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Ten Social Media Metrics you Need to Know

As I'm sure you well know, it's not enough to simply implement a social advertising campaign. You need some means of tracking it, some way of figuring out whether or not it's working. You need metrics.  If something about your social presence is falling flat, keeping an eye on things will help you narrow down the reason - and, hopefully, fix the problem before it gets worse.

Really, it's all just a matter of paying attention, at the end of the day. Here are a few of the most important metrics you should pay mind to.

Conversation Rate: Basically, Conversation rate is a very simple means of monitoring whether or not people are actually engaging with the content you're sharing, one of four metrics proposed by Avinash Kaushik. All you have to do to figure out your conversation rate is look at the number of comments you're receiving on each post you share on your social media site. If you've plenty of comments, then you've a high conversation rate.

This metric on its own isn't enough to determine whether or not your strategy's a success- you'll need to look at what's being said.

Amplification Rate: The second of the four social metrics Avinash Kaushik discussed on his blog, Amplification rate measures how much a particular piece of content has been shared, and through that, how much traffic it's receiving. Again, it's a matter of determining whether or not your content is meaningful or relevant to users. If a post is getting a lot of shares, you're probably doing a bang-up job.

Applause Rate: The third of four social metrics proposed by Kaushik, Applause rate measures how many likes (or equivalent gestures, on social networks other than Facebook) each post receives. If people enjoy your content, and you're doing more than just screaming product pitches in their faces, you'll have a higher Applause Rate.

Economic Value: The last of the metrics proposed by Kaushi, Economic value is basically where you're measuring your ROI. Naturally, it's a little bit more complicated than the other three items, as there's a lot of stuff in social media (and, by association, social marketing) that can't necessarily be calculated or measured. He explains it better than I could here.

Leads: Where is all your traffic coming from? How many sites link to your page or posts? How many people are paying you a visit, and where are they visiting from? To track this, you're probably best served using a web platform, like open site explorer. Whether or not this metric is of use to you really depends on what you're trying to accomplish- if most of inbound links to your page are from Facebook, and that's where you're focusing your efforts, there's really nothing wrong with that.

Conversion Rate: This one's fairly similar to economic value. You want to examine your traffic, the users you talk to, and your membership, and examine what these members translate into. How many of your members subscribed to a service you offer? How many people purchased a product? It's all about monetization- if you notice a large number of users are subscribing to a free service you offer, consider advertising revenue.

Bounce Rate/Engagement Duration: These two are generally meant to be seen side by side, as they both measure very similar things. Bounce Rate, in the event that you've a Facebook page, website, or blog, measures how many users come across your page and then "bounce" - in other words, leave quickly without even spending time examining it. Engagement duration, meanwhile, measures how much time users spend using an application or viewing a website. The two have an inverse relationship: a higher bounce rate usually means lower engagement duration.

Brand Mentions:  How often do people talk about your company, brand, or products on social networks?  If you've got a high rate of brand mentions, it could be a direct indication that your organization is well-liked, or...it could very well mean the opposite. Again, you need to pay attention to what people are saying as much as you do how often your organization is mentioned. If you've got a lot of mentions, but they're primarily negative, you've probably got some very serious problems with your brand that you need to sort out.

Activity Ratio: Activity Ratio is somewhat similar to Engagement Duration, except that it takes a look at the members you've already got. How active are they? How often do they comment on your posts, share your content, visit your website? How often do you interact with them? If you're looking to establish a connection with your customers through this campaign, you're aiming to increase this metric.

Membership Increase/Network Size: We'll conclude with what's probably one of the more obvious metrics on the list. How fast is your membership increasing, and how large is your active network? Again, you can't take this one on your own- you'll need to pair it with Activity Ratio, Bounce Rate, and Engagement Duration in order to determine whether or not you're actually retaining all these members you're acquiring.

These are far from the only metrics out there- they're just some of the best. And really, at the end of the day, all this talk about 'metrics' and 'analytics' is just an exercise in buzzwords. There's a very basic, very simple concept behind all of this, and it's one we've talked about many times before:

If you're going to execute a social campaign, you'll need to actively participate in it - and that includes monitoring every single facet you can think of.

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