within 2 days. This metric is only available for Facebook ads that use the Brand Awareness Campaign Objective.

Estimated ad recall lift rate (%)

The rate at which an estimated percentage of additional people, when asked, would remember seeing your ads within 2 days. This metric is only available for advertisements in the Facebook Campaign Brand Awareness Objective.

Impressions

The number of times your ads or posts appeared on a screen, regardless of whether people take any action on them (like click, share, or view).

New Visitor

This would be the number of users that have visited your website or page for the first time. It is a good indicator for awareness on your website.

No of Fans/ Likes

The total number of fans or likes (individual accounts or page accounts) in your various social media networks per period. This is normally a good measure of Top Of FUnnel (TOFU) visibility as pages with more fans then to get a higher reach per post shared.

No of Followers

The total number of people (or accounts) that are following you on your social media account or page per time period. Often followers are also fans, but they may also be competitors who do not wish to be targeted with ads!

Page Views

A pageview (or pageview hit, page tracking hit) is an instance of a page being loaded (or reloaded) in a browser. Pageviews is a metric defined as the total number of pages viewed.

Reach

The number of people who saw your ads or posts at least once. Reach is different from impressions, which may include multiple views of your ads by the same people. Thus, impressions will usually be a larger number than reach.

Search Impressions

This is the number of times which your link to a page is displayed on the Search Engines Result Page (SERP) from Google or other search engines. A link URL records an impression when it appears in a search result for a user.

Share Of Voice (SOV)

Your Brand Advertising / Total Market Advertising = Share of Voice. Calculating share of voice on social media involves collecting the voice of the customer through a social media analytics tool, such as Brandwatch Analytics.

Thru-Plays (Video)

The number of times your video was played to completion, or for at least 15 seconds. This is normally included as part of the Facebook post boosting feature on Facebook pages.

Unique Users (YouTube)

The number of distinct individuals who have been served your video, irrespective of number of views.

Web Visitors/ Users

These are the number of people that visit a website or a web page. Users means the number of unique visitors to your site. Essentially, these are the actual people landing on your website, which means that if someone were to visit your site multiple times on the same device or browser, they would still only count as one user.

Consideration Engagement

The list of metrics below shows how people are interacting with your content. This data is important as businesses know the higher the engagement, the greater the likelihood it would be converted into a sale.

30-second video views

The number of times your video was watched for an aggregate of at least 30 seconds, or for nearly its total length, whichever happened first. Video views are normally counted separately from impressions, and any time spent replaying the video is excluded.

Actions

These are the different types of actions that a user may take on your social media account, eg click on an email button, or send a message, fill in a lead form, or others.

Applause rate

The number of approval actions, or virtual “applause,” you get from your audience per period, including +1s, likes, thumbs-ups, favorites, etc.

Average Engagement Per Post

This is the average number of interactions that you’ve managed to achieve for each post on your social media account. This is normally recorded over a specific time period.

Average engagement rate

The percentage of your total audience that has engaged with your content in any way on a social channel per reporting period.

Blog Page Views

The number of views on your blog page on your website. This is normally measured by the number of page views for that article.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of visitors who only went to a single page of your site, bouncing back to the place they came from rather than clicking further into the site. Generally, a lower Bounce Rate is preferred as it is equated to greater stickiness of your website and its content.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

The Click Through Rate (CTR) is derived by the number of Clicks on your link or post or ad, divided by the number of Impressions that it is being served (ie number of times it is shown). This is a good indicator of the efficiency of your ad/post in eliciting a click action.

Comment rate

The average number of comments your content gets per post

Comments

The post comments metric counts all comments that people made on your posts or ads while they were running. In general, longer comments have better value than short ones. The best practice from an engagement point of view is to trigger as much conversation as possible on your posts – however, you may not want to do that if your goal is to derive link clicks (ie traffic) to a landing page.

Cost Per Action (CPA)

This is the average cost for ads to trigger the number of actions that you have established. The CPA may vary depending on the types of actions being recorded.

Cost Per Click (CPC)/ Cost Per Link Click

The average cost for each link click. CPC shows how much, on average, each link click costs you. CPC is a metric used in the online advertising industry for benchmarking ad efficiency and performance. The metric is calculated as the total amount spent divided by link clicks.

Cost Per Landing Page View

The average cost for each landing page view. This metric is calculated as total amount spent divided by landing page views. This metric is normally used by Facebook Ads.

Cost Per Page Like

The average cost for each Facebook Page like. This metric is calculated as total amount spent divided by new Page likes acquired through the Engagement campaign on Facebook Ads.

Cost Per Post Engagement (CPE)

The average cost for each post engagement. This metric is calculated as total amount spent divided by post engagements/ interactions.

Cost Per X% Video View

The average cost per X% video view, calculated as the amount spent divided by the number of times your video is watched by X%.

Cost Per X-second Video View

The average cost per X-second video view, calculated as the amount spent divided by the number of X-second video views.

Engagement/ Interactions

Engagements or Interactions shows you all the different types of actions that users may take on your posts or tweets. This typically includes the following: – Likes/ Reactions/ Favourites – Saves – Swipes (for Stories) – Comments or Replies – Shares, Reshares, or Retweets – Clicks (either on the image, video or link or other points on the post)

Engagement as a percentage of audience

Total engagement actions across all social networks divided by total audience

Engagement Per Follower/ Fan

Total engagement actions for one network divided by the number of fans (or followers) for that network. This is normally recorded over a specific time period.

Engagement Rate

Typically, the Engagement Rate is measured by the number of engagements/ interactions divided by either the reach of the post or the impressions delivered by the post. This varies depending on the social network that you choose.

Favourites/ ❤s

Also known as favourites or ‘hearts’, this is similar to the ‘like’ metric used in Facebook and LinkedIn. Favourites are commonly deployed on Twitter and Instagram as well as other social networks.

Forward Swipes

The number of times someone swiped to skip to the next account’s story. This is commonly used as a metric on Instagram or Facebook Stories.

Landing Page Views

The number of times a person clicked on an ad link and then successfully loaded the destination webpage. To be able to optimize your ads for landing page views, you must have created a Facebook pixel that is embedded on your website so that Facebook can measure it.

Likes/ Reactions

The number of reactions on your posts or ads or tweets. The reactions button on an ad allows people to share different reactions to its content, eg for Facebook it includes like, love, haha, wow, sad or angry.

Link Clicks

The number of clicks on links within the post/ad that led to destinations or experiences, on or off the social network. For ads promoting Instagram profile views, link clicks include clicks on the ad header or comments that led to the advertiser’s profile. In most cases, link clicks help to drive traffic to a website.

Pages/ Session

In Google Analytics, “Pages / Session” is calculated by dividing the total number of pageviews by the total number of sessions. You can find the data for pages per session by navigating to “Audience” > “Overview.” This is a good indicator for the stickiness of your website in encouraging click throughs internally within your web pages.

Quality Score (Google)

Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.

Referral Traffic

The Referral Traffic metric allows your team to monitor how much of their traffic is through referrals, and where the bulk of these referrals are coming from. This metric shows you the effectiveness of your external links bringing traffic to your website.

Replies

The number of times a viewer swipes up and responds to a story. The reply feature starts a direct message conversation between you and the viewer.

Returning Visitor

The Returning Visitor Metric tracks what happens when someone returns to your website multiple times. This metric allows digital marketers to see how effective they are at building and retaining an audience online. This is particularly important to demonstrate the value of ongoing content marketing efforts.

Retweets

The Twitter retweets metric represents the total number of times a Twitter post is retweeted. The Twitter retweets metric is a total of all the times a Twitter post was retweeted.

Saves

The total number of times your post has been saved. Post Saves counts the number of times your oost was saved by people who want to revisit it at a later time. This metric lets you measure your saves and compare them to saves from other posts or ads and campaigns. People can save posts/ ads by choosing the Save option on the dropdown menu, or by tapping/clicking the Save button on an ad.

Search Clicks

Any click on the SERP that sends the user to a page outside of Google Search is counted as a click, and clicking a link that stays inside search results is not counted as a click. In the SERP, the more people click on your link, the better your ranking would be relative to other pages that are listed on the same page.

Session Duration

Total duration of all sessions (in seconds), which is a good indicator for how good your website is in encouraging a longer stay before a user clicks out.

Shares

The number of times a user shares your post on their own accounts. This will show in their timelines as well, and is a good measure of both engagement and virality.

Taps Backwards

The number of times a viewer tapped the left side of the screen to rewatch the previous story.

Upward Swipes

The number of times a user has swiped upwards on Instagram to visit a website or a YouTube video or other resource outside of Instagram. To get this capability, you need at least 10,000 followers on your IG account.

Video watches at 25%

The number of times your video was watched at 25% of its length, including watches that skipped to this point.

Video watches at 50%

The number of times your video was watched at 50% of its length, including watches that skipped to this point.

Video watches at 75%

The number of times your video was watched at 75% of its length, including watches that skipped to this point.

Video watches at 95%

The number of times your video was watched at 95% of its length, including watches that skipped to this point.

Video watches at 100%

The number of times your video was watched at 100% of its length, including watches that skipped to this point.

Watch Time

Measures the total amount of time people watched your videos on YouTube or other social networks, shown in seconds and minutes. On YouTube, Watch Time is the most important indicator determining the quality of your engagement – a longer watch time will make your video rank better on Search and be more frequently recommended.

Conversion Metrics

This is the most important social media metric, as it measures the effectiveness of social media engagement. This metric measures the progress a potential customer makes towards becoming a paying customer in an important way.

App installs

The number of app installs that were recorded as app events and attributed to your ads. If your app is connected to Facebook (through the Facebook SDK or other connection), this metric counts when the app event is reported, attributed to your ads. https://www.facebook.com/business/help/447834205249495

Average order size

“Average order value (AOV) tracks the average dollar amount spent each time a customer places an order on a website or mobile app. To calculate your company’s average order value, simply divide total revenue by the number of orders.

How to calculate sales conversion rate:
Revenue / Number of Orders”

Average purchase value/average order value

The average value of each purchase made by your customers.

Average revenue per customer

How much the average customer spends with a brand, found by dividing yearly revenue by yearly customer count

Calls

The number of calls that you’ve achieved through your social media campaign. These calls can be tracked either manually or by a link that is connected to a software that is a call tracker.

Check-ins

The number of check-ins to your Facebook Page that are attributed to your ads. If your Page has a physical address associated with it, people can check in to your Page when they update their status in their Facebook News Feed or Timeline.

