How to Use Social Media Metrics to Increase Your Business - dummies

How to Use Social Media Metrics to Increase Your Business

By Leslie Poston

A great set of uses for social media metrics is business growth and knowledge growth. If you want to expand your business reach and sales, social media is a great tool to include in your overall arsenal, and metrics will only amplify your results and speed your growth.

Social media metrics also allow you to batch-test small initiatives (A/B testing) when you’re thinking of launching a new service or product. By A/B testing your campaign or initiative through staggered releases on various social media sites and concentrated influencer sharing, combined with a great landing page targeted to each group that is packed with metrics goodness, a company can save the cost in money and time of a failed launch of a product that is a poor fit for its target market.

One of the companies excelling at applying social media metrics to their customer base is Starbucks. Starbucks is using listening metrics and demographic metrics from its white label (company branded) My Starbucks Idea website, Twitter engagement, Facebook page, Gold Card rewards program, and more to fine-tune what it’s offering customers and to growing its reach.

Starbucks is applying metrics to a variety of social media platforms and offline programs so that it can offer better quality deals, rewards, products, and promotions to its loyal customers, as well as attract new loyal fans. Starbucks is very adept at leveraging its data to create engaged, enthusiastic fans of the company — and not just coffee drinkers.

Some of the engagement types Starbucks is tracking include

  • In-store: Rewards Card tracking allows Starbucks a real-time, geolocation-enabled view of how and what their customers purchase and what the peak times are. Free iTunes songs and apps allow Starbucks to offer value incentives and track redemption. Free Wi-Fi through the Starbucks web portal allows Starbucks to track in-store web surfing and usage.

  • Online: Starbucks uses a variety of landing pages and sites to engage and track its customer base online, including My Starbucks Idea, a white label social networking site designed to encourage market research and self-directed focus group activity that generates and tests new ideas for the stores. Starbucks is also active on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites and uses hashtags, promoted tweets, promoted trends, tabs, and landing pages to track the engagement people have with its brand there.


  • Charity: Starbucks uses cause marketing, which attaches a charity donation to a CD sale, wristband purchase, or other purchase, to drive customer behavior. Cause marketing also gives them another metric to track — customer altruism and its effect on purchase behavior.

  • Mobile: Starbucks uses geolocation applications, such as foursquare and Facebook Places, to interact with its customers on the go via check-ins on their phone, which activates trackable hyperlocal metrics. Starbucks also is among the first companies to use augmented reality — an artificial environment created through the combination of real-world and computer-generated data — in a focused marketing campaign, by creating an Augmented Reality application called Cup Magic for iPhone and Android that people can download. Cup Magic animates the graphics on their red holiday cups, offers rewards, and gives Starbucks another way to engage and track customer behavior.

    Using an augmented reality application or QR Code from a company like Starbucks? Be aware that this technology is still in its early stages. It requires a steady hand and patience to capture the images before you see the animation or whatever other virtual experience has been designed. If you’re designing an app or code for your company, keep user experience in mind — let them know that a 15-second delay in processing the image may occur. It will keep your customers happy.

Use of good social media metrics and cross platform tools increased Starbucks global same-store sales by 7 percent in the first quarter of 2011. That’s a strong argument for how targeted metrics and solid social media implementation can affect a brand in a positive way.