Marketing Sherpa recently published an article on improving Facebook measurement tactics. Adam Sutton included a number of quotes in which I was speaking in a general context beyond Facebook.

Here are the tactics and how I see them being applied to social media marketing in general across all channels:

  1. Need to start with concrete goals & tactics

Before you decide on metrics, it’s imperative that you decide on the objective. In creating the strategy, then it will be necessary to outline the goals and tactics required to achieve them. The goals will be tied to business objectives and that will dictate what to measure. Simply put, it’s the percentage increase or decrease towards realizing the business objective.

2. Set benchmarks to compare channels

Everything needs to be benchmarked. If this isn’t done then it’s impossible to track the change over time. There are a number of items to benchmark per channel. Here are some to get you started: – volume of conversations – sentiment – amount of participation – number of leads (percentage that convert)

3. Connect data from the social channels to website stat’s and CRM

Having all traffic directed to your main website will make it very difficult to track the sources. If you have significant amount of traffic coming from social channels such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn then create landing pages for each. If there isn’t enough traffic to justify that then survey those coming to your site by adding a field asking, "Where did you hear about us?".

4. Understand how many engagements convert

Social media is difficult in this aspect because engagements in social channels are about building relationships. But attribution is very important. If your social media marketing is building brand visibility and creating interest that is resulting in conversions, then you’ll want to track that. Use custom landing pages, specific coupon codes, hash tags, a distinct telephone number, etc to allow for attribution. Another tip is to make sure that your CRM denotes leads coming in from social channels.

5. Analytics data for social channels

Each channel has its own unique set of metrics. Set up metrics that make sense based on your objectives. In addition to the metrics in Facebook,YouTube, Slideshare pro account, Twitter apps also offer many.

6. Connect to business KPI’s

Tip 1 referenced the importance of a strategy. That needs to be based on a firm understanding of the business needs. Brand awareness and sentiment are important and are measureable.

7. Use metrics to improve your marketing efforts

Social media marketing is a continual process of defining and refining. Always keep in mind that the most valuable insights are the ones that you didn’t know about. When those are discovered then flexibility will be a huge asset when changes need to be made to your strategy to accommodate them.

Do you feel like you’re effectively measuring your social marketing efforts?

What are your biggest challenges?