How to measure 5 popular social media channels – By Danny Brown
Follow this simple rule: Set goals, then measure against them
A recent post on the Canadian Marketing Association’s blog, Measuring Social Media, was written by RIM/Blackberry board member Jim Estill. He suggests that brand awareness is the new measuring stick of a successful marketing campaign and says that only the first set of eyeballs are the ones

you pay for—everything after that is word of mouth. The post is a follow-up piece to an earlier article Estill wrote where he suggested that ROI, or return on investment, on marketing is a bogus term.

While they’re both interesting reads and contain valid points, the idea that ROI and metrics are difficult to measure isn’t true. Although brand awareness is certainly a measurement gauge for social media, its success should not only be measured by resulting brand awareness.

Social media can offer some very accurate metrics for ROI. All you need to do is set your success guides—what you want to achieve and how long you want to spend achieving it—and then measure your results against them.

Blogger outreach
A key component to many, if not most, social media campaigns are blogger outreach programs. These can offer some of the best mileage and results of any marketing tool. Measuring your success isn’t too difficult, either when you ask:

How many bloggers wrote about you?
How many comments did these posts receive?
How many social shares did the post get?
What was your traffic pre- and post-outreach?
How much product did you have to provide for bloggers versus how many sales did you receive?
Twitter is a social media darling for any product launch, service or business. It not only offers instant eyeballs, but provides great returns as well. Again, measuring your impact is relatively simple when you ask:

What was your retweet value?
How often was your hashtag used?
How many times was your vanity URL used?
How many new, genuine followers did you get while your promotion was on?
If you used a platform such as Sponsored Tweets, what was the cost versus click-through and conversion?
Fast becoming the key destination for many businesses and their products, Facebook offers some great built-in tools as well as demographic options to help gauge a campaign. You need to ask:

How many new fans did you make over how many you targeted?
How many times was your promotion message “liked?”
If you built a Facebook application, how many times was it installed and shared?
Were you successful reaching your target demographic? Facebook Insights can help you here.
How much did you spend on a Facebook ad and how did click-throughs and new sales and customers compare?
YouTube and video sites
More than just a fun place to see kids hurt themselves on bikes or watch cute pet tricks, YouTube is now a key tool in any marketing campaign. Uncertain? Just ask the companies that used it to such effect during this year’s Super Bowl.

Questions you should ask include:

How many views did you get?
How many Likes and Favorites did you receive?
How many downloads did you get? How many “embeds” has your video seen elsewhere on the Web?
How many subscribers did your channel attract?
If your video had a call to action with a vanity URL, how many times did this happen?
How many social shares did you get?
As marketing evolves, different ways to reach an audience evolve too. Mobile marketing is the perfect complement to social marketing. Measurement can easily be achieved when you ask:

Whether you used a push SMS system to drive traffic to a mobile-friendly site? If so, how many views did that account for?
Whether you used QR codes, and if so, how many times were they used?
How many downloads your mobile application received?
How many check-ins were used on Gowalla and Foursquare?
What was your most popular operating system? This can tell you a lot about your audience’s demographic and buying options.
These are just some of the immediate ways you can measure how successful your goals have been met. There are many more such as monitoring tools and more defined analytics. It all depends how your goals are set and how you define success. You then will compare staff hours and financial outlay versus return to see how well you are doing.

Many marketing efforts can come down to luck and circumstance as much as brilliant strategy. I’ve seen some great campaigns flounder while inferior ones succeed. Timing and a welcoming audience are key. However, one thing you can control is measurement. And with social media and mobile marketing, measuring metrics has never been easier.

How are you measuring your campaigns and defining success?


Danny Brown provides business branding and social media consultancy services to the consumer and commercial markets, from small startups to Fortune 500 businesses. Read his blog here



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