Measuring social media
How do I measure social media? What KPIs do I use? What metrics? And other questions answered….
Social media metrics and KPIs
Ravi Prasad, January 2011
Blogs: www.thebookaboutyou.com www.cliche.posterous.com
How do I measure social media?
What KPIs do I use?
I get asked this a lot and the following is top-line overview of how I’d answer. For a client or in a presentation I’d go into
more depth and texture. I’d also give this more context and site examples. I’m happy to do the same for you, if you’d like,
feel free to e-mail me with specific questions.
Measuring social media
Measuring social media and defining KPIs and metric begins with purpose: the question is always:
‘why are we measuring this?’
The answer depends on what you are setting out to achieve with a given campaign, promotion or activity; is it acquisition,
lead generation, awareness, brand, loyalty or something else?
KPIs are set with regard to your specific objectives, so understanding what you are setting out to achieve and why (your
purpose in social media) will guide your thinking.
Some KPIs are delivered in short spans, some will naturally take longer. So expectations and KPIs should also be set against
the right time frame.
I tend to measure KPIs against 5 dimensions…
How many people we initially connect with.
How many ne people your initial contacts connect you with. Think of this is as the ‘viral’ dimension, your digital ‘word of mouth’.
How people interact with what you do, the depth texture and dimension of their interaction.
The quality of those connections, are they who you are after? Are they in your target market?
The cost of acquisition or contact and its long or short term value. This is interesting because, for example, if we’re building a database or Facebook
‘fan base’ for a brand, the true value of this may be realised over time. The KPI can be the value of the ‘asset’ that’s produced – an asset utilised in
-How you report and what you report is contingent upon the nature of the exercise and your objectives.
-To create your reporting you look at the different metrics and select the most appropriate for the job.
-For social media, the metrics are not always measured in the digital space.
The metrics - digital
Register and response rates / by channel / CTR / post click activity Ratings
Bookmarks (onsite, offsite) Registered users (new / total / active / dormant / churn)
Comments Report spam / abuse
Email subscriptions Satisfaction (if delivering a service or answering customer queries
Favorites (add an item to favorites) through social media)
Feedback (via the site) Social media sharing / participation (activity on key social media
Followers (follow something / someone) sites, e.g. Facebook, Twitter)
Forward to a friend Tagging (user-generated metadata)
Groups (create / join / total number of groups / group activity) Testimonials
Install widget (on a blog page, Facebook, etc) Time spent on key pages
Invite / refer (a friend) Time spent on site (by source / by entry page)
Love / Like / Fan Time spent in-play (for games)
Messaging (onsite) Challenge friend (for games)
Personalisation (pages, display, theme) Entries (for a competition)
Posts Total contributors (and % active contributors)
Profile (e.g. update avatar, bio, links, email, customisation, etc) Uploads (articles, links, images, videos)
Print page Views (videos, ads, rich images)
Widgets (number of new widgets users / embedded widgets)
The metrics – digital: 3 considerations
You can also look at impact on natural or organic search rankings. Did your social media activity increase them?
Social media ‘listening’ can give you an idea of the positive or negative sentiment created by your digital (or off-line)
activity. I’ll often advocate a social media listening exercise as it can deliver useful insights around the competitive market
space and the zeitgeist.
3. Click stream:
What you want consumers to do next, or where you want them to go, may be important, if so, measure the click stream.
The metrics – insights
Insights, intelligence and understanding:
In the process of running or executing a campaign in social media consumer or market Insights, intelligence and
understanding can be found – which can be of enormous significance. I would, if appropriate, place a value against these.
While seldom a formal KPI, my inclination is to consider this. Social media listening can be a valuable tool.
I’ve mentioned social media listening. I’ll mention it again.
This can be the most valuable thing you can do, for many reasons. Many brands use social media to have a ‘conversation’
with the market. Listening tells you if the conversation you want to have is one that the consumer wants to have. Often it’s
not. And this is when social media fails.
Listening enables you to understand the natural conversation and find your place in it. Use it to measure your campaign,
but also to plan the next.
Let me know if this was of use or value. Also if you’d like to know more, or just have a chat, please feel free to get in touch.
Thank you. Ravi Prasad. Sydney January 2011. Contact: email@example.com
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