Conversion Rate (CR)

The percentage of users who take a desired conversion action, found by dividing number of conversions by total traffic (or clicks) per period. The Conversion Rate is one of the most important indicators in social media marketing and can determine the success or failure of your campaign for conversion focused campaigns.

Conversion Rate Ranking

Ad’s expected conversion rate compared with ads that had the same optimisation goal and competed for the same audience.

Conversions

Number of conversions per time period (Conversions can be defined as the ultimate action you’d like users to take on your site. Examples might be: email subscriptions, downloads, registrations, installations widget or tool, etc)

Cost Per App Install

The average cost for each app install. The metric is calculated as total amount spent divided by app installs.

Cost Per Call

“The Cost per Call metric gives your team insight into just how effectively resources are allocated for call management in terms of how much it costs to handle a call.

Formula:
Total cost of all calls/Total number of calls”

Cost per conversion

Dollar amount of how much a brand pays in order to attain a conversion

Cost Per Customer Acquisition

Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is a metric that calculates the cost to acquire a new customer. It can be calculated by simply dividing all the costs spent on acquiring more customers (marketing expenses) by the number of customers acquired in the period the money was spent. For example, if a company spent $100 on marketing in a year and acquired 100 customers in the same year, their CAC is $1.00.

Cost Per Event Response

The average cost for each event response. The metric is calculated as total amount spent divided by event responses.

Cost Per Lead

The average cost of each lead. This metric is calculated as total amount spent divided by leads, and is a good measure of how effective your lead acquisition campaign efforts are.

Cost Per Messaging Conversation

The average cost for each messaging conversation started. This metric is calculated as the total amount spent divided by the number of messaging conversations started.

Cost Per Sale

“The cost per sale (CPS), also known as the pay per sale, is a metric used by advertising teams to determine the amount of money paid for every sale generated by a specific advertisement. Understanding and tracking the CPS allows advertisers to take steps to reduce their costs, thus increasing profit and optimizing productivity.

The CPS can be calculated by dividing the total amount of money the company spent on the ad campaign (the cost) by the sum of all sales made.”

Customer Acquisition

Customer acquisition refers to the number of new profiles, or customers, that have been added to your customer base. As the goal of many businesses is to increase their customer size, this metric is extremely telling as to how well the business is meeting its growth goals.

Downloads

This is the number of people who have downloaded a resource (usually an eBook or guide or checklist) as a result of a campaign on social media that you’ve run.

Email Clicks

Email “Clicks” or “Click-throughs” are shown in your reports when people are clicking on your links in your message content. They allow you to see how many people clicked on a link, and who those people are, to help you figure out how much traffic is being driven to the sites you are linking to. Tracking links are set up automatically when a message is saved so that all of the links in your content can be tracked. These links will show up in your email reports with the number of clicks and which recipient clicked them.

Email Open Rate

Email open rate is the percentage of the total number of subscribers who opened an email campaign.

Email Sales

This tracks how many sales have been achieved through your emails that are sent out to a database, and it can either be online (directly tracked through a conversion goal on Google Analytics or Facebook Ads) or offline.

Event Responses/ Sign Ups

The number of people who responded Interested or Going to your Facebook event, attributed to your Facebook ads.

Leads

The number of potential sales contacts earned through social media per time period. These leads could normally come from event participants, people who filled in a form to download a resource or to register for a free mini-course, or other sources.

Messages

The number of messages that you obtained through Facebook Messenger, or other social media direct messaging (eg Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn) as a result of your campaign.

New visitor conversions

Number of conversions that occurred per time period by visitors new to a brand’s website

Offer Claims

The number of claims on your offers as a result of your Facebook post and Facebook Ad.

Participants/ Attendees

The total number of participants or attendees to an activity or event that you’ve garnered through your social media campaign.

Profit

Profit is measured by the Revenue minus the Costs of a campaign. This is the gross profit for each campaign.

Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)

How much money your ad earned compared to the total amount paid, based on data from your pixel, app or offline event set. Return on ad spend shows if your ad is profitable. The higher this number, the greater your return. Your ROAS goal will depend on your profit margins. Return on ad spend is calculated as your conversion value (normally your profit) divided by your cost.

Return visitor conversions

Number of conversions that occurred per time period by visitors returning to a brand’s website

Revenue

Revenue is the lifeblood of all businesses. It’s the total amount of money your business brings in. Your gross revenue is everything before expenses. To track revenue, you can set-up ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics or on Conversion Ads on Facebook Ad Manager.

ROI or return on investment

Revenue generated by social media efforts divided by all known social media expenses

RPC (revenue per click)

The average amount of revenue generated per click in paid advertising

Sales (qty)

This is the numbers of sales transactions which you’ve made through your social media marketing campaign, based on the total quantities sold over a specified time period. These can be tracked either online (through a conversion tag like Facebook Pixel or Google Tag Manager) or offline (manually).

Sales (revenue)

This is the total value of the sales that are made through the social media marketing campaign, based on a specific time period.

Sales conversion rate

“The Sales Conversion Rate metric measures the effectiveness of your sales team at converting leads into new customers. It’s an important metric for aligning your sales and marketing team as both teams will use this metric to determine the quality of leads.

How to calculate sales conversion rate
(Leads converted into sales / qualified leads) x 100

(Number of conversions / Number of Clicks) x 100”

Loyalty /Advocacy Metrics

These metrics will assess how happy your customers are and go on to be your brand’s spokesperson. This is a key component to a successful marketing campaign.

3rd Party Blog Posts

This is an indication of how many influencers/ media owners have written about your product or service or company. It is normally used when a dedicated influencer marketing or PR campaign is deployed.

Account/ Hashtag mentions

Organic mentions, like @mentions that aren’t part of a reply, or tagging a brand in an Instagram story without prompting, indicate good brand awareness.

Amplification rate

“The number of shares on average for each post. Depending on which networks you’re active on, you might want to amplification rate apart, focusing on:

• Twitter retweets
• Facebook shares
• LinkedIn shares
• Pinterest repins
• Instagram regrams”

Average Engagement Per Fan/ Follower

This shows you the average amount of interactions that you’ve achieved divided by the number of fans/ followers that you have. It is a good indicator of how loyal your fanbase is.

Company/ Brand Followers/following ratio

This is an indication of the star power of your brand and how effective it is in attracting followers or fans relative to the number of accounts that your brand is following. https://influencermarketinghub.com/8-metrics-to-review-before-collaborating-with-an-influencer/

Compliments / Complaints Ratio

“Records the number of customer compliment received per customer complaints. The metric tells us how ‘very good’ customer experiences are balanced with the ‘very bad’ ones. The metric also provides an insight into the mind-set of our customer base.

To calculate:
Total Number of Complaints ÷ Total Number of Compliments”

Conversation Rate

Conversation Rate is the ratio of comments per post to the number of overall followers you have. It’s another metric coined by Avinash Kaushik—and it’s better than tracking comments without any context. After all, getting an average of 20 comments per post is a lot more impressive if you only have 200 followers.

Cost Per Page Like

The average cost for each Facebook Page like. This metric is calculated as total amount spent divided by Page likes.

Cost Per Post Share/ Reshare

The average cost of each post share. The metric is calculated as total amount spent divided by post shares/ reshares.

Customer Lifetime Value

“Customer Lifetime Value, usually referred as LTV (sometimes as CLTV or CLV) measures the profit your business makes from any given customer. The purpose of the customer lifetime value metric is to assess the financial value of each customer, or from a typical customer in case you’re measuring it generally.

To calculate it, take the revenue you earn from a customer, subtract out the money spent on serving them, and see for how long they stay bringing you this profit before churning.

LTV = ARPA * % Gross Margin / % MRR Churn Rate”

Customer Retention Rate (CRR)

“Simply put, customer retention rate is the percentage of customers you keep relative to the number you had at the start of your period. This does not count new customers. It is the reverse of customer churn.

There are three pieces of information you need to calculate customer retention:

Number of customer at the end of a period (E)
Number of new customers acquired during that period (N)
Number of customers at the start of that period (S)

Customer Retention Rate = ((E-N)/S)*100”

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer Satisfaction, or CSAT, is a metric that measures how happy people are with your product or service. Usually, the CSAT score is the product of one, straightforward question: How would you describe your overall satisfaction with this product?

Fan/ Follower Growth

This is a metric to show how good your social media account/ page is in attracting and retaining fans. It is measured by the total number of new fans/ followers over a specific time period.

Fan/ Follower Growth Rate

“This is a metric to show how good your social media account/ page is in attracting and retaining fans. It is measured by the percentage increase in the total no of fans/ followers over a specific time period.

Influencer Comments/likes ratio

Comments/likes ratio is measured for the influencer posts that are specifically on your brand or product. It measures the engagement that you’ve managed to garnered through the influencer. https://influencermarketinghub.com/8-metrics-to-review-before-collaborating-with-an-influencer

Influencer Engagement

Consider engagement as any interaction between an influencer’s post, such as likes, comments or video views. So in this case it would be the percentage of the audience that interacts with the influencer’s specific posts that relate to your brand. https://influencermarketinghub.com/8-metrics-to-review-before-collaborating-with-an-influencer/

Influencer Post frequency

How many posts does the influencer you are interested share per week on your specific brand? Normally, these metrics are pre-determined by the campaign specs that you send to an influencer or an influencer marketing agency. https://influencermarketinghub.com/8-metrics-to-review-before-collaborating-with-an-influencer/

Net Promoter Score

To calculate this one, customers answer the question, How likely is it that you would recommend [your company] to a friend or colleague? using a scale of 0-to-10 points.

Quote Tweets

While a simple retweet merely shares another person’s tweet, a quote tweet lets you share another person’s tweet and add your own comments to it. Quote tweets are often simply referred to as a “Retweet with comment.”

Referral Traffic (Influencer)

The Referral Traffic metric allows your team to monitor how much of their traffic is through referrals, and where the bulk of these referrals are coming from. This metric is calculated by (Traffic coming from other sites/Total traffic)x100

Repeat Visitors/ Users

This shows you the number of repeat visitors that have returned to your website or blog over a specific time period.

Response Rate

“The Response Rate metric helps your team understand how engaged their users are, and if their messaging prompts responses effectively.

Formula
(Customers responding/Customers exposed to communications)x100”

Retweets

A count of how many times the Tweet has been Retweeted (ie shared further on Twitter). Please note: This does not include Quote Tweets (“Retweets with comment”).

