Social Media Campaigns: How to Track Your Success

Katie Fleming

Katie Fleming

Co-founder and COO of Owner Actions

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Using social media for your business is vital, but it’s not enough to simply post content. You need to track your results to see what’s workingand what isn’t.

To do this, you’ll set goals, define success for your business, and collect and study key analytics. And, importantly, you’ll gather what you’ve learned to determine which strategies are most successful for your audience and select the practices you want to apply in future campaigns.

 

What will be I tracking?

You’ll measure your business’s social media performance in two distinct ways: your overall performance on a platform and the success of your specific campaigns.

 

Performance analytics will help you keep tabs on your brand’s overall social performance. Among other metrics you might find relevant, you’ll assess whether your follower growth is steady and whether you're getting the right level of engagement on your everyday content. Weekly or monthly check-ins will help you track your progress against these metrics over time.

 

Campaign analytics, meanwhile, can help you gauge the performance of a specific marketing initiative, such as a new product launch or a holiday campaign. You might investigate how well your campaign-related posts are performing, whether the campaign seems to be resonating with your followers, or the volume of positive or negative comments you’re receiving to gauge your success.

 

How will I track my performance?

To keep tabs on your performance in these two areas, you’ll need to benchmark your current performance and monitor your activity over time.

Benchmark

Start by studying the success of your social media accounts today—or during a period of normal (non-promotional) activity. Record your viewership and number of engagements with posts, paying attention to which posts generate the most attention. The stats you collect will serve as your benchmark.

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Track

Next, track your pages’ activity over time. Ongoing analytics will help you stay in touch with the general conversation about your brand and company. This easy-to-automate task can run with little intervention on your part. You can check in regularly to view your progress.

Campaigns require a different tack because you’ll want to measure the effectiveness and impact of each initiative. You’ll expect to see spikes in viewership, engagement, and visits to your website, and you want to ensure that your posts help you achieve those goals. .

 

The key is to set a plan that helps you track how each piece drives action from your audience. Ready to dive in? Here are five steps for tracking the success of your social media campaigns:

 

Step 1: Set goals for your social media campaigns

First things first: Decide what you want to accomplish with a particular campaign. Is your goal to spread awareness on a particular issue or cause? Do you want to build a community and engage with customers? Do you want to get people to sign up for your company’s email list? Clear goals are essential for social media campaign success.

Next, think about the goals you have for each post in your campaign. Do you want your audience to learn more about you or your business? Are you hoping for retweets or reposts? Or, do you want readers to click through to your website and make a purchase? Clarity here will help you develop posts that drive a meaningful, measurable response among your audience.

Your goals will help you determine which social platform you should use to reach your audience. For instance, if you’re launching a campaign to recruit new employees, you’ll probably want to focus on LinkedIn and not Instagram. Informing your audience, building your email list, and generating sales may drive you to consider other options.

Step 2: Set metrics to measure your progress

The purpose of your campaign may be to drive purchases, build brand awareness, or encourage engagement with your pages. To determine if your campaign succeeds on those fronts, you’ll need to establish and track a set of metrics.

Here are some guidelines to help you get started:

  • If your goal is to sell a new product, you may want to track the total dollar amount of sales generated from customers who visit your site from social media and the percentage of people who make a purchase when they’re on your site.
  • If you’re trying to raise brand awareness, you may measure reach (the number of users who saw a particular social media post) and impressions (the number of times a particular social media post was viewed) to determine how far your message is spreading.
  • If you want to boost engagement on your social channels, track metrics such as likes, comments, and shares to determine whether, how, and when your users engage with your content.

 

The metrics you choose will help you select the right tools to analyze your data.

 

Step 3: Decide which analytics tool you'll use

Once you’ve decided what your social media goals are and which metrics you want to focus on, find tools to help you gather and analyze your data.

Most social media platforms have built-in analytics tools that are great jumping-off points for small business marketers. These tools can tell you—at a glance—how many reactions or responses you’ve received on a post. But if you want to track more complicated metrics (like post sentiment or sales conversion rates), look into some third-party options like Google Analytics, Zoho Social, and Hootsuite. You may even consider building your own analytics tools using application programming interfaces (APIs).

Whether you choose to use free analytics tools or buy a more robust solution, your business will benefit from the insights you gain. Check in often to understand which content is getting you the best results, and make notes that can help you retool your social media strategy and boost the success of your future campaigns. This takes us to the next step.

 

Step 4: Monitor and report on your social media campaigns

Is your campaign helping you achieve a key business objective? Did the post you invested your morning into creating make a meaningful difference in your effort? Did this campaign achieve more than the one you ran last month, last quarter, or last year? You can find the answers to these questions (and many more) when you monitor your campaign.

Reports can help you find the answers you need. Robust analytics tools such as Hubspot allow you to generate detailed reports instantaneously. Users of free solutions will need to put in a bit more work to document and track their progress, but many sites offer free social media analytics report templates. You can find these through a quick Google search.

It’s important that you run reports at regular intervals (perhaps bi-weekly during the regular business operations and weekly during special campaign pushes) to gain insights you can use before scheduling future posts.

 

Step 5: Learn and adjust

You can find valuable takeaways in every campaign you run, and you can use them to optimize your future campaigns—or even change direction mid-campaign if need be. For instance, if you notice that an Instagram post is getting low reach and poor engagement, you might edit the caption and see if you get a better response. If you find that your video content performs great on Instagram but only so-so on Facebook, you can switch to posting only static images on Facebook and watch for changes in engagement.

As you implement changes, be sure to continue measuring the engagement you’re getting. Pay attention to the pieces that get the best reactions and try to find commonalities. You can gain valuable insights that will help you ensure your efforts—and investments in your campaigns—are well spent.

 

What's next?

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