The importance of social media in 2017 simply cannot be stressed enough. With 2.56 billion people across various social networks, this is probably the single most substantial demographic relevant to marketers and business owners alike. Even some of the greatest brands in the world are followed exclusively through social networks, which presents one more strong case in favor of utilizing social media marketing for your business.
While everyone knows that the social media is vital to the success of your business, how exactly do you measure its effectiveness? Furthermore, which trends out there are the most important ones for you to focus on? These are just some of the questions digital marketers all over the world are working hard to answer. Now, while it is true that there is no definitive answer to this question, there are several social media metrics you need to pay attention to in 2018.
1. The number of followers
The first, and also the most straightforward metric to monitor is the number of followers your brand has. Not only does this help you increase your reach but it also gives you a, more or less, objective indicator of the success of your business. Apart from this, sometimes it might be handy to know how many people are single-platform exclusive and which of them tend to follow you through numerous channels.
Establishing a number of your followers is not the only thing that could benefit your business in the long run. You might want to take a look at the popularity of others, as well. For instance, if you’re going to determine which influencers to reach out to, it is useful to be able to classify them as micro- or macro-influencers. The first ones have 10,000 to 100,000 followers, while the latter count their followers in millions.
Finally, in this way you can also compare the popularity of your brand with your competitors. However, the fact that they have more followers doesn’t necessarily mean that they have more clients or that they have better sales. Usually, the main reasons for one’s social network popularity are the quality and frequency of posted content.
2. Brand mentions
Another thing worth keeping an eye out for is brand mentions. A popular proverb claims that there is no such thing as bad media coverage, however, for a startup or an SMB, a single misstep can mean doom. Luckily, in most of these situations, the damage can be remedied if discovered on time. For this reason, turning to media monitoring tools and platforms can be just the thing you need. With the right tool, you can quickly get the so-called real data intelligence about your product, service or company and always be ready to respond accordingly.
One other thing that is common knowledge online is that every single platform has its own target demographic. For instance, tech companies favor YouTube over any other network, while those focusing on home improvement, and arts and crafts may find a more willing audience on Pinterest. Moreover, Facebook is a predominantly female network, while Snapchat mostly attracts a teen audience.
Nonetheless, what you need to have in mind is the fact that these things change. In just a couple of years, some of these teens will be in their twenties. Will they still be on Snapchat? Who knows. Still, this is a question you need to be asking yourself over and over again since you never know when the answer will change.
4. Top Influencers
In one of the previous sections, we mentioned that influencers could be divided into two major groups. However, this division is not as useful as you may assume. If you were to take the number of followers as the only metric, you would think that a macro-influencer will always be more popular than their less popular counterpart, but this is not necessarily true.
Sometimes, the niche of an influencer means much more than their overall reach. For instance, if you were to open a hardware store, you would benefit more from a DIY blog with a 10,000 followers strong fan base than from a beauty blogger with 1,000,000 subscribers. The niche-specific reputation is definitely a factor you cannot afford to ignore. For this reason alone, you must continuously be on the watch for top-influencers in your industry and even keep an eye out for any rising stars you might work with in the future.
At the end of the day, the ‘success’ of your social media efforts mostly depends on your long-term objectives. In most cases, we are talking about the boost in sales, a breakthrough on other markets and the increase in your fan base. Nonetheless, to achieve this, you must first know exactly what your objectives are and then monitor all the metrics that are relevant to achieving them. This is also why one-size-fits-all techniques usually don’t give the desired results.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and regular contributor to Technivorz.