Value Per Customer

“Understanding customer value is by far the most important thing you can do to identify ways to grow your business. If you understand the value of your customers you can:

• Determine which customers to invest in
• Identify new customers and markets to target
• Agree which product and service lines should be offered and promoted
• Change pricing to extract more value
• Identify the unprofitable customers you should “fire”
• Understand where to cut costs and investments that are not generating growth

STEP 1: Calculate the profit contribution of each customer in the current year
STEP 2: Develop a realistic estimate of how long you might retain each customer
STEP 3: Estimate the cost to acquire or retain the customer”

Value Per Visitor

The value of each visit is a simple metric to understand, but much harder to calculate. Basically, it asks how much each visit is worth. The simplest way to calculate this is by the number of visits divided by total value created.

 

Determining your fan/ follower growth rate is simple. Here’s how:

1. Take the number of followers you gained over the last month.
2. Divide that number by the number of followers you had at the beginning of the month. For instance, if you gained 90 followers this month and had 1500 followers at the start of the month, your follower growth rate this month was 90/1500 = 0.06, or 6%.n”

Virality Rate

“Virality Rate is the number of people who shared your post relative to the number of unique views (i.e., impressions) it had during a reporting period.
STEP 1: Measure a post’s impressions.
STEP 2: Measure a post’s shares.
STEP 3: Divide the number of shares by the number of impressions and multiply by 100 to get your virality rate percentage.”

 

Additional Social Media Metrics

Activity Metrics

These are the metrics that show what actions you are engaging in. It includes posting, scheduling and optimizing content, answering questions and solving problems. Though it might seem trivial, these data will increasingly become more relevant as you decide to experiment on different aspects of the Digital Marketing campaign.

Average response time

The average time it takes a team member or brand representative to respond to comments and inquiries from the brand’s social media audience.

Content rate

“The number of pieces of content you produce per period. Depending on which types of content you focus on, you might want to content post rate apart, focusing on:

• Blog posts per period
• Presentations per period
• Videos per period
• E-books per period
• White papers per period
• Infographics per period
• Other types of content creation per period”

Post rate

“Number of social media posts per period. Depending on which networks you’re active on, you might want to break post rate apart, focusing on:

• Tweets per period
• Facebook posts per period
• LinkedIn updates per period
• Google+ updates per period
• Pins per period
• Instagram posts per period
• Forum posts per period and any other social media networks you frequent”

Post topic mix

The percentage of posts to each social media network per period broken down by content topic (e.g. resources, special offers, blog posts, etc.)

Post type mix

The percentage of posts to each social media network per period broken down by type (e.g., image, link, video, text, poll, etc.).

Social media marketing budget

The amount of money your team is spending per period

Reach Metrics

Metrics that measure on potential audience’s size and growth rate are crucial to marketers as this is an indication as to how well your marketing pitch is reaching out to your audiences. Let’s review some of these metrics here.

Audience growth rate

The rate at which a brand adds (or loses) audience members per channel, found by dividing new audience members by total audience members

Average position

The average position where a brand’s ad appeared on a search engine results page (with the top position on the page being 1)

Brand awareness

The overall number of mentions of your brand online per period

Influence score

Influence scores, offered by providers like Klout and Kred, measure how influential a person or brand is on a particular social channel

Keyword frequency

The number of times that a particular keyword or phrase is found within a brand’s social graph

Post reach

The estimated number of people who see a specific piece of your content at least once during a time period

Potential impressions

The number of times a piece of content could be displayed, regardless of whether it is interacted with, during a time period

Potential reach

The potential number of people in a brand’s audience, compounded by friends of audience members or others in a community who could have the opportunity to see a piece content, during a period of time

Sentiment

Percentage of overall brand mentions that are positive, neutral and/or negative in sentiment

Share of audience

The rough percentage of people a brand will reach as compared to its competitors

Share of engagement

How a brand’s engagement metrics compare to others in similar fields

Share of voice

How big a brand’s portion of the conversation is compared to others in their space

Video views

Number of views your video content gets on channels like YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook

Acquisition Metrics

This is the stage where your audiences are delving deeper into your site and see what it has to offer. This metric centers on matching up with what you are offering to the experience that your client is expecting.

Blog subscribers

Number of subscribers to your blog

Click-throughs

The number of clicks on a link within a post on a given social network

Email subscriptions

Number of subscribers to your email list

Links

Number of pages linking to a specific page of content on your site

Micro-conversions

Any measurable activity that a brand’s users frequently engage in before a conversion

Page views

Number of pages viewed or clicked on a site during the given time
Percentage of social visits The percentage of traffic to your site that is referred by a social media source

Rank per keyword

Average position your content earns in a search engine for a specific key word or phrase

Traffic ratio

“Percentage of traffic from each of three main segments, including:

• Direct visitors – Those who visit your site by directly typing your url in their browser address bar,
• Search visitors – Those who visit your site based on a search query
• Referral visitors –Those who find your site through another blog or site.”

Retention Metrics

One of the components of a successful digital marketing campaign is to be able to track and measure retention metrics. Once you understand their usefulness, you can then start to use them to determine whether your digital marketing campaigns are successful or not.

Amount spent

Amount spent in your account currency

Avg. canvas view percentage

The average percentage of the Facebook Canvas that people saw. Canvas is a screen that opens on mobile after a person clicks the Canvas link in your ad. It may include a series of interactive or multimedia components, including video, images, product catalogs and more.

Avg. canvas view time

The average total time, in seconds, that people spent viewing a Facebook Canvas. Canvas is a screen that opens on mobile after a person clicks the Canvas link in your ad. It may include a series of interactive or multimedia components, including video, images, product catalogs and more.

Brand evangelists

Number of customers your brand would consider evangelists based on their social media advocacy

Customer annual or lifetime value

A prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer

Customer reviews/ratings

Number of positive or negative customer reviews or ratings received per period

Customer satisfaction

A measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation

Customer satisfaction rate

A score expressed as a per­cent­age between 0 and 100, with 100% rep­re­sent­ing com­plete cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion. This metric is most often deter­mined by a sin­gle ques­tion in follow-up sur­veys along the lines of, How would you rate your over­all sat­is­fac­tion with the ser­vice you received?

Customer testimonials

Number of positive customer testimonials gathered per period
K-factor The growth rate of websites, apps, or a customer base
Support cost per ticket The total monthly operating expense of a support team divided by the monthly ticket volume

Customer turnover rate/churn

A measure of the number of customers who leave over a specific period of time

K-factor

The growth rate of websites, apps, or a customer base.

Outbound clicks

The number of clicks on links that take people off Facebook-owned properties

Relevance score

A rating from 1 to 10 that estimates how well your target audience is responding to your ad. This score is shown after your ad receives more than 500 impressions.

Social clicks (all) (deprecated)

The number of clicks (all) when your ad was displayed with social information, which shows other Facebook friends who engaged with your Facebook Page or ad.

Social impressions

The number of times your ads were viewed when displayed with social information, which shows Facebook friends who engaged with your Facebook Page or ad.

Social reach

The number of people who saw your ad when displayed with social information, which shows other Facebook friends who engaged with your Facebook Page or ad.

Support cost per ticket

The total monthly operating expense of a support team divided by the monthly ticket volume

ThruPlay actions

The number of times your video was played to completion, or for at least 15 seconds.

Unique outbound clicks

The number of people who performed an outbound click

Unique social clicks (all) (deprecated)

The number of people who performed a click (all) on your ad when it was displayed with social information, which shows other Facebook friends who engaged with your Facebook Page or ad.

In Summary

The above information serves as a very good glossary of social media metrics and will definitely benefit you on your next social media project that involves analytics. These metrics will give you a good overview of your social media performance. With time and new goals, you will have more new and nuanced metrics to make them more relevant to your business.

At Equinet Academy, we have a Certified Digital Marketing Strategist (CDMS) programme that give you a more comprehensive overview of Digital Marketing. It consists of 6 core Digital Marketing modules that include :

The completion of these modules will lead the learners to attain a Certified Digital Marketing Strategist Certificate.

Social-Media-Logos

Social media is ubiquitous. Look at the screen of the smartphone of the person nearest to you. Chances are that he or she would be perusing a social networking site like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn or YouTube.

With the surge in use of social media, businesses and companies have started seeing the value of including it in their marketing mix. If used correctly, social media is a great place to increase brand awareness, acquire customers, and get more leads and conversions.

However, it can be challenging developing and executing a social media marketing framework.

One key ingredient of succeeding on social media is to have strategy. Without a strategy, you could be maintaining relevance on social media platforms for the sake of being present. Without understanding your goals and objectives, your target audience, and what they want, you can hardly achieve any results from social media marketing.

Starting out and don’t have a social media marketing strategy in place yet? This guide outlines the key steps you need to build an effective and systematic social media marketing plan.

Why Do You Need A Social Media-Marketing Framework?

First things first. Why do you need a framework to tie your social media marketing efforts to?

Well, social media marketing is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. To enjoy success in your social media marketing plans and digital marketing strategy as a whole, you’ll need a precise sequence of processes to follow.

A social media marketing framework will also help your business or brand tackle to its marketing goals with a sense of direction. It acts as a guiding light that marketers use to achieve your social media marketing goals.

A successful framework can also help your business to drive online traffic and enjoy a resultant higher return on investment when you supplement it with other paid marketing efforts.

Ready to rock and roll on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and other social media channels? Let’s dive right into the framework!

  1. Discover
  2. Define
  3. Develop
  4. Deliver
  5. Measure
  6. Manage

equinet-academy-six-steps-social-media-marketing-framework

#1 Discover Social Media Channels

Is Instagram the right app to expand your brand? Does your startup need a Facebook account? Should you jump onboard on all social networks to maximize your reach?

Well, with many social media channels available, deciding which one deserves your marketing attention can be difficult. Nonetheless, the first step to establishing an effective social media-marketing framework is finding out the best social media channel for your business. If you are just getting started, this might be challenging.

Contrary to what many people believe, you don’t necessarily have to be present on every network. For the majority of businesses, it is more effective to handpick social media platforms that make more sense and are suitable to their brand rather than to spread their efforts everywhere.

That said, below are some of the main social media channels you should consider when building a social media marketing framework.

YouTube

YouTube is the best platform for businesses and brands where producing videos isn’t extraordinarily challenging or difficult. It is the best platform to build an online video portfolio, attract subscribers, and to generate organic video views. You can also use YouTube to educate your audience and establish thought leadership.

In general, YouTube is a good platform for B2B and B2C marketing, increasing brand awareness, educating your audience, and generating leads.

Pros

  • Second largest search engine
  • Few brands are on YouTube, hence it is easier to stand out
  • Subscribers can help you to attract a regular YouTube audience

Cons

  • Producing a video can be expensive
  • Intrusive ad formats

Should You use YouTube?

