Social media marketing isn’t something you should just do for the sake of it. Too often, businesses set up accounts on various social media platforms because it seemed like a good idea only to forget about them a few months later. Ever visited a company’s Facebook page that hasn’t been updated in at least 6 months?
For B2B marketers, social media is much more -- it’s a critical part of any digital marketing strategy to engage new prospects and past customers.
Whether you’re running a Facebook business page, looking for leads on LinkedIn, or (hopefully) using multiple social platforms to spread brand awareness, you need to track what’s working -- and what’s not.
8 Social Media Metrics for Brand Awareness
Running social campaigns without check-ins and analysis is like running a manufacturing line without doing QA. If you don’t adjust based on what your results (or your metrics) are telling you, you won’t hit your goals.
Having a handle on these 8 important metrics will help you revise -- or rebuild, if necessary -- your brand awareness strategy as needed:
Likes fall under the broad umbrella of “engagement.”
Specifically, likes show that users have seen your content and find you insightful, entertaining, or helpful.
Likes come in 2 forms: Post likes and page likes.
On Facebook, someone liking your business page means they’re now connected to your page and will start receiving updates from your page in their news feed. Meanwhile, liking a singular post means someone’s letting you know they find a specific link or thought interesting.
If your audience responds to a certain blog or video topic you’ve posted on social media, plan more of your content around that topic going forward.
2. Link clicks
When someone clicks on your post, they’re agreeing to follow a link to your content. You piqued their curiosity so much that they wanted more.
This is a good thing.
Clicks are likes on steroids. If you get potential buyers to click, it means you’ve really hit their pain point or written a super engaging social post. Good job!
Social shares are another form of engagement.
If someone publicly passes along content you posted on their social media account, all of their followers will see it, too. That’s a lot of extra eyeballs. And if the right person or company shares something, you could see your brand awareness skyrocket.
Remember: You’ve got to make something worth sharing. Are your posts entertaining and helpful? Or are you simply regurgitating company selling points?
Comments let you see how your content and products are resonating with your audience.
Take note of the quantity of comments certain topics receive -- comments clue you in that people care enough to discuss it. But also take note of the quality of comments, too. What do people have to say about your ideas and your products -- good or bad? These can be the trigger to quickly adjust your digital marketing strategy.
This one’s vague, but still important.
Social media reach is the estimated number of social media users that could have contact with a post. Reach is as much about potential for success as it is about proven success.
Social platforms have tools to show you exactly how many people have “seen” your post. It’s important to know what “reached” or “seen” means on each platform. For example, on Facebook, someone “seeing” a post means it appears in their news feed, not necessarily that they clicked on it.
Note that reach will be lower than impressions, which is a similar metric except that it counts multiple “looks” by the same person. Reach only includes unique “looks.”
Factors that affect reach, such as the day, time, and format vary by social channel. Each social network employs unique algorithms that determine the number of people who will see your post.
Some people try to amass thousands upon thousands of followers, regardless of relevancy. Others don’t care about follower total, only about engagement rates.
Perhaps the answer’s in the middle -- for those trying to increase B2B brand awareness, follower count matters.
A side benefit of tracking followers is you can compare success levels of 2 or more social channels. You may find your LinkedIn page is killing it, but your YouTube channel needs some serious love. If your analysis discovers the same trend over and over, maybe it’s time to focus somewhere other than YouTube.
To a lesser extent, this benefit applies to all other metrics on this list. Use your results to help you decide which social channels to focus your efforts on.
7. Audience Growth Rate
Audience Growth Rate is the same metric as followers except that you’re examining a percentage increase (hopefully) over time.
Studying growth rate allows you to evaluate social marketing efforts over a month, a quarter, a year, etc.
Now you’ll know whether you’re trending upward or need to switch up your brand messaging.
If people @ you, it means they’re talking about you. If you’re interesting enough to talk about, you’re doing something right (unless you’ve ticked someone off).
Tracking social mentions shows:
- Whether people love, hate, or are curious about your brand
- The time and day of the week they’re mentioning you
Sometimes users don’t know you can @ people ... or they don’t bother ... or they do it incorrectly. That doesn’t mean you have to stay in the dark about their habits. If you search your brand on Twitter or Facebook, mentions of your brand name in posts will still come up in the search results. You just won’t get that handy notification, so you’ve got to look manually.
A Word of Caution
Be aware that each social channel has slightly different ways of measuring things. For example, on Facebook Insights, “People Engaged” is the number of unique users who’ve liked, commented on, shared, or clicked on your posts in the past week.
More examples: Did you know that on LinkedIn, a post and an article are 2 different things? Or that when using a company page, you can’t see the names of people who follow your profile?
The point is, you should check the rules and stat parameters for each social site so you don’t make an apples-to-oranges comparison.
Keep on Track With Tracking
Brand awareness -- especially B2B brand awareness -- is a tricky subject. Now that virtually every company is active online -- even manufacturers -- competition for users’ attention will gradually get tougher.
It’s vital to make sure you’re tracking what you’re doing on social media and whether it’s worked so far. You’ll be a step ahead of the competition, whether you’re updating a simple spreadsheet each month or letting a social tool like HubSpot’s handle data collection.
Continuously tracking social metrics can be the difference between rounding the corner toward the finish line and cluelessly running straight off a cliff.