How’s social media working for your small business? How do you track what’s working and what’s isn’t? There are lots of things you could track, but which social media metrics will give you actionable information that will help you grow your business? Here are a few ideas to help get you started.
Most small business start of their social media measurement efforts by tracking audience size, i.e., Twitter followers, Facebook likes, LinkedIn connections, etc. Audience size can help you see if you are trending in the right direction, but by itself it doesn’t provide you with very much insight.
To add some context to audience size, many small businesses find it helpful to measure the level of engagement with their audience. Two common social media metrics that measure engagement are Click Rate and Interaction Rate.
Click rate is simply the number of clicks your posts/updates receive divided by your audience. Click rate can help you determine how useful your audience finds the information you are sharing.
You can also measure your Interaction Rate (Interactions / Audience). While click rate measures clicks on links that you share, interaction rate measures all interactions i.e., re-tweets, replies, shares, likes, comments, etc.
Small business marketers often use social media to promote their marketing content. If you use social media this way, you may also want to measure clicks per post and interactions per post. Use these metrics to identify content that resonates with your audience and create more content like it.
Of course, when looking at these metrics you need to consider who your audience is, what you are sharing, and the fit between the two. Having high engagement rates on content that is of little interest to your ideal customers is unlikely to help you meet your business goals.
One last quick note – when discussing metrics, small business owners often ask me what the “ideal” number is they should be shooting for as a goal. I don’t believe there is a set of benchmarks for small business social media marketing to date. Even if benchmarks did exist, I believe small business marketers should focus on the trends, and what they can learn from them, in their metrics rather than trying to target a specific number.
Bill Brelsford Small Business Marketing Consultant