If you are in a position to produce high-quality video content that makes the most from the YouTube video formats, this can be a good platform of choice. It also brings a lot of organic opportunities, thanks to its expanded online community and Google search integration. To succeed in the platform, you should create practical and useful videos, which could be in the form of product reviews, how-to videos, tutorials, and more. You should also promote your channel on other social platforms to build a bigger following.

Facebook

Facebook is undoubtedly the most popular social media platform, currently enjoying more than 2.2 billion monthly users. The platform provides a plethora of both organic and paid advertising opportunities, which explains why most B2C marketers prefer the platform. It offers endless engagement opportunities by allowing brands to encourage their followers to share, comment, and like their posts. Marketers can also leverage various posting options, including videos, images and articles linking back to their websites.

Pros

  • Highly targeted ads
  • Most popular social media platform
  • Invaluable insights on campaign performance

Cons

  • High competition
  • Difficulty in lead generation

Should you use Facebook?

If you are a B2C business with the primary goals of increasing brand awareness, providing customer service, increasing engagement, leads and conversions, you should consider using Facebook.

What about B2B businesses? Well, from what we’ve seen thus far, companies seeking to reach out to small businesses and start-ups can gain tremendous leverage by promoting themselves on Facebook. However, not so for those looking to market themselves to corporates and larger firms.

LinkedIn

With over 660 million users, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network. LinkedIn is the best platform to post professional resources, company news, job postings, and insightful articles.

One crucial aspect of LinkedIn is its business-minded user-base. People subscribing to the network are ready to discuss business or professional opportunities when the time is right. That aside, LinkedIn has less sophisticated ad targeting options, unlike Facebook.

Pros

  • Definitive B2B platform
  • Business-minded users
  • Ability to reach large companies and professionals (high-value prospects)

Cons

  • Higher advertising costs
  • Difficult to do direct selling

Should you use LinkedIn?

You should consider using LinkedIn if you want to connect with decision-makers and executives in your target companies. It provides a good platform to establish your brand as an industry authority by providing in-depth and data-driven content. This space also makes it easy to differentiate your brand from the competition.

Instagram

Instagram was a fast rising social media star some years back – today, it has become the social media giant that everybody is talking about!

Currently, the platform has surpassed 1 billion monthly active users and is growing much faster than Facebook, its parent company. Of the one billion users, more than 70 percent are below the age of 35, making it the best place for brands with content targeting Generation Z and millennials.

Like its parent company, Instagram has highly sophisticated targeting options, allowing marketers to pitch to the most relevant audiences. It is also purely a visual platform, thus a good choice for brands that create highly visual content such as luxury businesses, fashion, food, and travel.

Pros

  • Fast-growing user base
  • High engagement
  • Great for visual branding
  • Connections with millennials and generation Z

Cons

  • Demanding content creation
  • Less effective for website traffic

Should you use Instagram?

Instagram cannot be compared to Facebook in terms of audience size but is growing quickly. Besides, it is the go-to platform for generation Z and millennials, who are slowly losing interest in Facebook. Whereas Facebook makes a good choice for B2B and B2C brands, Instagram is great for rolling out consumer campaigns for aesthetically focused industries.

Twitter

Is Twitter still a thing? Even with approximately 330 million monthly users, Twitter’s audience cannot match Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn as far as audience size is concerned.

However, it is the perfect platform to reach a highly engaged and content-hungry audience, which makes it an ideal platform to share regularly tweet links to your blog, your YouTube videos, or your website landing pages.

Twitter is best for B2B branding, content promotion, establishing brand awareness, providing customer service, and engaging with thought leaders. However, it does require commitment as you’ll need far more tweets per day to get an engaged audience relative to other social networks.

Pros

  • Highly engaged audience
  • Organic reach reduces dependability on ads
  • Good source for traffic

Cons

  • Short content lifespan – unless you republish
  • Pricey advertising
  • Requires a lot of content
  • Limited analytics

Should you use Twitter?

With organic reach, Twitter is a good platform for B2C and B2B brands looking to capitalize on social media marketing. It is also a good backup plan if the competition on Facebook heats up. Unlike other platforms, you can directly engage with decision-makers, executives, consumer audience, and freelancers.

However, Twitter is full of noise and content clutter, plus the need for higher frequency of content makes it less tenable for overworked social media marketers!

Know where you stand

In assessing which channel works best for your organisation, you will first need to know where you stand in each of your social media channels. Here are three things you can do.

Social media audit

Conduct a comprehensive social media audit to determine how well your social media channels are performing. This will include Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like the number of fans or followers you have, frequency of updates, and levels of engagement (likes, comments and shares).

Customer Persona Development

You need to understand your target audience. Describe the demographics (age, education, income, etc), psychographics (interests, lifestyles, and attitudes) and online behaviours of your target customers. Zoom in on how they search for content online, and determine what keywords they use.

Competitor Analysis

Identify your competitors and measure how you square against them online. Here, tools like Fanpage Karma or Buzzsumo will be handy as you can track the frequency of your competitor’s social media posts, level of engagement, as well as their most shared content.

#2 Define Customers and Marketing Goals

Like other digital marketing strategies, social media marketing works best when you have clearly defined audiences and actionable goals. Therefore, before getting into the details of developing content and deciding on the right activities, you should identify your customer base and set clear and measurable marketing goals. This will not only keep you focused but enable you to track the impact and success of your social media marketing framework.

Set Right Social Media Marketing Goals

Marketing goals come in all sizes and shapes. This makes it necessary to identify some key features that describe good social media marketing goals. Good marketing goals should have the following qualities:

  1. Be SMART – like any other objective goals, your social media-marketing framework goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
  2. Be audience-centered – social media channels are human-centric platforms. Therefore, you should work to translate your customer’s journey with audience-specific goals.
  3. Be tied to organizational impact – good goals should be tied to the outcome, and not the activity. For instance, how much revenue do you want to increase by next year?

Assigning specific goals to a specific social network is effective as user behavior differs from one platform to another. For instance, an ecommerce business may use Instagram to build brand awareness, YouTube to educate users on how its products work, and Facebook conversion ads to drive sales.

In general, social media marketing goals may include any of the following:

  1. Drive more traffic to your website
  2. Increase revenue by increasing sales or signups
  3. Increase brand awareness
  4. Generate leads
  5. Build a committed community around your business
  6. Increase influencer mentions
  7. Boost brand engagement

Build Customer Profile or Avatar

Having identified your goals, you should then proceed to identify and describe your target audience. Understanding your audience will make it easier to figure out what, where, and when are you going to share on a specific platform.

For an effective social media marketing framework, you should consider the following target audience groups:

  1. Fans – Building a good relationship with this audience and attracting more brings in the greatest traffic.
  2. Prospects and Leads – this is the second category of audience you should consider growing next. Such “aspirational” audiences are important for your business growth in the next coming years.
  3. Loyalists and Advocates – this is the category of audience that can lift your brand and reach more customers through content sharing.

Having identified your audience, you should then proceed to understand them on a deeper level. The better you know and understand your audience, the better and effective your social media marketing strategy will be. To define your persona, consider the following questions:

  1. What are your audience goals, motivation, questions, and pain points?
  2. What are their demographic characteristics?
  3. What are their lifestyles, traits, values, habits?

Making assumptions about your target audience is dangerous for brands and businesses. To avoid this, leverage the various social media analytics tools that can help your business define your target audience with ease.

Develop a Social Media Content Matrix

Next, consider developing a social media content matrix to track your social media marketing efforts and match them against your marketing goals in the best way possible. This can be through the entire Social Media Marketing Funnel, where different content types and formats are used for different stages of the customer journey.

equinet-academy-social-media-marketing-funnel

In developing the content matrix, consider what’s suitable for your audience at that specific stage of their journey. Here’s an example of how it would look at the Awareness stage of social media marketing.

social-media-tracking-matrix

#3 Develop Effective Social Media Content

An effective social media marketing strategy should be centered on producing quality content.

You should have a content plan and an outline of what you will publish across the channels. Based on your brand identity and goals, you should have a good idea of what you want to publish on which social channels.

Organizing content in your social media marketing framework is beneficial as it will help you plan and produce content in batches and enables you to measure the success of each content.

With a content marketing strategy, you should ensure that you post content that makes your audience share, care, aware, and convert.

  1. Content that will make your audience care – there are various forms of content that will make your audience care. The general rule is that you shouldn’t just interrupt what people are doing, but rather what will interest people. Examples of attention grabbing content include funny content, useful content, inspiring, as well as beautiful content.
  2. Content that will make your audience share – for your users to share content, they should be engaged by your content through emotions. Therefore, you should post content that evokes strong emotions that arouse them to share.
  3. Content that makes your audience aware – one of the primary goals of social media marketing is increasing brand awareness. Brand awareness simply is a collection of unconscious associations in a potential customer’s mind.
  4. Content that makes your audience convert – once you’ve made your audience aware, you should then focus on making them convert. Do this by developing content that provides value to them either in the form of useful content, or attractive incentives and offers.

Best Practice Content Examples

Here are some examples of effective Facebook content that seeks to achieve a few of the goals above.

why-degree-are-useless

NAS Daily uses attention-grabbing headlines and provocative visuals to draw viewers into clicking on their videos.

Dollar-shave-club-how-to-hate-working-out-a-little-less

Dollar Shave Club uses attractive illustrations and witty copy to address their fans’ pain points and boost engagement.

Note that content creation should be based on the unique characteristics of social media channels. YouTube, for instance, will thrive well on video content. Instagram and Facebook, on the other hand, are more of visual platforms that require the use of images and videos, while LinkedIn performs better with content that helps professionals do better at work and in life.

Viral Storytelling

Everyone wants to go viral, but what exactly makes a post go around? One way is to newsjack, which simply means to inject your story into a breaking news story. Another is by following the 6 STEPPS to virality, which includes factors such as social currency, triggers, and emotion.

However, the most failproof way to consistently engage your audience is to plan and deliver good quality, highly relevant content. To achieve this, you should consider the best practices for each of the social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

#4 Deliver Social Media Results

If your business or brand had already been active on social media, you should audit your current marketing activities and their successes. This will enable you to note low-impact channels and save time and effort in your marketing strategies in the future. You can do this by mapping out various active social media channels in a spreadsheet.

Increasingly, organic reach on most social media platforms – especially those controlled by Facebook – have dropped to abysmal levels. To circumvent this, it is necessary for you to invest some money in social media advertising.

