Social media analytics and measuring social media performance are a lot more sophisticated than they once were. Together with listening tools, social networks have evolved and now offer a wide range of data that allows companies to go far beyond measuring superficial metrics such as follower numbers. Companies have learned that what matters are not the numbers themselves; but how they drive tangible engagement and, ultimately, the achievement of bottom line goals.
For example, an employee may have generated over a thousand likes for a company post they shared on Twitter. But just how did this enable them to achieve concrete business objectives? Of all the people who liked the article, was the employee in question able to drive traffic to the company website, identify a lead or secure a wavering client? These are the things companies are beginning to measure- and with increasing success- on social media.
A Quantitative and Qualitative Approach
However, keeping track of numbers need not, and certainly should not, be the only way companies measure their performance online. Employees’ activity (how they spend their time, with whom and on which projects) can be showcased on social media in a way that enables managers to identify and compare departments’ performance in both a qualitative and a quantitative way.
Whether it’s done on internal or external networks, engaging employees should involve inviting them to share their experiences; and, through doing so, allowing them to see how what they do has an impact on overall company objectives. Not only does this widen individual employees’ perspectives, it allows managers to track how all teams are performing and determine how they can learn from each other.
Metrics Made Fun
The future of business lies in real time intelligence that tracks performance on a continual basis. There are few better ways to do this than to drive, measure and reward long-term employee engagement through gamification. Challenges and campaigns, during which teams compete for rewards by engaging with and sharing content, are an incredibly effective way of fostering collaboration and creating healthy competition between business units.
Moreover, gamification initiatives can be synchronized with external communication efforts and paid marketing campaigns. Therefore, allowing managers to identify how employee engagement complements external initiatives, determine how it impacts measurable business results; and, through the use of leaderboards and rewards, valorize the employees who are instrumental in doing so.
Tailored Social Media Performance Indicators
Before jumping into measuring every single share, comment and like, companies must think about what their goals are on social media. Whether they are aiming to drive sales, acquire new website users or enhance communication with existing clients; these goals will vary and are likely to incorporate a range of departmental objectives.
This is why number gathering, though essential, cannot be the only performance indicator. Other methods, such as enabling employees to communicate about their activity and driving inter-departmental engagement through gamification, provide qualitative KPIs; which, when combined with quantitative metrics and rich analytics, constitute a truly comprehensive way of measuring social media performance.