Measuring Social Media: Four Metrics That Matter


Published on

Attracting thousands or even millions of Twitter and Google+ followers, Facebook fans and Youtube subscribers is great. People like our content, comment on it, retweet and share it – but in the end, what does it all mean to the business? Even today, very few companies really understand the contribution of social media channels.

Luckily, an important part of that answer might not be half as complicated as you would expect. In this complimentary CMO guide, we’ll look at:

- What all of these fans, followers, likes, retweets and comments really mean to the business.
- The two types of metrics that should be monitored.
- Calculating the economic value of your social media efforts.
- The importance of gathering cross-channel data and avoiding data silo’s.

By the end of the document you’ll have four actionable metrics to look at and a clear sense of what to do next with these new insights. We also discuss a critical mistake most companies today make when it comes to measuring the impact of their digital marketing efforts and how to avoid it.

For more stuff like this visit our blog at

Published in: Business, Technology

Measuring Social Media: Four Metrics That Matter

  2. Contents. 01. About the author. 02. Introduction. 03. Measure conversation. 04. Measure amplification. 05. Measure applause. 06. Economic value. 07. Cross channel data. 08. It’s all about people. 09. It’s time for a change.
  3. About The Author. Sharif Khalladi is the founder of Complexant. He is also an award-winning entrepreneur, international keynote speaker, consultant and the author of The Social Executive. Over the last decade, Sharif has collaborated with businesses varying from solo enterprises to multi-billion dollar corporations to create value and then market, sell, deliver and profit from that value creation while growing and strengthening their market position. Industry leaders such as Cisco, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Canon Europe, T-Mobile, Mitsubishi and Yamaha Motors have capitalized on Sharif’s ideas and strategies, successfully integrating them into their business with profound and consistent results. 01 COMPLEXANT     LET’S CONNECT
  4. Introduction. “So, how do you measure all of this?” asked the gentleman in the grey suit and glasses in the front row. As I saw a lot of people, all marketing executives, nod and look at me in anticipation of the answer - I realized something. They still don’t get this. A few years have passed since that lecture, but it could just as well have happened yesterday. Despite everyone being excited about Social Media, very few companies actually really understand the contribution of these channels, even today. They see the millions of Twitter and Google+ followers, Facebook fans and Youtube subscribers. The retweets, comments, shares, +1’s and their Klout score - but what does it all mean? 02 “Don’t measure what you can. Measure what you should.” - Philip Sheldrake COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  5. A definitive answer to this question will be unique to your organisation and goes beyond the scope of this document. However, as we’ll move along you’ll discover that luckily an important part of that answer might not be half as complicated as you may have thought. In this free guide, we’ll look at two types of metrics: engagement and economic metrics. I got this idea from Avinash Kaushik and it changed the way I look at Social Metrics. As you read on, it will become clear why. By the end of the document, you’ll have four actionable metrics to look at and a clear sense of what to do next. Good luck! Sharif Khalladi Sharif Khalladi 02 “Free monitoring tools confuse the market. They make it look easy. It isn’t” - Zach Hofer-Shall COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  6. Measure Conversation. Many companies tend to forget the “social” part of social media. They use social channels to send out the same old marketing messages, trying to apply traditional “push marketing” to new channels. Needless to say this is not very effective and can in fact do more harm to their brands than good. As Jay Baer states In his new book Youtility: “It’s not a new way to communicate to customers. It’s the old way, just via 140 characters at a time. It’s the same shouting with a different megaphone.” Measuring the conversation rate of your social media helps you face the facts. 03  COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  7. Aiming for a higher conversation rate forces you to rethink your approach, reconsider the types of content you post and produce, and put the customer first. You go from being “marketer centric” to being “customer centric” and start focusing more on your customer needs and on adding value. And this is where magic starts happening. 03 Key takeaway: Measuring and focusing on the improvement of your conversation rate leads to a deeper understanding of your customer needs and the development of valuable, high-quality marketing content that inevitably leads to greater results. CONVERSATION RATE  =  / conversation rate # of audience comments per post    ( across social networks ) COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  8. Measure Amplification. 04 One of the great things about social media is the possibility of exponential reach. If your posts are “amplified” by “influencers” your potential reach immediately increases dramatically, especially if that “influencer” has a large social network of his or her own. This is one of the reasons topics tools that help companies identify and market to influencers are so popular these days. However, the best way to get your message amplified is by making sure it’s valuable to your audience. Understanding the types of content that resonate well with and are amplified by your audience will enable you to create more of it. Other factors that come into play are content topics, post timings, channels and geo location (certain types of content work better in certain geographical areas than others).  COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  9. 04  =     ( amplification rate # of shares / retweets across social networks ) By becoming better at content creation and post timing and targeting you increase your amplification rate. An increased amplification rate results in audience growth as the overlap between your audience and the audience of your “amplifiers” becomes greater. Key takeaway: Measuring and optimising your amplification rate enables you to understand what types of content to develop and how to time and target the posting of it to maximize its reach and increase the size of your audience through your (2nd level) network. AMPLIFICATION RATE COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  10. Measure Applause. 