Why a social media measurement framework is vital for your business

For a lot of businesses, gathering data from social media platforms, websites, blogs and customers, isn’t the challenge.

In contrast, businesses – regardless of their size – are completely swamped with data and struggling to derive anything meaningful from it.

Converting this data to be able to give a competitive advantage, is usually seen by many marketers as simply a ‘technical problem’.

“We’ll need such and such digital tools and platforms to help give meaning to our data” is what you usually hear them say.

We do agree on the process of collecting data as technical in nature, but it’s actually more of a ‘strategic’ challenge.

In today’s ‘big data’ age, we’re not really short of data. Most businesses have some form of data tracking systems embedded into their processes – we’ve got data coming from websites, social media platforms, apps and more.

As you can imagine, the problem isn’t getting hold of data. It’s what businesses do with data is where the challenge lies. How to they manage it? Can they structure it to tell a story?

It’s one thing to have huge amounts of data, but quite another to extract any value from it – specially when you’re in the social media industry.

This is why businesses need to develop measurement frameworks.

So, what exactly is a ‘measurement framework’?

In short, these frameworks provide a way to structure your data – help you make sense of it all.

To help you with analysing data, it’s necessary to have all the right tools available at your disposal. Sure, these top-of-the-line digital tools can enable your teams to devise a strategic approach to analytics. But how do you make sure your metrics are collected and reported in the context of your overall business objectives?

A measurement framework can help embed your identified KPIs (key performance indicators) around the objectives, goals and ultimately the overall strategy of the business.

Imagine having a coherent strategy that is always in-tune with your business KPIs and thanks to a measurement framework – you always have actionable insights on your progress.

A measurement framework is a prerequisite to creating meaningful value using your organization’s data.

The right measurement framework for social media success?

To be able to develop a winning social media framework for your business, there are two fundamental details you need to figure out first:

  • Clearly defined business objectives
  • A set of metrics that are directly related to your identified objectives

Any successful strategy has a set of clearly defined objectives; without which, it’s like a car driving without a destination. But objectives alone just will not cut it.

You need to put in place the proper metrics, that will show your progress and give you an understanding of exactly how close you are to achieving your business objectives.

Sure, metrics in traditional media have always been about quantity rather than quality. There, it’s all about the eyeballs and total reach etc.

Social media on the other hand, has a strong measurable factor to it; we’ve got engagement, shares, comments, likes, click-throughs and more.

It’s much easier to measure and analyse with the help of a plethora of digital tools available, allowing you to track exactly what you want.

But there’s a problem.

The social ‘abundance’

There are simply too many social platforms to choose from, right? You’ve got Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and more keep popping up all the time.

In this environment of countless social channels, how do you stay focused? How not to get intimidated by social stats – that are vastly different for every platform.

The most important question is how do you ‘standardise’ your measurement across these different social platforms? Is there a way to figure out a unifying method of measurement?

These are some of the questions – which every marketer in today’s social ‘abundance’ atmosphere keeps asking – while trying to draw a conclusion that’s more in line with business objectives.

The link between social metrics and business objectives

From a broader perspective, businesses are present on social media for three main objectives – and you can pretty much slot any goal under one of these three objectives.

You’ve got awareness, engagement and conversion.

Let’s briefly have a look at what each of these mean in today’s social landscape.

Awareness: You want to be out there, for everyone to see your business. You want more people to know about you, your news, activities, products, events etc

Engagement: You want to tap into your audience, communicate with them, make them into a community, and get them to participate.

Conversion: You want your community to take action; to download, subscribe, give feedback, purchase etc.

Once you decide which social media activities and efforts will help you achieve these objectives, the decision to choose the social platform and identifying metrics for tracking your objectives becomes much easier.

Let’s say, your business outlines ‘increasing conversions from social in 2019 by X’ as an objective.

You would want to know, for example, the number of total leads coming from social. Metrics likes conversion rate, click-through rate, cost per click, CPM etc are the ones that will help you get the answer.

If conversion is indeed your primary objective, it’s strongly suggested not to get bogged down by engagement or awareness metrics.

Figuring out the right metrics for your social media objectives is an absolute necessity if you’re going to extract any value from your measurement framework and use that information to help deliver key insights on social measurement that will resonate with senior management.

The power of a social media measurement framework

Now that you’ve got a solid measurement framework in place, it’s time to use it your advantage – and justify your social media efforts to senior management.

But before you go about presenting a business case for social media, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Choose between 3 to 5 primary metrics that have direct influence on key business objectives.
  • Set mini-goals, preferably with milestones, that show progress towards the overlying goal(s).
  • Research historical trends to create benchmarks against which to measure your performance. This will help management with a quick view at overall progress.

Keep in mind while reporting to senior management, your measurement framework should help highlight the overall impact of your social media activities – and most importantly, any specific successes that your social campaigns are having on business objectives and how they’re impacting the bottom-line.

It’s important to stress that metrics identified in the measurement framework, need to be aligned with business objectives – like increase in revenue or reputation – which will not only help you justify social media’s worth (and your own) but also demand extra budgets.

Next steps?

Think about how are you currently measuring success of your social media efforts.

If you don’t have a measurement framework in place at the moment, we strongly suggest you develop one. You will find that taking the time to design a thorough framework pays off. If done carefully, it will result in a rock-hard foundation for your social media success.

Orginially posted on https://www.westrategise.com/social-media-measurement-framework-for-businesses/

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