SOCIAL media is rapidly becoming one of the most important business
tools for marketing, branding and increasing customer engagement. As its
use grows, monitoring and measuring its results and return on
investment (ROI) will become more and more important for marketers
looking to meet their organisations’ growth objectives.
Identify the goals
Before you embark on a social media strategy for your organisation,
it is important to clearly identify and define your goals. This point
can’t be emphasised enough, especially in the fast-paced realm of social
media, where a poorly planned social media strategy can quickly
backfire. Many businesses use social media to increase their brand
awareness, establish themselves as thought leaders within their
industry, increase demand generation, or as a means to actively engage
The goals of social media will be unique to each business depending
on its current size, marketing position and future goals. Another key
consideration is the target audience, as this affects the strategy and
social media platforms.
Knowing where your audience likes to spend their time and their
online social persona will help you identify the best platforms to
target with your social media marketing initiatives.
Monitoring the social media
Once you have identified your organisation’s goals and which
platforms your target audience are using, you should conduct research
and monitor the relevant social media platforms.
Monitoring (or listening) is a means of finding out what is being
said about your organisation, which platforms its being said on, and by
It is integral for you to know who is driving the conversations about
your organisation, what are the top issues being talked about, and
where your customers are interacting, in order to know where and how you
can add value for them. Knowing where your customers live online gives
you a gateway into the community, allowing you to engage directly with
It also provides the overall social persona of your target consumer,
as well as their interactions regarding your product, service, staff or
organisation. This will give you insights into topics that your
consumers are passionate about.
Now that you understand the issues involved and where your customers
are, you can start measuring. There are a few basic things you can
measure, which work for most businesses and marketing goals.
- Reach – This refers to how far your social media marketing efforts
have extended. Reach can be easily quantified through the numbers of
subscribers to your blog feeds, sign-ups for your newsletters, followers
on Twitter and fans on Facebook.
- Buzz – This is built through conversations and mentions. Buzz can be
measured by the number of times your company or product is mentioned in
various social media platforms, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, or Del.icio.us,
and the number of conversations on your blog or that of other bloggers.
- Buzz can be quantified through page hit analytics that will let you
know exactly how much traffic is being driven to your website or other
- Sentiment – This measurement is about figuring out the percentage of
people who are saying positive or negative things about your company,
brand, and products.
Sentiment is usually tracked over a period of time and a change in
sentiment is a good indicator of whether your social media strategy is
working or failing to reach its intended goals.
- Contact Acquisition/ Demand Generation – This is an important and
easily quantifiable measurement, if your company has embarked on social
media to drive your demand generation.
Tapping on the tools
There are quite a few tools available to assist in social media
monitoring and measuring. Some of the tools which can help you measure
- Social Mention: a social media search and analysis platform that
aggregates user generated content from across the universe into a single
stream of information.
- Google Alerts: free tool to monitor millions of blogs and new sites
using target keywords, which provides streaming or batch reports.
- Viralheat: a social media monitoring tool that tracks hundreds of
video sharing sites, twitter, blogs, social networks, groups and forums
in real-time. It can also restrict your profiles by location, and thus
help power regional marketing and monitoring campaigns.
- Radian6: a complete platform to listen, measure and engage with your customers across the entire social web.
- JamiQ: a local Singapore company that monitors social media in any
language and market, thus offering the ability to track the world’s
conversations from a single dashboard.
By measuring and monitoring the efficacy of your social media
strategy, you will be better positioned to attune the strategy to the
organisations’ objectives and goals. At the same time, you will
significantly boost the ROI, thereby maximising your social media
This article was written by Anol Bhattacharya The writer is director and CEO of GetIT Comms, a company that
develops and implements marketing programmes, campaigns and projects for