The advantage of advertising on social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram include the ability to target a well-defined audience as well as to amplify the results of a good performing post. You can also tap on paid advertising on social networks to grow your online community, generate leads, and trigger sales.

Here is one case study of how you can address the pain points of your audience via Facebook ads to generate leads. Here, you’ll notice that the ads are timed to coincide with the release of the academic calendar of PSLE, and addresses what parents may be thinking about. It is also specifically targeted at parents of primary school age children.

mindchamps-singapore-fb-ads

Other than paid advertising, you can also tap on influencers in your niche to share your posts, or interview them in a blog article and then getting them to share it (more in #6 Manage Social Media Community).

#5 Measure Social Media Marketing Results

Measuring your social media marketing results is certainly not easy, especially if you are using multiple channels, but it can certainly be done. The good thing about social media analytics is that most of the social media platform owners have provided easy-to-interpret social media metrics and analytics that you can tap on.

You can measure the success of social media marketing in two methods:

  • Ongoing analytics: As the name suggests, these track activity over time and are necessary for keeping track of the performance of your social media channel’s organic results.
  • Campaign focused metrics: Campaign focused metrics are those which can help you to identify the effectiveness of targeted social media advertising campaigns on a Cost Per Result basis.

An effective social media-marketing framework should use both methods to analyze results. Some of the performance indicators may include the following:

  1. An increase in the number of followers – the number of followers or friends on your social media platform reflects your brand’s popularity. Gaining more fans online helps to increase brand trust and reduce the perceived risks which your potential customers may have.
  2. Reactions, comments and shares on your post – checking through your audience interactions on your post can help you determine what works and what doesn’t. With this, you can focus on sharing more of such good performing posts.
  3. Social media reach – this can be evaluated based on the number of people who have seen your posts.
  4. Referral traffic – Google analytics can help you monitor referral traffic from social media platforms using UTM parameters.
  5. The Click Through Rate (CTR) is associated with direct conversions. A higher CTR implies that your campaign is more effective as your ads and posts are able to convince a higher proportion of viewers to click on them to visit your landing page.

equinet-academy-social-funnel-analytics

By mapping your social media metrics against your social media marketing funnel, you can better diagnose at which stage your social media marketing strategies or tactics require tweaking. You can use tools like the social media insights (eg Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter Insights) as well as their Ad Managers to measure and monitor what your respective KPIs at each level is.

#6 Manage Social Media Communities

Developing and sharing high-quality content is very important. However, it is equally essential to have a plan of when and how you will share your content to have maximum impact.

Creating a Social Media Calendar

Therefore, making a social media content calendar is essential as it will account for the time you spent on posting content on your various social networks as well as the time spent interacting with them.

A social media content calendar should have a posting schedule, which are the dates and times at which you publish content on every channel. Before deciding the exact times and dates to post, you should consider the behavior of your target audience. Some examples to guide you on this include:

  1. Events and Festivals: Sports fans are more active and find content to interact with on social media before, during, and after sports events.
  2. Seasonal Peaks: Those who love to travel are active on social media during weekends when planning for their next trips.

You should also plot your content mix. Ensure that your content reflects the mission you have assigned to each social profile to support your business goals.

Finally, you should consider amplifying your social media marketing framework. This can be done effectively engaging the right social media influencers. Influencers are social media users established as “brands” with a huge following. Having such people market your products and services increases your brand awareness, enables you to reach a new audience, and increases the credibility of your brand.

A Framework for Managing Communities

A comprehensive community management plan should follow this broad framework: Recruit, Engage, Sustain, and Advocate.

The first step is to recruit the right followers, but before you jump into that, you will need to have some good quality content on your social media platform. Take for example, Whole Foods Market Facebook page, which focused on delivering fresh and wholesome recipe ideas to their fans.

how-to-make-chia-seed-pudding

The next steps are to engage and sustain. To do this well, you will need to establish clear community guidelines in order to build a culture of mutual respect, trust and authenticity. It is also good practice to listen to your customer’s needs and wants, and to make them the centre of your engagement efforts, not your brand. Some ideas here include sharing customer stories and testimonials, and rewarding them regularly.

The final step is to achieve advocacy. You can begin to do this by noticing who your most loyal fans are and acknowledging them by reaching out to thank them, or asking them for their views and advice on how to enhance your page or platform offerings. From time to time, you can even use a sweetener to encourage your fans to spread the word about your community, but do this sparingly.

You can also consider working with influencers as part of your advocacy strategy in social media marketing. There are several ways to work with them depending on their “celebrity” status – macro-influencers often require payment while micro-influencers may be willing to participate in return for some in-kind benefits like merchandise or lifestyle experiences.

The Bottom Line

Social media marketing is a constantly evolving and revolving digital marketing strategy.

New networks constantly emerge. Algorithms shift as social media owners seek to maximise profitability and increase users’ time spent. Significant shifts in demographics and user interfaces may also result.

While the content types may change, the core principles of crafting an effective social media marketing framework and strategy do not vary that much. Having said that, you should refer to the framework often, and not be afraid to make changes that will make it reflect your new goals, plans, and use of tools.

If you are working as a team, ensure that you inform your team members if you update your social strategy. It is through this that you can work together to make the most from your social media accounts.


Ready To Learn More? Sign Up For Our Social Media Marketing Course!

What we have touched on above is just the icing on the cake.

In our two-day social media marketing course, we cover a detailed six-step process focusing on the most important social networks you need to know. You will be equipped with the hands-on knowledge and valuable tools to strengthen both your skills and knowledge of social media marketing. We have to be mindful that Social Media Marketing is just one of the Digital Marketing channels. At Equinet Academy, we cover all the 6 Core Modules of Digital Marketing that include :

The completion of these modules will lead the learners to attain a Certified Digital Marketing Strategist Certificate.

what-are-the-benefits-of-social-media-marketing

Is Social Media Marketing the best digital marketing strategy for you? Why should you consider it over other strategies like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

Social Media Marketing involves using social networks to create, curate and share valuable content with a targeted audience in order to market a company’s products and services. The goals of social media marketing are to increase brand awareness, build online communities, attract leads and generate revenue.

The leading social media platforms where social media marketing takes place include Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Snapchat. 

Increasingly, new platforms and social media apps like TikTok, Telegram and WeChat have started to make their presence felt around the world. 

A wide range of online apps and tools are also available to assist your company in your social media marketing efforts. 

These tools can help you to create quality content or optimize your social media advertising efforts – the good thing is that most of these tools are available for free.

Why Social Media Marketing is Important

So why is Social Media Marketing so important for businesses in the digital age? Here are some reasons to consider.

Extensive Reach of Social Networks

There are currently more than 3.5 billion users on social media around the world, and together all users represent approximately 46 percent of the total population. That means that virtually every other person whom you meet on the street has a Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, WeChat, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, or other social media account!

Here are the number of users of some of the most popular social networks around the world:

  • Facebook: Over 2.45 billion monthly active users (source)
  • YouTube: Over 2 billion monthly active users (source)
  • WhatsApp: Approximately 1.60 billion monthly active users (source)
  • WeChat: Approximately 1.1 billion users (source)
  • Instagram Over 1 billion monthly active users (source)
  • Linkedin: Over 610 million users (source)

Time Spent on Social Media

Having many users on social networking sites isn’t the full story. Many people spend many hours on social networking websites too.

According to Statista, users spend on average 2 hours and 23 minutes on social networks every single day. In some countries, that probably represents the bulk of their free-time on screens, with users in the Philippines spending almost 4 hours a day on social media networks!

Lower Trust in Traditional Media Channels

Beyond the time spent, social media channels like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn can also be powerful personal communication channels. 

Consumers are more likely to trust a recommendation from someone whom they know on social media compared to an ad that they see on television, a bus-stop shelter, newspaper or magazine. This powerful Word-Of-Mouth (WOM) effect of social media also means that you can use social proof (ie the number of likes, comments and shares on a post) to help to reach a larger number of people on social media.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing?

Now that you’ve learned about the importance of social media channels for your marketing efforts, the next thing you need to know are the advantages of social media marketing relative to other marketing strategies.

Advantages of Social Media Marketing Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing
Ubiquity among Users Difficulty in Measuring ROI
Mobile-First Social Networks Control Handed Over to Consumers
Less Technically Challenging Slow to Achieve ROI yet Time-Consuming
Relatively low to no cost (compared to other digital marketing strategies) Easy to Start – Difficult to Master
Relatively untapped in Singapore Government influence on social media
Gain market and audience insights Recurrent algorithm changes on social networks
Great for brand awareness and consideration Tight Competition
Complements off-page SEO efforts
Ability to trigger social sharing and virality
Ability to build brand affinity and thought leadership
Ability to foster brand advocacy and build community
Able to engage friends and family of users
Multimedia content formats (especially videos) help to improve brand storytelling
Simplify Complex Concepts with Visual Storytelling
Good for contests and other promotional campaigns
Ability to Deliver Customer Service

Advantages of Social Media Marketing

Ubiquity among Users

The pervasiveness of social networks among close to half of the global population means that it is relatively easier to reach your target audience through a social network than through any other online or offline channel.

This is especially important given the increasingly fragmented attention span of the average consumer – especially the younger generations.

Mobile-First Social Networks

Virtually all social networking websites and apps – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and TikTok – are optimized for smartphones. Given the preference for consuming social media content on a mobile phone relative to other screens like desktops and tablets, the mobile-friendliness of social networks make them powerful platforms for marketing.

Less Technically Challenging

Comparatively speaking, social media marketing has a lower technical barrier of entry compared to other digital marketing disciplines like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, Marketing Automation, or Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

While it is strongly recommended that websites should form part and parcel of your digital marketing arsenal, social media marketing allows any user to tap on his or her company or individual pages to reach new customers.

Relatively low to no cost (compared to other digital marketing strategies)

Membership to virtually all social networking websites is free. You can set up an individual profile or a company page on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter without paying a single cent. Ditto for creating a YouTube channel.

Relatively untapped in Singapore

While Singapore has a relatively high number of social media users (approximately 76 percent are active on social media), most companies are still laggards when it comes to tapping on social media to grow their business.

Gain market and audience insights

Every social network offers some form of analytics – from Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, to Instagram and Pinterest. Provided free to users, these metrics allow you to learn more about your customer behaviours as well as your competitor actions. In the case of Facebook, you can even see what ads your competitors are running, or to monitor how effective their posts over the past week were! 

Great for brand awareness and consideration

Social Media Marketing is good for generating brand awareness and consideration – these are known as Top Of Funnel (TOFU) strategies in digital marketing. Thus, social networking websites like Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn are ideal for new brands seeking to build greater awareness and affinity to a cold audience.

