What should you measure in social to actually grow your business?

Welcome back to the blog! We sure hope you've been staying warm and keeping the winter blues at bay. In our last entry we looked into what New Zealand brands were killing it in the social media game from the beginning of January 2018 up until the end of June 2018. In this we saw some very definitive winners whose strategies were working to engage and create a fluid experience for followers, as well as entertain and encourage them to interact with their ads. If you haven't read that yet, check it out here.

But now we're going to delve into something a little more intrinsic. No, not in the boring sense of course! But it's a subject that asks a very critical question and that is: what should you actually be measuring in social to grow and enhance your business?

What the heck does that mean?

Surely Facebook or Google Analytics should be able to tell you how you're doing, right? Wrong! This is where a measurement culture becomes critical. A measurement culture is fundamental to understanding and improving an organisation's performance.

It's hard to remember a time nowadays when we weren't glued to our smartphones, liking, commenting, sharing and so on for both personal and work reasons. Because of this fundamental technology shift (and remember that smart phones as we know them have only really been around for the last 10 years!), TV and radio ads are no longer the be-all and end-all of how well your business is performing in the eyes of a customer. In fact, finding an audience large enough, engaged enough, and ready to click on your message and interact with what you have to offer can be found more reliably so on social media than on any other platform.

That's not to say that the marketing and advertising strategies of the Mad Men 1960s days are completely obsolete (where only a few platforms and channels existed across newspaper, radio and television), although it has changed a lot. But remember that there were a fixed number of channels back then, compared to the saturation of channels that we have these days. Not to mention that companies in those days could afford to be rather ubiquitous behind the scenes but push another image to customers that ultimately was the perceived 'identity' of that brand. And without word of mouth (which to be fair is still a powerful tool that can make or break a brand), brands could preach one thing, but practise another.

But nowadays all of that has transformed. Social media has given people worldwide a democratic voice to have our say on just about anything and everything. And with that kind of power comes a great responsibility to brands to ensure that all they say is transparent and not with ulterior motives in mind.  

Competitive and reference brand context

Even though you might feel that what you can learn via social media 'native' analytical packages such as Facebook Insights is broad and expansive, you have to remember that while it does provide a fairly comprehensive view of performance - for your own brand that is - it doesn't tell you much about what's happening with your competitors.

So while this is a fairly useful tool to analyse how well your business is doing, it isn't doing much to tell you about how your efforts are ranking against the competition. And this ultimately is going to leave you in the dark.

It's crucial that you have a competitive context to base your results off of. While you can improve a measure by 20%, that's not quite as impressive if your competitors are improving by 40%.

Incredible amounts of learnings and insights can be uncovered and capitalised on by understanding not just competitor performance - but also key reference brands. There is a danger of becoming a 'big fish in a small pond' if you benchmark yourself against competitors in a category that is under performing in social media. Make sure you know your company's worth before you start picking out competitors!

By measuring and understanding the performance of the best social media practitioners, you can take those learnings and apply them to your own programme.

Understanding performance at a brand level

Campaigns and activity is crucial to brand building but it is essential to understand how it all comes together to form your brand. Rolling up activity to brand level helps understand the overall impact of your activity rather than focusing on the success or failure of a piece of content.

A brand view will help you answer the following crucial questions in social media:

- Am I winning?

-Am I growing?

Ensuring your measures are aligned to business growth

It is essential to use measures and metrics that are closely aligned to strong business performance, such as selecting measures that if you improve, your company will grow.The question in social media is - what do I measure? What are the most important metrics aligned to growing my business?

There are many answers to this as we are covered earlier, and there are actually a myriad of metrics and measures in social media - to the point of being overwhelming and even distracting. So the next question is, how do I know where my business needs improvement, and what areas are strong already that can continue to flourish?

It's simple. Zavy takes the key measures across social media and starts by boiling them down into one score. This score and IP has been developed by understanding the key metrics that lead to business growth - based on analysing the social media activity and sales results of over 2,000 businesses.

Once overall performance is understood, we can then drill into post by post diagnosis to understand what type of activity and content is working for the company and competitors - and then optimise this activity accordingly.

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© Zavy 2021
© Zavy 2021