Some social media key performance indicators (KPIs) only relate to individual social media platforms while others have overall significance. Therefore, as with almost any social media target, the question arises how marketers can measure success - or failure.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a central media equivalence value, as is the case with classic media monitoring. Instead, hundreds of different KPIs circulate through the network and through the communications departments of companies or their agencies. The reason for this lies in the very diverse objectives of the individual companies, in the further development of existing KPIs, in the multitude of social media platforms, ingenuity, and even a bit in the pomposity of some social media gurus.
As said, some social media KPIs can only be applied to individual social media platforms, such as Twitter or Facebook, some others can cover all platforms together. In addition, there are also individual tools, like the "Klout Score", a free service in which the online influence is reflected on a scale from 1 to 100. But, although it seems to be a nice tool to compare with others, it is in general a bit too superficial and simplistic to deduce viable analyzes from it. To get an overview of KPIs, the following list of social media performance metrics can be useful for your next social media activity:
- Reach: The old question of how many people you have reached - broken down according to the respective social media platforms and ideally also as per demographics. A measure that is undoubtedly important but unfortunately can’t answer the question of wastage. Certainly, it is more important for B2C than B2B companies.
- Engagement: The engagement measures how strong the interaction on the social media channels is, how many comments have triggered your own posts, how often the posts have been shared, how often social media conversations have been conducted, how fast or slowly the responses to requests have been and many other (sub)factors.
- Influence: It measures the impact that the company generates through social media is much more difficult than "just" engagement and reach; after all, this measure includes qualitative content. If opinion makers have been reached, the questions are: what influence do the social media activities have on the image and what changes are made to customer relations?
- Virality: Did social media create content that went "viral"? Many companies hope that their content will spread on the internet by itself – which explains why they often opt for funny commercials. However, this is easier said than done, because in addition to good content, companies need enough contacts (fans on Facebook, followers on Twitter, etc.) to get the (snow)ball rolling. The virality is usually measured by views / shares minus one's own contacts.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): How do customers rate the company? Would they recommend it to their friends? How likely is it that you will recommend company XY to a friend or colleague? Well, these questions are communicated in a very simple way on social media – with customer ratings such as the stars left on Facebook, among other things.
- Equivalent Advertising Value (EAV): The EAV makes bookkeepers happy, because the social media activities are here compared with the costs for normal advertising. Not easy to create, the EAV has the great advantage that it evaluates social media rationally and logically, therefore making it therefore an important tool when justifying the budget.
- Action and ROI: What counts in the end are conversations, leads, sales revenue, newsletter registrations, website traffic, or other key objectives. All help to align the entire social media activities in a targeted way. Besides the EAV, action and RoI are good means to verify the general purpose of social media.
Daniela La Marca