Tracking metrics and analyzing data may seem like a nightmare at worst and a bore at best to many creatives in the marketing space. However, if you don't track progress, you'll never know if all your hard work is achieving your nonprofit organization's objectives.
For most organizations, social media marketing includes several channels and different ways to measure engagement with each. When it comes to tracking metrics and analyzing results it quickly becomes daunting. This is why it's essential to know which metrics are important and which you can let slide.
Here's our list of social media metrics to track, from most important to least.
The number one metric to track is conversions. Converting website visitors into customers is one of the best markers for the success of any social media campaign. For your nonprofit organization, that might mean tracking how many followers you can convert to donors, volunteers, or members.
To track conversions effectively, first set a goal of what you want to achieve. Is it driving donations? Or getting newsletter or email list signups? Maybe it's selling event tickets? Whatever your driver for success, determine what the completion of the conversion looks like and start tracking that.
For example, tracking visits to a Thank You page that can only be reached by completing a donation is a great way to measure conversions. You can also track conversions by the number of clicks on a Donation button. Using analytics tools to drill down, you can see which channels are gaining the most conversions.
Social Media Traffic
Traffic on your website is a great way to gauge how much buzz your marketing efforts are creating on social media and elsewhere. Using a marketing analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, you should be able to track where website visitors are coming from. By connecting all your social media channels, you gain insight into how your marketing campaigns drive website traffic across all sources.
This is also helpful for understanding whether a particular social media channel is worth the time and energy you're putting in. If Twitter, for example, isn't gaining conversions, then perhaps use it only for major announcements rather than as the focus of your social media marketing strategy.
Tracking engagement is probably the easiest and most common way to track social media metrics. It's easy to measure likes, comments, retweets, and shares, and most social media platforms make that data readily available.
Engagement helps you understand how many people actively interact with your brand on social media versus the number of people who scroll by it.
In order to drive conversions, you need to have an engaged following. After all, when your organization inspires and motivates people to get involved, then you can bring awareness and action to serve your cause better.
It can be easy to miss one-on-one engagement such as direct interaction, responses to comments, or @s on Twitter. And often, in those harder to see and measure places, is where you can dig deeper to find the sentiment behind the engagement. For example, Facebook Business Suite will tell you how many Reactions a post got, but it's harder to drill down to find the kinds of reactions it received. And when there are several response options, from Like to Haha to Angry, the type of reactions you're getting can tell you a lot!
Any nonprofit marketer gets excited when they see follower counts rise. It means that more people will see the message they're sharing. While it is certainly something that you should be tracking, but it's by far the least effective measurement of success. After all, even if your social media following reaches a million, if you're not getting conversions, you might as well have none.
Being too focused on gaining followers can also lead to marketing campaigns that are sensational or trying too hard. Neither is good for the integrity of your nonprofit organization. It's better to gain followers at a slow and steady rate than by trying to go viral and ruining your reputation along the way.
Focus on the Right Social Media Metrics
When you focus on the right social media metrics (and stop tracking the ones that don't have any ROI), you can see the impact of your efforts more clearly.
ArcStone provides customized marketing services for thoughtful brands and nonprofits. We know your needs and goals are unique and require a unique approach. If you need help developing an effective social media strategy and identifying metrics that matter, contact us.