World population: 7.5 billion
Number of people using social media platforms: 2.5 billion (expected figures for 2017 from Statista)
With one-third of the world’s population using social media platforms and consumers religiously following their favorite brands on social media (see the chart below), it is no surprise that companies are also logged in to social media. Recent research suggests 91% of retail brands use two or more social media channels (Yesmail). And this is true for brands across industries.
However, using social media platforms brings about familiar questions for companies – How do you measure performance? Are my social media pages good enough? – Companies can answer these by comparing their social media performance against their competitors based on key areas such as effort, audience and channels.
While it may be easy for companies to compare their channel presence against competitors, they should understand that popularity, and thus returns from channels, can be very volatile. Therefore, it is imperative that companies ensure they are keeping up to date with the latest trends in social media.
How can you realise their social media potential
Consider each social media page(s) and platform, identify key measurement metrics and then juxtapose them with the same metrics from your competitors. Firstly, compare the performance on one platform, but then also at an overall level. Give each brand a score for each of the below performance indicators. At the end, the scores are combined to generate a final score for each brand’s social media performance.
- Channel strategy: presence
Channel strategy does not mean, the more the merrier, rather, it is all about finding the right fit. It is very important that each social media profile aligns with the business’s goals and objectives. While Facebook drives more referrals to external content, Twitter users engage 24% longer with long-form content and 14% longer with short-form content. (Pew)
- Pro-activeness: effort
This is where we quantify and analyse their content strategy. This includes the frequency of posts, time taken to reply, content types and variation, campaigns, sweepstakes, page features etc. 72% of people who complain to a brand via Twitter expect a response within an hour (Lithium). The study also revealed that when brands provide customers with timely response, 34% are likely to buy more from that company and 38% are more receptive to their advertisement. Below is an example of what this analysis could look like.
- Page performance: awareness
Awareness can be measured by looking at the overall impression, total reach generated by each platform and follower growth. Again each platform is given a score like below.
- Audience engagement
Total user engagement in each platform can also be measured by analysing likes, comments, shares etc at post level.
- Earned media mentions
It is also possible to measure how much a company gets featured in users social media content (those conversations that are happening above and beyond a company’s owned social properties). You can measure what share of the conversation they have and what sentiment customers have towards their brand. 96% of the people that discuss brands online do not follow those brands’ owned profiles. (Brandwatch)
- Customer loyalty: brand affinity
What is the level of affinity towards the brand showcased by users? Further users intention to purchase or recommend is also measured.
Below is an example of a social media performance scorecard for an entertainment company.
Conducting a social media performance audit & analysis helps marketers evaluate their company’s social media presence, and also helps them identify what content development and design work is required. The results can also help them create a prioritised action plan, develop a marketing strategy and understand what their competitors are doing.