Complements off-page SEO efforts

While shares on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn may not directly contribute to the number of backlinks to a webpage, they can certainly help to indirectly improve the SEO ranking of the page through indirect methods. This may include making your content more discoverable and possibly increasing the likelihood of a high authority website linking to you. 

Ability to trigger social sharing and virality

Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube are made for virality. This may take place directly on the platform itself through shared posts or retweets, or through shares made on instant messages.

Ability to build brand affinity and thought leadership

Social networks are excellent platforms to build brand affinity and thought leadership. You can do this by regularly sharing helpful content and offering insights and perspectives on the latest developments in your industry. 

Ability to foster brand advocacy and build community

Heard of the term “Citizen Marketer”? Coined by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba, it is used to refer to the phenomenon whereby power users of your brand take it upon themselves to promote your business – often without any form of payment or incentive. This is often mediated by social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, online forums, and Instant Messaging apps like WhatsApp or Telegram.

Able to engage friends and family of users 

As highlighted earlier, social media provides a more intimate experience relative to other digital and non-digital channels. This allows your brand to trigger WOM effects more easily.

Multimedia content formats (especially videos) help to improve brand storytelling

From live video streaming, articles, photos, and videos, to creating ‘stories’, social networks like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube offer multiple ways to share your content. These rich multimedia formats help to make brand storytelling more compelling.

Simplify Complex Concepts with Visual Storytelling

In a related fashion, social channels can help B2B brands (and some knowledge-based B2C brands) to simplify esoteric and complex concepts, and break them down into easier-to-digest chunks of snackable content. This includes short video snippets, infographics, animated shorts, eBooks, and other visual content types.

Good for contests and other promotional campaigns

Nothing beats a Facebook or Instagram contest when it comes to gaining fresh eyeballs and new followers to your brand. While there may be some contest fatigue in recent years due to overuse, most brands still find some benefit in organizing the occasional giveaway to spike consumer interest.

Ability to Deliver Customer Service

The standard these days is for Facebook pages and Twitter accounts of companies to serve as customer service channels. Responding effectively to customers on these channels may win you new ardent fans – provided of course you do it right!

What are the Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing?

While social media channels may confer numerous benefits to firms that get it right, mastering the art and science of social media marketing isn’t just a walk-in-the-park. 

Here are some of the challenges that you may face in using social networks to marketing your brand.

Difficulty in Measuring ROI

According to this article in Forbes, over 44 percent of businesses are unable to measure their ROI on social media. Apparently, only 20 percent of CMOs are able to accurately quantify the financial returns that they can glean from their efforts in social media.

Control Handed Over to Consumers

This is the age-old challenge that virtually all brands face in social media – consumers complaining and talking bad about your brand either on your page or on another platform. This could negatively affect your brand and result in the need for crisis management and damage control.

Slow to Achieve ROI yet Time-Consuming

If you think about the story of the Hare and the Tortoise, social media marketing is probably more akin to the latter than the former. 

You not only have to spend a considerable amount of time to keep “plodding on” in social media, you’ll also need to consider the long-term goal of establishing trust, building a brand, and generating leads on social media.

This is backed by a study by Social Media Examiner, which revealed that 59 percent of small business users did not see ROI from their social media activities. 

Easy to Start – Difficult to Master

It is virtually child’s play to shoot an Instagram story, add a couple of interesting stickers, or to conduct a poll on Facebook. However, getting results from your social media marketing efforts is another thing altogether. A study from Adestra and Ascend2 found social media marketing to be one of the most effective but difficult digital marketing tactics to execute.

Government influence on social media

Every day, you’ll hear or read about how governments around the world are clamping down on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Such sanctions may make potential customers shy away from social media, and this could reduce the effectiveness of using social networks for marketing purposes.

Recurrent algorithm changes on social networks

Social networking websites like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn are constantly tweaking their formulas to maximise their profits and nudge brands to spend more on advertising. This means that your organic reach is likely to reduce further each year unless you invest time and effort to cultivate your social media following while strategically investing in the right type of ads to influence your followers.

Tight Competition

Social networks are getting increasingly crowded. Ditto for advertisers.

In fact, it is a well-known fact that Facebook is running out of ad inventory – this could make it harder (and more expensive) to boost your posts or advertise on the world’s largest social network.

Conclusion

Social media marketing has grown in leaps and bounds in the 2010s and will continue to gain prominence in the 2020s. As a marketing platform, it is superior to many online and offline channels where it comes to affordability and reach. Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram also provide numerous benefits to brands, and are widely known as the “most viral” online channels. 

However, social media marketing does come with its challenges. To the uninitiated, these disadvantages can be daunting – the way to overcome them is to ensure that you apply the best practices in social media marketing. 


Ready To Learn More? Sign Up For Our Digital Marketing Courses!

What we have touched on above is just the icing on the cake.

In the two-day social media marketing course, we shall cover a detailed six-step process focusing on the most important social networks you need to know. You will be equipped with hands-on knowledge and valuable tools to strengthen both your skills and knowledge of social media marketing. Also at Equinet Academy, we have a Certified Digital Marketing Strategist (CDMS) programme that showcases different facets of Digital Marketing. These include :

These various Digital Marketing modules that allows a learner to apply actionable strategies into his digital project will definitely be beneficial to you.

CoSchedule Social Media Analytics

Any business that uses social media among its online tools needs to be sure it’s also using analytics to measure the effectiveness of those tools.

Analytics will help your business identify relevant data, and analyze and interpret that data. Such analysis and interpretation will allow you to make data-driven decisions about your business and its campaigns, rather than stumbling in the darkness without such valuable information.

As cited by Pyramid Analytics in its collection of great data quotes, “Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.”

In evaluating the social media data of your business, a good analytics tool will help answer the key questions of your social media efforts:

  • Who (for instance, demographic information on who is engaging with your posts);
  • What (for instance, what are people saying about your business on social media);
  • Where (for instance, where are you getting the best results from your social media campaigns);
  • When (for instance, when is the best time to post);
  • Why (for instance, why are people engaging with your posts);
  • How (for instance, how are you best reaching customers);

How does a business-owner go about finding the answers to those questions? With analytics tools. So let’s take at our top picks in analytics tools, free and otherwise, to enable your business to make effective decisions and improve your performance on social media.

Here are 6 social media analytics tools :

  1. Google Analytics
  2. CoSchedule
  3. Hootsuite
  4. Cyfe
  5. Snaplytics
  6. Hashtagify

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics Social

We can’t talk about analytics without talking about Google Analytics, and it’s our top choice because it’s powerful and free. Most people think of Google Analytics as a tool to analyze website performance, but it also holds a lot of information about social media.

Using Google Analytics, you can tell how a user is interacting with your site, with details like pages-per-session and average session duration. The Social Pages report will tell you which pages on your site get the most attention with social media traffic.

Here are some other examples of what Google Analytics can tell you about social media:

  • What social media platform is bringing the highest number of visitors to your website, by displaying sources of social media traffic.
  • Goals Completion information, which allows you to assign goals for your social media posts, and then analyze the completion of those goals.
  • Number of conversions from your social media posts.
  • Number of assisted social media conversions.

With all that data available, and the right price (free), it’s no wonder it’s Number One.

2. CoSchedule

CoSchedule Social Media Analytics

We like CoSchedule for its in-depth post analysis that can be a benefit to all types and sizes of business. This tool analyzes the performance of social media posts to recommend improvements.

For instance, CoSchedule will analyze your social media data and let you know the best day and best time to post, as well as the best type of content to post. It will also provide information on:

  • Engagement with your social media posts.
  • The performance of a campaign across multiple platforms.
  • The performance of your business across various social media channels.
  • How many times a link has been shared.
  • An analysis of your top 100 posts.

CoSchedule has a free 30-day trial and then various pricing plans depending on whether the plan is for an individual, a business or an agency, and the size of the business.

3. Hootsuite

HootSuite Social Media Analytics

We would be remiss if we discussed social media analytics and didn’t have Hootsuite on the list. Hootsuite is one of the most established analytics services around, and it supports over 30 social media platforms.

Hootsuite provides a central dashboard view for every social media platform, and gives you basic information like number of followers, traffic and growth rates. It then digs into more granular information such as demographics of followers and geography.

It will filter results in a variety of ways, such as by location, keywords or hashtags, and gives you a snapshot of what’s being said about your brand, for instance, or your industry.

Hootsuite will also measure the impact of a campaign including measurement of conversions by social media platform and return on investment between owned and paid media.

It offers a free 30-day trial and then has a variety of price ranges, again depending on the business and its size.

4. Cyfe

Cyfe Social Media Analytics

Cyfe is another powerful analytics tools that you can try out for free. This business dashboard syncs data from a wide number of marketing tools. It has multiple integrations and dashboards that cover advertising, monitoring, emails, Search Engine Optimization, sales and web analytics, as well as social media analytics.

For social media, Cyfe will give you real-time data on how your brand is doing across 15+ platforms, including Facebook Ads and Facebook Pages, Instagram, Twitter Ads and Twitter, LinkedIn Ads and LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, and Vimeo, to name a few. It also measures the return on investment of your social efforts.

Cyfe will give you statistics like followers and engagement, while also monitoring things like top performing posts. Cyfe also provides a great view of your social media analytics with dashboards that allow easy reporting and sharing on the performance of your business on social media.

5. Snaplytics

Social Media Analytics Snaplytics tool

There are also choices for platform-specific analytics. If you want to focus on a specific platform or two, there are those analytics tools that are expert at providing information specific to certain platforms.

For instance, Snaplytics has analytics specifically for Snapchat and Instagram only. This tool can build a library of a customer’s historical content and their engagement with your business. It also allows you to find top performing posts so you can create similar content, and provides a benchmark figure to allow you to compare results with your industry overall.

Snaplytics also provides quarterly reports, blogs and videos to help business maximize their effectiveness. Pricing plans vary but businesses can test a marketing campaign free for 14 days.

6. Hashtagify

Hastagify Social Media Analytics tool

The use of hashtags has been proven to boost the performance of advertisements and reduce the cost-per-click, while also providing cross-platform integration (for instance, across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook). Analytics on hashtag performance might be important to your company, and if so, Hashtagify is for your business.

Hashtagify provides a variety of information on hashtag criteria, such as overall popularity, trends by the week and month, the languages used, and more. Using the results generated, your business may get inspiration from a successful existing campaign, or test the distinct nature of your campaign.

Hashtagify has a free search tool to allow for hashtag research, but for more in-depth data, there are monthly plans.

