Annual marketing meetings have already occurred for 2014 and you’ve likely allocated your budget. Although you may have justified certain expenses, social media is an expense that needs no excuse. Social media marketing has proven to have positive ROI when executed correctly. To really get an idea of whether social media is worth your time or not, consider these primary social media metrics that drive the bottom line.

A recent eConsultancy/Adobe survey of over 650 marketers worldwide found that only 12% are able to track the effects of social media activity on revenue. Instead of looking for a direct source of revenue from social media (which can be hard to find), first look for what you are measuring.

Measurable Metrics

Social media is not a linear process. With that in mind, consider attribution. Reviewpro.com finds that driving revenue is one of several objectives, all of which can contribute to the bottom line. According to Nielsen’s latest Trust in Advertising survey, consumers trust the opinions of other consumers more than any other advertising source. A primary objective of social media then must be to harness its powerful sharing tools to get people talking about and recommending your brand—to get them selling for you.

Here are some important social media metrics to track:

1. Reach

Reach can help you directly connect social media data with business’ profits. One item you should pay attention to is your Audience Growth Rate. Audience Growth Rate allows you to evaluate marketing efforts over time, without getting distracted by irrelevant information total followers’ numbers.

2. Acquisition

The frequency of returning and new visitors helps optimize targeting efforts. Tools like Google Analytics let you track website referral traffic from social media, see what percentage of overall referrals come from social media, and determine the frequency rates of your visitors. This last metric represents the real improvement on standard click-through rates (CTR) numbers.

3. Engagement

Simplymeasured.com finds that beyond just the technical definition, engagement is a metric that tells you how well your content (posts, Tweets, stories, etc.) performs with your network. It’s the equivalent of pageviews, time on site and bounce rates in the web analytics world, and can answer questions like, “Am I getting the right responses from my audience?” or “Does my message resonate with my audience?” and “Do people like my content?” etc.

4. Share of Voice

Socialmediaexaminer.com defines share of voice as the number of conversations about your company versus your competitors/market. The value of online customer and prospect interaction can be tied to the share of voice (SOV) metric, which I like to call “The Big Picture Show.”

Share of Voice = Your Mentions / (Total Mentions for Competitive Companies/Brands)

Social media ROI takeaways:

  • Pay attention to all phases of the sales funnel.
  • It’s easy to be entranced by likes. Do they turn into leads and sales? Demand it.
  • Note if you have trouble tracking a specific phase, think of ways to measure it.
  • Use these metrics to keep improving your sales and loyalty results.

What social media metrics are of importance to you? Share with us on Facebook or Tweet Us!