Using Metrics to Improve Social Media Performance
There are few places that can amplify a brand’s message and engage consumers like social media.
Whether your organization is reaching targeted audiences on Facebook, aligning with influencers on Instagram, communicating with professionals on LinkedIn, driving shoppers on Pinterest, engaging with users in real time on Twitter, connecting with event attendees on Snapchat, or trying to stay relevant on TikTok, these channels continue to demonstrate their value in your media mix.
But in a landscape where users, brands and organizations are always searching for more hearts and the next thumbs up, it can be easy to question what all these reactions are really doing for business. After all, as marketers, it’s our job to ask that exact question.
In previous issues of Logic+Magic Magazine, we’ve discussed how to collect data to analyze the performance of your social campaigns. Now, we want to use those metrics to optimize and “ship” even better performing social content.
Before we look at the metrics, it is important to:
- Understand your business objectives.
- Identify your target audience.
- Select social media networks that will help achieve your established KPIs.
Put simply, in order to “ship” anything on social, you need to start with a social media strategy. Without it, your social media reports will contain all the numbers but have no context or insights – and without those, you cannot make appropriate optimizations to achieve KPIs and return on marketing investment.
If the goal of the social media ad is to increase brand awareness, look at:
- CPM (Cost Per Mille) – The average cost per 1,000 impressions. It helps assess the cost-effectiveness of your campaign. You can use CPM to compare an ad’s performance or a social network’s performance at reaching users.
- CPV (Cost Per View) – The total amount spent divided by the number of views (usually 3-second views). You can use this metric to gauge a video ad’s performance at generating views. Total views and video completions are also good indicators of success for a video campaign.
- eARL (Estimated Ad Recall Lift) – A Facebook-specific reporting metric. It shows how many people the network estimates would remember seeing your ad if asked within two days. You can use eARL to compare ad performance at reaching users that are more likely to remember your brand.
If the goal of the social media post is to increase engagement, look at:
- Engagement Rate – The total number of engagements on your ad divided by the number of users reached. Engagement includes all actions people take involving your ads while they’re running, such as liking or commenting. You can use engagement rate to compare an ad’s relevance to the audience.
If the goal of the social media post is to increase website traffic or drive conversions (leads, sales, etc.), look at:
- CTR (Click-Through Rate) – The number of link clicks on your ad divided by the number of impressions your ad received. You can use CTR to compare ad performance driving traffic to your website or another destination.
- Conversion Rate – The conversion rate can be found by dividing the total number of customer-completed actions by the number of impressions the ad received. You can use it to compare ad performance at driving conversions.
Using these metrics to compare ad performance against benchmarks, you can understand whether or not your ad is achieving KPIs. From there, you can also start to identify trends.
For example, maybe Facebook has a lower CPM than Twitter, so you want to allocate more of your brand awareness budget to that channel. Maybe your 15-second videos have a lower CPV than your 30-second videos, so you make additional 15-second cuts out of your 30-second videos. Maybe you notice tweets that capitalize on trending hashtags have higher engagement rates, so you implement real-time social listening. Or maybe you find images with people result in a higher conversion rates, so you hire additional models for your next photoshoot.
As you make these optimizations, you will not only continue to see better performance, but each social post will also have a purpose toward achieving your KPI’s, and ultimately your business objectives.