Final Thoughts

It’s not easy to navigate the world of data analytics, so it’s great to have powerful tools at your fingertips to give your business the insight it needs to improve its performance on social media.

We have made our top six picks with a view to giving you some options depending on your business, its size, the social platforms you use and your budget.

Some of your decisions around a tool to use may depend on the platform or platforms your business uses. For instance, if you’re focused only on Snapchat, check out our Number 5 pick, Snaplytics. But if your business uses a variety of social media platforms, Number 3 Hootsuite may be your best option.

If you want more than social media reporting, Cyfe might be a great option for your business. And if you want power at no cost, Google Analytics is a top choice.

What’s important is that you choose a tool that gives you the information you need to make great business decisions.

 


Further reading:

young adults using phones on social networks

Wonder how you can tap on social media marketing?

Keen to take baby-steps in growing your brand and expanding your business on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter or Pinterest?

Social media is now mainstream media. With billions of users around the world, social networks have exerted more impact on how people think, feel and act than virtually any other digital channel. Collectively, social media can influence public opinion, political landscapes, and economic environments in vast and significant ways.

Continually evolving, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn have become a part and parcel of everyday life and stalwarts of the digital world, while emerging social apps like TikTok and Telegram start to make their presence felt.

As the world adopts a social-first stance in consuming content, social media marketing has become an imperative for businesses and brands both big and small. As users share information in different forms – pictures, videos, stories, and live streams – their buying behaviours have radically changed. More consumers have begun starting their purchase journeys online.

This shift makes it necessary for businesses and brands to embrace various digital marketing techniques to remain competitive in the modern marketplace.

Huge conglomerates like Coca-Cola, Ikea, Intel, and Airbnb have used social media to enhance brand awareness, grow communities and improve their marketing reach. Ditto for solopreneurs, start-ups and SMEs attracted to social media’s lower cost of entry relative to traditional media channels.

But what does social media marketing truly mean? And how can your brand leverage on this ubiquitous channel?

In this article, we will cover the basic elements in social media marketing that you can use to attract, engage, convert, and delight your online customers.

Related: 15 Key Social Media Marketing Statistics for Singapore Digital Marketers (with analysis)

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing involves using social networks to create, curate and share valuable content to a targeted audience in order to market a company’s products and services.

The goals of social media marketing are to increase brand awareness, build online communities, attract leads and generate revenue.

Marketing through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others helps businesses to increase their brand awareness, engage their communities, drive sales, and deliver better customer experiences.

A successful social media marketing strategy involves creating unique social media profiles, publishing great content, engaging your followers, analyzing results of engagement, and running various advertisements to promote your business. Brands using social media for marketing should tailor their content to suit specific platforms and customer base.

young adults using phones on social networks

In thinking about social media marketing, it is useful to break down the different components of social media. To simplify them for easy recall, let us call them the 6 Cs:

  • Customers: You need to know who your target audiences are, where they typically hang out online, and what their interests are like.
  • Content: Social media eats, lives and breathes content. Your goal as a social media marketer is to create engaging and shareable content that amplifies your brand.
  • Channels: There are numerous social media networks, from Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, to Pinterest and blogs. Each have their own unique qualities.
  • Campaigns: Increasingly, companies realise that they need to invest some advertising funds to amplify their social media marketing activities.
  • Calibration: Thanks to the availability of social media analytics tools, you can assess the results of your marketing efforts and calibrate them accordingly.
  • Communities: If content is king on social media, then communities must be queen. Building a strong network of followers can help your brand gain traction online.

Customers: Who Are Your Customers On Social Media?

First and foremost, you need to identify your online customers.

What are their educational and economic backgrounds like? Where do they live? What concerns do they have in their day-to-day lives?

If you are selling to businesses, these considerations may include the size of the companies you are reaching out to, their interests, as well as their procurement processes and cycles.

Beyond these pointers, it is also important to consider your customer’s online activities. What are some of the topics that could trigger their interests? How can you distil and discern their pain points and keywords?

By mapping out your customer profile, you’ll have a stronger foundation to begin your social media marketing activities with.

What Content Should You Create On Social Media?

happy and successful

Content is king. On social networks, they may take a wide variety of formats, from text posts, image posts, link posts, videos, to infographics and ads.

There are three important factors to consider when you create content on social media:

  • Searchable: Is your content ‘findable’ online, and will people care enough to search for it?
  • Snackable: Does your content fit well into a mobile-first format? Is it easy to consume and understand?
  • Shareable: Does your content make your users want to share it on their own social networks?

Beyond these factors, it is also important to consider the value of storytelling. Virtually all the legendary campaigns on social media have a strong storytelling component.

If you don’t know how to get started, check out my winning schedule for social media content creation.

Related: What Is Content Marketing? Definition, Benefits, and Examples.

Channels: What are the Popular Social Media Channels?

Brands and businesses can leverage several social media marketing channels. However, note that the success of each platform requires social media marketers to implement a good marketing strategy.

This involves understanding the type of users on each platform and creating specific social media marketing content types that fit well with the target market in the platform.

Some of the popular social media channels include the following:

YouTube

youtube loading screen on mobile

As the second largest search engine after Google, YouTube has carved a niche for itself as the new TV. Virtually everyone watches a video on YouTube to entertain, educate or enrich themselves.

With the huge number of YouTube Channels available out there, gaining traction here requires a significant amount of investment in producing quality videos that are keyword friendly, topical and valuable.

  • Number of Users – 1.9 billion
  • Type of audience – Generation Z and Millennials
  • Industry impact – B2C and B2B
  • Best for – entertainment, education, and how-to videos

YouTube remains the number one platform for sharing video content. It also doubles up as an incredibly authoritative social media marketing platform. As a search channel, YouTube has the unique property of enabling evergreen videos to continually attract video views.

To succeed here, invest in creating how-to videos that are insightful and educational. These videos should also be optimised for the right search keywords, and be engaging. Such videos have an added advantage on ranking, as they may also show on Google search results.

Facebook

facebook mobile next to a laptop

With over 2.2 billion worldwide users, Facebook is the largest social network of all. Increasingly, more users access Facebook using their mobile devices.

Functioning more like a content management system than a conversational platform alone, Facebook allows you to create a wide variety of content types – from text, photos, videos, and articles, to live videos, stories (short video/photo segments typically created using a mobile phone), offers, polls, and much more.

  • Number of Users – more than 2.2 billion
  • Type of audience – Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers
  • Industry impact – B2C and B2B businesses, start-ups
  • Best for – advertising and promoting brand awareness, and community building

As the world’s largest social network, Facebook has a huge captive audience. However, it can also be extremely competitive due to the large number of brands and businesses on the platform. 

As the world’s largest social network, Facebook has a huge captive audience. However, it can also be extremely competitive due to the large number of brands and businesses on the platform.

To tap on Facebook’s marketing capability, you should begin by creating a Facebook Business Fan page and to engage actively on Facebook Groups.

Organic reach on this platform can be limited. Brands should thus consider employing the use of various cost-effective ad strategies, which can have significant positive effects on your presence.

Instagram

flatlay for instagram

Considered one of the youngest social networks in terms of user profile, Instagram has topped the 1 billion user mark.

Unlike Facebook, Instagram is ‘social media lite’ – this means that it has stripped down features with a greater emphasis on visual content like photos, videos and stories.

Due to the way it is built, Instagram tends to attract influencers with massive followings. Lifestyle brands have also used Instagram to great effect.

  • Number of Users – one billion
  • Type of audience – Millennials and Gen Zs
  • Industry impact – B2C
  • Best for – aesthetic content, fashion, food, lifestyle, behind-the-scenes

Instagram is a popular photo and video sharing social media channel. The platform allows users to shoot and share a wide array of visual content – they include pictures, videos, stories, live streaming videos (IG Live), as well as to send direct messages to each other.

Instagram’s latest product, IGTV, allows users to share long-form videos. However, unlike YouTube,  such videos have to be shot vertically (ie 9:16 instead of 16:9).

Businesses and brands should create an Instagram business profile, which has better capabilities compared to personal profiles. For instance, it enables brands to check their social profile analytics, schedule posts using third-party tools, advertise or boost their posts, and integrate their IG accounts with their Facebook pages.

LinkedIn

start up networking session

With over 645 million global users, LinkedIn is the largest professional social network in the world. It is also one of the most under-used and hence opportunities abound for B2B professionals to tap this network.

Unlike the past, LinkedIn now works more like a professional reputation platform than an online resume. Companies have also used this social network to build their follower base, engage business partners, and improve their lead generating efforts.

  • Number of Users – 645 million
  • Type of audience – Generation X, Millennials and Baby Boomers
  • Industry impact – B2B, Luxury Marketing
  • Best for – customer relationships, business development, and employment skills marketing

LinkedIn provides a great platform to engage in professional dialogue with other LinkedIn users within your industry and share insightful content with other like-minded people. Companies can post jobs and vacant positions – thus LinkedIn is a great place for employee networking.

Encourage your clients to give your brand or business a recommendation on your profile. Doing this makes your brand appear credible and reliable to new or potential customers. You should also pay attention to your company pages and your personal profile, and seek to post regularly.

Twitter

mobile login screen for twitter

Twitter is another popular social media marketing channel that allows businesses to broadcast updates across the web. You can follow users in your industry or related fields and employ a marketing strategy that enables your brand to gain a steady stream of followers. 

  • Number of Users – 335 million
  • Type of audience – Millennials, Gen Zs, and Gen Xs
  • Industry impact – B2B and B2C
  • Best for – customer service and public relations, broadcasting

Now capable of allowing up to 280 characters, Twitter functions more like a broadcast and conversational channel than a content repository. Savvy users tweet multiple times a day, sharing links to their content or responding to tweets by influencers.

A good thing about Twitter is that influencers on this platform tend to be more responsive to the right tweets or Direct Messages (DMs) sent their way, so don’t be shy in interacting with them here. Increasingly, tweets with embedded videos and images work better in gaining traction than pure text tweets.

Unlike LinkedIn, Twitter has a less professional and more light-hearted feel. Brands should consider mixing up your tweets with special offers, news, and discounts with fun and business-building updates.

Using this platform effectively revolves around engaging dialogue and communication. Always ensure that you answer people’s questions and concerns. Also, retweet your followers’ tweets, especially if they have said something positive about your brand.

Pinterest

Pinterest

  • Number of Users – 250 million
  • Type of audience – older Millennials, Gen Xs, more females than males
  • Industry impact – B2C and B2B
  • Best for – visual inspiration and advertising, infographics, designs, photos

Pinterest is among the fastest-growing social media marketing channels. It is an image-centered platform that suits retail businesses and brands. The platform allows brands to showcase their products while growing brand personality by posting high quality, unique, and eye-catching images on their pinboards. 

