There’s no doubt that social media is one of the most important platforms for communication today. It’s how much of the world connects with friends and family, and stays on top of pop culture, news and the latest trends.
More than half the people on this planet use social media. More people communicate through social than any other online channel. And social media inspires more purchases than any other channel.
But despite this, many organizations still struggle to make social work. Social reach is falling and social advertising clickthrough rates are down. And many companies still underestimate the value of their social followers.
For the companies that are successfully using social to better engage with followers, social measurement is more than simply a tool to prove the channel’s impact. In the right hands, good social measurement offers the silver-bullet solution to getting the most impact on social channels.
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Worried about organic reach? Measurement is the answer.
Your marketing can’t succeed if no one sees your messages. But your social posts probably reach only about 5% of your followers. That’s why both social marketers and senior executives cite declining organic social reach as their biggest concern for the future of social media.
The only way to solve this problem is with good social measurement. After all, when people interact with your content, that content has the potential to reach more people. But while industry best practices offer basic guidance—for instance, always include photos or videos with your posts—the bottom line is that people want to engage with different types of content from different brands on different social platforms.
The British Museum created its first social accounts on Twitter and Facebook in 2009, later adding accounts on Instagram and YouTube. The Museum’s early social media efforts focused on cross-posting identical content to multiple channels. Through the use of social media measurement, the team identified opportunities to develop channel-specific content that makes the best use of each social media channel.
After analyzing how different content formats work on different social media platforms, the Museum began taking on a differentiated approach. For example, the Museum now uses Facebook Live to bring its collections to people in more than 75 countries around the world. It also partnered with Oculus VR on a pilot project to create the first interactive 360-degree virtual reality experience directly within Facebook’s News Feed.
Since taking on this measurement-rooted approach, the Museum has grown its follower numbers by 141% on Twitter, 123% on Instagram, and 20% on Facebook.
So while your intuition and experience can get you started, measurement is the real key to improving social reach and engagement. Once you choose the assets you think will fire up your audience, test your ideas to identify which posts generate the most engagement, shares, and impressions, by platform. Then keep testing, learning, and optimizing.
Remember: Even a few extra percentage points of reach can significantly improve your social performance.
Want to turn social ads into a performance channel? Measurement can do that.
Companies are more focused than ever on using social media to deliver measurable results. In fact, two of social marketers’ top three goals are now performance-related. That’s why U.S. marketers will spend more than $40 billion on social advertising this year.
Just one problem: While social ad spending is rising, social ad performance is falling. In fact, clickthrough rates on social ads declined 30% last year. If you want your social ads to perform as well as your other digital channels, you need to optimize your spending.
As consumer demand shifted during pandemic lockdowns, the luxury skincare, cosmetics, and perfume company, Clarins shifted its marketing budgets, accordingly, cutting spend related to makeup due to lack of demand and focusing on skincare. With new content already succeeding in driving engagement, the marketing team turned its attention to looking for ways to drive traffic to the Clarins website and drive additional e-commerce sales.
Based on trending conversations in search and social channels, the team developed a social advertising strategy that highlights deals on existing skincare offers that would appeal to cash-strapped customers. The strategy was a resounding success, with social ads quickly becoming one of the key media investments for the Clarins brand.
By the end of the quarter, social ads drove 30,000 website visits, with a low cost per click and click-through rates well exceeding the benchmark of 0.2%. For example, a single lip oil ad achieved a CTR of 0.7%—and a 42% week-on-week increase in sales performance attributed solely to social ads.
Soon after launching the Clarins & Me consultation service, the team noticed that the service was resonating with customers, with average order volume from consultations much higher than from customers browsing and shopping on the Clarins website. By quickly putting ad spend behind the consultations and investing in people discovering the service, Clarins was able to further amplify the effectiveness of the campaign, achieving a CTR of 0.6% with low CPC compared to its other media campaigns.
Good measurement doesn’t just tell you whether or not your ads are performing. It’s the tool that allows you to drive that performance.
And yes, good measurement can also prove the value of social.
You might think that social media simply can’t be measured. After all, social programs serve many different audiences all the way through the customer life cycle. That complexity explains why nearly six-in-10 social managers struggle to report return on investment (ROI) and less than one-third of CMOs cannot prove the value of social.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Search and email and TV marketing are also complex, and yet your peers in those departments have learned how to document the value they create.
The key to successful social measurement? Keep your metrics simple. Sure, social platforms are full of new and social-specific key performance indicators (KPIs). But your boss already knows and trusts cross-platform metrics like return-on-ad-spend and lifetime value—and these measures also tie directly to your organization’s business goals. That’s one reason our customers tell us that when they measure social media using the same models as other marketing channels, they achieve better results.
The right tools can help you attribute classic on-site conversion data, like lead form completions and purchase confirmations, to different social platforms, accounts, or even specific posts. That way you can compare bottom-line social marketing performance to the results you achieve from search, email, and other digital channels.
We’ll always face new challenges in social media. Just remember: Good social measurement is more than a tool to track your progress—it’s the tool that makes your progress possible.
Want to keep your social media momentum going in 2021? We surveyed 11,189 marketers to illuminate the most effective ways to boost traffic, get leads, and attract new customers in 2021. Get all the insights you need to succeed in our Social Trends 2021 Report.
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This post originally appeared on the Adobe Blog.