The Leading and Lagging Indicators of Social Media Success

If you have a social media campaign in place, you want to establish both quantitative and qualitative goals to analyze if your campaign is succeeding or failing. The quantitative goals tell you if you are succeeding from a results perspective. Qualitative goals act as leading indicators of success.

Here are some of the goals that you want to establish:
– Volume and quality of comments
– Volume of shares
– Network size (followers, fans, friends)
– Volume of visitors and sources of traffic
– Volume of leads and presentations

Let’s take a more in-depth look at some of the metrics to consider.

The 6 Leading Indicators of Success in Social Media
As a digital marketing agency, we alsways say that if you truly want to understand how your business is performing, you want to look at both the leading and lagging indicators of success. For social media, the same holds true. There are six leading indicators of success in social media marketing. The first three key metrics that are important to keep an eye on as leading indicators of success are the volume of comments, quality of comments, and volume of shares.

Monitor the Volume and Quality of Comments
By monitoring the volume of comments, it’s a clear indication of the quality of your content. But, volume does not show you the complete picture. This is where the quality of comments come in. To check the quality of comments, you want to review the sentiment of your comments that are made about your brand, products, and key personnel.

Monitor the Number of Shares
The third metric that you want to track is the number of shares. The reason for monitoring the number of shares is because it’s another key indicator of the quality of your content and traffic to your Website.

By monitoring these leading indicators, you’re able to see if you’re improving your ability to increase your network size (followers, fans, friends); volume of visitors and sources of traffic; and the volume of leads and presentations.

The volume of comments and shares indicates if you will be able to increase your network size, traffic to your website, as well as the leads and presentations, which are the three remaining vital metrics to track.

Monitor Your Network Size
By growing your network size in Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube, you’re increasing your influence and ability to reach a larger audience.

Monitor Your Traffic, Leads and Presentations
By driving traffic from your social networks to your Website, you’re driving your lead and presentation volume.

The best metric to use to track Website visitors is unique visitors from each social network, which gives you a strong indication of how well each of your social networks are performing to drive traffic to your Website.

To analyze the quality of the traffic that you’re driving from your social networks to your Website, monitor your lead and presentation volume from this traffic.

If you’re driving good quality traffic to your site, you should be producing leads and presentations from that traffic, which are two of the most important indicators of Internet marketing success.

To be successful with social media from a business perspective, you want to also determine how much each lead or sale is costing you.

Measuring your ROI
When measuring social media ROI, measuring likes, fans, re-tweets, and even sentiment are important, but they do not show you your real return on investment from a business perspective.

This does not mean that you should not monitor these metrics. It simply means that you want to treat social media the same way that you treat the rest of your marketing channels from a business perspective.

You want to focus on what each conversion is costing you. For example, if you have 50 sales from your social media campaign, you want to analyze how much your cost per sale is on average. Then, it’s a matter of comparing your cost per sale to the average revenue per sale. Deduct the cost and you have your ROI.

To improve your ROI, it’s important to understand that your leads generated through your social campaigns are considered soft leads, and you can use an automated email marketing campaign to convert these soft (unqualified) leads into hard leads, which are your buying customers or qualified leads.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. We are here to help.