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5 stats you should track to be successful on social media

05.29.2013
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Measuring the impact of a social media engagement program can seem like a daunting task, especially if you are just getting started. With a seemingly endless supply of social data at your fingertips, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Don’t stress! Stop, and take a deep breath. Social media measurement is more manageable than you think.

The key to success is to start small and establish a few important bases before you try to tackle complex social media ROI models. Whether you are brand new to social media or can tweet in your sleep, we have compiled a few of our favorite metrics below to help you kick off (or extend) your measurement efforts. What makes these metrics so special? Three things: they are specific, they are easy to measure over time, and they are actionable. So take a look, and get going!

1. Reach (Facebook): How many people saw your post

No calculations necessary. See the number of impressions on your Facebook posts by simply looking at the number that appears under each post on your page. Additionally, if you have more than 30 fans on your Facebook page, you can click into your Facebook Insights and monitor the “Reach” for each of your posts. (“Reach” is the same thing as “# of people saw your post”.) For even more insight, sort them to see which of your posts gained the most views.

Action: Look for a theme in your most viewed posts and capitalize on this theme in future posts.

2. Engagement (Facebook): People talking about this (PTAT) / Likes

Find these stats under your Facebook page name. Dividing your PTAT value by the total number of Likes on your page will give you a sense of how engaged your base of fans is. This percentage, which typically ranges between 2-5%, gives you an up-to-the-minute view into just how many of your fans are interacting with your page through any variety of interactions, including likes, comments, shares, mentions, and tags. While it’s not uncommon to have a 2% engagement value, shoot for 5% for a truly stellar Facebook business page.

Action: Pay attention to any peaks or troughs in your engagement metric. Re-engage fans by sharing photos, asking a question, or celebrating your fans’ milestones.

3. Time (all networks): Hearsay Social Metrics

Do you ever wonder when you should post content? Should you post at 9am or 9pm? On Tuesdays or Thursdays? The answer is unique to every business, every page, and every social network. With Hearsay Social’s “Engagement” data, found under “Metrics,” you can determine which day of the week is the best to share content and even what time of day will earn you the most engagement.

Action: Craft your engagement strategy around these metrics. Schedule content for popular times and make sure to respond to your engaged fans.

4. Shareability (Twitter): Search “@yourtwitterhandle” at search.twitter.com

Creating content for your social media audience is a good thing. Inspiring your fans and followers so much that they decide to share your content with their audiences is a great thing. To measure this in Twitter, simply search your handle (or use Hearsay Social Metrics) to see exactly how many mentions and retweets you’re receiving. Are people retweeting what you have to say?

Action: If you get lucky, you might just find your brand enthusiasts through your retweet search. Think about engaging them directly by thanking for them for their support in a tweet.

5. Relevance (Twitter): Total You Are Following on Twitter / Total Twitter Followers

If you’ve ever wondered whether your tweets are resonating with your follower base on Twitter, wonder no more. Divide the number of accounts you’re following on Twitter by your total number of Twitter followers to calculate a relevance percentage. If you get a value around 30% or lower, you are doing very well. As a thought leader, you’re like accumulating a healthy following by sharing great content. Having a relevance value around 50% or higher, on the other hand, might not necessarily be a bad thing. Perhaps your strategy is to simply follow back anybody that follows you, a policy that many Twitter users have adopted.

Action: Follow people who you would like to follow you back. Consider tweeting at prospective followers to invite them to follow you.

That’s it! With five easy steps, you can start tangibly measuring your social media efforts to track exactly how your posts and conversations resonate with fans and followers. Each of these metrics lays the groundwork for you to analyze the business impact and ROI of your social sales and marketing efforts.

Published at DZone with permission of Hearsay Social, author and DZone MVB.

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