05 While both conversation and amplification rates indicate what your audience finds valuable, applause is a more direct measure. On social networks, applause translates into favorites (Twitter), likes (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube) and +1’s (Google+). They are a direct result of a specific follower or fan approving of your content, and a strong indicator of where you should focus your efforts. A key differentiator of applause is it’s impact on organic search results. For example, if a user +1’s your content on Google+ and someone in their network then Googles a related keyphrase, your chances of appearing in the search results are increased. The more “social signals”, the better your rankings.  COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  11. 05 Key takeaway: Understanding and trying to improve your applause rate across the different social channels helps you develop better content and indirectly increases your search engine rankings. As search engines are placing more value in social signals, this is an important metric to monitor. APPLAUSE RATE  =  / applause rate # of favorites / likes / +1’s per post    ( across social networks ) COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  12. Economic Value. 06 Measuring the economic value of your social media efforts is tricky. Economic value is something different than revenue generated or ROI. In fact, it can be quite simple to calculate the ROI of a social media campaign, especially in an e-commerce type environment. If you know the CLV (Customer Lifetime Value / the amount of revenue a new customer is likely to generate for your company) then you can calculate a reasonable Customer Acquisition Cost (ie 10% of your CLV) and you’ll immediately know how much customers you will need to attain at that CAC to get a positive ROI. When it comes to the economic value of your social media efforts, we refer to the monetary value of the completion of certain goals, for example watching a video or downloading a white paper, that do not always directly relate to an immediate monetary transaction.  COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  13. 06 As you can imagine, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for the calculation of the economic value of all of these unique goal conversions upfront. Having said that, investing the time and effort in defining and tracking the economic value of the right conversion goals can have a tremendous impact in your organisation. Key takeaway: Measuring economic value requires a tailored approach, unique to each organisation. General guidelines towards the implementation of these measurements include proper integration of keycode tracking, connecting systems and periodic evaluations. Here are three tips to get you started: 1. Implement keycode tracking to identify well converting traffic sources. 2. Track across systems so that you can follow conversions from one system to the next over time. 3. Evaluate periodically (i.e. once a month) to make sure you’re measuring the right goals, the right way. COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  14. Cross-Channel Data. 07 While measuring conversation, amplification, applause and economic value is a terrific start and provides some terrific insights into what your customers are looking for - it’s not enough. You see, your customer doesn’t just live on social networks. The new, “converged customer” lives across all digital channels and wants to interact with our organisation across the web, search engines and social media channels. They visit your and related websites, they look for topics that relate to your company on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo and they spend time on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks. They use their laptop, desktop computer and increasingly use their mobile and tablet devices.  COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  15. 07 WEB SOCIAL SEARCH Left: The converged media landscape, where our customers live in the center. Right: the average shopper uses 10.7 sources of online digital information (across web, search and social) prior to making a purchase PAID MEDIA OWNED MEDIA EARNED MEDIA CONVERGED MEDIA If you’re just measuring the four metrics we’ve looked at today, you’re only looking at a very small part of the overall picture. COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  16. 07 And in doing so, you will only be able to achieve a small part of the potential marketing results you could attain if you were able to capture and comprehend the right data across web, search and social. DIRECT GOOGLE ADWORDS TWITTER DIRECT NEWSLETTER SEARCHMOBILE ADFACEBOOK DIRECT3RD PARTY SITE 21 DAYS 7 DAYS 1 DAY Three examples of user journeys (shopping cart represents a conversion). COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  17. 07 One of the problems that organisations face today is that this data exists scattered in different places. Data gathered on social networks exists in your social media management dashboard or comes from your social media agency. Search data comes from your search agency. Web data exists in your analytics dashboard or is provided by your web/creative agency. Competitive data comes from analysts. In today’s digital media landscape, this is an issue, as the need for unified data is more valuable than ever. SEARCH DATA SEO/SEM AGENCY WEB DATA + CREATIVE AGENCY SOCIAL DATA + SOCIAL AGENCY COMPETITOR DATA+ MARKET ANALYST CUSTOMER DATA = COMPLEXANT PULSE Not just data on your brand, products and (potential) customers - but also data on your competitors, their products and their customers. COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  18. 07 Our organisations need to be able to capture, properly interpret and then integrate the right data into our digital marketing efforts if we want to truly succeed. CUSTOMER CENTRIC 5W ANALYSIS SEARCH WEB SOCIAL COMPETITIVE Complexant Pulse Analysis Framework COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE
  19. It’s all about people. 08 In conclusion, I just want to highlight once again that when we talk about data, we’re actually talking about understanding our customers better. Whatever we sell, we’re in the people business first. Data just helps us do our jobs better. So ask yourself: How much do you really know about your customers? Do you know who they are, what they want, when and where they hang out and what drives them? If you don’t, what would it mean to your business if you did? We both know the answer, it would change everything. WHO? KEY DEMOGRAPHICS WHAT? KEY TOPICS WHERE? KEY CHANNELS WHEN? TIMING WHY? RATIONALE COMPLEXANT
  20. It’s Time for a Change. At Complexant, we help companies drive and gain insight into the revenue contribution of marketing. We do this through comprehensive analysis, data- driven strategy, education and execution support across the digital marketing landscape. Talk to a Complexant specialist to learn how you we can help your marketing organisation evolve to the next level. Learn about  our methodology or  click here to contact us today. COMPLEXANT   SHARE THIS GUIDE