So many people sign up for social media services without realizing that the purpose of social media really isn’t to sell more of products or services. The real purpose of social media (this may seem redundant, but it’s worth repeating) is to improve engagement with your customers, clients and potential clients while increasing the visibility of your brand.
So how do you really measure social media success? You measure engagement and visibility (not sales).
On Facebook, you can look at your weekly insights to determine whether or not you are getting any traction. You can measure your engagement on Facebook by the number of likes and shares each post receives. And in the beginning it can be slow going. While you may see drops and surges in the number of likes you have from week to week, over time you should see a steady increase in the number of likes your page has. Pay attention to which types of posts receive the most attention on your page; make sure those become a regular part of your rotation.
On Twitter, you should see a steady increase in followers when you begin tweeting regularly and engaging with other users. When you only have a small number of followers, you may not see many mentions or retweets. However, it is essential to consistently post to the platform several times a day. You will soon begin to be mentioned by the followers you do have and have your tweets retweeted, thereby gaining new followers exponentially. You will also begin to be included in curated content, such as Paper.li papers.
On Pinterest, you will be able to measure social media impact by the number of followers you gain and the number of pins that get repinned. Pinterest, like Facebook, offers insights that help you dig deeper into the impact your efforts are having.
On LinkedIn, you can measure the impact of your efforts on your marketing page by the number of followers you gain. Posts to your company page can be liked and shared, and LinkedIn offers insights and analytics that you can use to determine the level of engagement you receive.
Ultimately, you can and should monitor Google Analytics. Your Analytics will tell you how much your social media efforts are paying off in terms of new visitors to your website. Analytics will even break down the source of the traffic for you, so that you know which social media platforms are performing the best for you.
Social media impact cannot be measured in sales; but it can be measured by the number of people who are engaged with your brand. Over time, and with consistent effort, your sales will likely increase, but it’s not a direct correlation between dollars spent on social media and dollars reaped in sales.