Performance figures and metrics can very often overstrain marketers when they are monitoring their own social media activities.

Social Media Marketing is drowning in a sea of figures. Each social network, each monitoring tool has its own metrics and there are hundreds of ways to measure the success of your own social media activities.

With such an enormous amount of possible indicators and the same time (yet) lacking insight and perspective in which indicators are important, it is no surprise that marketers are often overstretched with the monitoring of their social media activities.

Forrester Research has developed a simple three-step strategy to facilitate the measurement of social media activities. Follow these three steps, and you will end the chaos in your marketing reports and more effectively measure your social media activities in the future:

1.    Think about your marketing

Go back mentally and search your notes you have made when planning your social media activities. Recollect the goal you wanted to pursue. If you can’t remember what it was, you will neither know what to measure, nor if and when you have achieved it.

2.    Consider which key figures indicator success

Don’t think about graphs and lines on your report, instead consider which consumer behaviours and feelings correspond to your goals and focus your measurement on these figures.

If your goal has been to activate, your success is defined by how many people say positive things about your brand.

If your goal has been to support, your success is defined by whether and how many people ask for help and advice, and whether and how well you have provided that assistance.

Again, it's not about specific figures, it's about whether and how your hopes that the relationship changes with your customers through your social media activities have been fulfilled.

3.    Look for "your" key figure(s)

Once you have found "your" key figure(s) you can search for ways to measure and compare them within the social networks you use. If, for instance, the performance figures, which you receive from your Facebook activities, are most important to you, look for similar networks to expand "your" monitoring and get closer to your marketing goal.

By Daniela La Marca