When planning a Pinterest strategy, remember that females are the primary audience (approximately 70 percent according to this source). If women make up the majority of your target market, it makes sense to create a presence on Pinterest.

Snapchat

Snapchat

  • Number of Users – 300 million
  • Type of audience – Generation Z
  • Industry impact – B2C
  • Best for –increasing brand awareness and advertising

Snapchat is another visual application that allows the sharing of photos and short videos between friends. Snapchat was the original source of the stories format with ephemeral content (expires in 24 hours). This was ultimately innovated on by other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Like Instagram Stories, users of Snapchat can share their snaps of business products and services to their target market.

Blogs

write new blog post on wordpress

Contrary to popular belief, blogs are not dead. Google and other search engines love blogs on websites as these are frequently updated, producing fresh and useful content for search engine users.

The beauty of blog articles is that they can be optimized to be both search engine and social media friendly – a great base for your content marketing efforts. Beyond that, blogs also reside on your own website and are thus more immune to the vagaries of ever shifting social media algorithms.

Related:22 Must-Have Elements In Your Blog Post + Template

 

Campaigns: What Is a Social Media Campaign?

Like any marketing effort, social media marketing is characterised by campaigns which are usually targeted at launching specific brands, product offers, or events.

  • These are usually fixed based on the following parameters:
  • Target Audiences: They have a specific targeted audience.
  • Goal-Driven: They have a specific goal, measured in quantifiable results.
  • Time-bound: They happen during a specific time duration and date.
  • Fixed budget: They normally have a fixed budget.
  • Creatives: Most campaigns need attractive and engaging copy and designs to work well
  • Offer: This would be the bait or hook to attract participation

In the social media world, advertising campaigns normally include a promotion or a lead magnet (a valuable piece of content, product or experience) that is used as a bait to attract participation. These are usually highly targeted to ensure that the right potential customers are drawn to the campaign.

How to Acquire Customers through Social Media

Acquiring new customers during the old marketing days was quite difficult. After spending months formulating a marketing strategy, brands hoped that their audience would see the much-awaited TV commercial, billboard, or newspaper ad.

With the advent of the Internet and social networks, brands can now be a lot more targeted and focused. Customer acquisition has become easier and better thanks to the multitude of tools that they can employ online.

Social media marketers can take advantage of social media audience data to identify their target customers with precision. That said, below are the top ways that brands can acquire customers through social media.

Choose the right social media platform

Each social platform differs in terms of user base and marketing strategies to employ. Choose a platform that appeals to your target market and has the right tools to create a successful social media marketing strategy. For instance, Facebook may be better for local businesses and smaller companies, while LinkedIn could work better for larger MNCs that have a B2B focus.

Have clear and motivating calls to action

Calls to actions are what motivates your target audience to visit your website, check out your services, and possibly make a purchase. Therefore, ensure that you include a compelling call to action that is relevant to what you have shared. Vary your calls to action to keep your followers engaged and interested.

Adopt best practices in content creation

Different social networks have different best practices in content creation. For example, on Facebook, we know that videos work better than other content types. Likewise, LinkedIn users are avid readers of engaging professional stories, while YouTube users tend to follow channels that they subscribe to.

Engage with social media influencers

Influencer marketing is another great way to get more of your potential customers through social media. Forming partnerships with proven social media influencers can help you increase brand awareness, grow your followers, and acquire new customers.

Calibrate: How Do You Measure Social Media Performance?

Thanks to the ever-growing basket of social media tools and apps available, you can easily track the performance of your social media campaigns on a single or multiple social media platforms.

Social media analytics are usually measured in terms of your page or account performance or your campaign performance. Some of the indicators tracked may include the engagement rate of your posts, growth rate of fans, number of clicks to your website, as well as advertising efficiency metrics like your cost per click (CPC), cost per thousand impressions (CPM), or cost per lead.

The best way to know if your social media marketing strategy is successful is by tracking several key performance indicators. Through this, you can be sure if you are reaching and engaging with the right audience and more. That said, your key performance indicators should be focused on the following areas

Awareness Metrics

Awareness indicators are those that track the visibility of your brand and its content on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Metrics like impressions, reach, video views, web traffic, and the number of fans can provide a good measure of your awareness.

Consideration Metrics

Social media engagement is the next metric that indicates how well your social media marketing is performing. Engagement measures the number of likes, shares, comments, and re-posts of your social media updates. Having a wide reach with low engagement means that your audience does not resonate with your content, or your marketing message is wrong.

Some social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, use engagement to determine brand quality and popularity. Key performance indicators that determine engagement include clicks, likes, comments, brand mentions, shares, profile visits, and the number of active followers.

Conversion Metrics

Most brands are caught up with the number of likes and shares they are receiving on social media platforms. However, the main question is, how many people who saw your post are interested in making a purchase?

You could have a huge following, which doesn’t reflect or translate to sales. On the flip side, you may have a small but dedicated following that could be more responsive to your Call To Actions (CTAs), and whom you could tap on to generate leads. If you find that you only generate a few leads despite having a large following, you could be marketing to – or attracting – the wrong target market.

Your social media marketing strategy is incomplete if you don’t measure the number of customers acquired. Conversions are the ultimate measure of the performance of your social media marketing. If you have found the right target market and are able to continually keep them engaged, they will ultimately make a buying decision.

Measuring your reach, engagements and conversions is a good way to ensure that your social media marketing strategy is targeted enough for you to generate more conversions.

Loyalty Metrics

Beyond the above indicators, it is useful to measure Loyalty or Advocacy indicators. This could be the number of shares and retweets, branded hashtags that are being shared, as well as the customer lifetime value (LTV) of your social media communities.

In summary, you need to track your entire social media marketing funnel and ensure that your goals are aligned through the funnel as shown below.

 

social-media-marketing-funnel

Courtesy of Cooler Insights

Related: 6 Free and Paid Social Media Analytics Tools

Community: How Do You Build a Social Media Community?

Community building is more of an art and a science, and it requires stamina!

To succeed in growing a thriving online community, you need to adopt a systematic approach involving recruiting of new members, engaging them with valuable content and offers, sustaining community interest, and working with brand advocates. Check out this article on social media contest ideas that you can immediately use to generate more engagement and awareness for your brand and products.

Brands that have done well in this space include Whole Foods Market which regularly serves useful recipes or holiday cooking ideas to their Facebook and Instagram fans. You may also choose to follow the example of Airbnb, which crowdsources attractive photos from their network of homeowners to be shared on the channel.

What are the Pros and Cons of Social Media Marketing?

Done well, social media marketing can be beneficial to every business and brand. Below are the pros and cons of social media marketing strategies.

Advantages of Social Media Marketing Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing
Increase Brand Awareness Requires qualified social media managers
Generates Leads and Increase Conversions Slow returns on investments
Improve Customer Experience Difficulty in tracking ROI
Learn from Competitor Research Time-consuming
Gain Customer Insight
Cost-Effective

Pros of Social Media Marketing

Increase Brand Awareness

Nearly everybody with access to smartphones, laptops, or desktops spend a considerable amount of time on social media sites. Therefore, implementing the right social media marketing strategy significantly increases brand awareness, as you will be interacting with a broad audience. 

Generates Leads and Increase Conversions

Using social media channels can help you to increase inbound traffic, as people will more easily find your products and services. Unlike before, where online customers had to search for business websites, social media can provide recommendations to users based on various metrics. It is through this that most customers find what they are looking for online.

Improve Customer Experience

Using social media platforms enables brands to respond to specific customer questions on time. Customers are human, and they feel appreciated when they get personalized and speedy responses. Doing this makes customers feel that they are an important and considerable part of the business.

Learn From Competitor Research

Brands that have just started out their business can use social media to learn a lot from other competing businesses. You can leverage various social media tools to study the competitors’ business methods and possibly improve your brand. 

Gain Customer Insight

As a business, it is important to get to know your customers’ needs, opinions about your products and interests. There is no better way to collect such data except through social media. Gaining such insights provides an opportunity to identify areas to improve to stay ahead of competitors.

Cost-Effective

Social media marketing is probably the most cost-effective method of advertising your products and services (especially Facebook). You simply need to create a business profile or company page, which is free for all social media channels. While the costs of advertising on social media is creeping up, most social networks are comparatively cheaper than advertising on mainstream media channels.

Cons of Social Media Marketing

The popularity of social media amongst brands and users may also present certain challenges to companies. Here are some of the drawbacks that you should consider.

Requires qualified social media managers

To focus on the core issues of your business, you should employ a qualified social media expert to help you along. While sharing an Instagram post, or recording a 15-second story on Facebook may seem easy, putting them all together into a cohesive and profitable marketing plan can be daunting.

Increasingly, more and more companies realise this and are focusing their attention on hiring qualified and trained social media experts.

Slow returns on investments

Marketing through social media is almost always a long-term strategy. The focus is on building a relationship with your users. Hence, you cannot expect returns almost immediately. Brands that need quick results should consider using other more immediate forms of online marketing, like Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising on Google Ads.

Difficult to Track Return On Investment (ROI)

According to this recent article, less than 20% of B2B marketers know for sure that their social media is generating positive results. In the article, it was cited that “44% of marketers haven’t been able to show the impact of social at all, much less point to real ROI.” This difficulty in linking sales and revenue to social media is often cited as a reason why companies do not invest as much in social media marketing as other marketing strategies.

Time-consuming

It takes a considerable amount of time before people start appreciating your brand, products, and services. Hence, patience and perseverance are both key here. Social media users may also ignore your page or account simply because they may not be interested in your products or have other sites in mind.

More advantages and disadvantages of social media marketing outlined here.

The Bottom Line

Determining your company’s social media marketing course of action can be daunting, especially with the various upcoming social media marketing trends, but taking advantage of the available resources can help. Identify and develop a good social media marketing strategy for ascertained success.


Ready To Learn More? Sign Up For Our Digital Marketing Course!

What we have touched on above is just the icing on the cake.

In the two-day social media marketing course, we cover a detailed six-step process focusing on the most important social networks you need to know. You will be equipped with hands-on knowledge and valuable tools to strengthen both your skills and knowledge of social media marketing. Also at Equinet Academy, we have a Certified Digital Marketing Strategist (CDMS) Programme that  showcases different facets of Digital Marketing. These include :

These various Digital Marketing modules allow a learner to apply actionable strategies to digital projects.