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Using social media metrics to build brand engagement

What can social media metrics tell you about how consumers perceive your brand? And which metrics really matter? A social media expert explains.

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even Snapchat, using a social media platform is a great way to engage with your customers, build trust in your product or service, and ideally lead to more sales.

According to the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report, 63 per cent of customers are likely to review a brand’s social media presence before making an online purchase – especially when they’re first-time visitors to your website.

With this in mind, it’s crucial to understand how to use social media metrics to continue building your customers’ confidence in your brand.

Two key social media metrics

Measuring success on social media isn’t difficult but there are two key metrics that will help determine if your social media efforts are getting the results you want.

These two metrics are engagement and sentiment. And the effectiveness of both relies heavily on good, relevant content.

“Engagement is the number of interactions people have with your content,” explains Thijs Vrieselaar, Australia Post’s Social Media Specialist.

“These interactions aren’t just limited to likes, comments and shares alone but also clicks on a video to turn on the sound or on an image to enlarge it. A post’s engagement rate will essentially tell you if your followers found it interesting and relevant.”

To calculate a post’s engagement rate, divide the number of people who engaged with your content by the number of people who saw it. According to Thijs, an engagement rate of 15 per cent is a strong score for a small business.

Sentiment, on the other hand, is a little harder to measure. “Sentiment tells you if the engagement is positive, neutral or negative. As a business, you want to get the highest engagement rate with the most positive sentiment,” Thijs says.

The best way to gauge your followers’ sentiments is to manually read each comment and keep track of each reaction on Facebook. Gaining or losing followers is another indicator of sentiment.

Other common metrics

Apart from engagement and sentiment, the other common metrics that will tell you how your brand is performing on social media are the following four:

Reach

The number of people who see your content.

Impressions

The number of times your content is displayed on social media to both your followers and non-followers.

Click-through rate (CTR)

The number of people who clicked on your content divided by the number of people who saw that content.

Conversions

The number of people who took action after seeing your post by subscribing or making a purchase or downloading a free report or e-book.

Many brands often use social media advertising to drive CTR and conversions. This form of advertising is a powerful tool provided your advertisement is relevant to the right audience.

“When your objective is conversion then you must make sure your ad isn’t just appealing but also accurate,” says Thijs. “The ad’s appeal will drive CTR and get people to your website. Its accuracy will convince them to convert from prospects to customers.”

“The conversion rate is usually measured by the number of people visiting the website divided by the number of people who convert into customers. This will tell you if your ad has done a good job at setting customer’s expectations and selling them on your product.”

Ultimately, it boils down to using the right metrics to measure your return on investment. Start by getting clear on your social media objective. Then choose the right type of social media post to reach this objective and right social media metrics to measure the success of the post.

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