How to Quantify Your Social Media Interactions

The metrics you use to quantify your social media engagement vary from service to service. However, this list describes some similar types of activities that take place across all of them:

  • Attraction: Attracting a qualified, quality following is valuable. You can spend money to push messages to people via ads, but true engagement slowly and steadily builds the audience and connects with them over the long term. Measure the growth of your fan base by counting common metrics such as the number of friends, fans, and followers and by noting actual customers (or likely prospects) if you can identify them.

  • Interactions: You must become part of the conversation online to convert participation by your friends, fans, and followers into interaction. Seek out opportunities to reciprocate participation by liking, commenting on, and sharing comments and by praising others.

  • Pay attention to mentions, requests, and queries, and respond promptly. Keep track of these interactions, particularly the ones that move from social networks to other forms of communication such as e-mail — or even in-person encounters.

  • Actions: Actions are concrete and measurable when marketing online, even in social media engagement, but they require consistent nurturing to take place more than once. Count and track comments and shares as well as likes, retweets, repins, and favorites, and note increases or declines in those activities.

    Look for potential reasons for the ebbs and flows of these actions, and modify your engagement tactics to account for variables such as time zone differences and changes to social network features.

  • Transformations: The magic of social media engagement happens when your activities transform others, such as turning a dissatisfied customer into a happy one or turning a happy customer into an evangelist for your brand.

    When these positive transformations happen, the ripple effect of the good news reverberates through your own networks into your customers' networks and beyond. Record the transformations you witness or cause — and archive everything for your records.

  • Transactions: As a marketer, your job is to help close the sale. Customers and prospects can carry out many types of transactions in addition to actual sales. Don't discount activities such as taking polls, filling out surveys, listing contact information (and contact permission), and providing warm leads.

    Record all types of transactions that are closed throughout each week and month, and watch for trends. Look out for how different social media engagement tactics translate into true transactions, including sales.

Use a tool such as Storify to track mentions of your brand in popular social networks, and arrange them chronologically or in an order that tells a story. The resulting visual compilation of tweets and posts is perfect to create reports and to help demonstrate the impact of your social media engagement efforts.

Storify lets you compile an organized archive of social media messages from other contributors that are tied together based on a keyword or hashtag.

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