Recently I have been thinking a lot about how we can demonstrate positive business impact from social media or content marketing initiatives. I report on social media marketing metrics weekly to my direct manager, and I often think about them in three major groups:
- Fans, Followers and Subscribers: People who have said they want to follow our brand. This gives you a sense of Awareness or Brand Visibility as well as how it is impacting the brand's online reputation in its space.
- Clicks, Traffic: People who have visited your blog or site as a result of finding you online via social channels.
- Leads/Sales: Actual interest in doing business with your company. I value leads coming from general inquiry forms higher than leads coming to us via incentive offers such as a white paper or webinar.
Technically you could add a fourth category to this and actually quantify sales that started as a social media based lead. That requires adequate tracking in your CRM or analytics system, and is much easier for something like an e-commerce site selling products than it would be for a B-to-B firm.
I also thoroughly enjoyed a recently published article by Jon Miller of Marketo called "5 CEO-Worthy Metrics for Demonstrating Inbound Marketing Success." In his post, Miller outlines the following metric types and gives detail to them:
- Month over month growth in organic website traffic, leads, and opportunities.
- Social engagement, not just reach.
- Lead generation by content, channel, and initiative.
- Percent of leads with an inbound original source.
- Forecasted conversion through the funnel.
Very similar to my line of thinking but he's talking more generally about inbound marketing and not just social media. You can read his full post here.