Social networks are vital to locating customers following the baby boom generation. Have a look at the results from a end of year survey conducted by Statistic Brain.
How are you measuring your success? Did you set goals before you got started and revise along the way? It’s never too late to start. Which social networks are you focusing on? Here’s a list of the top 200 networks. For a more refined list, these are networks with at least 100 million active users.
What are we looking for when we talk about social metrics? I like to think of recordable actions. Here are some examples: A Facebook ‘like’, ‘share’ or ‘tag’, a Twitter ‘mention’ and ‘retweet’. This is really no different than looking at your website statistics such as page views. These are all examples of recordable actions.
There are many tools available right now for marketing professionals to track social metrics. Klout, TwitterCounter, HootSuite, Facebook Insights. For more tools, check out this article from Smallbiztrends.com. Using Google Analytics for your website? Here’s an article that explains how to set up an advanced segment to track traffic from social media sites by Socialmediaexaminer.com.
Now that you’ve identified where your social activity is winning and losing, what now? Research is the answer. For example, when you have a spike in recordable actions, you should research to explain why. What was it about that event, whether a post or comment, etc. that caused increased engagement with your audience.
How can you recover from a social blunder? Obviously, a negative engagement is a problem but you can make it a challenge to overcome. Let’s say you posted on Facebook and the comments are coming in very negative. At this point, the wave is beginning to crest. You can start paddling, or you can get crushed. Divorce yourself from the original post. Defending it isn’t an option, at least not if the reaction is truly negative and has any merit. Listen to the feedback. Get inside the minds of your audience. Figure out what would look heroic to them at this point. It’s likely a turnabout from where you started but it will earn respect and could even become a success story as customers who are shocked by your change of heart feel compelled to share it with others.
This post clearly is just scratching the surface. Your comments are always welcome and it would be great if you shared about a tool or metric that really helps your business understand the impact of social activity.