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So, you want to be top dog on social media?

Using key performance metrics to maximize ROI


  Do you want to optimize your reach, grow your audience, enhance your engagement, and better understand your sentiment ratios on social media? Of course you do! Who doesn’t? In our complex digital world not only is it difficult to keep up with the multitude of growing dynamic social media platforms but marketers are challenged to find effective tools to analyze and boost social media campaigns while maximizing return on investment.

Across different social media platforms, the number of users are staggering! Some numbers tout ‘more than hundreds of millions of users for Facebook and while Twitter was widely popular a few years ago, newer social media such as Instagram and Snapchat are rising in popularity.’ (Saleem & Mengyan, 2017, p. 1). The rising numbers of social media users underscores the need for brands to stay connected to their audience and understand what motivates them, what stimulates dialogue and what ultimately drives them to purchase.

Ambler et al. (2001) proposed that “metrics” should be limited to performance measures which are high level, necessary, sufficient, unambiguous, and ideally, predictive. Thus, marketing metrics should be calculable, in quantitative form, and auditable – in other words, reliable and professionally sourced (Ambler, 2002).

No one has found the proverbial magic bullet but research has shown organizations evaluate their social media performance on key performance metrics #KPIs. These encompass five key measurable attributes: sentiment ratios, engagement, referrals, reach and community. Each has a distinct measure of audience emotive (positive, neutral or negative), interaction (engagement including likes, dislikes, tweets, comments or share) referrals (clicks and shares) and audience size (followers, communities).

Lipschultz (2018) ‘contends ‘engaging content keeps users on a page, or moves them to another page that meets the goals for the site. High levels of engagement through liking comments and brand sentiments (positive, negative or neutral) are goals in maximizing positive sentiments and minimizing negative feelings that may exist towards  a brand.’ p. 163. Analyzing brand sentiment is a good benchmark to see how users are feeling about your brand or company. Think of brand sentiment as your barometer for reading on where your brand stands in the minds of your customers. Use your findings from brand sentiment as your road map on where to start building your strategy.
Wu et. al. (2018) hypothesize “people have different needs and different reactions to messages. By delivering messages that are tailored and relevant, people [will] feel as though they are valued and important and likely to remain loyal and as organizations understand their customers better they are able to apply the metrics to analyze behaviors and develop more efficient and targeted strategies.” (p. 126).

Once you have developed your strategic plan it is time to research the wealth of analytics companies available to facilitate data mining. Click here to see the top 10 companies. If you are new to social media analytics you may want to start your research with two leaders in data analytics, Google Analytics and Sprout Social. Once you master social media analytics you will be the ‘top dog’ of social media at your organization! 

References:

Chaochao Wu, Juan Jia, Xinchao Zhao, Qiao Sun, Shuangshuang Wu, Ni Wang. (Nov. 14, 2018). How Does Commercial and Personal Use of Metrics and Data Influence and Shape Notions of Worth and Value. Journal of Social Sciences (6) 11

DuBois, D. (Apr 2014). The Future of Social Media ROI: from likes to relational metrics. INSEAD. Fountainbleu.

Fulgoni, G., Lipsman, A. (2014). Digital Game Changers. How social media will help usher in the era of mobile and multi-platform campaign-effectiveness measurement. Journal of Advertising Research, p. 11-16

Johnson, D. (May 6, 2019). How to use Google Analytics: A beginner’s guide to Google’s service for website-traffic analytics. Business Insider. Retrieved from: https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-use-google-analytics

Kur, G. (June 5, 2014) 10 Social Analytics Companies You Need to Know. Tech Radar. Retrieved from: https://www.techradar.com/news/software/business-software/10-social-analytics-companies-you-need-to-know-1251715

Lipschultz, J. (2018) Social Media Communication Concept. Practices, Data, Law & Ethics. 2nd Edition. New York. Routledge. Chapter 4

Poecze, F. Ebster, C. Strauss, C. (2018) Social media metrics and sentiment analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of social media posts. Procedia Computer Science, Vol.130, p.660-666

Saleem A., Mengyan M. A (2017). Tale of Four Platforms: Motivations and uses of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat among college students. Social Media & Society. January-March 2017. p. 1-13

Sprout Social (n.d.) Retreived from: https://sproutsocial.com/

Töllinen, A., & Karjaluoto, H. (2011). Marketing communication metrics for social media. International Journal of Technology Marketing, 6 (4), p. 316-330.

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