6 Tricks for Adding Social Media Metrics to Your Marketing Dashboard
For marketers who've figured out how to measure social media marketing results and have an organization-wide marketing dashboard in place, there may only be one more step to complete: Adding the social media metrics to the dashboard.
Here to provide advice on how to do the integration well are:
- Zach N. Hofer-Shall, an analyst covering social intelligence for Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research;
- Wayne Morris, chief executive officer of Louisville, Colo.-based software-as-a-service marketing dashboard company myDIALS; and
- Fajr Muhammad, search manager for Philadelphia-based direct marketing agency TPG, an Omnicom/DAS company.
1. Before adding social media metrics to the dashboard, figure out what metrics to use. Muhammad adds that marketers must also determine how they will measure return on investment in order to "solidify the performance and benefit of any social media program."
Morris says, for marketers who view SM outreach as an aspect of integrated marketing efforts, the following metrics may apply: "Number of people we are attracting, Twitter followers and Facebook fans for example; level of engagement, [as in] tweets, retweets, mentions; quality of engagement, [including] positive tweet/retweet sentiment [and] Facebook Likes; conversion, [or] referrals to the company's website from Twitter and Facebook; conversion quality, [such as] bounce rates, page views and time spent on the site as a result of referrals from Twitter and Facebook; [and finally] conversion could also go further by tracking referral source through to a sales order."
Don't forget, Morris adds, to set goals and have key people "proactively review the dashboard" to ensure the targets are being met.
2. Support traditional measurement with social metrics, Hofer-Shall says. "Don't fall into the hype-trap of social media," he adds. "The data online conversation creates is only as valuable as the metrics to which it's compared. So avoid looking at social media data in a silo. Try combining social metrics with Web analytics data, survey data or other traditional customer data."
Continuing with this multichannel mindset, Morris says marketers can do more than optimize their SM outreach through measurement. The dashboard view of SM can help them optimize the associated landing pages.
3. Use social media data for qualitative and quantitative measurement. "The volumes of online conversation give marketers the ability to track what happened and why," Hofer-Shall says. "The qualitative insights from customers' discussions give color to the story, while the aggregated content as a whole gives marketers longitudinal understanding for focused measurement."
4. Look at social as a series of channels, not a single channel. "Many marketers fall into the trap of treating Twitter or Facebook as their social channel," explains Hofer-Shall. "Social media is a combination of many channels—some more relevant to marketers than others. For example, much of the relevant B-to-B discussions happen in discussion forums. Just following discussions on Twitter isn't enough for a measurement strategy."
Track early and track often, Muhammad says: "The nature of social media is real time and constantly evolving, so missing out on crucial conversations can hurt your bottom line. Having a tool in place that will aggregate social data from the beginning is integral to establishing a baseline and identifying how your social media presence grows."
5. Harness social metrics to inform customer influence, Hofer-Shall says. "Social media provides a wealth of information around an individual," he says. "Through social media, marketers can identify their influential customers based on the size and quality of their social networks, and use this information to inform their segmented customer contact strategies and measurement practices."
6. Start small and simple. "Social media is a vast and messy world with a broad range of spam, noise and discussions about what people had for lunch," Hofer-Shall says. "It's easy to get overwhelmed by the data; so marketers should start with a single product or campaign and track online conversations relevant to their needs. Once they've identified the right ways to track this data, they can add it to their dashboards, then scale to other campaigns. But starting with everything makes it very difficult to scale back."
Building on that thought, Muhammad reminds marketers to remember that friends, fans and followers are people. "Tapping into the main social influencers and gathering pertinent data will aid in remarketing and retargeting efforts in social media and related campaigns."