Brand awareness is the new measuring stick of a successful marketing campaign, and that only the first set of eyeballs are the ones you pay for – everything after that is word of mouth.  The idea that social media ROI and metrics are difficult to measure isn’t quite true. In fact, social media can offer some of the best metrics for ROI around. Not to say that ALL you need to measure is brand awareness, as it probably has little impact on your bottom line, in the immediate timeframe. What you should 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 that. Benchmarking yourself is crucial, for effective measurement of your success.

There are two kinds of measurements - the qualitative measure is a bit more complicated. For example, are you measuring engagement levels by the quality of positive or negative comments? Correctly using qualitative measurements requires some community management expertise. Quantitative measurements are much easier. While it varies by industry and business type, this blog provides a general guide for businesses that have already executed their social media strategy and want to measure its impact.

Blogger outreach

  As online PR is a key component to many (if not most) social media campaigns, blogger outreach programs can offer some of the best mileage and results of any marketing tool. Measuring your success isn’t too difficult:

  • How many bloggers wrote about you?
  • How many comments did these posts receive? (not always applicable – depends on the subject).
  • How many social shares did the post get?
  • How many Re-Tweets did this post get?
  • How many social bookmarks did it receive?
  • What was your (website) traffic pre- and post-outreach?
  • How many products did you have to provide for bloggers versus how many sales you received?

Twitter

  One of the darlings for any product launch, service or business, Twitter not only offers instant eyeballs but great returns as well. Again, measuring your impact is relatively simple:

  • How many Re-Tweets did you get?
  • How many people reacted to your tweet? Asked questions? Commented?
  • 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 something like Sponsored Tweets, what was the cost versus click-through and conversion?

Facebook

  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 paid advertising campaign:

  • How many new Likes did you make over how many you targeted?
  • How many times was your promotion message liked? (the ad, not the page).
  • How many times was your page shared?
  • Were you successful in 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/customers compare?

Youtube and video sites

  More than just a fun place to see kids hurt themselves on bikes, YouTube is a key tool in any marketing campaign now. Questions to ask:

  • How many video/channel views did you get?
  • How many Likes and Favourites did you receive?
  • How many downloads did you get (on video sites that allow downloads)?
  • 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?
  • YouTube also has a variety of advertising options, where performance can be tracked via Google Analytics.

Mobile

  As marketing evolves, so the different ways to reach an audience combine. Mobile marketing (including iOS/Android apps) is the perfect complement to social marketing and measurement can easily be achieved:

  • Did you use a push SMS system to drive traffic to a mobile-friendly site? If so, how many views did that account for?
  • Did you use QR codes, and if so, how many times were they used?
  • How many downloads did your mobile app receive?
  • How many check-ins were used on Gowalla and Foursquare?
  • How many Opens and click-throughs did your message get?

  These are just some of the immediate ways you can measure how successfully your goals were met. There are more still – monitoring tools and more defined analytics are other ways. It all depends on how your goals are set and how you define success. Then compare man-hours and financial outlay vs. return to see how successful you were. The point is, a lot of marketing can come down to luck and circumstance as much as brilliant strategy. I’ve seen some great campaigns flounder while crap ones succeed – timing and a welcoming audience are key. However, one thing you can control is the measurement. And with social media and mobile marketing, measuring metrics has never been easier.