by: Maria De Los Angeles Lopez De Lacalle, with Danni Eickenhorst
Once a company decides to put focus on social media, one critical step they must take is determining its goals for this medium, and how it will measure those goals. The goals should be based on Key Performance Indicators (KPI), which are measurements that inform their strategic decisions in the future.
1. Set the goals
We cannot determine which measurements are our KPI without first having decided our objectives. While many entrepreneurs sometimes operate without a clean business plan, most know the goals they want to achieve in order to be successful. Most business objectives have a corresponding marketing measurement.
Let’s suppose we are marketing and managing a hotel. Our objective for successful marketing would be to increase the number of sales. In order to measure how successful we are at the marketing we perform, we would need to measure and monitor the conversion rate of visitors to our website who book a hotel room.
2. Set goals and measure progress
Once we have determined the marketing measurements that best reflect our business goals, we need to establish what goals we will measure to ensure that we are making strategic decisions that achieve our business goals. We will need to establish the goals and measure our progress to make better marketing decisions.
Is very important not to measure just to measure. It does not worth it know my conversion rate if I don’t compare it with my goal.
3. Analyze the data
Once we have our measurements and goals, we must measure and analyze. While measuring our progress is important, it cannot be truly useful without further analysis. Some things we might consider include:
- How did those who visited our website and booked a hotel room arrive at our site?
- Of all of the sources of traffic, which ones were most likely to convert into booked rooms?
- Do we have any benchmark data we should compare against? What’s changed? Is it a positive or negative change?
- Do we have competitor data to compare our data to? While not all competitor metrics are comparable, since we have reduced access to their data, there is almost always something you can find through social networks or online research to benchmark your successes against those of your competitors.
4. Interpreting & Representation of data
With all the indicators collected, measured and contextualized, you have now arrived at the moment to represent that data. Consider the audience who will be reviewing your data.
If your audience is executives in a board room (professionals who don’t specialize in marketing, but who are more concerned with bottom line business goals), you may wish to display and convey this data in a way that avoids marketing jargon and showcases your actual impact on the bottom line. One way you may present this data is, “We launched a campaign to drive our Facebook and Twitter followers to our website in February. In February, we received 5,000 new website visitors from these channels, which was 75% higher than previous months. We analyzed the data, and in the end, found that Facebook visitors were 33% more likely to convert to sales once they arrived on our site. We plan to repeat and analyze this approach and data going forward, but preliminarily feel that our efforts might be best adjusted going forward by spending a proportionally higher amount of our marketing time and dollars on Facebook over Twitter.”
If your audience is a group of marketing professionals, you may wish to pair this data with more technical marketing measurements, such as engagement, followers, time on site, etc.
If you choose to utilize graphic representations of your data, carefully consider whether graphics or charts will be better received by your audience. Always tailor the information delivered to that audience.
In the interpretation of your data, results and insights in this way, with analysis and strategic direction recommendations, you are providing value, and helping your company make stronger strategic decisions.